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Main News of March 14

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Developing nations, which have lagged behind the rest of the world for decades, are now “driving global economic growth and societal change for the first time in centuries,” and “transforming the global power balance,” according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

* The Russian leadership pledged to provide continued support to Palestinians in their bid to establish an independent state and to resolve a decades-long conflict with Israel

* Russia's Foreign Ministry warned the Arab League that its recent decision to give Syria’s seat to the opposition National Council would legalize arms supplies to militants and terrorists

RUSSIA

* Russian police released several hostages held at a college in the southern city of Astrakhan and detained the suspected hostage-taker, the Interior Ministry said

 * British actor, writer, comedian, gay rights activist and blogger extraordinaire Stephen Fry met with the Russian lawmaker who kick-started the ongoing crackdown on Russia’s LGBT community

* Russia's space agency Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed a final agreement giving the green light to the ExoMars project to send unmanned probes to Mars, Roscosmos spokesperson Anna Vedishcheva said

BUSINESS

* The Russian Defense Ministry and the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTS) have agreed to join forces to ensure arms delivered to the Russian army and their export variants are sold at the same prices, the FSMTS said

* Russian billionaire and social media investor Yury Milner and VKontakte social network founder Pavel Durov have invested $300,000 in 12 Internet startups under the Start Fellows grant program for young developers, the VKontakte press office reported

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