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Main News of March 30

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

RUSSIA

* Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Saturday condemned attempts to blame him for the Soviet Union’s breakup

* President Vladimir Putin called for one of next year’s Olympic ice hockey arenas in Sochi to be turned into a training base for child athletes

* The Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its website slamming the US State Department’s stated intent to continue funding non-governmental organizations in Russia as “interfering.”

* President Vladimir Putin has ordered to allocate more than 2.3 billion rubles (some $75 million) in 2013 to support socially oriented NGOs working in Russia, the Kremlin said on its website

* Russian paleontologists have named a recently discovered fossil ichthyosaur after Lenin, the head of the Natural History Museum at Ulyanovsk State University said

* Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov does not pay the wages of Russia manager Fabio Capello, a spokesman for the Russian oligarch said

WORLD

* A senior NATO official said on Friday that military conflict between the United States and North Korea was not inevitable, but that Washington and its allies are capable of deterring that outcome

* Moscow calls for restraint on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea had reportedly declared a “state of war” with South Korea, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Israel moved a step closer to energy independence as natural gas from a recently discovered offshore field began flowing for the first time, local media reported

* The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Tbilisi was concerned with Russia’s military drills in the country’s southern Black Sea region this week

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