17:59 GMT +319 March 2018
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    Morning re-cap of main news, October 21

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    * U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss implementation of international sanctions imposed on North Korea following its reported nuclear test October 9

    * U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with the son of prominent Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya, murdered in a contract-style killing in Moscow earlier this month, and with editors of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper where the outspoken reporter had worked

    * The controversy around the Shell-operated Sakhalin II oil and gas project in Russia's Far East could be resolved through talks, President Vladimir Putin said to a meeting of EU leaders in Finland

    * In an interview with the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said:

    - there is no reason why North Korea should be recognized as a nuclear power;

    - the United States and North Korea should show more flexibility in trying to settle their conflict over U.S. financing restrictions, the main stumbling block at six-party talks over Pyongyang's nuclear program;

    - Russia will oppose any attempts to use the UN Security Council for punishing Iran over its nuclear ambitions;

    - the Mideast Quartet of mediators should give the radical Palestinian group Hamas more time to honor their demands, including recognition of Israel's right to exist, renunciation of violence, and respect for existing peace agreements

    * A national Russian TV channel said President Vladimir Putin will hold a live televised phone-in session on October 25

    * Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he had no intention to use military force to restore central government control over his country's breakaway provinces, responding to Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks that Georgia was "preparing bloodshed" in Abkhazia and South Ossetia

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