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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    WORLD

    * The CDU/CSU group led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to conclude talks on a coalition government by late October, German media reported

    * The de facto president of Honduras announced on Monday the cancelation of a state of emergency in the country and the restoration of citizens' civil liberties from Tuesday

    * Greece's president asked George Papandreou to form a government on Monday after his Socialist party won a decisive victory over the ruling conservatives in early elections, state television reported

    * Somali pirates have released Turkey's Horizon-1 bulk carrier, hijacked three months ago, after receiving a ransom for the vessel, Turkish media said on Monday citing the ship's owner

    * More than 240 people have died in floods in southern and western regions of India, local media said

    * Iran's top nuclear energy official said in a television interview on Monday that the Islamic Republic has now mastered the full nuclear fuel cycle

    * This year's Nobel Prize for medicine has been given to three U.S. scientists for their research into how the human body protects chromosomes

    * A Kyrgyz parliamentary committee approved on Monday draft agreements allowing France and Spain to deploy troops at a U.S. center for transit to Afghanistan at the former-Soviet republic's Manas airbase

    * Three people were killed in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Monday when a suspected suicide bomber attacked a UN World Food Program office, the Dawn News TV channel said

    * At least ten people died and over 88 were injured when a train came off the rails in southern Thailand on Monday, national media reported

    * Indonesian authorities have halted search and rescue operations in the city of Padang on the island of Sumatra, six days after a series of powerful earthquakes devastated the region

    * A North Korean ship heading for Pakistan was detained and searched by the Indian coast guard, Press Trust of India reported

    * The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece Aleka Papariga said on Monday she was disappointed with the results of Sunday's parliamentary election, which was won by the Socialists

    * A team of professional pilots from Air France pilots' union has concluded that faulty air speed sensors were the main cause of an Airbus A330 crash over the Atlantic in June, the French media said

    RUSSIA

    * Russia has been ranked 71st in the world for living standards, three spots below Belarus, according to a United Nations report released on Monday

    * Russia will support Serbia's case in UN court hearings on the legitimacy of Kosovo's declaration of independence, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

    * Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged on Monday to save the country's largest carmaker AvtoVAZ from closure

    * The leader of Russia's volatile southern republic of Ingushetia dismissed the government on Monday, citing its failure to tackle socio-economic problems and corruption

    * Russia is ready to extend a loan to Serbia and is considering the possibility of granting a loan to Bulgaria, the Russian finance minister said

    * The number of people diagnosed with swine flu in Russia has risen to 570, Russia's top sanitary official said

    BUSINESS

    * Norway's Telenor and Russia's Alfa Group said on Monday they were ending their long-running legal dispute and combining their mobile phone holdings in Russia and Ukraine into a single company

    * Russia plans to offer Britain a range of projects on joint energy efficiency investments, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said

    * Russia will not disburse the last $500 million tranche of a $2 billion stabilization loan to Belarus and will not grant a $5 billion loan to Ukraine, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said

    * Russia's largest truck maker, KamAZ, restarted its main assembly line on Monday after a freeze since September 29, the company's PR department said

    * A U.S.-based subsidiary of Yukos, declared bankrupt in 2006, intends to sue the Russian government for a record $100 billion in the Strasbourg Court, the Yukos former finance director said

    SPORT

    * Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova climbed up 10 spots in the Women Tennis Association's rankings to 15th place on Monday

    * The Russian Premier League is set for its tightest ever finish after leaders and reigning champions Rubin Kazan lost their second match in succession at the weekend, while the chasing group all won

    * The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has offered Russia its assistance in the preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in line with a cooperation agreement with the Russian Olympics Committee

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