Main news of October 17


*Israel and Palestine will exchange the first group of Palestinian prisoners for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit at 6:00 a.m. local time (04:00 GMT), Palestinian media said

*The UK and Belarus have refused to hand over former Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev and members of his family who are charged with a number of crimes in Kyrgyzstan, the head of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security Keneshbek Dushebayev said

*Moscow expects Libya’s new authorities to uphold commitments under contracts signed during the Muammar Gaddafi-era, the Russian Energy Ministry said

*A planned Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will help Islamabad tackle its energy crisis and turn Pakistan’s industry around, Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Mashallah Shakeri said


*Russia will maintain a balanced foreign policy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

*Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that if he wins the 2012 presidential elections, he would not sharply alter what was done during Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency

*Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he saw China as a reliable partner, not a threat to Russia

*Too much openness may be harmful for the Russian economy, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

*A government reshuffle is a sign of weakness by a country’s leadership, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

*Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned on Monday that political steps in the wrong direction could throw Russia back to the volatile 1980s-1990s

*Two bodies have been recovered from the rubble after a gas explosion in an apartment building in Bronnitsy near Moscow, investigators said


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