Main News of April 18


* The United Nations will not recognize North Korea (DPRK) as a nuclear power in view of its recent illicit nuclear test, threats and other provocative acts, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said

* Pyongyang has set out a list of conditions for dialogue with the United States and the South Korea, including an end to UN sanctions and South Korean and US military exercises, the North said in a state media statement

* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned the West that it will pay a price for supporting terrorists linked to Al Qaeda in Syria and warned that the conflict may eventually spread beyond Syrian borders

* Five to 15 people were killed in a massive explosion that rocked a fertilizer plant in central Texas, US police said, and hundreds of people are believed to have been injured

* The Ukrainian parliament approved a presidential decree allowing foreign troops to participate in a series of international drills in the country later this year


* Russia and the United States have agreed to establish regular dialogue on the protection of rights of Russian children adopted by US families, a Russian diplomat said after talks with US officials in Washington

* One of Russia’s main goals as chair of the Group of 20 nations is to boost global employment levels, its point man on G20 and BRICS issues said

* A search of the Skolkovo Foundation office turned up documents that investigators seized as evidence in an embezzlement case against former officials, the Russian Investigative Committee said

* Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to make Time’s 2013 list of the world’s top 100 most influential people, but the magazine found a place for his close ally, the head of the Rosneft oil company, Igor Sechin

* The legislature of Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Dagestan voted overwhelmingly against reintroducing direct elections of the regional head

* Russia will stick with its original agreement with Ukraine to jointly build the Antonov An-70 propfan tactical transport aircraft, Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said, despite tensions between the two sides over the project’s progress

* Moscow’s chief obstetrician, a deputy to Russia’s voucher privatization architect Anatoly Chubais and the rector of a university where President Vladimir Putin defended his thesis are among the lucky ones who have joined Forbes’ 2013 Wealthiest Russian Businessmen List

* New charges have been brought against whistleblowing opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his brother, who are suspected of fraud, Russian investigators said

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