Main news of June 19


* Russia expects to receive on Monday a strain of the highly virulent E.Coli infection that has killed over 30 people in Europe and forced the Russian authorities to impose a ban on vegetable imports from the European Union, Russia’s sanitary chief Gennady Onishchenko said

* Firefighters and rescuers in Russia’s Far East extinguished nine forest fires over the past 24 hours and continue battling 20 more forest fires, the regional emergencies ministry said

*The area affected by forest fires in Siberia has decreased by 25 percent in the last twenty-four hours to 5,400 hectares, the Emergencies Ministry said

* A militant involved in numerous terrorist crimes was killed in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) said

* Russia’s brand new Sukhoi SuperJet 100 aircraft has flown to Paris to take part in the upcoming international air show outside the French capital, the office of Russian Vice-Premier Sergei Ivanov said



* Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to make a TV-address on the situation in the country on Monday, the country’s news agency SANA said said

* NATO has launched an investigation into an alleged airstrike on a residential compound in the Libyan capital that killed several civilians, the BBC reported

* The final round of talks between leaders of the recently reconciled Fatah and Hamas movements, Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, scheduled for June 21 in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, was postponed for unidentified period of time, Egypt’s news agency MENA said

* Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou called for a referendum in the fall on constitutional reform

* Police in Azerbaijani capital of Baku said it arrested 23 oppositionists, participated in a failed unsanctioned protest

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talked by a phone with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, and discussed the situation in the region, bilateral relations and fight aganst terrorism

* Yelena Bonner, a human rights activist and the widow of the late Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, died in the U.S. at the age of 88, Ekho Moskvy radio station reported

* President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek expressed their condolences over a death of a human rights activist and the widow of the late Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner



* Ukraine’s Soviet-era gas pipeline network needs $3.5 billion for its modernization expected to start this year, a senior executive of the national oil and gas company Naftogaz said

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