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Main news of July 3



* At least 26 Pakistani service personnel were killed on Friday in a helicopter crash in a tribal area near the border with Afghanistan, Pakistan's English-language newspaper, The Nation, said

* Italy's council of ministers approved imposing a state of emergency on Friday in the Italian town of Viareggio hit by a powerful gas blast late on Monday

* The G8 summit in Italy next week will involve some 30 countries and focus on the global financial crisis, tackling terrorism, climate change and regional security, a Russian presidential aide said

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said his country is suspending oil supplies to Honduras over the recent coup in the Central American country, Spain's EFE news agency said


* Russia and the U.S. will both benefit from a new strategic arms reduction agreement, a Russian deputy foreign minister said

* Russia is ready for effective cooperation with the new U.S. administration led by President Barack Obama, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* An Arab mercenary and terrorist named Mukhanad with ties to al-Qaeda was behind a plot to assassinate Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, the North Caucasus republic's interior minister said

* Russia will work to boost the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and hopes the election of a new director general will advance joint projects, Russia's state nuclear corporation said

* The Kremlin confirmed on Friday that the Russian and U.S. presidents would sign a key framework arms control agreement during President Barack Obama's visit next week

* Russia and the U.S. will sign deals expanding bilateral military ties and on transit of military supplies via Russia to U.S. troops in Afghanistan during the U.S. president's visit to Moscow, a Kremlin aide said

* Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who was badly injured in a roadside bomb on June 22, has regained consciousness, a spokesman for Ingushetia's representative in Moscow said

* Only 5% of Russians polled in a recent survey believe U.S.-Russian relations are friendly, a pollster said

* The investigation in the 2004 murder of Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov, which was suspended earlier in the year, has been resumed, a top Russian investigator said

* Russia's security agencies and police are taking heightened security measures ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's first visit to Moscow next week, a security official said

* EU member states have withdrawn their ambassadors from Honduras in protest against the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya, the Swedish EU presidency said in a statement

* A landslide caused by heavy rains has killed six people and destroyed 3,800 homes in central China, the Sina news agency reported


* VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, reported a net loss of 26.45 billion rubles ($846 mln) in the first six months of the year, the bank's press service said

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