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Kerry arrives in Moscow to explore Syria peace process in Kremlin talks

By Lesley Wroughton MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to try and narrow differences with Russian leader Vladimir Putin over the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in any political transition and which rebel groups should be part of peace talks. Kerry will seek to prepare the ground for a third...
Dec 15, 2015 |

Tepid pro-impeachment rallies give Brazil's president respite

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) - Low turnout at pro-impeachment rallies on Sunday provided some respite for President Dilma Rousseff but the real test of the popular mood will come when Brazil returns from its summer holidays in March to face a deepening recession and fewer jobs. The tepid turnout at the weekend protests were a welcome break...
Dec 15, 2015 |

Puerto Rico governor says won't seek re-election

By Nick Brown SAN JUAN (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's unpopular governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla on Monday said he would not seek a second four-year term in next November’s election, as he turns his attention squarely to solving the island's $72 billion debt crisis. Garcia Padilla’s administration is facing a federal corruption probe, and the...
Dec 15, 2015 |

Obama: faster progress needed against Islamic State

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday progress needs to speed up against Islamic State militants, calling on allies to increase their military contributions to coalition efforts to destroy the group in Iraq and Syria. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Obama said he was sending Defense Secretary Ash Carter to the Middle East to secure more...
Dec 15, 2015 |

Russia criticizes U.S. policy on Syria ahead of Kerry Moscow visit

Russia stepped up its criticism of U.S. policy on Syria on the eve of a visit to Moscow by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, saying the United States had not shown it was ready to cooperate fully in the struggle against Islamic State militants. Russia would continue to urge Washington to rethink its policy of "dividing terrorists into good...
Dec 14, 2015 |

Turkey says its patience with Russia 'has a limit': newspaper

Turkey's foreign minister said Ankara's patience with Russia "has a limit" after Moscow's "exaggerated" reaction to a weekend naval incident between the two countries, an Italian newspaper reported on Monday. A Russian destroyer fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean on Sunday to avoid a collision...
Dec 14, 2015 |

Obama says may visit Cuba in 2016 if citizens enjoy more freedoms

U.S. President Barack Obama is open to visiting to Cuba in 2016 but first wants to see ordinary citizens there enjoy more personal freedoms, he said in an interview released on Monday. In an interview with Yahoo! News, Obama said he has told Havana that without such progress, he is unlikely to visit the Communist island nation before he leaves...
Dec 14, 2015 |

French far-right fails to win any regions in upset for Le Pen

By Ingrid Melander and Michel Rose PARIS(Reuters) - Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front did not win any region in French elections on Sunday, in a setback to her hopes of being a serious presidential contender in 2017. The regional election run-off, in which the conservatives won seven constituencies and the Socialists five, was no real...
Dec 14, 2015 |

Merkel dismisses U.S. request for more military help against Islamic State

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday brushed off what a Germany magazine said was a request from the United States to provide more military help in the fight against Islamic State. "I believe Germany is fulfilling its part and we don't need to talk about new issues related to this question at the moment," Merkel told the ZDF...
Dec 14, 2015 |

U.S. 'shocked' at Hungarian plans to honor WW2 anti-Semite

By Marton Dunai SZEKESFEHERVAR, Hungary (Reuters) - A U.S. envoy said on Sunday Washington was shocked by plans to erect a statue of Balint Homan, who contributed to murderous anti-Semitism in Hungary in the 1930s and 40s. "From the U.S. government perspective we feel very strongly that history and the damage that this man did to Hungarian...
Dec 14, 2015 |

How the world learned its lesson and got a climate deal

By Richard Valdmanis and Emmanuel Jarry PARIS (Reuters) - It was an agreement born from a fear of failure, delivered by the smoothness of French diplomacy. Six years earlier, countries had bitterly walked away from global climate talks in Copenhagen without a deal. The decision to reassemble in Paris to try again at getting almost 200 countries to...
Dec 14, 2015 |

Ecuador signs deal with Sweden for Assange questioning

Ecuador and Sweden have signed a pact that would allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be questioned by Swedish authorities at Ecuador's embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than three years since facing sexual assault charges, the Quito government said. Assange, 44, took refuge in the embassy building in June 2012 to...
Dec 13, 2015 |

Russia warns Turkey over Aegean warship incident

By Katya Golubkova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia on Sunday warned Turkey to stop staging what it called provocations against its forces in or near Syria after one of its warships fired warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean to avoid a collision. The Russian Defence Ministry said one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to...
Dec 13, 2015 |

Western powers call for Libya ceasefire, back unity government

Western powers called for a ceasefire in Libya on Sunday to pave the way for an agreement to form a national unity government, which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the majority of factions were ready to sign. Most representatives of the two rival governments currently in power in Libya "have come together and are ready to sign an...
Dec 13, 2015 |

For U.N.'s Ban, climate deal is personal victory after setbacks

By Alister Doyle and Bruce Wallace PARIS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was among the most jubilant - and most relieved - of the leaders raising their arms on a stage on Saturday to celebrate a historic agreement on climate change. For almost a decade, Ban, 71, has traveled the world from the glaciers of Antarctica to corporate...
Dec 13, 2015 |

China navy carries out more drills in disputed South China Sea

China's navy has in recent days carried out more exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Sunday, calling them routine drills. China claims almost all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. "The People's Liberation Army...
Dec 13, 2015 |

U.S. asks Germany for more military help in fight against IS

The United States has asked Germany for more military help in the fight against Islamic State, a German magazine reported on Saturday, a week after parliament approved a plan to join the campaign in Syria. Der Spiegel said U.S. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter had sent a letter asking for a bigger military contribution from Berlin. Germany does not...
Dec 13, 2015 |

Xi absent as China marks low key Nanjing Massacre anniversary

China marked in low-key fashion its second national memorial day for the Nanjing Massacre on Sunday, with President Xi Jinping skipping the main event and a relatively junior official leading the somber ceremony instead. China and Japan have long sparred over their painful history. China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 massacre in which...
Dec 13, 2015 |

Death toll from day of clashes in Burundi capital rises to nearly 90

Nearly 90 people were killed during Friday's clashes in the Burundian capital, the army said on Saturday, the worst outbreak of violence in Burundi since a failed coup in May. Blasts and gunfire echoed around Bujumbura for most of Friday and residents said officials spent the day collecting bullet-riddled bodies from city streets. Army...
Dec 13, 2015 |

Hezbollah buries militant Qantar, says Israel will be held accountable

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said on Monday that Israel would be held accountable for killing prominent militant Samir Qantar in an air strike in Syria, and accorded him an elaborate funeral of... Read More

Russia says black box from warplane downed by Turkey unreadable

Investigators in Moscow said on Monday they were unable to retrieve information from the damaged black box of a Russian warplane shot down by Turkey last month, data the Kremlin hoped would support... Read More

Exclusive: U.S. glossed over Oman's human rights record during Iran talks

By Jason Szep, Matt Spetalnick and Yara Bayoumy WASHINGTON/MUSCAT (Reuters) - As the United States negotiated this year’s nuclear pact with Iran, the State Department quietly agreed to spare the... Read More