World Bulletin / News Desk
Russia is not considering changing its stance on Syria and any attempts to apply pressure on Moscow are "hardly appropriate", President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Wednesday.
"It would make sense to expect a continuation of the Russian Federation's consistent and well-argued line" on Syria during Putin's visit to Germany and France on Friday, Dmitry Peskov told Reuters.
Putin will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in brief visits to Berlin and Paris, part of his first foreign trip since he returned to Russia's presidency for a six-year term on May 7.
Russia, which has blunted efforts to condemn President Bashar al-Assad and push him from power over 15 months of bloodshed, has been urged to stop supporting the government after a massacre Western nations blame on Assad's forces.
"Russia is a country with a consistent foreign policy and any pressure is hardly appropriate," Peskov said when asked whether Arab and Western countries were pressing Moscow to change its position.
"Nobody has unambiguous information" about the massacre in the Syrian town of Houla and Russia believes "one should not give in to emotions at such an important moment," he said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said both the Syrian government and its opponents were to blame for the killings, and Moscow has called for an investigation under the aegis of the U.N. observer mission in Syria.
Russia says it supports envoy Kofi Annan's U.N.-backed peace plan, not Assad or his government, and that nations with influence over government opponents must use it more effectively to get them to abide by a ceasefire.
Speaking in France almost a year ago, Putin said Russia has no special relationship with Syria and did "not intend to give anybody cover" but emphasized Moscow's opposition to foreign interference in sovereign states.
Dlamini-Zuma said that the pan-African body would work to accelerate its current efforts to help Liberia, which has been hit hard by the deadly virus
Natives must gain control of titles to stave off deforestation and reduce illegal logging, activists say.
In Brazil's tightest election in decades, the leftist incumbent's aggressive campaign against pro-business senator Neves has succeeded in bolstering her support
Only male worshippers aged 40 and above and women of all ages were allowed into the holy site
France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in air strikes in Iraq
Christos Stylianides, who takes over on Nov. 1 as the EU's commissioner for humanitarian affairs and crisis management, will also be the 28-nation bloc's point man on Ebola.
While the South already has peacetime control of its roughly 639,000 service members, its ally the United States had been set to hand over wartime operational control (OPCON) at the end of next year.
U.S. negotiator Sherman said the United States and the other major powers were prepared to reach an agreement and suggested it would ultimately be seen to be Iran's fault if one did not materialize
The government has in recent months undertaken a huge crackdown on smuggling, including closing the border at night and arresting 1,266 people.
State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, will arrive in Vietnam on Monday for meetings with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh
In 2011, Zehaf-Bibeau begged a British Columbia judge to put him in jail, saying he was homeless and wanted to overcome a crack cocaine addiction, according to court records
Iraqi forces also must be trained, armed and ready before major advances, like one to retake the city of Mosul, which fell to the ISIL in June
Spencer is the ninth Ebola case seen in the United States and the first case in America's largest city, setting off renewed fears about the spread of the virus
The warning comes nearly a month after another volcano, Mt Ontake, erupted suddenly when crowded with hikers, killing 57 people in Japan's worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years.
More than 200 troops, stealth ships and helicopters have scoured waters off Stockholm since last Friday after reports of foreign "underwater activity" - suspected to be a Russian sub
The detainee was identified as Irek Hamidullan. He was captured in 2009 and has been held at a detention facility at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.