World Bulletin/News Desk
Russia and Japan sparred on Saturday over disputed islands that have strained their relations since World War Two, making no visible progress in talks toward a resolution weeks before Russia hosts a summit of Asian states.
Japan wants Russia to hand over four islands at the southern end of the Kuril chain that were occupied by Soviet forces at the end of the war in 1945, saying they are Japanese territory.
Moscow disagrees, and senior Russian officials have drawn protests from Japan in the past two years by traveling to the Pacific islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories.
Tension over the issue was palpable beneath the diplomatic language at a joint news conference following talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Japanese counterpart, Koichiro Gemba, who was also to meet President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
"It is very sad that 67 years after (World War Two) the territorial issue is still not resolved," Gemba said, speaking through an interpreter.
"I believe that amid conditions of serious changes in the strategic situation in the Asia-Pacific region, the need to resolve this problem is becoming greater and greater," he said in an apparent reference to China's growing might.
Lavrov rejected Japanese criticism of trips by officials including Dmitry Medvedev, who made the first visit to the islands by a Russian president in 2010 and traveled there again on July 3, this time as prime minister
"We cannot accept the protests that have been heard from Tokyo about this," Lavrov said. "Russian authorities are responsible for improving the socioeconomic situation in this part of the Russian Federation and we will continue to do this."
Russia has dedicated new funds and political attention to the country's vast but sparsely populated Far East in advance of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the coastal city of Vladivostok in September.
Lavrov said dialogue on the dispute should be held "in a calm atmosphere without whipping up emotions and without artificial historical interpretations."
Gemba said he had conveyed Japan's regret over Medvedev's trip to Kunashir, one of the islands, which lies 15 km (10 miles) off the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
Security Council members are considering sanctions on South Sudan's warring parties and U.N. peacekeeping chief demanded "serious consequences" be imposed to force an end to the violence
The four warplanes will be sent to Malbork in northern Poland on April 28 on a double mission
"The partition itself has already been done. Now there only remains the declaration of independence," said Abdel Nasser Mahamat Youssouf, member of a youth group lobbying for the secession
A town councillor from the prime minister's party, Rybak was kidnapped last week and his mutilated body was found in a river near Slaviansk
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said "We are forced to react to such a development of the situation."
“Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century” Obama said.
Israeli media reports said that Israel would impose economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Lieberman, who has helped to mastermind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of closer relations with Russia, made no apology for the government's fence-sitting on Ukraine
Mariupol, an industrial port city of nearly half a million people, is one of a series of flashpoints across eastern Ukraine
Wade's impending return has heightened tensions in one of Africa's most stable democracy
Women and children are among the group, some of whom suffer from poor health.
EU leaders consider the takeover as illegal and have asked the EU executive arm, the European Commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.
The Greens criticised the scale of Germany's defence equipment sales to Russia and urged Berlin to push for a European-wide embargo on arms sales to the country.
Preliminary results based on 82.6 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 43.8 percent, followed by Ghani with 32.9 percent
The Asian Development Bank said around 733 million people in Asia-Pacific live on US$1.25 a day - the extreme poverty threshold.
Costa Rica condemned an alleged US campaign against Cuba communist regime being conducted from San Jose.