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Orthodox Patriarch welcomes Ukraine's independent church

Ankara - The Orthodox Patriarch has welcomed the creation of an Orthodox church in Ukraine independent of Moscow and invited its leader to Istanbul to receive official confirmation of its status.

Yepifaniy, head of Ukraine's new orthodox church

Kiev - Yepifaniy, who was on Saturday elected the head of Ukraine's new Orthodox church, is known as a critic of Moscow's religious influence in Ukraine and even helped Kiev's army in their struggle against the pro-Russian independence movement.

Michael Cohen, Trump's loyal fixer turned tell-all accuser

New York - He was the personal lawyer to Donald Trump and the epitome of loyalty -- a man who said he would "take a bullet" for his boss.

Russian influence on show in C. African beauty contest

Bangui - Clad in sleek red gowns and wreathed in smiles, the models lined up in Bangui stadium for the capital's first Miss Central African Republic beauty pageant for three years -- all thanks to Russia.

Ukraine holds military drills after Russia sea confrontation

Babakh-tarama - A Ukrainian general wearing camouflage and a bulletproof vest looks out from his Mi-8 helicopter flying over the Sea of Azov, the flashpoint of rising tensions between Kiev and Moscow."Our presumed enemy is Russia.

Putin says Russia ditching dollar in sanctions response

Moscow - President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia had no choice but to cut its dependency on dollars to conduct trade, after becoming the target of increasingly severe US sanctions.

US sanctions Iran for shipping oil to Syria

Washington - The US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran Tuesday, accusing it of creating a complex web of Russian cut-out companies and Syrian intermediaries to ship oil to Damascus, which in turn bankrolled Hezbollah and Hamas.

Russia turns up uninvited to major NATO wargames

Norway - The whirring of a low-flying Soviet Union-era war plane signalled Russia's uninvited arrival to NATO's biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.

Moscow wants UN resolution to preserve nuclear arms treaty

New York - The US pushed back Thursday against a Russian draft resolution to the UN General Assembly that proposed to preserve the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that the US plans to pull out of, according to diplomatic sources.

NATO does not want new nuclear arms race: alliance chief

Apo - NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday he did not see the alliance's member states deploying more nuclear weapons in Europe in response to a new Russian missile programme.

No more taxi service to Space Station after Soyuz fiasco

Washington - The taxi service to the orbiting International Space Station is taking no passengers until further notice.

Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Sentsov on Sakharov Prize short list

Apo - Jailed Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Russia's most famous prisoner, is among three finalists for this year's prestigious Sakharov Prize, the European Parliament announced Tuesday.

Young ballerinas being ruined by Instagram says star Vishneva

Paris - One of ballet's biggest stars has warned that the development of young ballerinas is being jeopardised by viral videos of hyper-elastic dancers performing incredible tricks.

3,000 march in Moscow against unpopular pension reforms

Moscow - About 3,000 people demonstrated in Moscow on Saturday against deeply unpopular government plans to raise the retirement age, which have sparked public anger.

Israel air force chief in Moscow for plane downing meeting

Moscow - Israel's air force commander held a "transparent discussion" with Russian officials in Moscow on Thursday, the Israeli army said, after a Russian warplane was downed by Syria earlier in the week following Israeli air strikes.

Mattis to visit Macedonia amid concerns of Russia meddling

Washington - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced plans Tuesday to visit Macedonia, ahead of a referendum that could end a years-long spat with Greece over the country's name and pave the way for it to join NATO.

Russia prepares for biggest war games in its history

Moscow - Russia on Tuesday will launch the biggest military drills in its history involving 300,000 troops as well as Chinese soldiers, in a move NATO denounced as "exercising large-scale conflict".

Russian Orthodox church threatens rupture with Istanbul-based rival

Moscow - The Russian Orthodox Church on Saturday threatened to retaliate against its Istanbul-based rival if it allows Ukraine to cut spiritual ties with Moscow, ending Russian religious rule in the country.

Iraq hosts military chiefs from Iran, Russia and Syria

Baghdad - Senior Iraqi military commanders hosted their Russian, Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Baghdad on Saturday to discuss security cooperation and information-sharing in the Middle East, where the Islamic State group continues to carry out attacks.

US warnings ring hollow as it braces for Assad victory, say experts

Washington - The United States appears resigned to the likelihood of a final military victory by Syrian government forces, even as it warns Bashar al-Assad and Moscow against launching a major offensive in the rebel-held northwest, analysts say.

Russian trolls spread misinformation in vaccine debate

Washington - Russian trolls and bots on Twitter attempted to influence the debate over vaccine safety with the aim of sowing discord among the US public on hot-button issues in the run-up to the 2016 election, US researchers reported this week.

Putin's shadow falls on Austria secret services

Vienna - Is Moscow being passed intelligence gathered by Austria's secret service?

Russia names Steven Seagal humanitarian envoy with US

Moscow - Moscow has appointed US actor Steven Seagal as a special envoy, dealing with humanitarian links with the United States, the Russian foreign ministry announced Saturday.

Aid arrives in Syria as Putin, Macron discuss relief mission to Ghouta

Ch - Humanitarian aid sent by France and Russia arrived in Syria on Saturday as the two countries' leaders discussed a joint mission to distribute much-needed relief supplies in a ravaged former rebel enclave.

French actors protest as Russian director's house arrest extended

Avignon - Actors protested at one of the world's biggest theatre festivals in support of Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov as judges in Moscow on Wednesday extended his 11-month-long house arrest.

Macron congratulates Putin for hosting 'perfect' World Cup

Moscow - French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Russia's President Putin for his "perfect" organisation of the World Cup as the two leaders prepared to watch the final on Sunday.

Franco-Romanian precedent for Babchenko faux death

Paris - The staged "murder" of anti-Kremlin journalist Arkady Babchenko has stunned observers and enraged Russia after Ukraine accused Moscow of plotting his assassination in a stunt which actually has a precedent.

Putin urges new cabinet to drive change

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday called on his new government to work to bring about "change in all areas of life"."You must take the initiative ...

The scandals bedevilling Facebook

Paris - As Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg pursues a tour of Europe to explain his company's shortcomings involving the use of data and fake news, here is a roundup of the scandals.

Sweden puts out emergency war pamphlet amid Russia fears

Stockholm - The Swedish government on Monday presented an emergency pamphlet to prepare millions of citizens in the event of a war, natural disaster or cyber attack amid soaring tensions between Russia and the Western allies.
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