Russia pounds Syrian rebels, then reaches out to opposition
Asia / Europe / International News

Russia pounds Syrian rebels, then reaches out to opposition

BEIRUT (AP) — When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country was ready to aid Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group, rebel commanders scoffed, pointing out that Russian aircraft were pounding their bases in central and northern Syria on a daily basis. Moreover, Lavrov not long ago had ridiculed the main Western-backed rebels … Continue reading

Obama, Turkish president discuss fight against Islamic State
Middle East / Uncategorized

Obama, Turkish president discuss fight against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) about deepening cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group. The two also spoke after bombing attacks Saturday killed 97 people and wounded hundreds at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey. Obama reiterated … Continue reading

Russia defends its military action in Syria
Middle East

Russia defends its military action in Syria

MOSCOW (AP) — As Russian warplanes carried out a second wave of airstrikes Thursday in Syria, Moscow defended its military involvement against Western criticism of its intentions, saying it sees “eye-to-eye” with the U.S.-led coalition campaign on its targets in the country. The claim of agreement with Washington came amid conflicting reports about Russia’s intentions … Continue reading

Russian opposition draws thousands to anti-Putin protest
Europe

Russian opposition draws thousands to anti-Putin protest

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s beleaguered opposition drew several thousand people on Sunday to a protest rally in an outlying Moscow neighborhood to decry the 15-year rule of President Vladimir Putin. Protesters denounced the Kremlin-controlled political system that keeps Putin in power and prevents the opposition from running in elections. They complained of political repression and … Continue reading

Kazakhstan votes for continuity while keeping eye on Ukraine
Asia / Australia & the Pacific

Kazakhstan votes for continuity while keeping eye on Ukraine

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — As oil-rich Kazakhstan votes for a president Sunday, the governing elite is pounding home a mantra of stability as fears percolate about the country’s massive Russian minority taking inspiration from the Moscow-backed insurgency in Ukraine. With authorities clamping down on all opposition, Nursultan Nazarbayev’s re-election is a done deal. The former … Continue reading

Russia lifts ban on delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran
Europe / International News / Middle East

Russia lifts ban on delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Monday sanctioned the delivery of a highly capable Russian air defense missile system to Iran, a game changer move that would significantly bolster the Islamic republic’s military capability and fuel Israel’s concerns. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry objected to Moscow’s decision in a phone call to Russian … Continue reading

Supporters commemorate Russian politician’s murder
Europe / International News

Supporters commemorate Russian politician’s murder

MOSCOW (AP) — Several hundred people brought flowers and candles Tuesday to a bridge just outside the Kremlin to commemorate the slain Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, 40 days after the killing that shocked the country. Nemtsov’s daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova, voiced doubt that the official probe would track down the mastermind. “I’m not sure that … Continue reading

Uzbekistan’s election sees turnout at 91 percent
Asia

Uzbekistan’s election sees turnout at 91 percent

MOSCOW (AP) — Uzbekistan’s election commission said 91 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday’s presidential election, where victory by longtime authoritarian leader Islam Karimov is a foregone conclusion. The 77-year-old Karimov has led the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since the late 1980s and ruthlessly quashed all opposition to his rule. While … Continue reading