'Framework' for final deal reached at Iran nuclear talks

Posted by Forexsq 186 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Iran and world powers reached a framework on curbing Iran's nuclear program at marathon talks in Switzerland on Thursday that will allow further negotiations towards a final agreement.

A Western official said it would include limits on Iran's enrichment of uranium for 10 years.

Western and Iranian officials at the talks said they would conclude with a joint statement announcing that enough progress had been reached to allow further negotiations until a final deadline of June 30.

"Agreement on framework for final agreement reached. Press conference following," Germany's foreign ministry said on Twitter.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted: "Found solutions, ready to start drafting immediately".

President Hasan Rouhani made a similar announcement on Twitter and phoned Zarif and chief negotiator Ali Akbar Salehi to thank them for their work.

It was not clear how much of the framework's details would be officially announced. Its details are highly sensitive to bo

Iran Negotiators Reach Outline Nuclear Deal After Marathon Talks

Posted by Forexsq 186 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Iran and world powers said they reached an outline accord that keeps them on track to end a decade-long nuclear dispute, allowing three more months to resolve differences that couldn’t be bridged in the past week’s diplomatic marathon.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Twitter that solutions to the nuclear issue had been found and the process of drafting an accord can begin. Germany’s Foreign Ministry also said on Twitter that a framework solution has been reached.

Further details weren’t immediately clear. The Islamic Republic’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were due to hold a press conference late Thursday in Lausanne, Switzerland, venue for more than a week of talks. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is also set to speak.

The sides now have three months until the end of June to bridge gaps and draft a detailed technical agreement that would ease the international sanctions imposed on Iran, i

Saudis break from U.S. in Yemen strikes

Posted by Forexsq 193 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Saudi Arabia kept some key details of its military action in Yemen from Washington until the last moment, U.S. officials said, as the kingdom takes a more assertive regional role to compensate for perceived U.S. disengagement.

The Middle East's top oil power told the United States weeks ago it was weighing action in Yemen but only informed Washington of the exact details just before Thursday's unprecedented air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels, the officials said.

U.S. President Barack Obama's Middle East policy increasingly relies on surrogates rather than direct U.S. military involvement. He is training Syrian rebels to take on the government of President Bashar Assad and this week launched air strikes to back up Iraqi forces trying to retain the city of Tikrit.

To Obama's Republican critics, he is ceding the traditional U.S. leadership role. The White House denies it is disengaging from the region and says it has been in close contact with the Saudis over their pl

Russia urges Germany, France to safeguard peace in Ukraine

Posted by Forexsq 199 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Russia appealed to Germany and France on Saturday to ensure Kiev does not try to incite violence in east Ukraine to encourage the United States to send Ukrainian forces lethal weapons.

Paris and Berlin helped mediate a peace deal in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Feb. 12 to try to end fighting between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine but the truce remains fragile.

In an interview with Russian television, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was concerned Kiev might stage "provocations" to try to persuade the United States that it should aid Kiev by sending it lethal weapons.

"Provocateurs in Kiev ... could try to 'whip something up' in the expectation that this will influence the world public and weapons will flow into Ukraine," he told the new program Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilev.

"I am convinced that Berlin and Paris, as the most important players ..., should prevent such a turn of events."

Lavrov also repeated Russi

Hard right shift delivers upset election win for Netanyahu

Posted by Forexsq 202 days ago (http://uk.reuters.com)
img Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won a come-from-behind victory in Israel's election after tacking hard to the right in the final days of campaigning, including abandoning a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state.

In a pre-election blitz, Netanyahu made a series of promises designed to shore up his Likud base and draw voters from other right-wing and nationalist parties. He pledged to go on building settlements on occupied land and said there would be no Palestinian state if he was re-elected.

With 99.5 percent of votes counted on Wednesday, Likud had won 29-30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, comfortably defeating the centre-left Zionist Union opposition on 24 seats, Israel's Central Election Committee and Israeli media said. A united list of Arab parties came in third.

It amounted to a dramatic and unexpected victory - the last opinion polls published four days before the vote had shown the Zionist Union with a four-seat advantage.

Although Netanyahu must still put

Two Ferguson Officers Shot Outside Police Station Amid Protests

Posted by Forexsq 208 days ago (http://www.bloomberg.com)
img Two officers were seriously injured in a shooting outside a police station in Ferguson, Missouri, during protests after the resignation of the city’s police chief.

At least three shots were fired from across the street, hitting a 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves in the face and a 41-year-old policeman from St. Louis County in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said in a televised briefing. The officers are at a local hospital and conscious, he said.

“They were shot just because they were police officers,” Belmar said. “I don’t know who did this shooting.”

The incident follows riots in the city after the fatal shooting last year of an unarmed black teenager. Protesters were gathered outside the police station after an announcement Wednesday that Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson had reached a “mutual decision” with the city to leave March 19.

Ferguson is embarking on an administrative shakeup after the U.S. Justice Department concluded i

Russia and Ukraine: Pressure points loom

Posted by Forexsq 209 days ago (http://www.cnbc.com)
img The battle to shape Ukraine and Russia's future is far from over, with further key events expected later this week.

"This crisis still does not show much evidence of moderating, just moving into new and different phases," according to Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank.

Here, we take a look at what's driving events forward.

Military activity

There have been ominous signals of future military activity, with more Russian troops and military equipment crossing Ukraine's border, according to the U.S., and the arrival of additional NATO tanks in the Baltics. This comes ahead of Friday's deadline for Ukraine's parliament to grant separatist-held areas a special status under the Minsk ceasefire agreement.
Russia’s economy

Andrey Kostin, chief executive of VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, told CNBC the low oil price, sanctions imposed on the country following its incursions into Crimea, and the structure of Russia's economy were to blame for its

Russia's economic crisis 'will end Putin regime'

Posted by Forexsq 211 days ago (http://www.cnbc.com)
img In spite of Russia's political isolation and the uproar over the death of Putin critic Boris Nemtsov, domestic support for Russian President Vladimir Putin remains strong. But one of the Kremlin's most vocal critics believes Putin's ultimate downfall could come at the hands of the unfolding economic crisis.

"I don't think the Nemtsov murder is going to touch the vast proportion of Russians but it's going to touch people like me profoundly and other people hoping for a liberal democracy," Kremlin critic Bill Browder told CNBC Monday.

"But what will, and what always does in these situations, is an economic crisis. Why was there an Arab Spring (in 2011) – it wasn't because of a wave of democracy, it was because food prices went up and prices of fuel went up for people (living) below the subsistence level and they couldn't stand it anymore."

"There's going to be some catalyst related to the economics that will end Putin's regime. He doesn't know and we don't know what that cataly

CLINTON COMMENDED: Obama 'glad' Hillary asked for disclosure of emails

Posted by Forexsq 212 days ago (http://www.foxnews.com)
img President Obama says he found out that Hillary Clinton used a private, nongovernment email account during her tenure as secretary of state through media reports.

Obama said in an interview with CBS News Saturday that he was glad Clinton decided to disclose those emails, while maintaining his stance that his administration is the most transparent in the nation's history, while saying Clinton “has been an outstanding public servant.”

“The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, and that's why my emails -- the BlackBerry that I carry around -- all those records are available and archived and I'm glad that Hillary has instructed that those emails that had to do with official business had to be disclosed.”

Obama’s revelation comes after the White House struggled Friday to respond to questions over Clinton’s private email use. The heat was turned up after Politico reported that top White House officials knew in August that Clinton was conducting official governmen

Snowden says U.S. not offering fair trial if he returns

Posted by Forexsq 215 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of mass U.S. surveillance programs, said on Wednesday he is not being offered a fair trial if he returns to the United States.

"I would love to go back and face a fair trial, but unfortunately ... there is no fair trial available, on offer right now," he said from Russia in a live question and answer discussion organized by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Toronto's Ryerson University and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

"I've been working exhaustively with the government now since I left to try to find terms of a trial," he said.

On Tuesday, his Russian lawyer had said that Snowden has been working with American and German lawyers on a way to return to the United States.

During Wednesday's discussion, in which he took questions via Twitter and from a Toronto audience, Snowden said Canada falls well below other Western nations in the level of oversight it puts on its spy agencies.

Embattled Hillary Clinton urges State Department to release emails

Posted by Forexsq 215 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img U.S. Democrat Hillary Clinton on Wednesday broke her silence over a budding controversy involving her use of personal email for work when she was secretary of state, saying she wanted the U.S. State Department to release them swiftly.

Clinton's statement was aimed at cooling a political firestorm over allegations that she inappropriately used her personal email for work while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

"I want the public to see my email," the potential 2016 presidential candidate said in a tweet. "I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."

The controversy has suddenly put Clinton into trouble just as she is planning to launch a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. It has prompted some Democrats to wonder whether someone else should be their candidate to succeed President Barack Obama.

The State Department said it will review the emails provided by Clinton "using a normal process that guides

Hillary Clinton may have broken federal record-keeping laws

Posted by Forexsq 217 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have violated federal records laws by using a personal email account for all of her work messages, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper said the likely Democratic presidential candidate conducted all her official business during her four-year tenure at the State Department on a private email account.

It added that Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state in 2013, recently handed over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department in response to a department effort to comply with record-keeping practices.

Federal law says letters and emails written and received by federal officials are government records that must be retained, according to the paper. Regulations at the time Clinton served as secretary of state called for emails on personal accounts to be preserved as well, the paper said.

The Times said most experts believed private email accounts should only be used for official government business i

Iraq launches attacks to Retake Tikrit From Islamic State

Posted by Forexsq 218 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Iraq's armed forces, backed by Shi'ite militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad on Monday at the start of a campaign aimed at driving them out of the mainly Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin.

The offensive is the biggest military operation in the province since the Sunni Islamist radicals seized swaths of north Iraq last June and advanced towards the capital Baghdad.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared the start of the Salahuddin operations on Sunday during a visit to the government-held city of Samarra, where some of the thousands of troops and Shi'ite militia had gathered for the offensive.

The pace of their progress in Salahuddin could affect plans to recapture Mosul further north. A U.S. official said the assault on Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control, could start as early as April but Iraqi officials have declined to confirm that timetable.

In Salahuddin, Islamic State fighters control several strongholds including Tikrit, hom

CCTV shows British schoolgirls at Istanbul bus station on way to Syria

Posted by Forexsq 219 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Security footage appears to show three British schoolgirls, believed to be on their way to join Islamic State militants, waiting for hours at a bus station in Turkey before traveling to a city near the Syrian border, media reported on Sunday.

British police and the girls' families have issued urgent appeals for their daughters to return home after they flew to Istanbul from London on Feb. 17. Friends Amira Abase, 15, Shamima Begum, 15, and Kadiza Sultana, 16, are thought to have since entered Syria, British police have said.

European governments have called on Turkey to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Syria, and British Prime Minister David Cameron has urged social media firms to do more to deal with online extremism, saying the girls appeared to have been radicalized "in their bedrooms."

The CCTV pictures, dated Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, are from Bayrampasa bus station on the European side of Istanbul, which the girls reached by metro from the airport, Milliyet newspaper sai

Russians to march in memory of Boris Nemtsov

Posted by Forexsq 219 days ago (http://www.reuters.com)
img Holding placards declaring "I am not afraid", thousands of Russians marched in Moscow on Sunday in memory of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, whose murder has widened a split in society that some say could threaten Russia's future.

Families, the old and young walked slowly, with many carrying portraits of Nemtsov, an opposition politician and former deputy prime minister who was shot dead while walking home from a restaurant in central Moscow on Friday night.

"If we can stop the campaign of hate that's being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia. If not then we face the prospect of mass civil conflict," Gennady Gudkov, an opposition leader, told Reuters before the march.

"The authorities are corrupt and don't allow any threats to them to emerge. Boris was uncomfortable for them."

His murder has prompted deep soul searching in a country where for years after the Soviet Union collapsed many yearned for the stability later brought by President Vladim

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