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Japan Keen On Ending Territorial Dispute With Russia

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Japan Keen On Ending Territorial Dispute With Russia

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, has vowed to push forward towards a peace treaty with Russia to formally end a decades-long territorial dispute that began during World War II over a group of islands.

The Prime Minister in a news conference in western city of Ise said, “I’ll visit Russia later this month and intend to push forward with discussions towards a peace treaty.”

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Abe, who has signaled he is eager to clinch a deal, will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month in their 25th summit for discussions aimed at ending the disagreement over four windswept islands seized by Soviet troops in the final days of the war.

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There had been “absolutely no progress” on the issue for more than 70 years, Abe said.

He said that, while there were no guarantees of an agreement, the two nations had been cooperating over issues concerning the islands, as well as economically, over the past two years “as never before”.

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Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Divisions

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Regional Economic Summit Lebanon Overshadowed By Division

A Regional Economic Summit Lebanon is preparing to host this weekend has been overshadowed by divisions over Syria’s future and efforts to contain Iran.

Many heads of state now say they will stay away.

The Emirs of Qatar and Kuwait will not attend, Egypt is planning to send the prime minister rather than the president, while the Palestinian authority president has said he will be in New York.

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The snub seems to be a message to Iran, whose allies, including Hezbollah, hold power in Lebanon and support the Syrian government.

Iran’s allies saw the talks as an opportunity to bring Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad back into the Arab fold.  They were hoping an Arab league foreign minister-level meeting before the summit would provide a chance to hold a vote on Syria’s reinstatement to the regional body.

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The Arab league suspended Syria’s membership in 2011 and imposed economic sanctions over its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters before the country descended into civil war. Some countries withdrew their ambassadors.

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Iran: 15 Persons Killed In Plane Crash

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Iran: 15 Persons Killed In Plane Crash

Fifteen persons have died in a crash involving a Boeing 707 military cargo plane in the west of Tehran, Iran. A flight engineer survived and was taken to hospital for treatment.

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The cargo plane carrying meat from Bishkek had an emergency landing at faith airport,

The aircraft had caught fire after it skidded off a runway and crashed into a wall separating the airport from a residential neighbourhood.

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Iranian media say seven bodies from the crash had been recovered.

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France To Ban Wearing Of Masks At Protest

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France To Ban Wearing Of Masks At Protest

France has banned masks at protests in the country and says protesters who break the ban would be jailed.  This is in response to recent weeks of violent demonstrations by the “yellow vest” movement.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said, proposed legislation would target people who try to hide their identities while taking to the streets.

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His announcement follows weeks of anti-government protests which were sparked by a planned hike in gas taxes and have since morphed into a rebuke of President Emmanuel Macron’s policies.

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Masks have been confiscated by police officers at some “yellow vest” protests. The legislation would allow perpetrators to be sent to jail. At the moment, the offense is considered more minor and is punished with a fine.

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Philippe said the proposed law would result in troublemakers, instead of taxpayers, being forced to pay for property damaged during demonstrations.

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