BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union criticized Russia's human rights record on Sunday, saying it was increasingly concerned at a wave of restrictive legislation and prosecutions against activists. The 27-nation bloc cited the cases of protesters arrested at a demonstration on the eve of President Vladimir Putin's inauguration last year who are still awaiting trial, and a new law requiring charities with funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents". ...
MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern on Sunday over North Korea's short-range missile launch, calling on Pyongyang to refrain from further launches and return to stalled nuclear talks with world powers. Ban, in an interview with Russia's RIA Novosti news agency, called North Korea's launch of three short-range missiles from its east coast on Saturday a "provocative action". (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Alison Williams)
LIMA (Reuters) - Proposed peace talks for Syria would not curb "terrorism" in the country and it is unrealistic to think they would succeed, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published in an Argentine newspaper on Saturday. Speaking in Syria with the newspaper Clarin, Assad said he was doubtful that mediation the United States and Russia have proposed could settle a deadly conflict that has convulsed the country for two years. "There is confusion in the world between a political solution and terrorism. They think a political conference will halt terrorists in the country. ...
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a newspaper interview Saturday he won't step down before elections and that the United States has no right to interfere in his country's politics, raising new doubts about a U.S-Russian effort to get Assad and his opponents to negotiate an end to the country's civil war.
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