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Monday, Jul 06th

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Russian soldiers quit over Ukraine conflict

Russian soldiers quittingSome Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin's continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.

Evidence for Russians fighting in Ukraine – Russian army equipment found in the country, testimony from soldiers' families and from Ukrainians who say they were captured by Russian paratroopers – is abundant. Associates of Boris Nemtsov, a prominent Kremlin critic killed in February, will soon publish a report which they say will contain new evidence of the Russian military presence in Ukraine.

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Cuban President Raul Castro and Pope Francis meet in Vatican

Pope Francis meets Raul CastroCuban President Raul Castro thanked Pope Francis for helping improve relations between Cuba and the United States at the Vatican Sunday.

"Bienvenido!" Francis said, welcoming Castro. The communist and Catholic leaders spoke in their native Spanish during their nearly hour-long private meeting.  Castro had previously praised Francis' work to move for U.S. and Cuban reconciliation.

The last time Castro was in Rome was in 1997 when he was serving as defense minister to then-president Fidel Castro, his brother.

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Russia stages massive WW2 parade despite Western boycott

Russia WWII displayRussia has staged its biggest military parade, marking 70 years since victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two.

Thousands of troops marched across Red Square in Moscow, and new armour was displayed for the first time.

Many foreign dignitaries were present, but most Western leaders stayed away because of Russia's role in Ukraine.

President Vladimir Putin said global co-operation had been put at risk in recent years. His Ukrainian counterpart accused him of justifying aggression.

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Egypt's Mubarak sentenced to three years, may be set free

Mubarak sentencedEgypt's former President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were sentenced Saturday to three years in prison in an embezzlement case retrial, but the question remains if they will be immediately released due to time served.

The Cairo Court of Appeal ruled the three men would be held without the possibility of parole. Since the men have already spent three years in prison in other cases, there is a possibility they could be set free based on time served.

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World celebrates end of World War II in Europe, 70 years ago

WWII in europe end celebratedThe world celebrated the end of a world war Friday, noting the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe.

On May 8, 1945, Allied troops formally accepted the terms of Germany's unconditional surrender of its military forces, as submitted by Karl Dönitz, president of the German government and successor to Adolf Hitler, who had committed suicide on April 30. The surrender was signed on May 7 in Reims, France and on May 8 in Berlin, Germany, and the Allies called the event V-E Day, for "Victory in Europe." Cities across the world partied and celebrated in a manner befitting of New Year's Eve.

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Pakistan helicopter crash kills foreign diplomats

pakistani helicopter crashA Pakistani military helicopter carrying foreign diplomats in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan has crashed, killing at least seven people, the military said.

The dead included two pilots, a crew member, Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, Philippines Ambassador Domingo Lucenario Jr and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors to Pakistan.

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Bibi's Nightmare: Unruly Coalition Might Fall — or Worse, Survive

Netanyahu colation Right now, after finishing seven weeks of infuriating, hairpin coalition negotiations, Benjamin Netanyahu must be wondering what would be a worse fate for the impossibly shaky and extremist government he’s assembled: that it collapses the moment some disgruntled back-bencher decides to walk out — or that it survives and leads Israel into as-yet unimagined recesses of international isolation, delegitimization and conflict.

With a bare 61-seat majority out of the Knesset’s 120 total seats, the new government is fragile enough to be toppled by a strong breeze. Even if it were an alliance of happy, compatible partners pulling together, it would take only a single defection or even a bad flu to dissolve its majority and bring it down.

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