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Putin and Poroshenko discuss ways of ending Ukraine crisis MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko discussed steps needed for a ceasefire and ways to end the conflict raging in eastern Ukraine, Putin's spokesman said Tuesday."The heads of state exchanged opinions about what needs to be done first in order to bring an end to the bloodletting in the southeast of the country as soon as possible," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies."The views of the presidents of the two countries about possible ways out of this difficult crisis overlap to a considerable degree," said Peskov.Putin and Poroshenko met last week in Minsk but made no progress towards ending the conflict which has intensified in recent weeks as the West and Kiev accused Russia of deploying troops in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied its soldiers have been sent into Ukraine.Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2014

Venezuelan president shakes up cabinet CARACAS: Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday replaced Rafael Ramirez as head of the country's state oil giant PDVSA and appointed him as foreign minister.Ramirez, who held the post for a decade, was also relieved of his role as the oil minister and vice president for economic policy, to become -- in addition to top diplomat -- political vice president.Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves and PDVSA is the world's fifth largest oil ...

US urges peaceful dialogue among parties to resolve political crisis WASHINGTON: The United States reiterated its call to all sides in the political crisis in Pakistan, now in its third week, to exercise restraint and resolve issues through peaceful dialogue."We continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan, and we're in contact with appropriate counterparts," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters at the daily press briefing.Responding to questions, the spokesperson said the United States was not in any way involved in the discussions between the ...

India's air force chief says French fighter jet deal close NEW DELHI: India's air force chief has said conclusion of a $22 billion fighter jet deal with French company Dassault Aviation was imminent after missed deadlines and delays.Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha told an Indian newspaper that the military could not afford any more hold ups of the 2012 deal to supply 126 French-made Rafale fighters.Raha said a deadline for finalisation of the deal had not been set but added "it's going to happen soon."He ...

Bank of England set to hold rates at record low 0.50pc LONDON: The Bank of England is set to keep interest rates at a record-low 0.50 percent this week, as it eyes slowing inflation before next year's election, analysts say.Both Britain and the separate eurozone are worried about unduly low inflation, but this is a much bigger problem in the single currency area where growth is far less buoyant.The upshot is an overall climate of talk that monetary conditions in Britain could be tightened next year, ...

Putin G20 decision some way off: Australia SYDNEY: A decision on whether Russian leader Vladimir Putin should be invited to the G20 summit in November is still some way off, host Australia said Wednesday, with NATO allies to be consulted this week.Australia's trade minister warned on Tuesday that opposition to Putin's presence at the Group of 20 meeting in Brisbane was growing over Russia's action in Ukraine.Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would be speaking with NATO members at their summit in ...


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