US-Russia push for reduction in N-arms
The United States and Russia have pushed for peaceful nuclear energy use and said they had begun talks to trim their nuclear arsenals "to the lowest possible level" ahead of the expiry of a landmark strategic weapons agreement.
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which led to the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons under the largest arms control accord in history, expires in 2009.
"The United States and Russia reiterate their intention to carry out strategic offensive reductions to the lowest possible level consistent with their national security requirements and alliance commitments," US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said in a joint statement issued in Washington on Tuesday.
"To this end, ministers discussed development of a post-START arrangement to provide continuity and predictability regarding strategic offensive forces," they said, a day after US President George W Bush and Russian leader Vladimir Putin held summit talks.
Rice and Lavrov had met on the sidelines of the summit at the US leader's parents' vacation home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Chinese and Russian fighter jets carried out joint flights over the Sea of Japan and East China Sea on Tuesday as leaders of the Quad bloc met in Tokyo, Japan said. Japan's Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tokyo had expressed "grave concerns" to Russia and China over the flights, which came as leaders from the United States, India, Australia and Japan held talks on regional security.
Russian president Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt around two months ago, a top Ukraine intelligence officer told Ukrainska Pravda, an online newspaper based in Kyiv. "I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity... but it took place." "Putin is operating... in a smaller and smaller grouping. He has fewer contacts... fewer public engagements... (any) attempt would be hugely complex." One plot - Australia's News.com said - was before the 2012 presidential election.
Pakistan's Shehbaz Sharif-led government has rejected demands by ousted prime minister Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf to hold elections immediately. N) said polls would only be held in August 2023 - after the government finishes its term - a report by Pakistan's Express Tribune said quoting sources. He would meet protesters on the Srinagar highway. However, per Pak media outlets, the government will not allow Imran Khan's rally at that location.
Crisis-hit Sri Lanka on Tuesday raised the petrol price by 24.3 per cent and diesel by 38.4 per cent, a record hike in fuel prices amidst the country's worst economic crisis due to the shortage of foreign exchange reserves. With the second fuel price hike since April 19, now the most-used Octane 92 petrol would cost 420 rupees (USD 1.17) and diesel 400 rupees (USD 1.11) a litre, an all-time high.
'God heard me... God is watching over me' - the fervent words of 82-year-old Maria Mayashlapak, who clings to life in Ukraine's Bakhmut afteMaria'ser home was destroyed by Russian artillery fire, forcing her to live among the ruins and in fear of the next - fatal - attack. Entire houses have been wrecked and only burnt wooden posts and piles of mud remain where once there were picturesque village homes.