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Egypt satirist goes off air to avoid influencing voters

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef will stay off the air until after next month's presidential election to avoid influencing voters, his television network said on Saturday. The May 26-27 vote is widely expected to be won by former army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who is riding a wave of popularity after ousting Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Abe, Obama to say will not tolerate bid to alter status quo by force

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama plan to declare in a summit Thursday the two allies will not tolerate any attempt to alter the status quo by force or coercion, a move aimed at keeping China and Russia in check, sources involved in bilateral relations said Saturday.

Historic mass in Turkish-held north Cyprus 'like a miracle'

With a nighttime procession lit by the glimmer of devotional candles and the flash of smartphone cameras, a church in Turkish-held northern Cyprus hosted its first Easter mass in nearly 60 years. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots crossed the Green Line to attend the ceremony at Famagusta's church of St George Exorinos, in the part of the Mediterranean island occupied by Turkish forces since 1974.

Historic mass in Turkish-held north Cyprus 'like a miracle'

With a nighttime procession lit by the glimmer of devotional candles and the flash of smartphone cameras, a church in Turkish-held northern Cyprus hosted its first Easter mass in nearly 60 years. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots crossed the Green Line to attend the ceremony at Famagusta's church of St George Exorinos, in the part of the Mediterranean island occupied by Turkish forces since 1974.

Historic mass in Turkish-held north Cyprus 'like a miracle'

With a nighttime procession lit by the glimmer of devotional candles and the flash of smartphone cameras, a church in Turkish-held northern Cyprus hosted its first Easter mass in nearly 60 years. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots crossed the Green Line to attend the ceremony at Famagusta's church of St George Exorinos, in the part of the Mediterranean island occupied by Turkish forces since 1974.

Easter pain, revival not just symbolic to crisis-hit Greeks

Trials, suffering, resurrection: the essence of Easter has a special ring to Greeks as the country hopes to pull through a painful six-year recession. In churches around the country, religious symbolism takes on a very practical relevance for those still struggling from four years of austerity, ever since the country nearly went bankrupt in 2010. "We must undergo tests like Jesus Christ did in his time," says Kostas, a pensioner who has just attended a two-hour sermon in the working-class Athens district of Agios Nikolaos.

Territory dispute key topic during Obama's trip to Asia: aide

Territorial dispute is among key topics U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss with Asian leaders during an upcoming trip to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, his top foreign policy aide said Friday. Obama is set to go on the trip amid looming concerns among many Asian countries that Russia's annexation of Crimea in March could spur China's maritime activities to claim a number of disputed islands in the East and South China seas.

Territory dispute key topic during Obama's trip to Asia: aide

Territorial dispute is among key topics U.S. President Barack Obama will discuss with Asian leaders during an upcoming trip to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, his top foreign policy aide said Friday. Obama is set to go on the trip amid looming concerns among many Asian countries that Russia's annexation of Crimea in March could spur China's maritime activities to claim a number of disputed islands in the East and South China seas.

Moroccan king attends prayers in disputed Western Sahara

Morocco's King Mohamed VI attended weekly Friday prayers during a rare visit to Western Sahara, official media reported, ahead of a UN vote on the disputed territory. MAP news agency said the king attended the prayers alongside the visiting interior minister of the Ivory Coast, Hamed Bakayoko. Mohamed's visit to the city of Dakhla comes ahead of an April 23 UN Security Council vote to renew the mandate of peacekeepers in Western Sahara, which was annexed by Morocco in the 1970s.

Russia not solely responsible in implementing Ukraine deal

Russia will not be the only party held responsible for implementing an agreement on easing tensions in Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesman said Friday, adding that threats of further sanctions by Washington were "absolutely unacceptable". "Our Western colleagues are trying to push responsibility (for the implementing the deal) towards our side. But it must be underlined: it is a collective responsibility," said Dmitry Peskov, quoted on Rossiya 1 television. lpt/hmn/er
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