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Former U.S. test site sues nuclear nations for disarmament failure

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed nations on Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of "flagrant violation of international law" for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Angry scenes as Chinese MH370 relatives meet airline staff

A meeting between relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing flight MH370 and Malaysia Airlines staff descended into chaos Thursday, with police stepping in to separate both sides amid angry scenes in a Beijing hotel. Up until three weeks ago, Malaysian government and military officials held regular briefings with the relatives to update them on the search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that went missing on March 8. Anger mounted this week as relatives demanded the resumption of meetings with high-level government staff.

Germany says blocked $7 million worth of defense exports to Russia

By Alexandra Hudson BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has suspended 5 million euros ($7 million) worth of defense equipment exports to Russia in light of Moscow's actions in Ukraine, and will halt the transfer of already licensed goods in "critical cases", according to Germany's Economy Ministry. The ministry made the disclosure in response to questions from the opposition Greens party, which the Greens made available on Thursday.

Russia says starts military drills in response to Ukraine, NATO

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia started military drills near the Ukrainian border with on Thursday in response to operations by Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists and NATO exercises in eastern Europe, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Russian memo to WTO says U.S. sanctions are illegal

By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia has told the United States that its Ukraine-related sanctions on a Russian bank and Russian citizens are illegal under World Trade Organization rules and must be scrapped. Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said last week that Russia could launch a dispute at the world trade body to challenge U.S. sanctions.

Former U.S. test site sues nuclear nations for disarmament failure

By David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed countries on Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament. The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of "flagrant violation of international law" for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

France's Hollande to visit Georgia as Ukraine crisis rages

President Francois Hollande will visit Georgia shortly, his foreign minister announced Thursday as France seeks to boost ties with the small ex-Soviet country that stands in the shadow of its giant neighbour Russia. The French leader's visit -- due in May -- comes at a time when the European Union is seeking to boost ties with countries lying to its east, and as the West and Russia exchange increasingly strident barbs over the crisis in Ukraine where Moscow has already annexed the Crimean peninsula.

Emotional, violent protests a year after Bangladesh disaster

Thousands of Bangladeshis held emotional and violent protests on the one-year anniversary of the world's worst garment factory disaster, as Western retailers faced pressure to hike aid for victims of the accident that cost 1,138 lives. Angry victims, some wearing funeral shrouds, staged demonstrations at the site of the now-infamous Rana Plaza factory complex, which collapsed last April 24 after a catastrophic structural failure.

Obama urges Japan to take 'bold steps' in huge trade deal

US President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Japan to take "bold steps" to seal a Pacific-wide trade deal after Washington failed to wrestle key tariff concessions from Tokyo. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a vast trade agreement that would cover about 40 percent of the global economy, is a key plank in Obama's bid for a renewed focus on Asia. It is also seen as crucial for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to shake up his country's long-lumbering economy.

Retailers 'failing victims' a year after Bangladesh disaster

Western fashion brands faced pressure Thursday to increase help for victims of the world's worst garment factory accident, as mass protests marked the one-year anniversary of the Bangladesh disaster that cost 1,138 lives. Thousands of people, some wearing funeral shrouds, staged demonstrations at the site of the now-infamous Rana Plaza factory complex outside the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, which collapsed last April 24 after a catastrophic structural failure.
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