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NATO head urges Russia to pull back troops from Ukraine border

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia Tuesday to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine and withdraw troops massed on the border with its Soviet-era satellite. "I am deeply concerned by the latest developments in Ukraine," Rasmussen said, citing the seizure of government buildings in the east of the country by pro-Moscow militias. "I call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis, to pull back its troops ... to stop destabilising the situation and make clear it does not support the violent actions of pro-Russian separatists."

China issues rare public warning over N. Korea's nuclear threat

BEIJING, April 15 (Yonhap) -- In a rare public warning to its unruly ally North Korea, China on Tuesday urged the North not to carry out a nuclear test, saying it does not support Pyongyang's "threat of a nuclear test." The public warning by China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying came as tensions on the Korean Peninsula spiked again, with the North continuing to threaten additional missile and a "new form" of nuclear tests.

U.S., China envoys on N. Korea meet in New York

Top U.S. and Chinese envoys on North Korean started talks at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York on Monday. Glyn Davies, U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, and Wu Dawei, Chinese special representative for Korean Peninsula affairs, are scheduled to hold talks through Tuesday in New York and then on Thursday in Washington.

S. Korea, China, Japan should unite to deter nuclear N. Korea: Seoul official

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- Close cooperation among South Korea, China and Japan is crucial for resolving North Korea's nuclear crisis, Seoul's senior presidential secretary said Tuesday, vowing efforts to improve ties with the neighbors. The six-party talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program -- involving the Koreas, the United States, Japan, China and Russia -- has been dormant since late 2008, with Pyongyang recently threatening a "new form" of nuclear test.

Violated children get new path to rights thanks to Canadian champion

UNDATED, - A Canadian woman who has campaigned eight years to bolster children's rights around the world is celebrating a landmark addition to international law, although her own country has yet to get on board. Sara Austin, from Woodbridge, Ont., addressed a special event at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Monday as the global body called into force a new treaty she designed.

Obama to visit Japan on April 23-25: White House

U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Japan for three days from April 23 on the first leg of a weeklong Asian tour that will also take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, the White House said Monday. Obama will move on to South Korea on April 25, Malaysia on April 26 and the Philippines on April 28 before departing for Washington the following day, it said.

NK human rights issue should be addressed in six-way talks: Kirby

WASHINGTON, April 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korean human rights abuses should be formally discussed at the six-party talks, even though the talks focus mainly on the communist nation's nuclear program, the head of a U.N. investigation team said Monday. Michael Kirby, chief of the Commission of Inquiry (COI), stressed that the North Korean human rights issue should be addressed in every dialogue with Pyongyang.

Canada to suspend $20 million in Commonwealth funds while Sri Lanka holds chair

OTTAWA - Canada is suspending $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns. Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government's human rights record. Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of former colonies.

Canada to suspend $20 million of Commonwealth funds while Sri Lanka holds chair

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada will suspend $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government's human rights record. Canada would normally contribute $10 million per year to the secretariat over the next two years, but Baird says that money will be directed elsewhere.

Romania president tours US warship, hails 'solidarity' on Ukraine

Romanian President Traian Basescu toured a US warship stationed at the Black Sea port of Constanta on Monday, thanking the country's NATO allies for their "solidarity" in the face of Russia's actions in neighbouring Ukraine. Basescu visited the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook, stationed in Constanta along with French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lome after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis. The standoff has seen Russia annex the strategic Crimean peninsula halfway across the Black Sea from Constanta, putting neighbouring countries on edge.
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