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Order for Jews in east Ukraine to register just 'provocation'

Pamphlets ordering Jews in east Ukraine's main city to register sparked a fierce storm of indignation on Thursday, with strident condemnation from Western officials and dire fears of a Nazi-style pogrom -- but were sceptically dismissed by the local chief rabbi as nothing more than "provocation". "What happened of course smells of a provocation. As to who is behind it -- that is an open question," rabbi Pinkhas Vyshedski said in comments published on the website of the Donetsk Jewish community.

Turkish parliament approves law expanding spy powers

Turkey's parliament approved a controversial law on Thursday expanding the powers of the national spy agency and setting prison terms for publishing leaked information as the government fights back against a widening corruption scandal. The new legislation, passed after a heated debate in parliament, is the latest ammunition being deployed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he seeks to push back against the greatest challenge yet to his 11-year rule.

Turkish parliament approves law expanding spy powers

Turkey's parliament approved a controversial law on Thursday expanding the powers of the national spy agency and setting prison terms for publishing leaked information as the government fights back against a widening corruption scandal. The new legislation, passed after a heated debate in parliament, is the latest ammunition being deployed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he seeks to push back against the greatest challenge yet to his 11-year rule.

Still stuck in economic crisis, Italy again sets back date to balance budget; now aim is 2016

ROME - Italy has again pushed back its balanced-budget goal, now aiming for 2016. Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan wrote to the European Commission this week, saying that because of Italy's stubborn economic crisis, it's now aiming for a balanced structural budget in 2016. In 2011, then-Premier Silvio Berlusconi had promised that Italy would balance its budget by 2013. But with the country mired in recession, in 2012, during economist Mario Monti's government, the date was rolled back to 2015.

Kerry says West 'not giving up' on Crimea

The West is "not giving up' on Crimea, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday after talks with his Russian, Ukrainian and EU counterparts. "We are not giving up but we did not come (to Geneva) to talk about Crimea," he said of the peninsula which was annexed by Russia last month. "Nobody has left behind the issue of Crimea," he added. nr-hmn/arp

Turkish parliament approves law expanding snooping powers

Turkey's parliament on Thursday approved a controversial law expanding the powers of the spy agency and setting prison terms for publishing leaked information as the government fights back against a widening corruption scandal. The legislation, passed after a heated debate in parliament, was first introduced by lawmakers from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP party in the run-up to last month's local elections.

Ukraine restricts Russians' entry, Moscow threatens retaliation

KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Thursday it will impose stricter border controls on Russian men trying to enter the country, where separatist rebellions have broken out, prompting Moscow to threaten retaliation. The Kiev government, which has accused Moscow of stirring up trouble in the largely Russian-speaking east, said it would target checks on "men of an active age" due to "possible provocations".

U.S., Russia, Ukraine, EU call for end to Ukraine violence

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on Thursday together called for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement. "All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions," said a joint statement released after the four foreign ministers met in Geneva.

U.S. to send Ukraine's military medical supplies, helmets

By Phil Stewart and Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it would send Ukraine's armed forces medical supplies, sleeping mats and other non-lethal aid, seeking to signal support for Kiev while stopping far short of adding any U.S. weaponry to a deepening standoff with Russia.

U.S., EU say still at loggerheads with Russia over Crimea

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States and European Union still have a significant difference with Russia over the status of Crimea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Thursday, as they reached a deal at the end of talks with Russia on measures to stabilize Ukraine. Both Kerry and Ashton said it was "crystal clear" that such differences remained, and Kerry said Russia had "illegally" taken over the peninsula from Ukraine last month and the United States had not given up on it.
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