Last 24 Hours: Russia plants footing in international relations in U.S., Ukraine

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin shared he is looking forward to the upcoming four-way talks over the Ukraine crisis, including the European Union, the United States, Ukraine and Russia.

“I hope that the initiative of Russian foreign ministry on adjusting the situation and changing it for the better will have consequences, and that the outcome will be positive,” the Russian president told a televised government meeting. “At the very least, I hope that the acting [leaders] will not do anything that cannot be fixed later.”

The meetings are to begin next week. Russia says NATO is using the Ukraine crisis to boost appeal of the organization.

Pro-Russians are still occupying the Luhansk security service building in Ukraine. The occupiers call themselves the Army of the Southeast and, in negotiations, are demanding they hold an independence referendum for the eastern region.

In another aspect of Russian relations, the New York Times found information backing suggestions Russia omitted information in regards to the suspects and threats two years before of the Boston marathon bombing.

The Arab League urged the United States to keep on with their MidEast peace talks push. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had imposed a personal peace talk deadline of April 29th. The League supports the efforts and encourages it.

U.S  President Obama blasts “least productive Congress in modern history.”

Hezbollah says they are confident in Syria’s Assad, the West resigned to stalemate.

Should know

Syria; Two car bombs hit the city of Homs and killed 25, wounding many more – Central African Republic; Two French soldiers wounded in CAR before UN vote on peacekeeping force – Greece; Car bomb explodes outside Greek central bank building in Athens, no one hurt- United States; Knife-welding student wounds 22 in Pennsylvania school

India; Millions turn out for first big day of voting – Turkey; Election board rejects Turkish opposition call for Ankara re-run – Afghanistan; Frontrunner in Afghan vote rules out coalition government – Thailand; Move to oust Thai PM Yingluck more than just a walk in park for protesters – Taiwan; Protesters end parliament occupation

Kenya; Security forces deport Somalis, arrests hundreds in crackdown after attacks – Lebanon; Lebanese patriarch suggests housing Syrian refugees in Syria- Kuwait; Government says three citizens abducted in Syria – Cuba; Cuba says treatment of U.S. hunger striker in person “dignified”

Venezuela; Government reaches out to a high-ranking cardinal at the Vatican to mediate crisis – Egypt; U.S. targets militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis

To watch

Murder; Americas overtake Africa as region with most murders – United States; Militant Islamic cleric faces U.S. trial on terrorism charges – Taliban; Cross-border Taliban alliance growing stronger, Afghan commander says

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