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At U.N., Russia slams inquiry into toxic gas attacks in Syria

Russia rejected on Tuesday a report by an international inquiry blaming the Syrian government for a deadly toxic gas attack, casting doubt on whether the U.N. Security Council can agree to extend the investigation's mandate before it expires next week.

Gorbachev sees Russian democracy far off: biographer Taubman

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, celebrated in the West for championing democracy and helping end the Cold War, sees little chance Russia will turn from czarist-reminiscent, strongman government anytime in coming decades, the U.S. author of a new biography said on Monday.


Jane Goodall urges U.S. Senate to halt quest for Arctic refuge oil

WASHINGTON British primatologist Jane Goodall sent a letter to every U.S. senator on Tuesday urging them to oppose a push in the U.S. Congress to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region environmentalists say is one of the world's last paradises.