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Lukashenko meets with Putin; Indian parliament convenes for first time in 6 months; Afghan peace talks kick off

The authoritarian president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, arrived at the Russian resort city of Sochi on the Black Sea coast to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. India’s parliament convened for the first time in six months, as new cases of the coronavirus increased by over 90,000 in just a day. Also, the Afghan government and the Taliban began peace talks in Doha, Qatar.

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India and China pull back from the brink; intra-Afghan talks to begin; Germany and Russia investigate Navalny case

In a meeting in the Russian capital Thursday, the foreign ministers of India and China have agreed their troops should disengage from a precarious standoff. Pompeo says long-awaited negotiations between opposing parties from the war in Afghanistan will undoubtedly be “contentious.” And Germany’s Justice Ministry has approved Russia’s request for German state prosecutors to assist in Russia’s own investigation into the Navalny poisoning.

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DHS faces whistleblower claims; new fire at Beirut's port; second blaze rips through Moria camp

An official from the US Department of Homeland Security, Brian Murphy, said in a whistleblower complaint that senior officials pressured him to suppress facts in intelligence reports. Barely a month after a massive blast tore through Beirut’s port, a large fire has engulfed the area once again. And little remains of Greece's overcrowded Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos after a second fire overnight destroyed almost everything that had survived the initial blaze.

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Beirut tries to bounce back after tragedy; Malaysia withdraws charges against Goldman Sachs; The Lancet praises Russian vaccine

In Beirut, rescuers were still digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings Friday after finding “signs of life, Malaysia’s Bernama state news agency has reported that prosecutors in Kuala Lumpur withdrew criminal charges against three Goldman Sachs units, and The Lancet medical journal has published early-stage trial results showing that Russia’s “Sputnik-V” vaccine for the coronavirus produced a legitimate antibody response.

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