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Digest: Russian president Medvedev says arms-reduction treaty is nearly ready

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Monday, January 25, 2010

RUSSIA

Medvedev: Arms treaty nearly ready

A new nuclear arms reduction treaty is "95 percent ready," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday, in the clearest indication to date that an end to wrangling over the seminal agreement may be close.

Medvedev said he is optimistic that a deal will be reached and that he was heartened by the pace of negotiations. "I expected the negotiations to take longer, but in the space of six months we have created the backbone of a document," he said.

Expert-level talks to iron out the final details of the treaty are due to take place next month in Geneva. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and retired Gen. Jim Jones, President Obama's national security adviser, were in Moscow last week to discuss treaty negotiations.

-- Associated Press

LEBANON

Ethiopia-bound plane carrying 90 crashes

An Ethiopian Airlines plane with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after taking off from Beirut's international airport early Monday, airport sources said. The Boeing 737-800 disappeared off the radar about five minutes after taking off, shortly after its scheduled departure time of 2:10 a.m., during a thunderstorm and heavy rain, the sources said. It was heading for Addis Ababa.

Eighty-two passengers and eight crew members were aboard, according to the manifest.

-- Reuters

AFGHANISTAN


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