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Outraged Ukrainians rallied in central Kiev on Saturday after President Viktor Yanukovych discussed a new strategic partnership agreement with Russia's Vladimir Putin upon rejecting a historic EU deal. Several thousand supporters of Western integration braved swirling winds and a heavy snowfall to maintain control of the capital's iconic Independence Square for the seventh successive day. The embattled Ukrainian president held unannounced talks with Putin in Russia on Friday after completing a mission to China aimed at drumming up backing for his cash-strapped government. Yanukovych's official website said the meeting at Putin's Black Sea retreat in Sochi -- their fourth in just over a month -- focused on "trade and economic cooperation ... and preparation for the future treaty on strategic partnership".
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president defended an interim nuclear deal that eases some of the international community's crippling economic sanctions in return for a freeze on part of the Islamic Republic's uranium enrichment activities, saying Saturday that improving the economy is as important as maintaining a peaceful nuclear program.
Adelaide (Australia) (AFP) - Mitchell Johnson said on Saturday Australia want to "cook" England a bit more in the field before going after another landslide win over England in the second Ashes Test. Johnson, still sporting his drooping moustache, was the destroyer with seven for 40 bringing England to their knees and leaving them facing a mounting 530-run deficit as Australia look to go two-up in the five-Test series against the Ashes holders. England could not handle Johnson's sheer pace as the left-arm speedster carried on from his man-of-the-match Brisbane performance to put the tourists once again on the rack.
North Korea Saturday released a detained American veteran of the Korean War as US Vice President Joe Biden visited the world's last Cold War frontier. US officials said Merrill Newman, an 85-year-old from California, headed home after arriving in Beijing. North Korea deported him "from a humanitarian viewpoint", its official Korean Central News Agency said, citing his "sincere repentance" as well as his age and health condition. His release came hours before Biden visited the demilitarised zone which has split the Korean peninsula since the 1950-1953 Korean War.
By Natalia Zinets and Matt Robinson KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Europe protesters accused Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Saturday of planning to seal a customs union with former Soviet master Moscow this month, a move that would stoke further turmoil in Kiev. One opposition leader said returning to Moscow's economic fold could even endanger the unity of Ukraine, a sprawling country of 46 million that borders four European Union member states and is the main transit route for Russian gas to Europe. The Moscow and Kiev governments both denied Yanukovich and Russia's President Vladimir Putin had discussed the customs union in unannounced talks on Friday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.