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MOSCOW (AP) — Soon after the current wave of protests arose in Ukraine, a new word appeared to describe them: Euromaidan. Already in wide use as a hashtag on Twitter, it's an intriguing invention — linguistically rooted in both East and West, elusive to translate and an insightful glimpse into the country's troubled politics. Who coined it isn't clear, and it's become so popular that it seems almost to have sprung from the collective unconscious.
Two members of the Eritrean national team have disappeared in Kenya while playing in a regional tournament, a senior regional soccer official said, raising suspicions the pair will seek asylum in the east African country. In 2009, a dozen members of the national team disappeared in Kenya. "This is an unfortunate incident happening again and it is causing a lot of concern to the East and Central Africa soccer officials," Nicholas Musonye, secretary general of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA), told Reuters. The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay last year accused the Asmara government of meting out summary executions, torture and detaining thousands of political prisoners.
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and David Brunnstrom TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will seek a delicate balance between calming military tensions with China and backing ally Japan against Beijing on a trip to Asia this week that is being overshadowed by a territorial row in the East China Sea. Japan reiterated on Monday that Tokyo and Washington had both rejected Beijing's move to set up an air defense zone that includes islands at the heart of a bitter Sino-Japanese feud - despite the fact that three U.S. airlines, acting on government advice, are notifying China of plans to transit the zone.
Four of Britain's "Big Six" energy companies promised on Monday to cut consumer gas and electricity prices, and keep them low until after the next election, after the government pledged to remove some taxes from consumer bills. The soaring cost of household energy has become a big political issue in Britain since opposition leader Ed Miliband said in September he would freeze consumer bills for 20 months if his Labour party wins the 2015 general election. In an attempt to regain the initiative, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday he planned to cut bills by an average of 50 pounds a year by moving some social charges from household bills to general taxation. Npower, the British arm of German utility RWE, said it would now cut bills in line with the 50 pounds reduction and seek to freeze bills until after the next election in 2015, unless wholesale energy costs or network charges increase.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Thousands of Ukrainian protesters on Monday blocked entrances to the government building and called for the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet, as anger at the president's decision to ditch a deal for closer ties with the European Union gripped other parts of the country and threatened his rule.
By Yasmine Saleh and Tom Perry CAIRO (Reuters) - A hardline Islamist leader said the army had driven Egypt to the "edge of a precipice", as a new constitution likely to ban Islamic political parties was set to be approved on Sunday by the panel that drafted it. The 50-member constituent assembly was due to finish voting on a draft that reflects how the balance of power has shifted in Egypt since secular-minded generals deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July after mass protests against him. A major milestone in Egypt's political roadmap, the constitution must be approved in a referendum before new elections which Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, driven underground by aggressive security measures, is unlikely to contest.
By Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia seems to have few viable options for pursuing a more independent and forthright foreign policy, despite its deep unease about the West's tentative rapprochement with Iran. Upset with the United States, senior Saudis have hinted at a range of possibilities, from building strategic relations with other world powers to pushing a tougher line against Iranian allies in the Arab world and, if world powers fail to foil Tehran's nuclear ambitions, even seeking its own atomic bomb. Russia is on the opposite side to Riyadh over the Syrian war and China's military clout remains modest compared with the United States'. Robert Jordan, U.S. ambassador to Riyadh from 2001-03, said there would be limits to any Saudi alliances with other powers.
Australia's largest ever consumer class action lawsuit, in which customers of several banks are fighting for the return of more than Aus$240 million (US$220 million) in fees, began in Melbourne on Monday. Law firm Maurice Blackburn is representing some 43,500 ANZ Bank customers who believe a range of charges they paid were excessive, in the first of several hearings planned as part of the case. "So you might be a dollar over on your account or a day late in your payment and the banks will slug you with a fee that's out of all proportion to what it costs them for that minor transgression," said Andrew Watson, a lawyer for Maurice Blackburn. "It's time for ANZ Bank customers to have their day in court."