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Ukraine's President says he backs prisoner swap with Russia
AP, Ukraine
Ukraine's president on Friday outlined the details of an impending prisoner swap with Russia, saying that Kiev is willing to release a jailed Russian journalist in exchange for a Ukrainian film director.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's statement comes at the end of the week of shuttle diplomacy, with the Russian and Ukrainian human rights ombudswomen holding talks both in Moscow and in Kiev. The flurry of activity around imprisoned Russians and Ukrainians follows last week's first telephone call between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin says will work to restore Ukraine ties
AFP, Moscow
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said Russia was ready to work with any political party to restore ties with Kiev as he met with a pro-Kremlin politician ahead of Ukraine's parliamentary polls.
The Russian leader held talks in Saint Petersburg with Viktor Medvedchuk, a pro-Moscow Ukrainian politician and businessman who has claimed Putin is his daughter's godfather.

Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler
AP, Berlin
Germany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis - who were stigmatized for decades as traitors - as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany.

US homeland security chief says migrant conditions improved
AFP, Washington
The US Homeland Security chief drew the wrath of Democrats on Thursday when he said conditions for detained migrant children on the southern border had improved after reports of squalor and abuse.
The administration of President Donald Trump is facing pressure from the Democratic opposition majority in the House of Representatives amid reports of abusive conditions for undocumented migrants who crossed the into the United States in recent months.
Scuffles near Lebanon parliament before vote on budget
AP, Beirut
Dozens of protesters scuffled with Lebanese security forces guarding the country's parliament Thursday just as lawmakers were meeting ahead of a final vote on a controversial austerity budget.
The protesters, most of them army veterans, were pushed back and moved down the road, where they burned tires and blocked traffic in the already heavily cordoned off area outside parliament.

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