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By David Rohde and Arshad Mohammed WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK (Reuters) - In September 2001, as the U.S. reeled from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, Vladimir Putin supported Washington's imminent invasion of Afghanistan in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War. He agreed that U.S. planes carrying humanitarian aid could fly through Russian air space. He said the U.S. military could use airbases in former Soviet republics in Central Asia. And he ordered his generals to brief their U.S. counterparts on their own ill-fated 1980s occupation of Afghanistan.
Russia's government has enough resources honour all its social spending pledges although this will not be easy, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was quoted as telling the country's president on Saturday as tensions over Crimea add to Moscow's economic ills. On returning to office in 2012, President Vladimir Putin promulgated 'May decrees' that included promises to double pay for teachers and doctors by the end of his six-year term. Analysts from Moscow's Higher School of Economics have said the additional social spending would require 700 billion roubles $20 billion (11.89 billion pounds), or between 1.2 and 1.3 percent a year of the $2.1 trillion-strong Russian economy. But the economy faces new strains, including those arising from international friction and extra budget spending associated with the annexation of Crimea last month.
Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi officially submitted his bid on Saturday to run for Egypt's presidency, making him the second candidate for next month's election alongside former army-chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is widely expected to win. Sabahi, who heads a political alliance called the Popular Current, was a member of parliament during ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak's years in office and came third in the 2012 election that was won by Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Flip sides of the same campaign-season coin, the Republican drive in Congress to repeal the nation's health care law and the Democratic call to close the pay gap for women have much in common.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Not until the final minutes of more than seven hours of negotiating was an agreement struck in Geneva this week to calm boiling tensions along the shared border between Russia and Ukraine. But the deal won't be sealed until its terms are met, and patience is wearing thin as time runs out.
WASHINGTON (AP) — People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.