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Russia accused of using World Cup to bury bad news

Opposition politicians accused the Kremlin of using Russia's World Cup as a cover to avoid dissent while it pushes through unpopular measures, while all eyes are on the country's sporting successes and a de facto ban in place on political protests.

Assad defies United States, presses assault in southwest Syria

Syrian government helicopters dropped barrel bombs on opposition areas of the country's southwest on Friday for the first time in a year, a war monitor and rebel officials said, in defiance of U.S. demands that President Bashar al-Assad halt the assault.

Air India unveils revamp plan after privatisation setback

State-run Air India will revamp its business and first class cabins on international flights to try to boost revenues by wooing more high-paying passengers, a top company official said on Friday, days after a plan to privatise the ailing airline was called off.