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With newfound swagger, Turkeys Erdogan seeks to expand his influence When Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas visited Ankara, Turkey, in January, an extraordinary sight awaited him – and not just the enormous new palace of his host. On the grand staircase of the 1,150-room complex, which dwarfs both the Kremlin and Versailles, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan greeted him flanked by 16 warriors dressed in period garb, supposedly representing 16 Turkic dynasties dating back to ancient times. Like the enormous palace, they illustrate the increasingly eccentric figure Turkey’s leader is cutting on the world stage, as well as his vaunting ambition. His rhetoric often invokes Turkey’s imperial heritage, especially the Ottoman Empire, which once ruled North Africa, the Middle East, and much of Southeast Europe.
Davutoglu, Erdogans vision man, saw Turkey as an Islamic world leader In its first eight years under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey seemed to be confidently reaching out to both East and West. In 2005, three years after the party came to power, Turkey achieved candidate status to join the European Union. Ankara’s philosophy was “zero problems with neighbors” – fostering friendly ties even with traditional adversaries such as the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. With the help of a burgeoning economy, trade with the Middle East grew from 6 percent of total volume in 2002 to 16 percent in 2010, rising from $3.9 billion to $23.6 billion.
Kerry says long way to go to reach Iran nuclear deal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said there had been some progress in the Iran nuclear talks but there was a long way to go and the clock is ticking. He also voiced concern about the possibility of selective leaks in the coming days about the talks, which he will resume with Irans Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Montreux, Switzerland. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed and Stephanie Nebehay)
Kerry says he pressed Lavrov on Ukraine ceasefire deal U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday that Moscow and the separatists it was backing in Ukraine must implement a ceasefire or face consequences that could hit Russia's economy. Kerry told a news conference in Geneva that the ceasefire must be respected in all areas, including the town of Debaltseve, outside the city of Mariupol. "If that does not happen, if there continue to be these broad swaths of non-compliance ... then there would be inevitably further consequences that would place further strain on Russia's already troubled economy," he said.
Why Kelly Brook is fretting over her comic timing Being able to deliver jokes well was stressful for the British star on the set of her new TV show.
Dirt-Watching NASA Satellite Deploys Giant Space Antenna (Video) A recently launched NASA satellite has just deployed a giant antenna in space. The huge tool will help scientists collect unprecedented data that could help craft better weather forecasts around the world. The space agency's Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft (SMAP) is tasked with beaming back new global soil moisture maps designed to aid in crafting more effective warning systems for floods, droughts and other possible emergencies. "Just this Tuesday, SMAP completed a critical step in its journey toward becoming a productive member of NASA's Earth-observing fleet," Peg Luce, deputy director of the Earth Science Division at NASA, said during a news conference Thursday (Feb. 26).
Survey shows China manufacturing improving BEIJING (AP) — Chinas manufacturing activity improved in February for the first time in four months but export demand weakened, a survey released Monday showed.
Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany to talk today on Ukraine peace - Kremlin MOSCOW (Reuters) - The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France will talk by telephone about a peace agreement in Ukraine and a gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev at 10:00 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Monday, Yuri Ushakov, a Kremlin adviser, said. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Elizabeth Piper, editing by Katya Golubkova)
Funds seek compliance health-check as regulators turn up heat By Simon Jessop and Sinead Cruise LONDON (Reuters) - After watching a crack-down on bankers for bad behaviour, British fund managers are calling in lawyers to help to spring clean their businesses as the regulatory spotlight turns towards their industry. Before the financial crisis, fund management firms made healthy returns from a bull market in equities, bonds and other financial assets and there were few questions asked about the level of fees charged or the service provided.  But post-crisis, regulators and politicians want greater reassurance investors are getting value for money as investment yields tumble. President Obama last week put forward a plan to tighten up rules in the U.S. market. "We're seeing a greater number of instructions from asset managers who want to know how they can ensure they meet ongoing regulatory obligations," David Hughes, partner at law firm Dechert, said.
Ovarian cancer drug trials to begin Clinical trials are to begin on a new drug developed to treat ovarian cancer.
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