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By Lesley Wroughton and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday to try to hammer out final details of a cooperation agreement on fighting Islamist militants in Syria. The hope is that a deal on fighting jihadists in Syria will help lead to a cessation of hostilities between the army and its militia allies on one side and non-jihadist rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, as a step towards relaunching talks on a political transition to end the five-year Syrian conflict. The meeting between Lavrov and Kerry at a luxury hotel on Lake Geneva began shortly after 10 am (0800 GMT).
By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - If Tunisia does not overcome its economic difficulties, an austerity programme will be inevitable next year with thousands of public sector job cuts and new taxes, prime minister-designate Youssef Chahed told parliament on Friday. Chahed has promised his new government will take tough decisions to help growth in the economy and create jobs as the country comes under pressure from international lenders to push through reforms and trim public spending. Lawmakers were meeting on Friday to vote whether to approve Chahed's new government - a broad coalition of secular, Islamist and leftist parties, independents and trade union allies which he believes can deliver on economic reforms.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African judge on Friday dismissed an appeal by prosecutors for a harsher sentence against Oscar Pistorius who was found guilty of murder for killing his girlfriend in 2013.