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President Vladimir Putin made a surprise stop in Nicaragua after visiting Russia's Cold War ally Cuba, part of a tour to increase Moscow's influence in Latin America amid frayed ties with the West. Putin's six-day trip will also take him to Argentina and Brazil, where he will take part in a summit of the BRICS group of emerging countries -- an agenda that neatly aligns with his push for a multipolar world at a time when the Ukraine crisis has brought Moscow-Washington relations to a post-Cold War low.
The music video opens with Palestinian Hamas fighters in fatigues building, transporting and then firing rockets at Israel -- but the triumphant lyrics are being sung in Hebrew, not Arabic. "A (nation) state of weakness and illusion can't hold out during wars," it continues, referring to Israel. The five-minute video is part of a slick propaganda programme designed by Hamas and its armed Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades wing. The programme is intended both to rally divided domestic Palestinian opinion behind the group during its current conflict with Israel, but also to address the Israeli public directly.
Panicked Ukrainians flooded highways and packed trains leading out of the main remaining rebel stronghold on Saturday fearing a reprisal assault by government forces after they lost 30 servicemen to defiant militants. Ukraine's new Western-backed leader immediately vowed to hunt down the guilty militias in a push that would shatter all hopes of a truce in one of Europe's most explosive conflicts in decades. "The rebels will pay for the life of every one of our servicemen with tens and hundred of their own," President Petro Poroshenko told an emergency security meeting. The militant talk convinced many in the million-strong eastern hub of Donetsk -- the new home to a flood of gunmen who had abandoned surrounding cities since last weekend -- that their riverside city was about to be bombed.