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By John Irish and Andrew Osborn ASTANA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Kazakhstan were a coup for their international sponsors, but exposed the limits of what Russia, Turkey and Iran can achieve in their efforts to resolve the six-year-old war. It was the first time in nine months the two sides had come together, albeit briefly and unhappily, and the first time that Moscow, Ankara and Tehran had presided over such talks, with the United States only present as an observer. The fact that the talks happened at all was a diplomatic coup that underlined the three countries' growing Middle East clout and Washington's diminished influence at a time when Donald Trump is settling into the presidency.
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Romantic musical "La La Land" became the movie to beat at the Academy Awards after earning 14 nominations on Tuesday in a diverse list that silenced the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of the last two years. With nods that included best picture, actor, actress, director, score and screenplay, the musical about a struggling actress (Emma Stone) and her jazz pianist boyfriend (Ryan Gosling) equaled the record set by the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" and the 1950 film "All About Eve." "La La Land" also became the first original musical to win a best picture Oscar nomination since "All That Jazz" in 1979.