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By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed to Russia and the United States on Wednesday to help revive stalled peace talks aimed at ending Syria's three-year-old civil war, saying it was time to put an end to the bloodshed that has torn Syria apart. "Syria is now the biggest humanitarian and peace and security crisis facing the world, with violence reaching unthinkable levels," Ban's press office said in a statement issued on the third anniversary of the Syrian uprising. "Syria's neighbors are bearing the increasingly unbearable humanitarian, security, political and socio-economic effects of this conflict," the statement said. With the Syrian conflict now entering a fourth year this week and more people fleeing the war, the United Nations has warned that Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population.
By Guy Faulconbridge and Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - A future Labour government is unlikely to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union this decade, party leader Ed Miliband said in a political gamble that lowers the chances of Britain leaving the 28-member bloc. Seeking to define the battle lines of the 2015 election, Miliband said he wanted to fight Prime Minister David Cameron on the 'cost of living' rather than spooking businesses with the prospect of a British exit from the EU. In sharp contrast to Cameron's promise to reach a new settlement with the EU before holding an in/out vote by the end of 2017, the 44-year-old head of the opposition Labour party said he would only hold a referendum if more powers were transferred to Brussels. Such a transfer is unlikely at this stage, particularly since future European political and economic integration would probably come within the euro zone, of which Britain is not a member.