By Richard Balmforth and Maria Tsvetkova KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces regained more ground but sustained further casualties on Thursday in clashes with separatists, while two Western allies urged Russia's Vladimir Putin to exert more pressure on the rebels to find a negotiated end to the conflict. Government forces have recently gained the upper hand in the three-month conflict against separatists in the Russian-speaking eastern regions in which more than 200 government troops have been killed as well as hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters. The Ukrainian military says it has a plan to deliver a "nasty surprise" to the heavily-armed separatists who have dug in in Donetsk, a city of 900,000 people, after being pushed out of their bastion in Slaviansk last weekend.
By Walter Bianchi BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina said a team of technocrats, and not its economy minister, would attend a meeting in New York with a court-appointed mediator on Friday, as it seeks to resolve a dispute with holdout investors over its sovereign debt. Argentina needs to seal a deal before a July 30 deadline with investors who rejected its debt restructurings after its catastrophic 2002 default on $100 billion. "The mission that will meet with the special master Daniel Pollack in New York will be carried out by the juridical and financial team of the economy ministry and other areas of the government," Argentine Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich told reporters at his daily briefing. U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa has ruled Argentina must immediately pay the group of holdouts, led by hedge funds Elliott Management Corp and Aurelius Capital Management, the bonds' full value worth $1.33 billion plus accrued interest.
By Kazunori Takada and Pete Sweeney SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's central bank is looking into allegations by a state broadcaster that Bank of China, the country's fourth largest lender, has been laundering money offshore for clients, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday. While Beijing maintains a tight control over its capital account, limiting foreign currency transfers by individuals to $50,000 a year, wealthy Chinese, including corrupt government officials, have managed to move their money out to snap up overseas property and other assets. The China Central Television (CCTV) aired what it said was an undercover investigation program on Wednesday that focused on a service offered by BOC called "You Hui Tong", which is designed to help Chinese individuals take part in investment emigration programs in other countries to move cash offshore in amounts the exceed the annual cap.