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1.Russian Parliament approves treaty on Crimea

The Russian Parliament has approved a treaty making Crimea part of Russia even as Ukraine proclaimed the region an “occupied territory” and threatened to go nuclear.

2.No overseas duty for Pak. troops’

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday dismissed speculation that Pakistan was sending its troops abroad. News reports quoted him as saying in response to questions that no forces were being sent to Bahrain or Saudi Arabia and these countries had not asked for assistance.

3. My mission is to better India ties: Xi
China’s President Xi Jinping said Thursday he saw improving relations with India as his “historic mission,” as the top Chinese leader met with the Indian envoy here. The Indian Ambassador to China Ashok Kantha, who began his term here in January, formally presented his credentials to Mr. Xi at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on Thursday afternoon.

4.Obama calls on Iran to seize opportunity

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday called on the “entire” government in Tehran to seize on nuclear talks with world powers to end Iran’s economic isolation.

Mr. Obama made what appeared to be a direct effort to build political pressure among Iranians in favour of the nuclear diplomacy led by the government of President Hassan Rouhani in an annual video message to Iranians, marking the Nowruz, new year celebrations. He noted in his message that Iranians had elected Mr. Rouhani last year to strengthen the economy, improve the lives of his people and engage constructively with the world.

5. Australia finds possible lead on MH370

Ships and aircraft on Thursday intensified search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight deep in the southern Indian Ocean, far to the west of Australia, after satellites picked up images of debris that officials said may be linked to the Boeing 777.Grainy images released by the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation showed what appeared to be debris in the vast and remote waters. One object was 24 metres long, and a second was five metres.A Norwegian ship that reached the area had not yet found any object likely to have come from flight MH370, an AFP report said.


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