Russia

World Cup faces locust threat

Pyotr Chekmarev, head of the agriculture ministry's crop farming department, is concerned there could be "a global scandal" if the insects strike during the finals.

"One way or another, we have learnt how to deal with locusts, but how do we not fall into a global scandal with locusts this year?" he said at an agricultural event in Moscow.

"The whole world is coming here. Football fields are green. Locusts love it where there is lots of green. How would they not come to the place where football is being played?"

Russia and Indonesia hold military exercise in Papua

The Jakarta Post reported two Ilyushin-76 strategic airlifters brought 81 personnel to Frans Kaisiepo Airport in Biak regency.

A Biak Airport spokesperson Putukade Wempy said the military personnel, who would be in Biak until Saturday, would only be in Biak.

The paper reported that two Tupolev TU-95 bombers were also coming, taking total personnel to 110.

Draw made for Russia 2018

Defending champions Germany will start against Mexico after Saturday's draw threw up some mouthwatering clashes.

Five-times winners Brazil will face Switzerland in their first Group E match with Costa Rica and Serbia making up one of the tougher-looking of the eight groups.

European champions Portugal will play Iberian neighbours Spain in their first match in Group B, while Argentina were placed in Group D with newcomers Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria.

England will face the other debut nation Panama in Group G in which Belgium are the top seeds.

Facebook to expose Russian fake news pages

The social network has previously said as many as 126 million Americans may have seen content uploaded by Russia-based agents over the past two years.

It is building a tool to let people see whether they had followed now-deleted pages made by the Russia-based Internet Research Agency.

The tool will be launched in December.

The Internet Research Agency was behind hundreds of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts and posted thousands of politically-charged messages.

Russia denies nuclear accident after radioactive traces found

Russia's weather service acknowledged it had measured pollution of ruthenium-106 at 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural Mountains.

It said there was no health risk.

The announcement appeared to confirm a report by France's nuclear safety institute which detected a cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe.

The Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said on 9 November it had detected ruthenium-106 in France. It added that the source of contamination could have been an accident at a nuclear facility in either Russia or Kazakhstan.

Russia denies nuclear accident after radioactive traces found

Russia's weather service acknowledged it had measured pollution of ruthenium-106 at 1,000 times normal levels in the Ural Mountains.

It said there was no health risk.

The announcement appeared to confirm a report by France's nuclear safety institute which detected a cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe.

The Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) said on 9 November it had detected ruthenium-106 in France. It added that the source of contamination could have been an accident at a nuclear facility in either Russia or Kazakhstan.

Call for Russia to be banned from Winter Games

In a joint statement issued after a two-day meeting in Denver, the organisations also criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for "continuing failure in its obligations to clean sport."

"A country's sport leaders and organisations should not be given credentials to the Olympics when they intentionally violate the rules and rob clean athletes," said the statement.

"This is especially unfair when athletes are punished when they violate the rules."

Russia set to escape Winter Olympics ban

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is understood to be close to issuing what has been described as an "F1-style" fine, sum similar to the $US100 million sanction slapped on McLaren in 2007 for spying on Ferrari.

That would be imposed as an alternative to excluding Russia from February's Games in PyeongChang.

Senior anti-doping officials have told PA Sport they believe the IOC and Russia have already agreed the terms of the sanction.

Time to work 'constructively' with Russia, Trump says

He tweeted that Mr Putin "vehemently denied" interfering in the US election at their first face-to-face encounter at the G20 on Friday.

But Mr Trump's position contrasts with some of his own senior officials.

And he is facing criticism from within his party after revealing a proposal to partner with Russia on online security.

He tweeted that he and Mr Putin had discussed forming "an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded and safe", prompting derision on social media and from the Republican Party.

Russia, China urge freeze in North Korea missile launches

Both countries also called for a simultaneous suspension of US-South Korea large-scale military exercises.

North Korea said its missile could hit anywhere in the world, but both the US and Russia said the missile presented no threat to either country.

Though the country appears to have made progress, experts believe the device cannot accurately hit a target.