Elections in Syria would hurt the chances for a third round of peace talks between the government and opposition forces, United Nations-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi says. "If there is an election, then my suspicion is that the opposition, all the oppositions, will probably not be interested in talking to the government," he says.
Syria's parliament approved an election law that lets multiple candidates run for president for the first time. President Bashar Assad's term is up July 17, and elections must be held 60 to 90 days in advance.
Ukraine wants a peaceful settlement to the crisis with Russia, interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. Security Council members may draft a resolution on Ukraine that calls for access by international monitors to all regions of Ukraine and other measures, though a veto by Russia is expected.
The International Monetary Fund is urging that countries adopt a "progressive" redistribution approach to counter economic inequality, says an IMF report. "The interest in redistribution, as reflected in public surveys and our discussions with our members, shows that interest is higher than in the past," says David Lipton, IMF's first deputy managing director. "Our members want to explore with us how they can pursue distributive policies in an efficient manner."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are meeting today to negotiate an end to the crisis in Ukraine ahead of Crimea's secession vote on Sunday. Should Crimea vote to secede from Ukraine, the U.S. and EU are prepared to enforce sanctions against Russia.