Russian, Ukrainian Presidents Find Common Ground on Ukraine Crisis
A Russian official says President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, largely agree on what needs to be done to resolve the Ukraine crisis.
Russian news agencies quote presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying the two leaders exchanged views in a phone conversation on ways to stop the "bloodshed" in southeastern Ukraine. Peskov said the views of Mr. Putin and Mr. Poroshenko "largely coincide" on possible ways out of the crisis.
Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebel forces have engaged in fierce clashes in eastern Ukraine. A Ukrainian military spokesman, Andriy Lysenko, said Tuesday that 15 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in fighting in the east since early Monday.
Most of the fighting has been around the city of Donetsk, the rebels' largest stronghold and one of two major cities controlled by pro-Russian rebels seeking autonomy from Ukrainian rule.
The other city is Luhansk.
Japan's Abe Includes 5 Women in New Cabinet
Five women have been named to Japan's new cabinet, underscoring Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's commitment to better utilizing women to help revitalize the economy.
The new 18-member lineup has more female members than any Japanese cabinet since 2001. It includes more than the outgoing cabinet, which had just two female ministers.
Prime Minister Abe has said he wants women to make up 30 percent of Japan's political and business leaders by 2020, to help address Japan's worsening shortage of workers.
Before the move was announced Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said empowering women will be one of the "big pillars" of Mr. Abe's government.
Mr. Abe retained several key ministers, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.
It is the first cabinet reshuffle for Mr. Abe, who has seen his popularity fall to around 50.