**Putin Asks Parliament to Withdraw Request for Force in Ukraine**
President Vladimir Putin has asked the upper house of Russia's parliament to revoke the right it granted him in March to send the Russian military into Ukraine to defend Russian nationals and Russian-speaking Ukrainians
Mr. Putin had asked the Federation Council to authorize the use of Russian military force in Ukraine after the country's pro-Russian president was forced from power.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that the new step was taken to "normalize" the situation in eastern Ukraine, "and also in connection with the beginning of trilateral talks on the issue."
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the move, with his office saying Tuesday that he views it as Mr. Putin's "first practical step" in support of the peace plan.
On Monday, pro-Russian separatist leaders joined Russian envoys and Ukrainian negotiators in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk for talks aimed at ending the crisis. Former president Leonid Kuchma represented Ukraine.
Late Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Mr. Putin by telephone to help implement Mr. Poroshenko's peace plan, starting with the cease-fire the Ukrainian president declared on Friday.
Officials say further talks are set for this week.
The White House said the U.S. president called on Mr. Putin to pressure the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to observe the week-long cease-fire and to halt the flow of weapons across the border from Russia to Ukraine.
A leader of pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian troops in eastern Ukraine said Monday that the rebels will observe a truce until June 27.
**Organized Opposition to Thailand Coup Emerges**
The first sign of organized opposition to Thailand's military coup has emerged, with an ex-government minister vowing to work with fellow dissidents to restore "democratic principles."
The formation of the Organization of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy was announced Tuesday in an open letter by Jarupong Ruangsuwan.
Jarupong was the head of the Pheu Thai party of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was ousted by a Constitutional Court ruling just before the military takeover in May.
He said the new campaign will help organize resistance, both inside and outside the country, to the military, which he said was undemocratic and trying to preserve its role in politics.
Acting foreign minister, Sihasak Phuangketkeow, dismissed the announcement, saying there was "only one legitimate government" in Thailand.
It is not clear where the group will be based or how it even will oppose the junta, which has cracked down harshly on any sign of protest against its takeover.