World news briefs: 8/9/14

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Kiev readies Russia bans

KIEV, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government is prepared to impose sanctions against Russia that could include bans on some flights over the country and gas supplies to Western Europe, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Friday.

The cabinet proposed sanctions that could affect 172 Russian individuals and 65 companies and organizations if the measure is approved by parliament Tuesday. The people and firms subject to sanctions are accused of sponsoring “terrorism,” which is how the government describes the tactics of separatists battling government troops in eastern Ukraine. They also are deemed to have been supportive of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Russia is Ukraine’s second-largest trade partner after the European Union. Russian-owned companies are deeply interwoven in the Ukrainian economy. Wealthy Russians own luxury hotels, cigarette distributors, malls, banks, insurers and cell phone providers, to name a few.

Afghan rivals commit

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates issued a joint statement Friday reaffirming their commitment to accept the results of an internationally monitored recount brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry and to abide by a power-sharing arrangement regardless of who prevails.

While the communique added little to an earlier deal that collapsed, also brokered by Mr. Kerry less than a month earlier, this time both sides said they would sign it.

Abdullah Abdullah, the leader in the first round, cried foul when Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai gained substantially to win the second. Mr. Ahmadzai’s camp said its candidate had benefited from a shift of votes among Pashtuns who had supported other minor candidates in the crowded field of the first round of voting.

Pistorius defense rests

PRETORIA, South Africa — The defense concluded its arguments Friday at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, with his lawyers contending that he had killed his girlfriend in a tragic mistake that warranted a far less serious charge than murder.

The 41-day trial lasted well beyond the three weeks it was initially scheduled for. South Africa’s first trial shown on live TV, it drew a global audience with its cast of outsize characters, especially Mr. Pistorius, 27, the double-amputee athlete nicknamed the Blade Runner, who overcame his disability to run in the Olympics.

Airline takeover

BANGKOK — Mired in debt and reeling from two aircraft disasters this year, Malaysia Airlines will be fully taken over by the government as a prelude to a restructuring, the Malaysian government said Friday.

Malaysia Airlines had been losing money for several years when five months ago, a flight bound for China disappeared, and no trace of the aircraft or its 239 passengers has been found. More than three weeks ago, another Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine, killing almost 300 people.

GSK-linked investigators

SHANGHAI — China sentenced a British corporate investigator to 2 1/​2 years in prison on Friday for illegally obtaining private records of Chinese citizens and selling the information to clients, including drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc.

Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, who ran risk consultancy ChinaWhys, were tried in a Shanghai court. They said they were unaware such acts were criminal.



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