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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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In brief: Putin calls troops away from Ukraine

From Wire Reports

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered thousands of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border to return to their usual bases, according to his spokesman.

Dmitry Peskov told Russian news outlets late Saturday in Sochi that Putin had ordered approximately 17,600 troops to return home from Rostov, a southern region that borders east Ukraine, where pro-Russia insurgents have been battling government troops since April.

The Kremlin has said that troops stationed in Rostov were participating in drills, but Ukraine and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of fueling the insurgency with arms, expertise and fighters, and have slapped Moscow with sanctions in response to its moves in the region.

North Korea says it’s moving remains

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea says the remains of thousands of American soldiers killed during the Korean War are being moved due to construction projects and flood damage.

The United States suspended efforts to recover war remains in North Korea over the country’s plans to launch a long-range rocket in 2012. About 8,000 U.S. service members are listed as missing from the 1950-53 war.

An unidentified North Korean military spokesman said in a statement today that American soldiers’ remains are “left here and there uncared and carried away en masse” because of building projects, land reorganization and flood damage.

Analysts say the North’s statement is aimed at pressuring Washington to resume the recovery project as a way to get money and improve ties with the U.S.

Bolivia’s Morales wins third term

LA PAZ, Bolivia – Evo Morales easily won an unprecedented third term as Bolivia’s president Sunday on the strength of the economic and political stability the coca growers’ union leader has brought to the South American country.

Morales received 60 percent of the vote against 25 percent for cement magnate Samuel Doria Medina, according to a quick count of 97 percent of the voting stations by the Ipsos firm for ATB television.

Doria Medina conceded defeat late Sunday.

In a victory speech from the balcony of the presidential palace in La Paz, Morales dedicated his victory to Cuba’s Fidel Castro and the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

“It is triumph of the anti-colonialists and anti-imperialists,” Morales said. “We are going to keep growing and we are going to continue the process of economic liberation.”

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