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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Russia ban on food imports to hurt some EU farmers, its own citizens

WASHINGTON – Russian diners won’t be able to find creamy Dutch cheeses or juicy Polish apples in the grocery store or cook up chicken from the United States – the result of a Russian ban on most food imports from the West. Although the U.S., Canada and the European Union together will take more than a $17.5 billion hit from the one-year ban, Russian consumers may feel it more than Western farmers.

Putin urges Ukraine cease-fire after plane attack

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine — Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew miles above the country’s battlefield.

Kathleen Parker: Take advice on Putin from an experienced observer

The new “agreement” between Russia, the U.S. and our allies is exactly what the former KGB agent ordered. This isn’t to say it’s not a good “prospect” for ending tensions in Ukraine, as President Barack Obama has said. But neither should it surprise anyone that Vladimir Putin is willing to step back from that country – not to ease economic sanctions but to satisfy his own designs.

Obama cancels Moscow summit with Putin

LOS ANGELES -- In a rare diplomatic rebuke, President Barack Obama on Wednesday canceled his Moscow summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Newsmakers

Hired One week after Alain Vigneault emerged as the leading coaching candidate, the NHL’s New York Rangers hired him Friday to replace the fired John Tortorella. Vigneault agreed to a five-year contract. Vigneault was the choice of team president and general manager Glen Sather from a group that included former Rangers captain Mark Messier. • The Dallas Stars have hired Lindy Ruff as their coach. Ruff was fired by the Buffalo Sabres in February. It’s the first significant hire for new Dallas general manager Jim Nill, who was hired in April after the Stars missed the NHL playoffs a fifth straight season.

Putin denies stealing Kraft’s Super Bowl ring

LONDON – Russian President Vladimir Putin is denying insinuations that he stole New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring that’s now on display in the Kremlin, but says he’s ready to buy him another ring as a gift. Putin was reacting Sunday through a spokesman to a New York Post story quoting remarks made by Kraft at an awards gala at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel last Thursday.

Protests for Russian punk band span globe

PARIS — Supporters of the punk rock band Pussy Riot bared their breasts, covered their faces with ski masks and cross-dressed today in a series of raucous protests that stretched from New York to Copenhagen to denounce the musicians’ conviction in a Russian court.

Putin considers return to presidency in 2012

MOSCOW – Wagging his pen and gazing directly into the camera, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sent his strongest signal yet Thursday that he plans to return to Russia’s presidency, telling millions of TV viewers that he will consider running in 2012. The former KGB spy, who retains huge power despite formally stepping down after his eight-year presidency in 2008, turned in an electric performance during his annual marathon call-in show – cementing his high rating among the electorate and his reputation as Russia’s No. 1 leader.

Gorbachev blasts Putin’s United Russia party

MOSCOW – In some of his strongest criticism of his successors, Mikhail Gorbachev on Thursday likened Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party to the worst of the communists he once led and helped bring down, and said Russia is today a country where the parliament and the judiciary are not fully free. In an interview with the Associated Press some 20 years after the Soviet empire started its rapid collapse on his tumultuous watch, Gorbachev also said the global economic crisis showed capitalism should be tempered with elements of the socialist system he played such a critical role in sweeping away.