Talks with Russia and coalition partners are "getting closer to a place of understanding" on renewing a ceasefire in Syria, including around the city of Aleppo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. Kerry spoke before a meeting in Geneva with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in stepped-up diplomatic efforts to stop a surge in fighting and salvage U.N.-led peace talks brokered by the U.S. and Russia on Feb. 27. Kerry will meet U.N. envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura before returning to Washington later in the day.
Egyptian police on Sunday raided the press syndicate in Cairo and arrested two journalists critical of the government, a syndicate official and reporters said in what the syndicate called an unprecedented crackdown. The interior ministry denied officers had stormed the press labour union building, a traditional spot in downtown Cairo to stage protests, but confirmed some of its members had arrested the journalists inside the syndicate. Security forces have sought to quell dissent since thousands took to the streets on April 15 to protest a decision by President Abdel Fattah Sisi to hand over two islands to Saudi Arabia.