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Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych held unannounced talks in Russia on Friday with Vladimir Putin on a new strategic partnership treaty with Moscow, a move that risks further galvanising mass pro-Western demonstrations against his rule. Yanukovych was also forced to delay a trip to Malta planned for next week amid the biggest protests in the country since the 2004 Orange Revolution which were sparked by his rejection of a historic EU agreement. Yanukovych's official website said the meeting at Putin's Black Sea retreat in Sochi focused on "trade and economic cooperation ... and preparation for the future treaty on strategic partnership". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks -- the fourth between the pair in less than two months -- concerned "current bilateral issues".
Costa do Sauipe (Brazil) (AFP) - Mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, organizers on Friday set the stage for the World Cup draw as 32 teams waited with bated breath to see who they will face next June. Anti-apartheid hero Mandela's passing almost two decades after his iconic embrace with a mainly white South African Rugby World Cup-winning team has added poignancy to the showpiece proceedings, set to kickoff at 1600 GMT. Yet Mandela's death has changed the tone as participants remember a man who knew all too well how to harness sport and political progress. For all the logistical problems Brazil has faced in trying to overhaul a continent-sized country of some 200 million people, news the South African icon is no more has struck a chord at the beach resort draw venue in Costa do Sauipe.