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Top US diplomat John Kerry arrived in London on Friday on an 11th-hour mission to head off a possible Russian annexation of Crimea on the heels of a breakaway vote by the Ukrainian region. With the clock ticking down to Crimea's referendum on Sunday, Kerry was to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov seeking to put the brakes on any moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin to swiftly annex the peninsula. Shortly before leaving the United States, the secretary of state admitted that it was all but impossible to stop the referendum organised by Crimea's self-declared leaders from going ahead and warned there was no question that the pro-Russian ethnic majority would vote to move closer to Moscow. Shortly after arriving in London, Kerry paid a visit to British Prime Minister David Cameron at his Downing Street residence ahead of his talks with Lavrov.
LONDON (AP) — Tony Benn, a committed British socialist who irritated and fascinated Britons through a political career spanning more than five decades and who renounced his aristocratic title rather than leave the House of Commons, has died. He was 88.