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By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A friend of the suspected gunman accused of slaying nine black parishioners in a 2015 attack on a South Carolina church pleaded guilty in a federal court on Friday to lying to investigators and concealing knowledge of the crime. Joseph Meek, 21, had agreed in a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to withholding information about a crime and making false statements to authorities investigating the massacre in Charleston, according to court documents filed this week. Under the agreement, Meek could be called to testify against his childhood friend, Dylann Roof, 22, who has been accused of opening fire during a June 17 Bible class at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry discussed over the phone on Friday ways to resolve the conflict in Syria by strengthening the ceasefire there, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "Lavrov once again stressed the need for the full participation of Syrian Kurds in the talks between the authorities of the country and the opposition, as well as a speedy separation of the moderate opposition groups from terrorist groups," the ministry said in a statement.