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Diplomatic efforts to calm the Ukraine crisis inched forward Monday, with Moscow saying it would consider Western proposals for talks on the standoff but insisting Crimea had the right to secede. Britain said Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised to meet with his foreign minister Monday to discuss the possibility of creating an "international contact group" -- his first indication he may be willing to take part in the talks being pushed by the US and Germany to ease the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. But that embryonic sign of diplomatic progress came against the backdrop of Putin's recognition Sunday of Crimea's self-declared leaders as the breakaway peninsula's "legitimate" authorities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked the Russian strongman for his comments, telling him Crimea's planned March 16 referendum on joining Russia was illegal.
Malaysia said Monday there is still no trace of wreckage from a jet that vanished with 239 people on board, deepening the anguish of relatives two days after the "mystifying" disappearance. A potential breakthrough emerged Sunday when an aircraft scouring waters off southern Vietnam -- part of an international search and rescue effort -- spotted two objects authorities said could be debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. But Malaysian authorities said there was no confirmation they came from the Boeing 777 which slipped off radar screens early on Saturday, an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing. "Unfortunately ladies and gentleman, we have not found anything that appears to be objects from the aircraft, let alone the aircraft itself," said Malaysia's civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.