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A small Belgian region refused Monday to bow to growing pressure to back a key trade deal with Canada, heightening tensions within Belgium and Europe as well as with historic allies in North America. Riding a rising wave of Western populist distrust of international trade deals, French-speaking Wallonia's parliament stuck to its refusal to heed a late Monday EU deadline to support the pact. Its opposition prevents the federal Belgian government from signing the accord, which needs to be backed by all 28 European Union member states.
Russia, blaming failures by the US-led coalition and meagre hopes for diplomacy, on Monday ruled out early moves to renew its ceasefire in Aleppo after a brief truce ended at the weekend. "The question of renewing the humanitarian pause is not relevant now," deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax news agency, in Moscow's first official comment on why it did not extend the ceasefire further. Heavy fighting resumed in the devasted Syrian city on Saturday after Russia, a government ally, ended its three-day cessation of hostilities.