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President Viktor Yanukovich, facing mass protests calling for his resignation, will hold talks on Friday on finding a way out of a political crisis that is weighing on Ukraine's weak economy. But with the opposition unlikely to take part, a breakthrough was unlikely at the "round-table" talks including other politicians, church leaders and former President Leonid Kravchuk. Thousands of protesters have rallied in a square at the heart of the capital Kiev for three weeks over the government's U-turn on policy away from the European Union towards Russia. They are demanding Yanukovich step down.
Tottenham Hotspur made it six wins from six in Europa League Group K by beating Anzhi Makhachkala 4-1 at White Hart Lane on Thursday. Spanish striker Roberto Soldado, whose form since signing for Spurs in the summer has been the subject of criticism, scored a hat-trick, including one penalty, while Lewis Holtby also netted with a classy finish as Andre Villas-Boas' side ran out comfortable winners. "We are back on track and we go into a big game now (against Liverpool in the Premier League) with momentum." Swansea City are also through despite producing a lacklustre performance in losing 1-0 to St Gallen in Switzerland.
Japan should embrace nuclear power as an "important and fundamental" energy source, a government panel said on Friday, in advice that looks almost certain to be accepted, despite widespread anti-nuclear feeling after the Fukushima disaster. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to restart Japan's idled nuclear reactors to cut the cost of fossil fuel imports used by power stations, which have swelled the trade deficit to a record and driven up electricity prices. The recommendation, if adopted, could put atomic power back into Japan's energy mix after the previous government decided to abandon it following triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo, the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.