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Russia, Ukraine make progress in ceasefire negotiations: Turkish FM******
Russia and Ukraine have made progress on the "critical" articles of a ceasefire agreement being negotiated, but some issues still require decisions by their leaders, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.
"If the parties do not step back from their current positions, we can say that we are hopeful for a ceasefire," Cavusoglu told local daily Hurriyet.
"We see that the parties are close to agreement on fundamental issues," Cavusoglu said, reiterating his optimism when attending a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party.
In the past week, Cavusoglu had meetings with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts in Moscow and Lviv, respectively.
Speaking to Hurriyet on Saturday, Turkey's Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that Moscow and Kiev were negotiating on six points, namely "Ukraine's neutrality, disarmament and security guarantees, the 'de-Nazification,' removal of obstacles on the use of the Russian language in Ukraine, the status of Donbass and the status of Crimea."
On March 10, Turkey hosted the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers on the sidelines of a diplomacy forum for their first high-level negotiations since the onset of the conflict, although the talks did not yield much progress on a ceasefire.
Erdogan, Putin agree to hold next round of Russia******
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Sunday agreed to hold the next round of Russia-Ukraine negotiations in Turkey's Istanbul city, the Turkish presidency said.
The two leaders had a phone conversation on Sunday and discussed the latest situation in the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the negotiation process, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
The two leaders "agreed that the next meeting of the negotiation teams of Russia and Ukraine will be held in Istanbul," the statement said.
During the conversation, Erdogan told Putin that a ceasefire and peace between Russia and Ukraine must be achieved as soon as possible and the humanitarian situation in the region should be improved, adding that Turkey would continue to "contribute in every possible way during this process."
Earlier on Sunday, David Arakhamia, a member of the Ukrainian delegation, said the next round of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia will take place next week in Turkey.
"Today, at the video talks, it was decided to hold the next live round by two delegations in Turkey on March 28-30," Arakhamia wrote on Facebook.
Meanwhile, head of Russia's negotiation team Vladimir Medinsky said the face-to-face talks will take place on March 29-30.
Ukrainian and Russian delegations have held three rounds of peace talks in-person in Belarus since February 28, and the fourth one started on March 14 in a format of video conference.
Previously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, met in a resort town of Turkey's southern province of Antalya on March 10.
The meeting, held on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum, was the first high-level talks between Moscow and Kiev since Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24.
During the meeting, the two sides failed to make progress on a ceasefire but agreed to continue negotiations over the conflict.
Australian uses pocket knife to fend off crocodile******
A 60-year-old Australian man escaped the jaws of a large crocodile by stabbing it repeatedly in the head with his pocket knife as it dragged him into a river, local authorities said yesterday.。
Wildlife officers said the man was "lucky to be alive" after the terrifying attack at a remote riverbank in Australia's far northern Cape York Peninsula.。
"There was a struggle and he fortunately escaped the grip of a four to four-and-a-half-meter crocodile. The odds of doing that are about zero," said the Queensland state environment department's Matt Brien.。
The man had gone fishing on his property last week near Hope Vale, about five hours' drive from Cairns, and he shooed away a bull from the riverbank so he could take over the spot.。
Then, the crocodile struck.。
"He described seeing the crocodile seconds before it lunged at him, knocking him over as he was about to cast his fishing rod," the department said.。
He grabbed onto the branch of a mangrove tree in a desperate bid to stay out of the river as the crocodile's jaws clamped around his boots. But he quickly lost the tug-of-war and was pulled in.。
"The man said that as he entered the water, he managed to retrieve his knife from his belt and stabbed the crocodile in its head until it let him go."
The man then scrambled up the bank to escape the predator.。
After emergency treatment at Cooktown Hospital, he was later flown to Cairns Hospital where he was still recovering a week later.。
A health department spokeswoman said he was in a "stable" condition.。
Wildlife officers who interviewed the man on Tuesday confirmed his injuries were consistent with a crocodile attack.。
"It appears that the crocodile was targeting the bull or the cow at the time, and he's just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time," Brien told reporters. "It's an absolutely harrowing experience. He won't forget that in a long time."
Brien said the man had been left "quite traumatized" by the incident, adding he would need "time for healing, both mentally and physically."
Saltwater crocodile numbers shot up in Australia's "croc country" after being declared a protected species in 1971, with attacks increasing in recent years.。
Arsenal defender Gabriel earns first Brazil call******
RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Uncapped Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes has been drafted into Brazil's squad for 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Argentina, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Monday.。
The 23-year-old replaces Benfica's Lucas Verissimo, who was ruled out of the matches because of a knee injury.。
"It's a dream come true," Gabriel said in an Instagram post. "Being called up to represent my country gives me great pride and satisfaction."
Gabriel, who joined Arsenal from Lille in September 2020, has been in fine form this season as a regular starter in the heart of the Gunners' defense.。
Brazil will meet Colombia in Sao Paulo on Thursday and Argentina in San Juan five days later.。
Tite's men currently lead the 10-team South American zone qualifying standings with 31 points from 11 outings, six points clear of second-placed Argentina. Enditem。