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Kerry calls on Russia to end support of Ukraine rebels

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he joined his European counterparts in condemning an assault by pro-Russian separatists on Mariupol, Ukraine, and he called on Russia to end its support for the rebels.

"It is reprehensible that the separatists are publicly glorifying this and other offensives in blatant violation of the Minsk agreements they signed," Kerry said in a statement issued while on a visit to Zurich.

A car burns on the street after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector of Mariupol. Credit: Reuters

He said the separatists' assault has been aided by Russia's "irresponsible and dangerous decision to resupply them in recent weeks with hundreds of new pieces of advanced weaponry, including rocket systems, heavy artillery, tanks, armored vehicles, in addition to continuing operational command and control."

"We call on Russia to end its support for separatists immediately, close the international border with Ukraine, and withdraw all weapons, fighters and financial backing. Otherwise, US and international pressure on Russia and its proxies will only increase," Kerry added.

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Fire destroys luxury apartment complex in New Jersey

A large fire has consumed a luxury apartment complex in the US state of New Jersey causing an estimated 400 people to be evacuated, NBC News reports.

The Avalon on the Hudson apartment complex is situated next to the Hudson River opposite Manhattan, New York.

Flames engulf the Avalon apartment complex in New Jersey Credit: EBU
The flames tore through several storeys of the apartment complex Credit: EBU
Aerial photo showing the fire Credit: EBU

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