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By Denis Dyomkin and Shadia Nasralla MUNICH (Reuters) - Major powers began a new round of Syria talks on Thursday focusing on calls for a ceasefire and access for aid, but the mood was dour with Moscow showing no sign of calling off its bombing in support of a massive new government advance. With the Syrian opposition saying it cannot accept a truce because it does not trust the Russians, diplomats saw little chance of progress. The first peace talks in two years collapsed last week before they began in the face of the government offensive, one of the biggest and most consequential of the five-year war.
Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund, became assured Thursday of a second term as managing director to steer it through a global economic slowdown. The executive board of the global crisis lender announced that there were no challengers facing Lagarde, for the five-year term that begins in July. There was little question that the race would be uncontested after Lagarde, 60, said she was running for a second mandate on January 22, a day after the nominations period opened.