German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin agree the Ukraine situation "has a tendency toward degradation" and have urged an intensification of peace efforts, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Sunday. They have been in regular telephone contact over the Ukraine crisis, with Merkel urging Putin to use his influence over separatists in eastern Ukraine to help bring about an end to fighting. "Both Putin and Merkel stressed the necessity to urgently resume the work of a contact group on Ukraine, possibly in the format of a video conference.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has claimed responsibility for two explosions on June 25 at a fuel depot in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, AFP reported on Sunday, which, if true, would be the first recorded attack on the city by the militants. "A bomb went off in Lagos. The two blasts minutes apart last month in the main port of Apapa were almost certainly caused by bombs, three senior security sources and the manager of a major container company told Reuters. A spokesman for police headquarters said that only Lagos police could comment.