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Putin's 'rape joke' played down
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has been overheard joking about the virility of his Israeli counterpart, who is accused of multiple rape. A Russian journalist said Mr Putin joked that President Moshe Katsav was a "mighty man", adding "we all envy him".
Mr Katsav is facing allegations that he raped members of his staff. He strongly denies the claims. A Kremlin spokesman admitted Mr Putin made a joke, but said it was not meant to be overheard.