Friday, July 4
(Undated) -- Russian president Vladimir Putin wants better relations with the United States. Putin made that pitch in a message to President Obama, while congratulating Obama on Independence Day. Relations between the U.S. and Russia are the worst in years, with disagreements over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. The U.S. has slapped sanctions on some Russian companies and individuals over the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region and what it sees as Moscow's role in a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.