Ukraine calls 'Easter truce' as separatists hold firm
By Pavel Polityuk and Aleksandar Vasovic KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - The Ukrainian government said it will not attack pro-Russian separatists over the Easter weekend as its U.S. ally threatened Moscow with new sanctions if it fails to persuade the militants to surrender. The Kremlin denies having control over gunmen who want their eastern regions to follow Crimea in being annexed by Russia. Moscow scolded Washington for treating Russia like a "guilty schoolboy" following their agreement in Geneva on Thursday that Ukrainian militants should disarm and vacate occupied buildings. Ukraine's government, short of effective forces, has shown little sign of trying to recapture the dozen or so town halls, police stations and other sites seized over the past two weeks, despite proclaiming the launch of an "anti-terrorist operation".
Iran says Arak heavy water reactor dispute virtually solved
Tehran (AFP) - Iran's nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday that a dispute with world powers over the Arak heavy water reactor has been "virtually solved", the Al-Alam Arabic-language television reported.
At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine on Saturday prepared to celebrate Orthodox Easter at barricades outside government offices seized in nearly a dozen cities, despite an international agreement to disarm and free the premises.
French journalists free after 10-month Syria hostage ordeal
Four French journalists taken hostage in Syria last year were freed on Saturday after a 10-month ordeal in the world's most dangerous country for the media. French President Francois Hollande announced the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres, saying they were "in good health despite the very challenging conditions of their captivity". Turkish soldiers found the four men abandoned in no-man's land on the border with Syria overnight, wearing blindfolds and with their hands bound, the Turkish news agency Dogan reported. They had been captured in two separate incidents in June last year while covering the conflict in Syria.
4 French journalists held hostage in Syria freed
PARIS (AP) — Four French journalists held hostage in Syria since June have been released, France's presidential palace said Saturday.