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Syria's Christians won't yield to extremists
2014.04.21 04:07:35

In Easter message, Greek Orthodox Patriarch says Syria's Christians won't yield to extremists - AP



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Leader of pro-Russian forces in Slovaynsk
2014.04.21 04:06:49

"I want to ask the Russian government and Vladimir Putin personally to send us help. If you can't send peacekeepers, help us by sending food, weapons - everything you can. Our people are ready to stand until the end to protect our land from the fascist invasion."

Vyacheslav Ponomaryov

Leader of pro-Russian forces in Slovaynsk



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Sabahi only rival to Sisi in presidential poll
2014.04.21 04:05:37

The former army general who toppled Egypt's first freely elected president will face a leftist politician in next month's presidential election, as they were the only candidates to enter before nominations closed, the committee organizing the vote said .

The committee said on Sunday that it had received paperwork from former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and former parliamentarian and presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi, it said at a news conference several hours after the deadline had passed.

Abdelaziz Salman, secretary-general of the Presidential Elections Committee, said that Sisi had submitted 188,930 signatures endorsing his candidacy to the committee, and Sabahi had submitted 31,555.

The required number was 25,000.

The committee will announce the official list of candidates on May 2 for the vote on May 26-27. Sisi, who deposed Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year, is expected to win the vote easily.

[Reuters]



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Europe 1 reporter Didier Francois
2014.04.21 04:04:39

Veteran Europe 1 reporter Didier Francois on being released from Syria:

"It's a great joy and an immense relief, obviously, to be free. Under the sky, which we haven't seen for a long time, to breathe the fresh air, walk freely."



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Slavyansk's mayor
2014.04.21 04:03:37

The self-styled mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, which is controlled by armed pro-Russian separatists, said on Sunday he had been in contact with mediators from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, speaking at a news conference in Slavyansk, did not say what he had discussed with the mediators.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Egypt's Interior Ministry
2014.04.21 04:02:22

Egypt's Interior Ministry says gunmen have killed a captain from the intelligence services and a policeman on a desert road outside Cairo.

The ministry's media center said the joint security patrol was trying to stop a suspicious vehicle on the road to the canal city of Suez early Sunday when its occupants opened fire.

Captain Ashraf Badeer al-Qazaz was killed in the firefight, along with a policeman from the central security force. The assailants managed to flee.

On Saturday, a militant group called Ajnad Misr, or ``Egypt's Soldiers,'' claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed a police officer late Friday in Cairo. The group said it is waging a campaign of retribution for the killing and detentions of protesters and young Egyptians. [AP]



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France has 'information' but no proof
2014.04.21 03:59:59

France has "information" but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday.

"We have a few elements of information but I do not have the proof," Hollande told journalists after he was asked about reports that Assad was currently using chemical weapons -

AFP



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Pro-Russia separatists in Slovyansk
2014.04.21 03:10:23

The leader of pro-Russia separatists in Slovyansk has called on Putin to send weapons and food if he is unable to send troops.

The separatist leader also says he has evidence that the attack earlier today was carried out by Ukraine's Right Sector group.



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Police officer and a conscript were killed
2014.04.21 03:09:23

A police officer and a conscript were killed after armed attackers opened fire on their patrol car, Egypt's interior ministry announced on Sunday, the latest deadly assault against the country's security forces. [AFP]



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French hostages
2014.04.21 03:08:41

French hostages have landed on the military base of Evreux (Elysee). They will travel to Villacoublay by helicopter where an official ceremony will held. President Holland will give a speech.



Tags: Syria | France

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Ukraine, Russia trade blame for eastern shootout
2014.04.21 03:01:35

Ukraine and Russia traded blame Sunday for a shootout at a checkpoint manned by pro-Russia insurgents in eastern Ukraine that left three people dead and others hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

The identity of the attackers remained unclear. Russia blamed militant Ukrainian nationalists and the Ukrainian government said the attack near the city of Slovyansk was staged by provocateurs from outside the country.

Ukraine and many in the West fear that such clashes could provide a pretext for Russia to seize more Ukrainian territory.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Egypt's censorship board
2014.04.21 03:00:46

The head of Egypt's censorship board says he has resigned after the country's prime minister overruled his decision to allow a film starring a sultry Lebanese singer be shown.

Ahmed Awad, undersecretary to the culture minister and head of the censorship authority, told The Associated Press on Saturday that he had submitted his resignation Thursday morning in response to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab's decision to stop the film from being shown.

Awad says: ``I did this out of respect for myself.'' [AP]



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Assad regime using chemical weapons
2014.04.21 02:59:18

France has 'information' Assad regime using chemical weapons in Syria: Hollande - AFP



Tags: Syria | France

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Separatists declare curfew in Slavyansk
2014.04.21 02:44:08

Pro-Moscow rebels in the east Ukraine town of Slavyansk declared a curfew there Sunday, after a gun battle with unidentified attackers killed two militants.

The self-styled separatist leader of the town, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, told reporters that "the curfew comes into effect today -- from midnight (2100 GMT) to 6:00am (0300 GMT)," during which time it would be forbidden to be in the streets.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Youssef off air
2014.04.21 02:43:08

Egypt's TV satirist Bassem Youssef off air until after presidential race to avoid influencing voters. [AP]



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Chlorine gas in an attack
2014.04.21 02:41:57

Activists in Syria have claimed that government forces used chlorine gas in an attack on a village near the city of Hama.

Amateur footage uploaded by activists on Friday showed dozens of villagers from Kafr Zeta struggling to breathe as a result of a toxic substance.

Other footage online showed an unexploded canister suspected to contain chlorine gas. MWC cannot independently verify the images.

Rebels and the government blamed each other for what is supposed to be third alleged gas attack in the country in the past week.

Chlorine gas - used extensively in the First World War - attacks mucus membranes and can kill in high concentrations.

Read the details:



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Pro-Russian insurrection
2014.04.21 02:28:10

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Sunday he would travel to the restive east of his country to inspect troops that have been deployed there in response to a pro-Russian insurrection.

"I have gone to the east to see the National Guard troops and the special forces battalions," he announced on his official Facebook page.

He did not say whether his trip was linked to a deadly gun battle that erupted in the rebel-held town of Slavyansk that killed up to four people.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Slaviansk
2014.04.21 02:04:58

A Reuters TV witness said on Sunday he had seen two bodies, one with gunshot wounds to the head and face, at a checkpoint outside the city of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine where separatists said earlier they had come under armed attack.

One of the dead was dressed in combat fatigues and the other in civilian clothes. Police were at the scene carrying out an investigation, he said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Gunmen attacked a checkpoint
2014.04.21 01:58:26

Russian state television reported on Sunday that five people were killed when gunmen attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report.

The state-run Rossiya 24 news station, citing its correspondent in Slaviansk, said three of the dead were with the pro-Russian separatists who control Slaviansk, and the other two were from the group that attacked their checkpoint.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Europe's OSCE security body
2014.04.21 01:57:06

A senior mediator from Europe's OSCE security body is due to start negotiating the surrender of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Sunday, although hopes for a rapid end to the crisis are limited.

Gunmen occupying public buildings in Donetsk and other Russian-speaking border towns refuse to recognize an accord in Geneva on Thursday by which Russia, Ukraine and Kiev's U.S. and EU allies agreed that the OSCE should oversee the disarmament of militants and the evacuation of occupied facilities and streets.

The coming days may determine whether unrest following the overthrow of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president can be contained.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

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