KIEV (Reuters) - Troop withdrawals in a village in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine will begin on Saturday at 1000 GMT, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said in a statement.
Ukraine and Russian-backed separatist rebels have agreed to phased troop withdrawals as a confidence building measure that could pave the way for a four-way summit between Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany on the Donbass conflict.
The Kiev government has said that the third such withdrawal, in the village of Petrivske that is due to take place on Saturday, would mean that Ukraine has fulfilled all necessary conditions from its side for such a summit to take place.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state of North Carolina is moving away from using the phrase "race riot” to describe the violent overthrow of the Wilmington government in 1898 and is instead using the word "coup” on the highway historical marker that will commemorate the dark event.
The marker, which is already in place and covered with black plastic, will be dedicated Friday in Wilmington. The heading on the marker reads "Wilmington Coup,” but the originally approved text referred to a "race riot,” which eventually was deleted.
"You don’t call it that anymore because the African Americans weren’t rioting,” said Ansley Herring Wegner, administrator of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. "They were being massacred.”
In 1898, white Democrats violently overthrew the fusion government of legitimately elected blacks and white Republicans in Wilmington. The Democrats burned and killed their way to power in what’s viewed as a flashpoint for the Jim Crow era of segregation and the only successful coup d’etat in American history.
MOSCOW (Dispatches) -- Russia has strongly rejected Western media reports that Russian private military companies linked to the Kremlin were operating in Libya in favor of one of the conflicting sides.
Western media outlets Tuesday cited U.S. military sources reporting the deployment of Russia's private military experts to Libya.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, however, strongly refuted news about skilled Russians fighting in Libya. "I strongly reject this sort of speculation," Ryabkov told reporters on Thursday.
The high-ranking Russian diplomat insisted that any actions ordered by the Kremlin regarding the North African country were in the framework of international agreements meant to establish peace and security.
BRASILIA (AFP) -- Brazil's Supreme Court voted Thursday to overturn a ruling requiring convicted criminals to go to jail after losing their first appeal, paving the way for leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to be freed.
The decision means thousands of convicts could be released from prison, including Lula, who is among dozens of political and business leaders caught up in a sprawling corruption probe.
They would remain free until they had exhausted their rights to appeal their conviction -- a process critics say could take years in cases involving people with deep pockets.
Lula's lawyers said they would seek the "immediate release" of the former president after speaking to him on Friday.
"Lula has not done anything wrong and is a victim of 'lawfare,' which in the case of the ex-president is the strategic use of the law for the purpose of political persecution," his legal team said in a statement.
JUBA (Reuters) -- South Sudan’s president and a former rebel leader agreed on Thursday to delay forming a unity government for 100 days beyond the Nov. 12 deadline, Uganda’s presidency said, buying time after concerns that war could resume if the two sides were pushed.
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir arrives at the Juba international airport, South Sudan, November 8, 2019.REUTERS/Jok Solomun
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar met in Uganda in a last-ditch effort to resolve outstanding disputes that were preventing the formation of a coalition government in time for the deadline.
Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal in September 2018, under pressure from the United Nations, United States and regional governments to end a five-year civil war that devastated the world’s youngest country.
Both sides blame each other for not meeting milestones stipulated by the peace deal, especially the integration of different fighting forces.
SYDNEY (AFP) -- Australian firefighters warned they were in "uncharted territory" as they struggled to contain more than a dozen out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country on Friday.
Around a hundred blazes pockmarked the New South Wales and Queensland countryside, around 17 of them remained dangerous and uncontained late Friday.
"We have never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning level," New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons told public broadcaster ABC. "We are in uncharted territory."
Bushfires are common in Australia and firefighters had already been tackling sporadic blazes for months in the lead up to the southern hemisphere summer.
But this is a dramatic start to what scientists predict will be a tough fire season ahead -- with climate change and unfavorable weather cycles helping created a tinderbox of strong winds, low humidity and high temperatures.