Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revealed on Wednesday that he has reached a ceasefire agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, though a spokesman for Putin noted that no such ceasefire is possible since Russia maintains that it is not involved in the war in Ukraine.
"The conversation resulted in an agreement on ceasefire regime in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine region). The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace," a statement from the Ukraine government said.
As Russia launched a series of events on Sept. 1 to commemorate the Beslan school siege, one of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in that country in which 300 people died, including 186 Christian children, a decade ago, Nurpashi Kulaev, the lone surviving Muslim jihadist who took part in the massacre, sahhhh hj he feels no guilt over what he did.
"I don't feel guilty that women and children died. … But I can say neither I nor anyone else could have saved them. Because the decisions were made by other people," Kulaev told RT.
According to RT, 10 years ago when the incident took place, 1,128 Beslan children, teachers and parents were celebrating the first day of school when they were taken hostage by terrorists who rigged the school with explosives. more >>
United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has told western powers that there can be no military solution to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and urged continued political dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I know the European Union, the Americans and most of the western countries are discussing very seriously among themselves how to handle this matter," Ban told journalists Tuesday during a visit to New Zealand, Agence France-Presse reported.
"What is important at this time is that they should know there is no military solution in this. There should be a political dialogue for a political solution, that is the more sustainable way," he added. more >>
The Church of England, which earlier this year approved women bishops in a historic vote, has signaled its strong commitment to tackling gender-based violence both in the church and across all levels of society.
"Gender-based violence is one of the greatest injustices in our world today. Every time an act of violence is committed, the inherent dignity of the women or girl affected is degraded. Having seen the after-effects of this violence during a recent visit to the DRC, I know all too well just how destructive it can be. The Church is already supporting and caring for those affected; it must continue in that work and must condemn the notion that such violence is ever acceptable," the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a statement.
He added that the Church "cannot pretend that we are not aware of the reality of gender-based violence." more >>
A top European Union leader said Saturday that new sanctions are likely be proposed "within a week" against Russia because of its incursion into Ukraine, whose president has warned that the conflict might turn into a full-scale war if action is not taken soon.
"The European Council says that it stands ready to take further significant steps in the light of the evolution of the situation on the ground and it requests the commission to urgently undertake preparatory work ... and present proposals for consideration within a week," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said at an EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, according to CNN.
On Saturday, leaders of Germany and France also stressed the need for tighter sanctions against Moscow. more >>
An appeals court in Germany has ruled that a family court's decision to keep legal custody of four children away from their parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, was wrong, and ordered that complete custody be returned to the family. However, the court maintained that homeschooling endangers children and they should go to school.
"We have won custody and we are glad about that," Dirk said in a statement released by Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association, which has been assisting the Wunderlich family since their children were taken on Aug. 29, 2013.
The court said taking the children away was not proportionate, but only because the authorities should instead impose heavy fines and proceed with criminal prosecution. "This decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority." more >>