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The Ukrainian town Councilor whose apparent torture and murder helped to prompt a threatened new government offensive in the east was mobbed by a hostile, pro-Russian crowd before he disappeared, a video of the incident shows. The apparent murder of Volodymyr Rybak and a second man prompted the European Union to call on Russia to use its influence to stop kidnappings and killings in mainly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, scene of separatist rebellions against Kiev's leaders. Ukraine's security service said a rogue officer and a member of Russian military intelligence were involved in Rybak's killing. The footage from April 17 on local news site gorlovka.ua shows angry scenes outside the town hall of Horlivka, between the separatist flashpoint cities of Donetsk and Slaviansk, as Rybak is manhandled by several men, among them a masked man in camouflage, while other people hurl abuse.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday confirmed they are detaining a U.S. journalist working with Vice News. The self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk told reporters the journalist, Simon Ostrovsky, had been detained for reporting what he said was false information that was "destabilizing for us" but that he was being treated well. Mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov attempted to joke about the situation. Vice News has said on its website that it is in contact with the U.S. State Department and other government authorities to work toward securing the safety of its journalist.
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market slipped Wednesday, after rising for six straight days, as investors worked through another round of quarterly earnings reports from U.S. companies. Intuitive Surgical was among those announcing disappointed results. A worse-than-expected report on the housing market also weighed on the broader market.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent weeks and months, leaving men, women and children coughing, choking and gasping for breath, according to Associated Press interviews with more than a dozen activists, medics and residents on the opposition side.
Environmental groups urged the United States on Wednesday to drop a challenge to India's massive solar program and said the World Trade Organization case would only hurt the growth of renewable energy resources. The United States is taking action at the WTO over the domestic content requirements in India's program, which aims to ease chronic energy shortages in Asia's third-largest economy. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said making Indian solar developers use locally made equipment discriminates against U.S. producers, in breach of WTO rules, and could hinder the spread of solar power globally by making equipment more expensive. But green groups including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA and Friends of the Earth U.S. said supporting the U.S. industry should not come at the expense of India's push to cut fossil fuels and build a viable domestic renewables industry, which would in turn help global efforts to tackle climate change.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. arms makers complain regularly that lower Pentagon spending on ships, jets and other hardware will hit their earnings, but a string of better-than-expected results this week show that layoffs and cost-cutting have kept profits flowing, and growing. Defense majors Lockheed Martin Corp , General Dynamics Corp , and Northrop Grumman Corp have all reported higher profits this week and raised their full-year forecasts.
HAVANA (AP) — Conrado Marrero, the diminutive Cuban right-hander who pitched for the Washington Senators in the 1950s and in 2011 became the oldest living former Major League Baseball player, died in Havana on Wednesday. He was 102, just two days short of his 103rd birthday.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's highly publicized goal to recapture police stations and government buildings seized by pro-Russia forces in the east produced little action on the ground Wednesday but ignited foreboding words from Moscow.
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks declined on Wednesday after a six-session winning streak as gains in Boeing and Gilead were offset by slides in AT&T and the wider biotech sector. AT&T Inc fell 3.6 percent to $35 a day after the Dow component reported adjusted earnings that beat expectations by a penny, though that was offset by weak service revenue growth. Verizon Communications shed 1.2 percent to $47.36 while the S&P telecom sector index dropped 2.1 percent, easily making it the session's worst-performing sector so far. Biotech shares tumbled, pulling the Nasdaq lower.
Slavyansk (Ukraine) (AFP) - Russia issued a sharp warning on Wednesday that it will strike back if its "legitimate interests" in Ukraine are attacked, raising the stakes in the Cold War-like duel with the United States over the former Soviet republic's future. Both the government and Russia's powerful Gazprom company also made strident noises over Ukraine's unpaid debt for Russian gas, estimated at $3.5 billion (2.5 billion euros). Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told state-controlled RT television that if Russia or its interests are attacked, "we would certainly respond". "If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law," he said, referring to Russia's armoured invasion of Georgia in 2008.
TOKYO (AP) — Facing fresh questions about his commitment to Asia, President Barack Obama will seek to convince Japan's leaders Thursday that he can deliver on his security and economic pledges, even as the crisis in Ukraine demands U.S. attention and resources elsewhere.
NEW YORK (AP) — In a new book, Thomas Piketty, the French economist who helped popularize the notion of a privileged 1 percent, sounds a grim warning: The U.S. economy has begun to decay into the pattern of aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. Hard work will matter less, inherited wealth more. The fortunes of the few will unsettle the foundations of democracy.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is encouraging nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars to apply for clemency, officials announced Wednesday.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian opposition activists and other witnesses tell The Associated Press that Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent months.
By Jeremy Laurence and Mirwais Harooni KABUL (Reuters) - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go home. U.S., U.N. and Afghan finance ministry officials have discussed ways to resolve what they say has become a critical situation for the budget, with civil projects most at risk as international assistance starts to taper off. "If the political situation of the country does not become normal and businesses do not start again soon this problem will become even more worrying," Alhaj Muhammad Aqa, director general of the treasury at the finance ministry, told Reuters on Wednesday. "We will not only face problems in paying salaries of employees but we will have difficulties in other issues too." Funding for security will not be affected, as costs are met by foreign governments which recognize that any chance of stability in Afghanistan rests on quelling the Taliban insurgency.