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Government reshuffle is termed not enough

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – As riots spread from Ukraine’s embattled capital to nearly half of the country, President Viktor Yanukovych promised Friday to reshuffle his government and make other concessions – but top opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said nothing short of his resignation would do.

Two people had been killed in protest rallies earlier this week.

The rallies broke out after Yanukovych scrapped a key treaty with the European Union in order to secure a bailout loan from Russia.

The protesting Ukrainians favor closer ties with the 28-nation EU rather than a new alliance with Russia.


Syrian government, opposition to meet

GENEVA (AP) – Bending to intense international pressure, Syria’s government and the Western-backed opposition agreed Friday to face each other for the first time since the start of the uprising against President Bashar Assad.

After three days of hostile rhetoric and five hours spent assiduously avoiding contact within the United Nations, the two sides will meet today “in the same room,” said the U.N. mediator trying to forge an end to the civil war that has left 130,000 people dead since 2011. Mediator Lakhdar Brahimi met separately Friday with Assad’s delegation and representatives with the Syrian National Coalition.


Truck bomb targets main security site

CAIRO (AP) – A truck bomb blasted the main security headquarters in Cairo on Friday, one of a string of four bombings in the Egyptian capital within a 10-hour period, killing six people and heavily damaging a prized museum. The attack fueled a furious backlash against the Muslim Brotherhood amid rising fears of a militant insurgency.

In the hours after the blast, angry residents joined police in clashes with the group’s supporters, and fighting around the country left 14 more people dead.

One of the blasts wreaked havoc on Cairo’s renowned Islamic Art Museum. Experts scrambled to try to save thousands of priceless treasures as ceilings crumbled in the 19th century building, which had just undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation.


48 Muslims killed in attack, U.N. says

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – The United Nations has confirmed that at least 48 Muslims appear to have been killed when Buddhist mobs attacked a village in an isolated corner of western Myanmar, violence that has been vehemently denied by the government since it was first reported by the Associated Press just over a week ago.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said he “strongly objects” to the U.N. claims and called its information and figures “totally wrong.”

Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist nation of 60 million people, has been grappling with violence since June 2012. The incident in Du Chee Yar Tan, in northern Rakhine state, appears to be the deadliest in a year and would bring the total number of mostly Muslims killed in violence nationwide to more than 280.