Biden Heading to Ukraine
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is on his way to Ukraine for talks with the acting president and prime minister as the situation in east remains violent despite a deal aimed at easing the crisis.
White House officials say Biden will discuss the international community's efforts to help Ukraine move forward on constitutional reform, and for what Obama administration officials say will be a free and fair presidential election on May 25.
The talks will also focus on the situation in eastern Ukraine where an Easter Sunday truce barely lasted a few hours before it was shattered by a gunfight at a checkpoint in the pro-Russian city of Slavyansk. Three people were killed. It is not clear exactly what happened.
Ukraine blames the attack on Russian special forces. But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accuses the Ukrainian government of not wanting to control extremists who he says are shooting unarmed civilians.
Lavrov said Monday Ukraine is "crudely" violating last week's Geneva agreement calling on all armed illegal groups in the east to disarm and leave. The agreement also calls for a mission by European monitors.
However, pro-Russian demonstrators who have taken over government buildings in about a dozen eastern Ukrainian cities have so far showed no sign of backing down.
Veteran Burmese Pro-Democracy Campaigner Dies
Win Tin, a prominent journalist and the co-founder of the pro-democracy opposition in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has died at the age of 84.
National League for Democracy officials said Win Tin died Monday. The former newspaper editor founded the National League for Democracy with Aung San Suu Kyi.
A NLD spokesman said Win Tin was "a great pillar of strength" and his death is "a great loss" to the NLD and the country.
Win Tin became Burma's longest-serving political prisoner after challenging military rule by establishing the NLD. In 1989, Win Tin was sent to prison, while Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2008 and continued to work with the NLD, calling on the military to relinquish power. He said democracy would never come to Burma as along as the military continued to dominate the political landscape.