Lavrov Urges Ukraine Cease-Fire as Parties Hold Talks
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says talks Monday in Belarus should focus on an immediate, unconditional cease-fire in Ukraine.
The meeting in Minsk involves representatives from Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It was not clear if pro-Russian separatists would also take part.
Lavrov also said there will be no Russian military intervention in neighboring Ukraine.
NATO estimates there are at least 1,000 Russian troops present inside Ukraine, and European Union leaders have demanded that Russia immediately withdraw its forces from the country. Russia has repeatedly denied it has any troops in Ukraine.
The talks in Minsk come a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin called for substantive talks on statehood for southeastern Ukraine. He said on state television that such a move is needed "to protect the lawful interests of people" who live in the region.
US Celebrates Labor Day
Americans are celebrating Labor Day, a national holiday honoring the contributions of workers. The holiday has also come to mark the unofficial end of summer in the United States.
The first Monday in September became an official holiday in 1894 after a push by the nation's labor unions. For decades, cities used the occasion to stage large parades honoring unionized factory workers.
Labor unions have seen their membership fall steadily in the past 30 years with the growth of technology and the globalization of the world economy. In 1983, 20 percent of U.S. workers were in a union compared with 11 percent in 2013.
However, over the years, unions have seen their work result in many desired benefits being enshrined in much of the U.S. workplace, including five-day work weeks as well as health care and vacations paid for by employers.