Freed Journalist Greste Says He Doesn't Want to Change Careers
Australian journalist Peter Greste says he wants to remain a foreign news correspondent, even after spending 400 days in an Egyptian jail on charges of broadcasting "false news."
The Al-Jazeera journalist, who was deported from Egypt earlier this week, smiled broadly as he spoke at a news conference Thursday alongside his parents in his hometown of Brisbane.
Greste also spoke of the difficulty in leaving behind his colleagues, Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian citizen Baher Mohamad, who remain in jail.
The journalists were arrested in December 2013 under charges they aided the banned Muslim Brotherhood and spread false news, though prosecutors provided little evidence for the accusations.
Greste said his time in detention was tough physically and mentally. But he added that he is in "pretty good health" and that he and his colleagues were not abused while in jail.
Kerry in Ukraine for Talks with Poroshenko
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, while the leaders of France and Germany announced they are also heading to Ukraine with a new peace proposal.
Ahead of Kerry's arrival, a senior State Department official announced the U.S. is providing Kyiv with an additional $16.4 million in aid to help civilians affected by fighting between Ukraine's military and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The official also said the U.S. continues to evaluate whether to provide "defensive lethal weapons" to Ukraine, but he said there were concerns whether Ukrainian forces had adequate training to handle such equipment.
The official added that Washington is talking to its European partners about imposing additional sanctions against Russia in the near future, if Russian interference in Ukraine continues.
Violence in eastern Ukraine escalated after last week's breakdown of the latest round of peace talks aimed at ending the nine-month rebellion.
French President Francois Hollande said Thursday he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Ukraine to present a "new solution to the conflict based on the territorial integrity of Ukraine." President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel will discuss the plan with President Poroshenko before heading to Moscow for talks with Russian leaders, said the French leader.
No details of the peace initiative were immediately available.
In Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance was set Thursday to strengthen its defenses near Russia's borders in response to Moscow's "aggressive actions" in Ukraine.