Ukraine talks end in initial deal but Putin will not take military option off the table

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2013 G20 (Image credit: President of the European Council/Flickr)

By End the Lie

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 2013 G20 (Image credit: President of the European Council/Flickr)

Talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers along with the U.S. Secretary of State and EU foreign policy chief ended with the first steps toward de-escalation, though Putin refused to rule out the military option.

Read our latest: “Ukraine’s military push eastward stalls as militants seize armored vehicles” and “Ukraine sends military to east against pro-Russian protesters as Russia warns of civil war

The agreement, reached Thursday, is the first real step toward de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine.

This comes after an effort launched by the Ukrainian military to oust pro-Russian militants fell flat on Wednesday.

An overnight clash between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian protesters left three pro-Russian activists dead and 13 wounded, according to The Washington Post.

“A mob of 300 militants, wielding guns, molotov cocktails and homemade explosives, attacked the Ukrainian military outpost in the city overnight,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement.

The attack was met with resistance from the National Guard and police in the southeastern city of Mariupol, according to Avakov. An operation after …read more

2,300 tubes containing SARS virus samples missing in France

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen

A major French biomedical research body, the Pasteur Institute, have launched an investigation into the disappearance of some 2,300 test tubes containing samples of the SARS virus. The loss was discovered during an inventory.

The Pasteur Institute filed a so-called ‘complaint against X‘ on Monday over the lost SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) samples. According to French law, such complaints allow law enforcement agencies to investigate a certain case, without targeting specific individuals or companies.

The distinguished research body has also announced it has closed its P3 laboratory, where the samples of the potentially deadly virus were kept.

Human error is the most probable reason, but we do not exclude anything,” the Institute’s Director General, Christian Bréchot, said, according to AFP.

The loss of the 2,349 SARS samples was announced by the research organization over the weekend. The institute’s routine inventory procedures revealed the missing SARS test tubes. The internal investigation from April 8 to April 12 confirmed the disappearance.

The SARS virus has a high death rate, killing approximately 10 percent of those infected. In 2003 the virus killed around 800 people, mostly in Asia.

The symptoms of SARS are like those of acute pneumonia with the infected person running …read more