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East and west, Ukraine rival camps dig in

By Alastair Macdonald and Aleksandar Vasovic KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - If armies march on their stomachs, then Ukraine's rival protest camps could be in for a long campaign, judging by the cooks hard at work behind the barricades in Kiev and Donetsk on Friday.

Russia plans student web surveillance in new anti-terror law

Russia's education ministry has proposed a new anti-terrorism law calling for continuous monitoring of Internet use in schools and universities, a measure which critics say is aimed stamping out dissent. According to the text of the bill published Thursday by the Ministry of Education, school and university officials should "analyse the personal sites of students and personnel" and compile reports on those "who have a tendency towards breaking the rules".

Ukraine's pro-Russian militants hold firm despite accord

Pro-Russian rebels stubbornly refused to cede control of a string of towns in eastern Ukraine on Friday, jeopardising a deal backed by the West and Russia meant to ease tensions and rejecting promises of concessions from Kiev. The refusal to budge came despite an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough Thursday worked out between Kiev, Moscow, Washington and Brussels following talks in Geneva to defuse the deepest East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Obama argues healthcare law is working, rejects Republican criticism

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November. Appearing in the White House briefing room days before leaving the national stage for a week-long trip to Asia, Obama used a news conference to make the case that the Affordable Care Act had mended nicely from its disastrous October rollout.

Ukraine's pro-Moscow rebels sit tight despite deal

Pro-Russian rebels defiantly kept their grip on nearly a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine on Friday, refusing to abide by an international deal to ease tensions unless the Western-backed government in Kiev steps down first. The refusal to budge came only hours after an unexpected diplomatic breakthrough Thursday worked out between Kiev, Moscow, Washington and Brussels following talks in Geneva to defuse the deepest East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Women edge into Gulf boardrooms as economies, societies shift

By Mirna Sleiman DUBAI (Reuters) - Amina al-Rustamani, a member of a prominent UAE family, raised eyebrows among friends and relatives when she started her career in Dubai 13 years ago as an electrical engineer, becoming one of few females in the Middle East to enter the profession. Success in a male-dominated environment helped give her the confidence to rise up the career ladder and break more barriers.

Pro-Russian militants in Ukraine defiant despite deal

Pro-Russian rebels kept their grip on seized government buildings in Ukraine on Friday, a day after Kiev struck a deal with Russia and the West aimed at easing the crisis in the ex-Soviet republic. As part of the surprise agreement hammered out in talks in Geneva Thursday, "all illegal armed groups" were due to disarm and leave seized state buildings. But the pro-Kremlin gunmen who have overrun nearly a dozen towns and cities across Ukraine's Russian-speaking southeast showed little sign of leaving.

Lewis Cardinal suspends federal run for NDP, citing personal, health reasons

EDMONTON - Aboriginal activist and educator Lewis Cardinal says he's not going to run for the NDP in the next federal election after all. Cardinal issued a statement on Thursday saying he will be stepping down as the party's candidate in Edmonton Centre "due to personal and health reasons" without specifying what those reasons are. It was just a few weeks ago that federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair made a stop in Edmonton to mark Cardinal's nomination.

First lady says a high school diploma is not enough, tours Howard U. campus with students

WASHINGTON - It may be a few years before the first daughters head to college, but Michelle Obama is already brainstorming a dorm room checklist while encouraging high school students to dream big about their education beyond graduation. The first lady told a group of students Thursday that a high school diploma is not enough in today's global economy. "No longer is high school the bar. That is not enough," Mrs. Obama told the crowd. "You have got to go to college or get some kind of professional training."

Long-term care: Why your location really matters

By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) - Location, location location: Not only is it key to the value of real estate, it's also a big driver of the cost of long-term care. A study of long-term care costs in the United States released this week shows that the cost of long-term services and support varies dramatically by location. For example, the national median cost of a private nursing home this year is $87,600 - but it's $155,125 in Connecticut, $87,180 in Ohio and $57,487 in Oklahoma.
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