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Asia seeks Obama's assurance in territorial spats

  • islet: Nansha is the Chinese name for the Spratlys, a chain of resource -rich islands, islets and reefs claimed partly or wholly by China, the Philippines, Malaysia and other southeast Asian nations.
  • vehement: U.S. officials also have tried to keep China from supporting Russia's moves in Ukraine by appealing to Beijing's well-known and vehement opposition to outside intervention in other nations ' domestic affairs.
  • boil: Their leaders will be weighing Obama's willingness to support them if those conflicts boil over.

In Damascus, Christians briefly ignore war for Easter

  • effigy: However, a traditional procession that usually sees hundreds of worshippers follow an effigy of Jesus on the cross accompanied by drums and a church band was cancelled.
  • flinch: Churchgoers on Good Friday were relaxed despite the occasional sound of government shelling, now so routine in Damascus that hardly anyone flinches at the sound of blasts in rebel-held districts surrounding the city.
  • incense: At the gates of Saint George Syrian Orthodox Church- just a few minutes walk from a school where a mortar attack killed several children and injured dozens earlier this week- incense was burning as several uniformed and armed men stood patrol before Good Friday evening services.
  • bustle: Inside the ancient city walls of the Old City where the church is located, the cobbled streets bustled with evening shoppers and diners, a rare sight reminiscent of pre-war Damascus.

New Russia sanctions threats as Ukraine stalemate goes on

  • vacate: Ukraine's foreign minister warned the militants in the east that they could face" more concrete actions" after the Easter weekend if they failed to cooperate with monitors from Europe's OSCE security body and start vacating buildings.
  • vacate: The White House renewed President Barack Obama's demands that the Kremlin use what Washington believes is its influence over the separatists to get them to vacate the premises.
  • unaffected: But, he said, the Maidan was not an " illegal" occupation and so unaffected.
  • foment: Conspiracy theories abound in Kiev, according to which the rich and powerful may be fomenting unrest behind the scenes to further their own ends or to curry favor with Putin, who holds sway over the Russian business interests of Ukrainian tycoons.
  • tycoon: Conspiracy theories abound in Kiev, according to which the rich and powerful may be fomenting unrest behind the scenes to further their own ends or to curry favor with Putin, who holds sway over the Russian business interests of Ukrainian tycoons.

East Ukraine separatists stay put despite diplomatic deal

  • separatist: East Ukraine separatists stay put despite diplomatic deal- Yahoo News.
  • separatist: KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters)- Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm.
  • separatist: Separatists remained in control of the city's main streets, searching cars at checkpoints around the city.
  • separatist: I don't think so," said a man guarding the road to the security office, another building the separatists seized, who identified himself as Alexei.
  • diminutive: Alexei, using a diminutive term for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president viewed by many of the separatist militias in eastern Ukraine as their champion and protector.

Bouteflika set to win as Algeria awaits vote result

  • frail: The president has been seen only rarely on television in recent months, looking frail and barely audible, after suffering a mini-stroke last year which confined him to hospital for three months.
  • audible: The president has been seen only rarely on television in recent months, looking frail and barely audible, after suffering a mini-stroke last year which confined him to hospital for three months.
  • derision: His intention to seek re-election, announced in February, sparked derision and at times scathing criticism in the independent media.