By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Runners, from the world's elite racers to first-timers, will step to the Boston Marathon starting line on Monday for the first running of the world-renowned race since last year's deadly bombing attack. Some 36,000 people, the second-largest field in the race's 118-year history, will set out from Hopkinton, a town west of Boston, for the 26.2-mile race that finishes on Boston's Boylston Street, where two homemade pressure-cooker bombs last year killed three people and injured 264. The fans, hundreds of thousands of whom are expected to line the course, will also be rooting for top U.S. entrants including Ryan Hall of California and Desiree Linden of Michigan. While the memory of the attacks has hung heavy over Boston through the week of events leading up to the race, Linden said it wouldn't affect her thinking come race day.
By Aleksandar Vasovic SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - At least two people were killed in a gunfight early on Sunday near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict. After the deaths, Russia questioned whether Ukraine's Western-backed government was complying with the agreement, brokered last week in Geneva, to end a crisis that has made Russia's ties with the West more fraught than at any time since the Cold War. The separatists said gunmen from Ukraine's Right Sector nationalist group had attacked them. Failure of the Geneva agreement could bring more bloodshed in eastern Ukraine, but may also prompt the United States early next week to impose tougher sanctions on the Kremlin - with far-reaching potential consequences for many economies and for importers of Russian energy.