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By Thomas Grove and Aleksandar Vasovic SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and were looking for more assurances about their security before leaving the public buildings they are holding. The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. Ukraine said it was preparing a law to give the separatists amnesty although the drive to root them out would continue.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine's east who have been occupying government buildings in more than 10 cities said Friday they will only leave them if the interim government in Kiev resigns.
Japan said Friday it would redesign its controversial Antarctic whaling mission in a bid to make it more scientific, after a United Nations court ruled it was a commercial hunt masquerading as research. The bullish response, which could see harpoon ships back in the Southern Ocean next year, sets Tokyo back on a collision course with environmentalists. Campaigners had hailed the decision by the International Court of Justice, with hopes that it might herald the end of a practice they view as barbaric. "We will carry out extensive studies in cooperation with ministries concerned to submit a new research programme by this autumn to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), reflecting the criteria laid out in the verdict," said Yoshimasa Hayashi, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.