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The US and Russian foreign ministers expressed cautious optimism after holding talks in Geneva Monday to end fighting in Ukraine, where the UN says more than 6,000 people have died in less than a year. The meeting between John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov in Geneva was just one of several attempts at mediation on the conflict Monday, as high-stakes talks to resolve a bitter gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow took place in Brussels. Speaking separately after their 80-minute meeting, Kerry and Lavrov both cautiously said a February 15 ceasefire was on the right track, despite repeated breaches of the peace deal that have left hundreds dead.
Three Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested and then released Monday over their involvement in mass protests for free elections, the latest targets of a police probe campaigners say is tantamount to intimidation. Albert Ho and Helena Wong, both of the Democratic Party, and lawmaker Charles Mok, voluntarily turned themselves in at Wan Chai police headquarters Monday morning on the request of the police. Ho and Wong held up small paper yellow umbrellas -- the symbol of the democracy movement -- as they went into the police station while supporters carrying umbrellas and placards shouted "We want universal suffrage". A number of protest leaders have already been arrested only to be released without charge -- including prominent student leaders Joshua Wong and Alex Chow -- in a controversial procedure which they say is harassment.