Scott Neuman

Ukraine's president says his forces will retake the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk from the control of Russian-backed separatists amid reports of a major push to do just that.

Petro Poroshenko, speaking to a crowd of several thousand gathered Sunday in central Kiev for a state-sponsored peace march, said that he would not "give up an inch" of Ukrainian territory to separatists, according to The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Ukrainian forces launched a "mass operation" overnight that had succeeded in retaking most of the airport.

The self-declared Islamic State has released a group of some 200 elderly members of the Yazidis religious minority, allowing them to cross out of territory controlled by the extremists.

It is not clear why the militants released the men and women, many infirm, but The Associated Press quotes Gen, Shirko Fatih, the commander of the Kurdish peshmerga in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk as saying "It probably became too expensive to feed them and care for them."

At least 6 million people in the predominately Catholic Philippines thronged a rain-drenched Rizal park in the capital, Manila, to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis as he presented Sunday Mass at the end of a four-day visit to the islands nation.

Greek authorities have detained four terrorism suspects including a man thought to have links to a foiled terror plot in Belgium.

French authorities have approved secret burials for the two brothers who were killed by police following their attack on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Mayors in two French cities "begrudgingly" agreed to secret burials of Said and Cherif Kouachi who carried out a shooting spree at the magazine on Jan. 7 and eluded police for three days in a rampage that killed 17 people, The Associated Press says.

The undersea train tunnel that connects England and France has been closed until further notice after a fire broke out on a truck that was being transported through the Channel Tunnel, triggering an alarm and suspending all passenger and freight service.

There were no reports of injuries.

"Rail passengers are advised to expect significant delays whilst the vehicle is being recovered and fumes are cleared from the tunnels," the police said in an emailed statement reported by Reuters.

According to Reuters:

French President Francois Hollande says people protesting the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo do not understand the French attachment to freedom of speech.

His statement comes amid protests over the publication's depiction of the Prophet Muhammad on its latest cover that went to press just days after 10 of its journalists were gunned down in Paris by Muslim extremists. Those protests have turned violent in Algeria, Pakistan and Niger, where at least two Christian churches were set fire.

Gunmen in Yemen have abducted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's chief of staff from his vehicle in the center of the capital, Sanaa, according to security officials who blame Shiite Houthi rebels for the kidnapping.

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak and two of his body guards were seized early Saturday, officials say. The Associated Press quotes unnamed officials as saying the three were kidnapped when they stopped their car in the capital. No ransom demand has been made and so far no one has claimed responsibility.

A storm forced Pope Francis to cut short a visit to the Philippine city of Tacloban, where Typhoon Haiyan made a devastating landfall in 2013, killing at least 6,300 people in the predominately Catholic country.

As we reported last week, the latest SpaceX resupply mission successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral and later made a rendezvous with the International Space Station. But a secondary goal of the flight -– to test landing a spent booster from the Falcon 9 rocket on a floating platform — didn't go as well.

One of China's top spymasters has reportedly been retained after apparently running afoul of President Xi Jinping's aggressive anti-corruption drive.

Beijing confirmed that Ma Jian, vice-minister in the Ministry of State Security, is being investigated on suspicion of "serious violations" of the law, according to the BBC, which says: "No further details were given in the one-line statement on the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection's website, but the wording used typically applies to a corruption probe."

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has become the 12th U.S. diocese forced into bankruptcy by claims from alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse.

What year was the Constitution written?

Who was president during World War I?

If you couldn't answer one or both of the above, you might not be able to pass a civics test given to candidates for U.S. citizenship. Or (starting in 2017) graduate from high school in Arizona.

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill making a high school diploma in the state contingent upon students passing the same test given to candidates for U.S. citizenship. The class of 2017 will be the first to have the new requirement.

Speaking to one of Asia's fastest-growing populations, Pope Francis issued what is being described as his strongest defense yet of the Catholic Church's opposition to artificial contraception, urging that Philippine families be "sanctuaries of respect for life."

When we brought you the news last week that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been defeated in nationwide elections, reports were that Asia's longest serving leader willingly handed over the reins to his rival.

Rajapaksa, who had ruled since 2005, even tweeted that he looked forward to a "peaceful transition of power" to erstwhile ally Maithripala Sirisena, who won by just under 4 percent of the vote.

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