UKRAINE

Opposition keeps heat on leaders

About 200,000 protesters converged Sunday on the central square of Ukraine's capital, Kiev, a demonstration that the opposition's morale remains strong after nearly four weeks of daily protests.

About 15,000 government supporters rallied about a mile away from Independence Square - familiarly called Maidan - where antigovernment protesters have set up a tent camp and erected barricades.

Protests began Nov. 21 after President Viktor Yanukovych announced he was backing away from signing an agreement for Ukraine to deepen trade and political ties with the European Union and instead would focus on ties with Russia. Amid the protests, Ukrainian officials last week renewed talks with the EU.

However, the EU's top official on expansion issues, Stefan Fuele, said on his Twitter account that work on the agreement is "on hold." - AP
YEMEN

Envoy stabbed

Assailants stabbed a Japanese diplomat stationed in Yemen's capital Sunday when he fought back during a kidnapping attempt, officials said, the latest unrest in a country beset by al-Qaeda militants. The kidnappers attacked the diplomat not far from the Japanese Embassy in Sana'a, then fled with the man's car, a security official said. The official did not provide the diplomat's name but said he was taken to a hospital and his injuries were not serious. - AP
IRAQ

Attacks kill 20

Gunmen broke into the home of a Health Ministry employee north of Baghdad and killed him and his family, as attacks across the country left 20 dead on Sunday, officials said. The attackers, using guns fitted with silencers, killed the employee, his wife, and three children as they slept early Sunday morning, police said. In Mosul, gunmen shot dead Nawras al-Nuaimi, a TV presenter, as she walked near her house. The other deaths were in bombings. - AP