Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Aleksandar Vasovic MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three of the militants were killed, bloodshed likely to overshadow crisis talks in Geneva. Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Switzerland, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia's right to intervene in neighboring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, may give clues to the extent of his territorial ambitions at an annual televised question and answer session.
By Patrick Markey ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerians vote on Thursday in an election President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is widely expected to win after 15 years in power even though he has spoken rarely in public since suffering a stroke last year. With the dominant National Liberation Front (FLN) party, allied movements and unions behind him, Bouteflika, 77, is almost assured victory and another five years governing the North African OPEC state. Algeria is seen as a partner in Washington's campaign against Islamist militancy in the Maghreb and as a stable supplier of around a fifth of Europe's gas imports. But concerns about Bouteflika's health and how Algeria manages any transition have raised questions about stability in a region where neighbouring Libya, Tunisia and Egypt are still struggling with turmoil after 2011 Arab Spring revolts.