World news briefs: 5/25/14

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Pro-Russians threaten voting

KIEV, Ukraine -- Pro-Russian insurgents are likely to prevent voting today in half or more of the election districts in the embattled east, Ukrainian officials say.

Deputy Interior Minister Serhiy Yarovyi said Saturday that police are ready to ensure order and security at polling stations in just nine of the 34 districts in the east.

Earlier, Volodymyr Hrinyak, chief of the public security department at the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, said 17 out of 34 district election commissions in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not operating because their offices have either been seized or blocked by armed men. Mr. Hrinyak's update was reported by the Interfax news agency.

The insurgents have controlled parts of Ukraine for weeks. Following their declaration of independence earlier this month, they pledged to derail the vote, which they regard as an election in "a neighboring country."

They remain defiant, although Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he is prepared to work with the election winner.

On Saturday, Mr. Putin again accused the West of ignoring Russia's interests in Ukraine, in particular by leaving open the possibility that the country could one day join NATO.

Attack suspects identified

BEIJING -- Law enforcement officials in the western region of Xinjiang on Saturday identified five men that they said were responsible for an attack on an outdoor vegetable market Thursday that killed 43 people and injured more than 90, many of them elderly shoppers.

Four of the men were killed when the two vehicles they used to mount the attack exploded in Urumqi, the regional capital. They were identified through DNA analysis. The fifth suspect was captured Thursday night after escaping to a town about 150 miles south of the city, the police said.

The names of the five men suggested that they were members of the region's Uighur minority, which has been implicated in an increasing number of violent attacks across the country in recent months.

Cannes festival winners

CANNES, France -- The 67th Cannes Film Festival came to a close Saturday night when the Palme d'Or was awarded to the Turkish film "Winter Sleep."

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the 3-hour, 16-minute talkfest about life and death, good and evil, the beauty of the natural world and art of conversation, had been a critics' favorite.

The Camera d'Or, given to the best first feature, was given to "Party Girl," a sentimental French film about a middle-aged nightclub worker who struggles after she decides to quit the go-go life to settle down with one of her regulars.

The prize for best actor was given to Timothy Spall, who plays J.M.W. Turner in "Mr. Turner" and best actress was Julianne Moore for her comic performance as a terrifyingly ambitious Los Angeles actress in "Maps to the Stars."

Also in the world ...

Ending days of hesitation, Pakistan's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, on Saturday accepted an Indian invitation to attend the swearing-in of the new Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, offering a fresh opportunity to revitalize the moribund peace process between the two countries. ... South African President Jacob Zuma, 72, was sworn in for a second term Saturday to face the same challenges of his first five years: fighting graft allegations while boosting economic growth and creating jobs. ... Iran's judiciary on Saturday hanged billionaire businessman Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, who had been convicted in a $2.6 billion corruption case that has riled the country's banking system and political leaders.

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