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April 19, 2014

Noting diplomatic progress between Ukraine and Russia, Ukrainian officials decided to halt the country's "anti-terrorist operation" for the Easter holiday.

Pro-Russian militants are occupying various government buildings in eastern Ukraine. They remained behind their barricades, firm on their pledge not to concede unless Ukraine's "illegal" government steps down.

While the United States, Russia, the European Union, and Ukraine brokered an agreement on Thursday meant to de-escalate the conflict, pro-Russia activists in Ukraine said because they were not included in the talks at Geneva, they were under no obligation to suspend their activities.

"Why would we leave? Who told us to leave?" a man who gave his name as Alexander told The Washington Post. "Nobody in Geneva who signed this agreement gives a damn about us. They're interested in gas deals, in coal, in drilling. They don't care about us."

Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's assurances that he will go along with the deal, Washington was already skeptical as to whether Moscow would honor the agreement. The worries are in large part based on comments Putin made at a Russian press conference, where he described eastern Ukraine as "new Russia," and said he is prepared to use force — which the Russian Duma has authorized — if necessary in Ukraine.

Mounting tensions aside, some militants took advantage of the hiatus to go about traditional Easter weekend activities, such as receiving blessings from religious leaders who visited the barricaded areas. Hopefully those blessings come with a promise of peace. --Sarah Eberspacher

10:35 a.m. ET
Luis Robayo/AFP/Getty Images

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have been infected by the Zika virus, the country's national health institute said Saturday. In the nation, 31,555 people in total have the virus, Reuters reports.

The Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a birth defect. So far there are no cases of microcephaly linked to Zika in Colombia.

The mosquito-borne virus, which has been traced back to Brazil, has spread to more than 30 countries. Julie Kliegman

9:36 a.m. ET
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two boys who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, gave her first televised interview Friday. Speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she missed warning signs her son was depressed.

"I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that 'if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,' but I didn't know, and I wasn't able to stop him from hurting other people," she said.

Klebold's interview, which you can watch here, comes as she promotes her Feb. 15 memoir, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Julie Kliegman

7:57 a.m. ET
Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized the West for worsening relations with his nation over the conflict in Syria, USA Today reports.

"NATO's attitude toward Russia remains unfriendly and opaque, and one could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," he said at a high-level security conference Saturday. "Sometimes I wonder if it is the year 2016 or 1962."

Medvedev disputed a widely held belief that Russian planes have bombed civilians in Syria, The Guardian reports. At the same conference, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the importance of a political solution to Syria's five-year civil war, rather than resorting to violence. Julie Kliegman

7:30 a.m. ET
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) will testify before a congressional committee on the Flint water crisis, the Detroit Free Press reports his office said Friday. In the hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Snyder is expected to speak to what has happened in the city since it switched to lead pipes for tap water in 2014 and what reforms he recommends.

"The people of Flint have suffered because they were failed by all levels of government, and so it is understandable that there are questions at all levels of government," Snyder said in a statement. "In Michigan we are learning a great deal from this crisis and I am hopeful the federal government also will use this as an opportunity to examine health and safety protections in place, assess infrastructure needs, and avoid this type of crisis in the future."

On Thursday, Snyder had called U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and asked to testify. Julie Kliegman

February 12, 2016
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Image

On Friday, New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejía made Major League Baseball history by becoming the first player to be permanently banned from the league for using performance-enhancing drugs. This marks Mejía's third positive test for PED use in a single calendar year, after he failed a drug test in April 2015 and then another three months later. The Mets said in a statement they were "deeply disappointed" in Mejía, who can apply for reinstatement to the MLB in one year, but would have to sit out a minimum of two years before returning to major league action. Kimberly Alters

February 12, 2016
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

On Friday afternoon, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced the suspension of his campaign for president. Although, one could be forgiven forgetting he was even in the race — the long-shot Republican candidate's decision comes after dismal performances in both the New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucus, where he received the support of a measly 12 caucusgoers.

Gilmore's fellow GOP hopefuls Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina also dropped out of the race earlier this week after poor showings in New Hampshire.

And then there were six. Stephanie Talmadge

February 12, 2016
iStock

A Pennsylvania judge posted a sign outside his courtroom reminding citizens that pajama bottoms should not be worn in court. Judge Craig Long said that too many people have been appearing before him without bothering to put on a proper pair of pants. "We have a growing problem of people not dressing appropriately," Long said. "It's just there as a reminder." The Week Staff

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