Part of the Shejaia neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City which witnesses said was heavily hit by Israeli shelling and air strikes during the Israeli offensive. Photograph: Reuters/Suhaib Salem

Israel and the Palestinians last night agreed to a 72-hour truce in the Gaza Strip to start this morning, the latest effort to end four weeks of fi(...)

Pro-Russian militants from the ‘Vostok’ (East) arrive to the regional administration building in Donetsk yesterday. Photograph: Jakub Kaminski/EPA

The US expressed new concerns about rising violence in eastern Ukraine, including the downing of a military helicopter by pro-Russian rebels battling (...)

Kidnapped schoolgirls are seen at an unknown location in this still image taken from an undated video released by Nigerian Islamist rebel group Boko Haram. The leader of the Nigerian Islamist rebel group Boko Haram has offered to release more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by his fighters last month in exchange for prisoners, according to a video seen on YouTube. Photograph: Reuters

Nigeria’s government said today the “window of negotiation” is open with Boko Haram rebels who abducted more than 200 girls a month ago from their s(...)

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended peace talks with the Palestinians yesterday in response to president Mahmoud Abbas’s unity agreement with Hamas Islamists. Photograph: Gali Tibbon/Reuters

The United States said today the Israeli-Palestinian peace process had come to a standstill, all but acknowledging US secretary of state John K(...)

The self-declared separatist mayor of Slaviansk has told reporters  that Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky (above) had been detained for reporting what he said was false information that was “destabilising for us”, but that he was being treated well. Photograph: Vice News

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine last night confirmed they are detaining a US journalist working with Vice News. The self-decla(...)

A man, affected by what activists say was a gas attack, in a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama on April 12th last. Photograph: Reuters/Stringer

The United States has indications that a toxic chemical, probably chlorine, was used in Syria this month and is examining whether the Syrian g(...)

A mural of the  map of Crimea filled in with the Russian national colours on a street in Moscow in recent days.  Photograph: Artur Bainozarov/Reuters

Nato is to meet today to seek ways to further ease tensions with Russia over Ukraine a day after President Vladimir Putin began withdrawing for(...)

A man puts up a poster calling on Crimea residents to vote in favour of the Ukrainian peninsular joining the Russian federation, at a highway outside of Simferopol today. The poster reads, ‘Together with Russia. March 16 - referendum’. Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

Russian responses to US proposals to end the Ukraine crisis do not create the environment for a diplomatic resolution, the United States said (...)

A man puts up a wreath outside Kunming railway station after the knife attack on Saturday that killed 29 civilians and left scores injured. Photograph: Wong Campion/Reuters

Chinese police have captured the remaining three suspects in Saturday’s knife attack on a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming tha(...)

Pro-Russian protesters in a show of defiance during a takeover of the regional parliament building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk yesterday. Photograph: The New York Times

Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine places it “on the wrong side of history”, US president Barack Obama has said, as Washington, Nato and the(...)