One of Northern Ireland's largest paramilitary groups has completely disarmed itself, marking a milestone in the troubled region's peace process.
Tensions have lowered since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement
The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) is the largest and last loyalist paramilitary group to lay down its arms after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which largely put an end to three decades of violence in the region.
"Today the leadership of the Ulster Defence Association can confirm that all weaponry under its control has been put verifiably beyond use," said UDA political representative Frankie Gallagher.
The disarmament was verified by two independent witnesses, the former Church of Ireland primate, Robin Eames, and the former chairman of the Ulster Bank, George Quigley. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen welcomed the UDA's announcement as "a further significant milestone in the peace process."
The loyalist Protestant UDA was responsible for about 400 murders between 1971 and 2001 in its fight with the Catholic Irish Republican Army, who wanted Northern Ireland to merge with the Republic of Ireland in the south.
Editor: Trinity Hartman
The Ukrainian crisis summit in Geneva has produced a peace plan. Gunther Krichbaum, chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, welcomes the agreement, but doesn’t view it as a breakthrough.
Edward Snowden has written a response to the criticism over his question on mass surveillance put to Russian President Vladimir Putin on state television, saying he wanted to start a debate, not assist the Kremlin.
A leader among pro-Russian activists occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine has said his side will not move until Kyiv's interim government steps down. This follows a de-escalation agreement made in Geneva.
Christians are celebrating Good Friday in honor of the crucifixion of Jesus. In the Philippines, nine men were nailed to crosses in a bloody annual spectacle before thousands of onlookers.