Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine continue to claim victories as they take over government buildings in the east of the country. Ukrainian officials issued an ultimatum to pro-Kremlin militias who have seized numerous buildings, but the deadline passed without any sign of the gunmen yielding their newfound gains.
King Juan Carlos of Spain has visited the United Arab Emirates on the first stop of a Gulf tour based on economic diplomacy. The King, accompanied by a ministerial delegation, as well as leading business figures including Real Madrid chairman, Florentino Perez, attended a session of the first UAE-Spain Economic Forum and the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Guinea-Bissau as held watershed elections for a new president and parliament. The elections are expected to usher in a new dawn of stability in a country plagued by drugs and upended by a military coup.
William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have arrived in New Zealand for a three week tour, which also includes a trip to Australia. The British royals greeted crowds, met with politicians, and toured the Omaka Aviation Hertage Centre with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, as well as taking to meet their baby son George to meet other young families.
Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has hosted the first state visit of an Irish president since the republic became independent. President Michael D Higgins visited Windsor for a banquet which also featured royalty and political leaders from around the world. The event was also controversially attended by former IRA commander Martin Guinness.
Parliamentary elections have started in Indonesia, where citizens have flocked to polling stations to vote in the country’s leader. The main opposition party is expected to see a boost in votes, with their popular candidate Joko Widodo thought likely to be announced the next president.
US secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, has met with Chinese minister of defense Chang Wanquan at the Chinese defense ministry headquarters in Beijing, China. Hagel is on the second stop of an Asian trip to Japan, China, and Mongolia.
Voting has started in India, as the national elections get underway – thought to be the largest election in the world, with 814m people eligible to vote. The frontrunner for the vote is the opposition Hindu nationalist group, led by Narendra Modi, which is expected to sweep aside the ruling Indian Congress Party, led by the famous Gandhi family.
Protesters in Greece have taken part in anti-austerity rallies following the approval of the next Greece bailout payment by Eurozone ministers. The first tranche of the $11.4bn installment will be paid at the end of April. More than 10,000 people gathered in Athens to demonstrate against the deal, which will require Greece to introduce a series of law reforms, putting services such as pharmacies under treat.
Election posters have been hung along Iraq’s city streets, and those eligible have collected their voter ID cards as the country gears up for the long-awaited general elections on 30 April. Campaigning for the election has opened, with prime minister Nuri Al Maliki bidding for a third term amid Iraq’s worst bloodshed for years.
Afghan presidential hopefuls have addressed crowds as the campaign to win votes ahead of elections on Saturday. The electorate will choose a successor to current president Hamid Karzai, and decide the make-up of 34 provincial councils in elections which are seen as a benchmark of progress since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001. Among the candidates are Abdullah Abdullah, Zalmai Rassoul, Ashraf Ghani, and five others
King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain joined tens for thousands of people for the state funeral of former Spanish prime minister Adolfo Suarez, who died on 23 March. The procession and ceremony in Madrid was attended by several other royals and political leaders from around the world. Suarez was Spain’s first democratically elected prime minister after the death of dictator General Franco, and is considered a key figure in the country’s transition to democracy.
Palestinian protesters have commemorated Land Day – the annual remembrance of expropriation of Palestinian land by the Israeli government in 1976. Palestinian’s marched through Jerusalem and other cities, often clashing with Israeli riot police.
US Marines and South Korean Marines have staged a joint landing operation at Pohang seashore in South Korea. The scale of this year’s joint exercise is thought to be the largest ever, and comes at a time South and North Korea have exchanged artillery fire across disputed maritime boundaries.
Students in Taiwan have renewed protests in Taipei, with tens of thousands of people turning out to voice their opposition to a controversial deal with China. The cross-strait service trade agreement has led to widespread protest across Taiwan, with the recent rally filling Ketagalan Boulevard, from the presidential office to the Legislature Yuan.