Nigeria and Boko Haram ceasefire
The Nigerian government in west Africa announced a ceasefire with the Islamist Boko Haram group starting on Friday of last week.
It said that the rebels would now release the schoolgirls who they abducted in April.
However, it is vague about how advanced negotiations for the release are.
Neither the Nigerian army nor Boko Haram appear to be keeping to the ceasefire in the north east, where fighting has been most intense.
Catalan leaders back out of vote
The Catalan government in the Spanish state has cancelled a scheduled referendum on independence.
The referendum was being blocked by the Spanish state’s central governments and the courts.
But the Catalan government had planned to press on regardless.
That demand had been made by the left leaning Catalan Republican, which props up Catalan president Artur Mas’s right wing coalition. It now says, “Parliament must make an immediate declaration of independence.”
Russia promises not to back down
Russia has said it will not accept conditions in order to end US and European Union (EU) sanctions against it.
This followed a failed summit between the EU, Russia and Ukraine that was held in Italy last weekend.
There has been a shaky ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and separatists in the east since early September.
The West and Russia hit back at each other with sanctions.
The sanctions have been hitting Russia’s strategic industries.
But Russia cut off Ukraine’s gas in June, which is causing a mounting crisis.