World Bulletin / News Desk
Ukraine's parliament will reconvene for an extra session on Monday, the chamber said, in a move which could lead to a contentious bill to make Russian the official languagein parts of the former Soviet republic being signed into law.
President Viktor Yanukovich's Party of the Regions rushed the bill through parliament this month using a procedural trick, in what opponents saw as an attempt to rally public support in Russian-speaking regions ahead of an October parliamentary election.
But the move backfired as hundreds of protesters poured on to the streets of Kiev and clashed with riot police.
Parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn refused to sign the bill, a step needed before Yanukovich could sign it into law. The chamber then went into recess until September.
At the extra session, announced late on Thursday, the Party of the Regions will have another opportunity to get Lytvyn to sign the bill, or parliament - dominated by Yanukovich's party and their allies - could elect a new speaker.
Yanukovich has not said whether he would sign the bill into law.
While Ukrainian is the only state language, the bill would make Russian an official regional languagein predominantly Russian-speaking areas in the industrialised east and southern regions such as Crimea where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.
On Friday, opponents of the bill staged small protests in several cities wearing Guy Fawkes masks, Ukrainian media said.
In Ivano-Frankivsk, demonstrators tried to put a sign reading "Office of the traitors of Ukraine's interests" next to the local Party of the Regions office, but were stopped by party officials, Interfax news agency said.
Activists, who say the bill is a ploy to win back voters in areas alienated by the cash-strapped government's economic policies, have threatened to stage further protests if it becomes law.
Knut Vollebaek, the head of minorities' rights at the Organization for Security and Cooperation inEurope, urged Ukraine this week to seek compromise on the issue rather than pass the bill in its current form.
Shelling comes amid ongoing campaign to wrest war-battered city from ISIL
According to Rami Hamdallah, Israeli PM Netanyahu is only 'trying to buy time'
'The agreement will allow Sudan to build in the future a nuclear plant to generate nuclear energy for peaceful use,' Sudanese electricity ministry says
A US surveillance plane had its transponders turned off during anincident near the Russian border
Britain has granted refugee status to former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed who was imprisoned in 2015 after a trial that drew international criticism
Police have lifted a number of blockades but a number of French regions have resorted to imposing fuel restrictions per vehicle.
Police claim operation to transfer thousands of people will be smooth and gradual
EIB eyes increasing its contributions to projects aimed at mitigating refugee crisis
Ukrainian leader Petro Porochenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel along with France's Hollande and Russia's Putin also call for an immediate cessation of hostilities in the eastern Ukraine
State Dept. does not support group's desire for semi-autonomous zones in northern Syria
Turkish presidential sources say Erdogan and Merkel agree to revisit thorny issue of anti-terror law reform
Interior Ministry reports a record increase in far-right violence, attacks against asylum centers
Azerbaijani president says 1 million 'have been forced to flee the places they were born' by Armenian actions
It took only 31,000 votes for Alexander Van der Bellen the "lesser evil" to beat far-right Norbert Hofer
'Our meeting is the message,' Pope Francis declares after meeting with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb
More than 60 heads of state and government with top NGOs gather in Istanbul, aiming to better keep conflicts from erupting and ensure legal retribution for those guilty of humanitarian crimes