“The crisis in Yarmouk is unfolding as new UN documents appear to support a widespread opposition claim that the regime of President Assad is using starvation tactics as a weapon of war.”

Ukraine crisis: Geneva deal hangs by a thread as five people die in Slavyansk

The tentative Geneva deal to resolve the Ukraine crisis is hanging by a thread after as many as five people were killed in a gun battle near the volatile eastern town of Slavyansk early on Sunday.

An Easter truce declared by the authorities in Kiev was rudely shattered after two groups opened fire on each other overnight. Full story

Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea ferry disaster: third mate ‘steering in tricky waters for first time’

The South Korean ferry that sank off the country’s coast on Wednesday was being steered by an inexperienced officer who was navigating the area, which is notorious for its fast currents, for the first time.

The revelation lends weight to the theory that a series of errors by senior crew members caused the Sewol to list and capsize. Full story

MH370 flight recorders search to be completed within seven days

The underwater search for the flight recorders from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could be completed in five to seven days, Australian officials said on Saturday.

The huge international search-and-rescue effort for any physical evidence of the plane’s wreckage, now in its seventh week, had so far proved fruitless. Full story 

Ferry captain says evacuation was delayed for lack of rescue ships

The arrested captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized with 476 people on board said on Saturday he had delayed evacuating the ship because of the sea conditions and the absence of rescue ships.

Lee Joon-seok and two of his crew were taken into police custody in the early hours of the morning, charged with negligence and failing to secure the safety of passengers in violation of maritime law.

A prosecutor said the third mate who was steering the ferry at the time of the accident was navigating those waters for the first time. Full story

Pictured: Journalists question Lee Joon-seok as he walks out of the court in Mokpo. Photograph: Yonhap/Reuters

Syrian rebels warn of potential Homs massacre as regime troops advance

Syrian government forces stepped up efforts to advance on opposition areas of the central city of Homs on Thursday amid warnings of a potential massacre following months of siege and starvation.

But reports from the scene described rebels clinging to their positions despite tank shelling, sniper fire and air strikes mounted to help government troops recapture several enclaves in the old city. Full story

Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Mount Everest avalanche leaves at least six Nepalese climbers dead

An avalanche on Mount Everest early on Friday has killed at least six local climbers and left several others injured. 

Nine climbers are still missing, according to local authorities, and the death toll appears likely to rise in coming hours. Four bodies have so far been recovered, local police officials said. Full story 

Ukraine talks ‘reach deal’ on defusing crisis - live coverage

The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.

– Geneva joint statement.

Follow the latest developments

Photo: Imago/Barcroft Media

Ethiopian government cancels anti-gay rally

A planned anti-gay rally in Ethiopia has been cancelled by the government, according to officials.

In addition, a plan by the legislature to add gay sex to a list of crimes ineligible for presidential pardons has been dropped, according to Redwan Hussein, an Ethiopian government spokesman. Full story

Photo: Stringer/Mexico/Reuters