The Islamic State group said in a video Saturday it had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, drawing outrage from Tokyo and condemnation from Washington. Japanese journalist Kenji Goto is seen kneeling next to a standing masked man who speaks with a British accent and blames the Japanese government for his "slaughter". The executioner, who is standing against a mountainous background, addresses Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, saying the murder of Goto would mark the beginning of "the nightmare for Japan". Goto's killing, he said, was the result of "reckless" decisions by the Japanese government.
Peace talks aimed at halting rising bloodshed in eastern Ukraine ended in failure Saturday, with Kiev's envoy saying pro-Russian separatists wrecked a deal by refusing to discuss an immediate ceasefire. The delayed talks in Minsk were "thwarted" after top rebel leaders stayed away and their negotiators also refused to discuss withdrawing heavy weapons, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told Interfax Ukraine news agency. The negotiator for the rebel Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, however, blamed Kiev for causing the collapse of the talks and said insurgent leaders would only agree a deal if Kiev's forces halt fire first.