Pope Prays for Ukraine's Dead, Urges Dialogue

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has called for "constructive dialogue" between Ukraine's authorities and its people, urging all to renounce violence in the upheaval convulsing their country.

Speaking from a window of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican to thousands of faithful in St. Peter's Square, Francis said he was praying for Ukraine, especially for those who have lost their lives in recent days. He appealed on Sunday for "the spirit of peace and the search for the common good" to prevail in the eastern European nation.

Weeks of protests have escalated into violent clashes between police and demonstrators angry that the government didn't sign a deal to bring it closer to the European Union and accepted Russian aid instead.

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Ukrainian Minister Threatens State of Emergency

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's justice minister is threatening to call for a state of emergency unless protesters leave the ministry building that they occupied during the night.

The seizure of the building early Monday underlined how anti-government demonstrators are increasingly willing to take dramatic actions as they push for the president's resignation and other demands. Protesters now occupy four sizable buildings in downtown Kiev, including the city hall.

Justice Minister Elena Lukash said early Monday that she would ask the national security council to impose a state of emergency if the protesters don't quit the building. But she did not specify a deadline for leaving.

Imposing a state of emergency likely would cause anger to spike among protesters, who have clashed with police repeatedly over the past week. Three protesters have died.

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