KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Shelling killed six people and wounded 15 others in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, the city council said Monday — the worst reported violence since a cease-fire between Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian troops took effect on Sept. 5.
Nonetheless, the cease-fire deal has brought some normalcy to parts of eastern Ukraine and allowed prisoners on both sides to go home.
Another 73 Ukrainian soldiers were freed Sunday night in an exchange with the rebels, Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, said Monday. Donetsk rebel leader Andrei Purgin was quoted by Interfax news agency as confirming that 73 rebels had been released in return. It was the largest reported prisoner exchange amid the fighting that began in mid-April.
Fighting around Donetsk's government-held airport has left many northern neighborhoods in the crossfire. Over the weekend, Ukraine said its troops repelled an attack of 200 rebel fighters, but suffered no military casualties.
Two northern neighborhoods in Donetsk were shelled heavily Sunday, leading to the casualties and damaging both homes and offices, the city council said.
While the neighborhoods hit by shelling are under the control of the rebels, the Ukrainian government blamed the militants for the civilian casualties.
"Neither today nor yesterday nor in the previous days did Ukrainian forces shell any residential areas and settlements," Lysenko said in Kiev on Monday.
Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, who are overseeing the implementation of the cease-fire, said Sunday they were 200 meters (650 feet) away as four shells burst in Donetsk. The team saw one woman lying on the ground.
The first civilian casualties in Donetsk underscore how fragile the peace may be. Both sides have made it clear that they are rearming in case the fighting starts anew.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey told Channel Five that the delivery of weapons from NATO countries, agreed upon earlier this month, was "underway." Those comments were also made by another senior official but later denied by four of the five NATO countries he had mentioned.
On Monday, Poland's Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said while Poland is not currently selling arms to Ukraine, an arms deal will be the theme of talks when Heletey visits Warsaw this month. He offered no date for the visit.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine began a month after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March. It has claimed at least 3,000 civilian lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee, according to the U.N.
Monika Scislowska in Warsaw, Poland, also contributed.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Daniele Watts, who appeared in "Django Unchained," is complaining that she was handcuffed and briefly put in the back of a squad car after a public display of affection with her white companion.
Brian Lucas told KCBS-TV in a joint interview with Watts that he suspects police mistook the black actress for a prostitute "because he was asking me questions like, 'Who is she? How do you know her? Are you together?"
The Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday that officers detained the pair after a complaint that two people were "involved in indecent exposure" in a silver Mercedes. Watts was detained until police determined no crime was committed.
Watts told the station that she and Lucas were embracing in the car Thursday when police showed up. The station said the two have been dating for the past year.
"I knew that the clearest thing for me to do was to own my right as a free person and say, 'I haven't done anything wrong and I know I'm not required to give you my ID,'" she said.
Watts said she walked away and another officer put her in handcuffs and into the back of a patrol car. She was let go after police identified her.
"I don't have to feel ashamed for being who I am and that's really where the tears were coming from," Watts said, referring to a cellphone video of her in the incident.
Police said an internal investigation has been launched.
Representatives for Watts did not return calls and emails seeking comment.
NEW YORK (AP) — Do you leave a tip in your hotel room for the maid? Marriott is launching a program with Maria Shriver to put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping.
The campaign, called "The Envelope Please," begins this week. Envelopes will be placed in 160,000 rooms in the U.S. and Canada. Some 750 to 1,000 hotels will participate from Marriott brands like Courtyard, Residence Inn, J.W. Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance hotels.
The name of the person who cleans the room will be written on the envelope along with a message: "Our caring room attendants enjoyed making your stay warm and comfortable. Please feel free to leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for their efforts."
Shriver, who founded an organization called A Woman's Nation that aims to empower women, says many travelers don't realize tipping hotel room attendants is customary. "There's a huge education of the traveler that needs to occur," she said. "If you tell them, they ask, 'How do I do that?'" She said envelopes make it easy for guests to leave cash for the right person in a secure way.
So how much should you leave? Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson says $1 to $5 per night, depending on room rate, with more for a high-priced suite.
Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, says his research shows that "30 percent of people stiff the maid," while 70 percent said they usually leave a tip.
Sorenson noted that housekeepers "are less frequently tipped" than other hotel workers because they do an "invisible task." In contrast, workers who carry bags, hail cabs and park cars tend to get tipped because they "make a personal connection" with guests, he said.
Rosario Rodriguez, who works as a housekeeper at Marriott's Times Square hotel, says many guests don't tip and welcomes the envelope campaign as "a good idea."
Jessica Lynn Strosky of DuBois, Pennsylvania, who earns $7.75 an hour cleaning rooms at a hotel that's not a Marriott, says only 1 in 15 or 20 guests leaves a tip. When they do, it's a dollar or two; she's lucky to get $20 a week in tips. "I've talked to lots of people who say they don't know they are supposed to tip," she said.
Unlike waitresses who earn less than minimum wage because tips are expected to raise their earnings, hotel housekeepers are paid minimum wage, and in expensive markets, substantially more. In Washington D.C., Sorenson said, Marriott housekeepers start in the mid-teens per hour.
Not everyone applauds the envelope concept. "It is not Marriott's responsibility to remind customers to tip; it's their responsibility to pay their workers enough so that tips aren't necessary," said author Barbara Ehrenreich, who tried working as a hotel maid for her 2001 book "Nickel and Dimed," which chronicled her experiences in low-wage jobs.
But Scott Lazerson, 42, who lives in Sundance, Utah, said he "had no idea" tipping was customary until his wife told him on a recent trip to Orlando. He said he "feels stupid" for not knowing all these years, and added: "Yes, the hotel industry needs to do a campaign about it."
POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials say one of two wildfires threatening homes in California grew by hundreds of acres overnight.
The fire about 60 miles east of Sacramento has forced the evacuation of 133 homes. It grew by about 900 acres overnight to 3,900 acres, or a little more than 6 square miles. It was 10 percent contained.
A second fire, meanwhile, near a foothill community south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park in central California prompted authorities to evacuate about 1,000 residents out of about 400 homes.
Flames damaged or destroyed 21 structures after the fire began on Sunday afternoon. It was 20 percent contained.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A baby born to a woman fatally wounded by a stray bullet while sitting outside her home has died, police said Monday.
Megan Doto, 25, whose due date was next month, was struck in the face late Sunday morning by a bullet that had traveled several hundred yards down the street, police Capt. Steven Murianka said.
The woman was pronounced dead early Sunday afternoon after being rushed to Temple University Hospital, where doctors were able to deliver the baby by emergency Caesarean section, authorities said.
The child died about 13 hours after her mother, police said.
Doto had written on her Facebook page that the baby was due next month and she was planning on naming the boy Carmine Joseph.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey expressed outrage.
"These guys don't care about daylight, they don't care about it being a Sunday, they don't care how beautiful the weather," Ramsey told radio station KYW. "They're just evil thugs and they will do whatever, whenever they can."
Police did not have any suspects.
"A young girl that's about to have a baby and all of a sudden stuff like this happens," the victim's former landlord, Hector Rosado, told WPVI-TV. "It's very bad, she was a nice girl."