KIEV, Ukraine

Attacks leave 11 dead and violate Ukraine cease-fire

A cease-fire in eastern Ukraine appeared to break down Tuesday when a rebel attack on a military helicopter killed nine people and a separate assault killed two soldiers, even as Russian President Vladimir Putin took steps to support the neighboring country’s tenuous peace process.

Putin asked parliament to revoke his legal authority to invade Ukraine. He also said he supports the continuation of the cease-fire and direct negotiations between the Kiev government and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

But both sides traded accusations Tuesday that the other had violated the truce, and the downing of the helicopter near the rebel-held city of Slovyansk dashed hopes for peace a day after the first talks between the warring parties.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a statement after the helicopter downing that he may end the cease-fire early and that he had ordered military leaders to open fire in response to any attack.

The truce is set to expire 3:00 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

JACKSON, Miss.

Employee cleared of asking injured girl to leave KFC

Fried chicken chain KFC said two different investigations have not found any evidence that an employee asked a 3-year-old girl and family members to leave because injuries she suffered in a pit bull mauling disturbed customers.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard said Tuesday the company considered the matter closed after an internal investigation by the franchise restaurant in Jackson and an independent probe. Maynard said the company would honor its commitment to donate $30,000 to help with medical bills for Victoria Wilcher.

“Like the rest of America, the KFC family has been moved by the story of Victoria’s injuries and recovery,” Maynard said. “We hope everyone keeps Victoria in their thoughts and prayers. She will certainly be in ours.”

Allegations that Victoria was asked to leave the restaurant were made earlier this month on the Facebook site Victoria’s Victories, which has followed her recovery from the April attack.