Friday, March 07, 2014

Putin Rebuffs International Warnings


Top News: Vladimir Putin rebuffed calls from the international community to pullback troops from Crimea, saying Russia had to protect native Russian speakers in Ukraine. A Ukrainian official reported that there are now 30,000 Russian troops in the region, though Putin continues to deny that the unidentified soldiers are Russian forces.
Putin's latest moves come as the Ukrainian interim prime minster warned Crimean MPs against a secession vote. Arseniy has called the vote, which is scheduled for March 16, "illegitimate." The referendum has been supported by the Russian parliament.
Jordan: Secretary of State John Kerry met with Jordan's King Abdullah II to discuss the peace process. Kerry hopes to present a framework for an agreement between Israel and Palestine authorities by the end of April. Any proposal centers on a security plan in the Jordan Valley.

  • Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced to five years in jail on sodomy charges after a court overturned his previous acquittal.
  • China expressed "deep concern" after a North Korean ballistic missile crossed paths with a Chinese civilian airplane.
  • An explosion on board an Indian naval vessel killed one officer after the blast led to a toxic gas leak.
Middle East
  • A son of former Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, has been extradited from Niger and is in custody in Tripoli.
  • Activists report that at least 17 rebels were killed in a battle with Syrian government troops near the Lebanese border.
  • Al Qaeda militants killed a man in Yemen for allegedly providing information necessary to carry out U.S. drone strikes.
  • The International Criminal Court convicted Congo militia leader Germain Katanga of war crimes.
  • A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius testified at his murder trial that Pistorius regularly carried a gun.
  • Four Nigerian men were convicted of gay sex in an Islamic court in the northern city of Bauchi.
  • Less than two weeks after the Winter Olympics ended, the Paralympics begin tonight in Sochi.
  • The new Ukrainian leadership has reached out to oligarchs in the country's east, traditionally Moscow loyalists, for help.
  • Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube after a series of anonymous postings allegedly exposing executive corruption.
  • A solder and a motorcyclist died in Caracas, bringing the death toll from almost a month of political unrest to 20.
  • Cuba has agreed to begin talks with the European Union on restoring bilateral relations.
  • Venezuela expelled Panama's ambassador and three other diplomats amid continued street demonstrations.

-By Jake Scobey-Thal

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