SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Lawmakers in Crimea declared their intention today to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to decide the fate of the disputed peninsula. Russia’s parliament, clearly savoring the action, introduced a bill intended to make this happen.
PRETORIA, South Africa — As the girlfriend he shot lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified today at the double-amputee runner’s murder trial.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — They may look like guts stuffed in cellophane, but five fish hauled up from near-record depths off the coast of New Zealand are providing scientists with new insights into how deep fish can survive.
KIEV, Ukraine — Russian and Ukrainian officials dug in on their armed standoff over the strategic Crimean peninsula today, with the new head of national security for Ukraine saying the Kremlin needed to acknowledge the failure of its “blitzkrieg” against the southern territory and Russia’s foreign minister insisting Moscow isn’t calling the shots there.
LONDON — Just try sugar-coating this: The World Health Organization says your daily sugar intake should be just 5 percent of your total calories — half of what the agency previously recommended, according to new draft guidelines published Wednesday.
MOSCOW — Accusing the West of encouraging an “unconstitutional coup” in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said today that Moscow reserves the right to use its military to protect Russians there but voiced hope it won’t need to do so. The Russian leader’s first comments on Ukraine since its fugitive president fled to Russia came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukraine’s new government.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Ukraine accused Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” today, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula. Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe’s largest countries.
ISLAMABAD — A group of Baluch activists are finishing a nearly 1,900-mile protest march across Pakistan, demonstrating in the capital today to demand justice for missing loved ones they say security forces abducted while battling insurgents.
BEIJING — The outgoing U.S. ambassador to China urged Beijing today to respect the rights of peaceful political activists and said Washington was deeply concerned about the fate of a minority scholar charged with separatism.
KIEV, Ukraine — Russia scrambled fighter jets to patrol its border and reportedly gave shelter to Ukraine’s fugitive president as pro-Russian gunmen stormed offices of Ukraine’s strategic region, deepening the crisis for the new Ukrainian government even as it was being formed.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian army troops killed 175 rebels in an ambush today south of Damascus, state media reported, a major attack targeting mostly al-Qaida-linked fighters as part of a government effort to secure the capital.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators in Ukraine’s strategic Crimea region today as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered massive military exercises just across the border.
DAMATURU, Nigeria — Yobe state governor’s spokesman says soldiers guarding a checkpoint near a government school mysteriously withdrew hours before a pre-dawn attack in which suspected Islamic extremists killed at least 29 students.
KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan newspaper published a list today of what it called the country’s “200 top” homosexuals, outing some Ugandans who previously had not identified themselves as gay one day after the president enacted a harsh anti-gay law.