Nigerian president vows to 'conquer' terrorists as US weighs additional aid
Nigeria's president vowed Thursday to find 276 schoolgirls abducted by Islamic terrorists and counter threats from militant group Boko Haram, as U.S. officials and agents arrived in Nigeria to assist in rescue efforts.
"By God's grace we will conquer the terrorists." President Goodluck Jonathan said at the World Economic Forum in the capital, Abuja, thanking the U.S., Britain, France and other nations for supporting the rescue mission, Reuters reported.
Pro-Russian separatists to go ahead with eastern Ukraine referendum
The pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine decided Thursday to go ahead with Sunday's referendum on autonomy despite a call from Russian President Vladimir Putin to delay it.
While Putin's call on Wednesday to postpone the vote was seen as part of an effort to step back from confrontation and negotiate a deal with the West, he fueled tensions again on Thursday by overseeing military exercises that Russian news agencies said simulated a massive retaliatory nuclear strike in response to an enemy attack.
Nigeria's prosperity, terror problems in world's spotlight
As the world's top economists gather in Nigeria's capital of Abuja, the focus is suddenly not on the oil-rich nation's booming economy, but its bloody battle with the Islamic terror group Boko Haram.
The World Economic Forum on Africa is slated to begin on Wednesday in the Nigerian capital, where global finance bigwigs will no doubt toast the nation's new status as Africa's top economy. But the three-day session comes as Boko Haram is garnering international headlines with the ongoing kidnappings of schoolgirls and grim taunting of the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.
IRAN ADMIRAL: US SHIPS ARE A TARGET IN CASE OF WAR
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran will target American aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf should a war between the two countries ever break out, the naval chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Tuesday as the country completes work on a large-scale mock-up of a U.S. carrier.
The remarks by Adm. Ali Fadavi, who heads the hard-line Guard's naval forces, were a marked contrast to moderate President Hassan Rouhani's recent outreach policies toward the West - a reminder of the competing viewpoints that exist at the highest levels within the Islamic Republic.
At least 4 dead as Ukraine mounts offensive in Slovyansk, Odessa
Ukrainian forces were entrenched in deadly gun battles Monday against pro-Russian fighters in the eastern town of Slovyansk, and the government sent an elite national guard unit to the southern port city of Odessa, in the latest attempt to restore Kiev's control over the increasingly unstable region.
In Slovyansk, witnesses heard gunfire and several explosions as government troops faced off against some 800 pro-Russian insurgents, the Associated Press reported. The rebels are armed with large-caliber weapons and mortars.
UN calls emergency meeting after downed Ukrainian helicopters bring Kiev, Moscow to brink
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine – The United Nations called an emergency meeting of the Security Council Friday in a desperate effort to diffuse tensions in Ukraine after two helicopters were shot down and two crew members killed amid clashes with Russian separatists in the key eastern city of Slavyansk.
The meeting was called at Russia's request as the fresh violence erupted in Slovyansk, which has become the focus of an armed pro-Russian insurgency. But the Ukrainian offensive "effectively destroyed the last hope for the implementation of the Geneva agreements," which international observers had hoped might defuse the crisis, warned Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman.
'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW TESTED IN RECENT SHOOTINGS
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A Montana man is accused of setting a trap and blindly blasting a shotgun into his garage, killing a 17-year-old German exchange student. A Minnesota man is convicted of lying in wait in his basement for two teenagers and killing them during a break-in.
The two recent cases take the "stand your ground" debate to a new level: Do laws that allow private citizens to protect their property also let them set a trap and wait for someone to kill?
KIEV SAYS IT'S "HELPLESS" TO RESTORE ORDER IN EAST
HORLIVKA, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's police and security forces are "helpless" to quell unrest in two eastern regions bordering Russia, and in some cases are cooperating with pro-Russian gunmen who have seized scores of government buildings and taken people hostage, the country's acting president said Wednesday.
Oleksandr Turchynov said the goal now was to prevent the agitation from spreading to other territories.
"I will be frank: Today, security forces are unable to quickly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control," Turchynov said at a meeting with regional governors.
PROTESTERS SEIZE NEW BUILDING IN EASTERN UKRAINE
LUHANSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Protesters demanding more power for Ukraine's regions stormed the government building in Luhansk with baseball bats Tuesday, seizing control of a key site in one of the largest cities in Ukraine's troubled east.
The move further raises tensions in the east, where insurgents have seized city halls, police stations and other government buildings in at least 10 cities and towns.
US imposes new sanctions on Russian individuals, companies
The Obama administration took a shot at Vladimir Putin's close associates -- and perhaps the Russian president's own pockets -- by ratcheting up sanctions on officials and companies tied to him in a bid to compel Moscow to ease its intervention in eastern Ukraine.
U.S. congressional lawmakers, and even President Obama himself, have questioned whether new sanctions will have an impact. As he announced the package, Obama acknowledged that "we don't yet know whether it's going to work."
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