North Korea using 'multiple' techniques to defy UN sanctions, report says
North Korea is using sophisticated techniques to circumvent United Nations sanctions, including the suspected use of its embassies in Cuba and Singapore to facilitate an illegal weapons trade, according to a new U.N. report.
INVESTIGATORS CHASE 'EVERY ANGLE' IN MISSING JET
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Rescue helicopters and ships searching for a Malaysia Airlines jet rushed Monday to investigate a yellow object that looked like a life raft. It turned out to be moss-covered trash floating in the ocean, once again dashing hopes after more than two days of fruitless search for the plane that disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.
With no confirmation that the Boeing 777 had crashed, hundreds of distraught relatives waited anxiously for any news. Thai police and Interpol questioned the proprietors of a travel agency in the resort town of Pattaya that sold one-way tickets to two men now known to have been traveling on flight MH370 using stolen passports.
TOP LAWMAKER: RUSSIA WOULD WELCOME CRIMEA
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia rallied support Friday for a Crimean bid to secede from Ukraine, with Russia's top lawmaker assuring her Crimean counterpart that the region would be welcomed as "an absolutely equal subject of the Russian Federation." Across Red Square, 65,000 people waved Russian flags, chanting "Crimea is Russia!"
The strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine has become the flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine, where three months of protests sent President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing to Russia. Russia calls the new Ukrainian government illegitimate, and has seized control of Crimea, where it has a major naval base on the Black Sea.
Crimea's parliament votes in favor of leaving Ukraine for Russia, referendum scheduled
The parliament of the disputed Crimean Peninsula has voted in favor of leaving Ukraine to become part of Russia, with a referendum on endorsing the move to be held later this month.
The parliament, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78-0 with eight abstentions in favor of holding the referendum and joining Russia. Local voters will also be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.
DIPLOMATIC EXIT FOR UKRAINE? TALKS, $15B IN EU AID
PARIS (AP) -- The building blocks of a possible diplomatic solution in Ukraine emerged Wednesday as top Russian and Western officials tried to defuse one of Europe's worst crises since the Cold War. The European Union prepared a $15 billion aid package for Ukraine, and European and Ukrainian diplomats outlined ways that all sides could step back from the brink of a new global conflict.
Yet it all hinges on Russia, whose troops remain on Ukraine's strategic Crimean peninsula and which sees Ukraine as a crucial part of its geopolitical backyard. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov refused to meet his Ukrainian counterpart in a whirlwind day of talks in Paris on Wednesday, according to a top French diplomat.
PUTIN: RUSSIA HAS RIGHT TO USE FORCE IN UKRAINE
MOSCOW (AP) -- Accusing the West of encouraging an "unconstitutional coup" in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said Tuesday 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 just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukraine's new government.
Putin declared that Western actions were driving Ukraine into anarchy and warned that any sanctions the West places on Russia for its actions in Ukraine will backfire. Both the U.S. and the 28-nation European Union have raised the possibility of sanctions against Russia.
A COLD WAR REPRISE AS US SEEKS MOSCOW'S ISOLATION
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a sudden reprise of Cold War sensibilities, the U.S. and its allies are weighing sanctions on Moscow and whether to bolster defenses in Europe in response to Russia's military advances on Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry, soon on his way to Ukraine's capital, said world leaders "are prepared to go to the hilt in order to isolate Russia with respect to this invasion."
Knife-wielding mob kills 27 at China train station
At least 27 people were killed and 109 wounded when a group of people armed with knives stormed a railway station in the southwest Chinese city of Kunming, authorities said, according to state news agency Xinhua.
It was an organized, premeditated terrorist attack, authorities told the news agency. No motive has been provided.
Yang Haifei, a resident of Yunnan, told Xinhua he was buying a ticket when a group of people, most of them in black, rushed into the station and started attacking others.
UKRAINE SAYS RUSSIAN TRIES TO SEIZE AIRPORTS, BASE
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine accused Russia of a "military invasion and occupation" on Friday, 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.
RUSSIA REPORTEDLY SHELTERING UKRAINE'S PRESIDENT
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- 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.
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