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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared on Thursday that a referendum in 10 days on the future of a Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula would violate international law. The United States also moved to impose visa restrictions and financial sanctions on Russians and Ukrainians for the moves Moscow already has made into Crimea.
Speaking from the White House, Obama said any decisions on the future of Crimea, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine, must include the country’s new government.
“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the constitution and violate international law,” Obama said. “We are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.” Read the rest of this entry »
Under the pretext of “deterring Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the US Defense Department has announced plans to add several fighter jets to US aircraft squadrons based near Russian borders, in a move to embolden the Baltic states and Poland.
Following NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announcement that alliance officials would put “the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review,” Pentagon head, Chuck Hagel, outlined plans on Wednesday to broaden military cooperation with Poland and the Baltic states, without elaborating on the details.
An unnamed source told Reuters that the Pentagon plans to send six additional F-15 fighter jets, and a Boeing KC-135 refueling Stratotanker, to beef up the squadron of four F-15 currently flying air patrols over the Baltic states. NATO has been carrying out patrols in the Baltic states for the last 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has regained top spot as the richest man in the US and the world. His net worth is estimated at $76 billion, $4 billion higher than Mexican telecom mogul Carlos Slim, who topped the Forbes rich list for the past 4 years.
1. Bill Gates
Net Worth: $76 B
Source of wealth: Microsoft
4. Warren Buffett
Net Worth: $58.2 B
Source of wealth: Berkshire Hathaway
Now that Facebook is planning to acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, perhaps your head is swimming with questions. Among them: How can I also make billions of dollars by selling my mobile app to Facebook? As someone who writes about technology for a living and who’s definitely not a billionaire, I can’t answer that for you. But I can help with some other things you might want to know:
What is WhatsApp?
It’s a messaging app you can use in place of your wireless carrier’s regular texting service. You enter your phone number and WhatsApp looks through your contact list for other people who are using the app. Then you can message those users all you want without limits or overage charges. The app is available on many platforms and is free to download and has no ads, but it costs $1 per year after the first year.
How popular is it?
Right now, WhatsApp has more than 450 million active users — meaning they use the service at least once a month — compared to 1.23 billion for Facebook. Those users send 500 million pictures back and forth per day, about 150 million more than Facebook.
How much money is $19 billion in the startup world, exactly?
A lot. My colleague Harry McCracken put together a chart of big startup acquisitions, and WhatsApp is the biggest. Most deals don’t come anywhere close. Bigger companies tend to change hands for a lot more money, however. For instance, Comcast wants to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. Read the rest of this entry »
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders agreed to a truce following a meeting which focused on how to end the crisis in Ukraine peacefully, the president’s press office confirmed.
“Following the meeting, the parties announced: 1. Truce 2. The start of negotiations to end the bloodshed, to stabilize the situation in the country, for the sake of civil peace,” the press office stated.
The president met with the leader of the nationalist Svoboda opposition party, Oleg Tyagnibok, Batkivshchyna opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and UDAR party leader Vitaly Klitschko. Read the rest of this entry »
The passions at work in this picture from Ukraine’s parliament are all too real and all too dangerous
NEW DELHI — A lawmaker sprayed pepper spray inside India’s Parliament on Thursday, creating chaos that left his colleagues coughing and crying as they were ushered from the hall, in a protest over a long-contentious proposal to create a new southern state.
Lawmakers had been set to vote on whether to create Telangana state from the mostly poor, inland districts of Andhra Pradesh. For months as it has been drafted, the plan has inspired passionate protests and arguments for keeping the state unified. A key point of contention has been the proposal to include wealthy tech and industrial hub Hyderabad within Telangana.
Yeah, having your schoolwork posted on the fridge at home is cool. But having a video you made posted on the White House website and screened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? We think that’s pretty cool, too. That’s why White House is super-excited to announce the first-ever White House Student Film Festival: a video contest created just for K-12 students, and whose finalists will have their short films shown at the White House. Finalist videos may also be featured on the White House website, YouTube channel, and social media pages.
The whole world was amazed with fireworks, dancing and late-night reverie welcoming New year 2014 and now we need to continue our mirth and merriment to the whole year with remarkable achievements.
Dubai attempted to smash the fireworks world record as it ushered in 2014 with a bang, as a wave of pyrotechnics swept around the globe to celebrate the New Year.The Middle East hub was hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest-ever display, pledging to set off more than 400,000 fireworks. People crowded in the streets below took pictures on their mobile phones as the salvo lit up the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower at 830 metres high. Guinness World Record officials were on hand to measure the scale of Dubai’s event, which needed to be longer than five minutes to qualify. Kuwait set the record in 2011 with an hour-long blast of 77,282 fireworks.
Whatever is bright and beautiful, whatever means the most to you, whatever brings you happiness, and these are the things I wish for you and your family. HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014
You wouldn’t believe how the face of Kathmandu is changing over next three years, or at least has been proposed to change. Nepal government’s visionary plan of overhauling the capital’s ring road structure has kicked off already and it will be interesting to see fantastic changes in road infrastructure developments of the valley.
Eight lanes with a four-lane carriageway, two-way relief lane, two-way bicycle track and two –way pedestrian path with necessary bus bay, overhead bridge, parking and more; similar to roads of developed international cities in a nutshell. Read the rest of this entry »
Nelson Mandela, an Icon of Freedom, who carried South Africa out of apartheid and changed the world has died. The world has lost a great man. While grieving for Nelson Mandela we should also celebrate his tremendous victory over prejudice and hate
Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who served 27 years in prison for anti-apartheid activities and led his continent into a new era, has died at age 95.
South African President Jacob Zuma confirmed the news:
Born Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in Transkei, South Africa, the civil rights activist would become the linchpin in South Africans’ move to end the country’s notorious apartheid regime. The impact of his efforts — to reconcile generosity with pragmatism and to find the common ground between humanity’s higher values and his own aspiration to power, as journalist John Carlin once described them – would ultimately reach well beyond South Africa’s borders, and earn him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Prior to doing so, however, Mandela earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Fort Hare, during which time he was elected onto the Student’s Representative Council and suspended from college for joining in a protest boycott.