UKRAINE: With an OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) military observer mission en route to Crimea, Ukrainian military leaders are charging that Russia is trying to hide its approximately 16,000 troops there from the eyes of the international monitoring community.
European and U.S. officials are rushing aid to Ukraine to bolster the independent government, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet today with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
Paul Manafort, a veteran American political consultant and “experienced political mercenary,” was last seen whispering in the ear of just-deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
SYRIA: Al-Raqqa is the only province in Syria under total rebel control—and at last count was easily 10 percent Christian. But the lead rebel group, the Islam State in Iraq and Syria, is Talibanizing the place, banning cigarettes and music. Separate bakeries have been set up for men and women. Young girls are subjected to forced marriages, and women who do not wear the veil have been executed. This video tells the story of what’s happening in Al-Raqqa.
IRAN: Surgery for jailed pastor Behnam Irani “was successful,” and Irani has returned to Ghezat Hesar Prison, where he is serving an extended prison sentence for “crimes against national security.” Irani’s surgery was necessary to treat internal injuries sustained from prison beatings, and he has come close to death.
SOUTH AFRICA: It’s not going well for Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius in the courtroom in Pretoria.
KENYA: The best supporting actress win for Lupita Nyong’o gives Kenyans a reason to celebrate.