Snowden, super spy. Edward Snowden is back in the news, making grandiose claims about his own importance. During an interview with Brian Williams for NBC News, the man responsible for leaking thousands of pages of classified documents to the media said he was far more than a lowly CIA analyst, as the government would have us believe. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said. And by overseas, he means Hawaii. Secretary of State John Kerry scoffed at Snowden’s claims, telling him to “man-up”and come home to face the charges against him. Snowden has been hiding in Russia for almost a year. He claims he has to stay there because the United States revoked his passport. “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all,”Kerry said on NBC’s Today show.
State of war. Ukraine’s newly elected president has come into office with a roar, vowing to crush the pro-Russian separatists who have created havoc in the country’s eastern regions. “We are in a state of war in the east,”Petro Poroshenko said. “Crimea is occupied by Russia, and there is great instability. We must react. The anti-terrorist operation has finally begun in earnest. We will no longer permit these terrorists to kidnap and shoot people, occupy buildings, or suspend the law. We will put an end to these horrors—a real war is being waged against our country.” Government forces killed about 50 separatists who tried to take over the airport in Donetsk. But the separatists aren’t giving up. They staged a rally today, claiming “Kiev does not rule us any more.”
Military healthcare. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of the military’s healthcare system to make sure it’s not plagued by the same problems creating a scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Though the announcement came just hours after the Army removed a hospital chief over two unexplained deaths, an Army spokesman said that had nothing to do with the review. The Army replaced Col. Steven J. Brewster as head of the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., after two patients visited the emergency room and unexpectedly died.
Short life. Hope and Faith, the rare conjoined twins born two weeks ago in Australia, have died. Despite doctor’s urging them to abort the girls, parents Renee Young and Simon Howie refused. The twins had a very rare condition called disrosopus, meaning they had separate brains and faces but shared the same body. Most babies with disrosopus don’t live past birth.
Fashion advice. A group of women in Qatar are trying to crack down on tourists’immodest dress with a grass-roots PR campaign designed to show what is inappropriate to wear in the conservative Muslim state. On the list: sleeveless dresses, shorts, tank tops, and leggings. Customs officials will hand visitors flyers with helpful stick figure drawings when they arrive at the airport.