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Chile's Quake, Maduro's "Call For Peace," Ivy League Jackpot

Chile declared three northern regions as disaster areas early Wednesday.
Chile declared three northern regions as disaster areas early Wednesday.

Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk told investors at a conference this morning that the government “would like to hold negotiations on Ukrainian-Russian relations and we think that our foreign ministers should meet as soon as possible," Voice of Russia reports. He named bilateral trade and energy as topics that should be discussed between Kiev and Moscow.

  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry described NATO’s decision to suspend its co-operation with the country as one that creates a sense of "deja vu", adding that "the language of the statements rather resembles the verbal jousting of the "Cold War" era," Reuters quotes a spokesman as saying.

  • The European Union will provide Kiev with $1.2 billion by June, news agency Interfax quotes a senior official as saying. This comes after the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a $1 billion aid package, which includes $100 million to boost “security cooperation among the United States, European Union and countries in central and eastern Europe.” Read more from AP.

A powerful quake of 8.2 magnitude struck off the northern Chilean coast yesterday evening, killing at least 5 people, newspaper El Mercurio reports. The tremor triggered a tsunami alert in the region, as well as in Peru, forcing the evacuation of what some have estimated as up to one million people. The alert was later cancelled in most areas, although it remains in place in Hawaii, according to local daily The Star Adviser. The extent of the damage is still unknown but Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

Some 80 leaders of African and EU countries are meeting in Brussels for a key summit expected to focus on the ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic, AFP reports. This comes after the European Union sent a 1,000-troop mission to assist the 6,000 African Union force and the 2,000 French soldiers deployed in the violence-ridden country. According to the UN's refugee agency UNHCR, some 16,000 people were forced to flee from the capital city of Bangui over the past week.

In an op-ed forThe New York Times, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls for “peace and dialogue to move forward” after the deadly protests that have been shaking his country since mid-February. Maduro also uses the newspaper column to slam what he describes as the U.S. government’s hypocrisy, saying Washington “is on the side of the 1 percent who wish to drag our country back to when the 99 percent were shut out of political life and only the few — including American companies — benefited from Venezuela’s oil.”

Brice Pedroletti, Le Monde’s correspondent in Beijing, profiles China’s Xi Jinping a year into his reign: “Leading the new values promoted by Xi Jinping is frugality, which has become a strict obligation for senior officials who are forbidden from going to banquets and private clubs. For instance, “Xi Dada”, or “Uncle Xi,” as some Internet users like to call him, went to a cheap restaurant in Beijing in December, ordering only 21 yuan (around $3.40) worth of fritters, to the great surprise of the other customers…”
Read the full Le Monde/Worldcrunch article: A Different China? The Extra-Large Ambitions Of Mr. Xi

At least six people have died at a scrap metal warehouse in Thailand’s capital Bangkok after a 500 pound bomb from World War II exploded, destroying the building and setting it ablaze, The Bangkok Postreports.

Authorities in the Washington state announced that the death toll of the mudslide that destroyed a small town on March 22 now stands at 28, while the number of people still missing dropped to 20,USA Todayreports. About 30% of the search area is still under 80 feet of mud and impossible to access. According to The Daily Herald, preliminary assessments by state and federal authorities calculated that the mudslide and the subsequent flooding have caused at least $32 million in damage to public infrastructure.

This Long Island teenager has quite a choice to make ...


- Frankie Knuckles, "Godfather of House Music," has died at 59. Rolling Stone has the details.
- Charles Keating, key figure in the 1980s savings and loan crisis, dies at 90. Read more from the New York Times

North Korea has released a new logo to mark the first anniversary of its space agency, and it’s… well… inspired, to say the least.

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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