UKRAINE READY TO NEGOTIATE WITH RUSSIA
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.
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.
POWERFUL QUAKE OFF CHILE
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.
EU-AFRICA SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS
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.
MADURO’S “CALL FOR PEACE”
In an op-ed for The 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
SIX DEAD AS WWII BOMB EXPLODES IN BANGKOK
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 Post reports.
20 STILL MISSING AFTER WASHINGTON STATE MUDSLIDE
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.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8
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.