UKRAINE RIOT POLICE SUSPECTED OF ‘MASS MURDER’
Twelve members of Ukraine’s now disbanded Berkut riot police have been arrested on suspicion of “mass murder” during Kiev’s Independence Square protests in late February, where over 100 people were killed, Reuters quotes a spokesman for the general prosecutor as saying. But RT reminds readers that both protesters and riot police officers were killed by snipers during the last days of the Maidan protests. Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed to have evidence that the snipers were led by ultranationalist group Right Sector.
Ukrainian Security Service chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko later said that then-President Viktor Yanukovych had greenlighted the operation knowingly, an accusation he has repeatedly denied. Nalyvaychenko added that he believed a group of Russian Federal Security Service employees had also taken part in the planning of the operation. Read more from AFP.
Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov has demanded that NATO explain its decision to boost its defenses in Eastern Europe. “We are not only expecting answers, but answers that will be based fully on respect for the rules we agreed on,” Reuters quotes him as saying.
In an interview with AP, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych expressed his wish that Crimea one day becomes part of Ukraine again, calling its decision to join the Russian Federation “a tragedy.” As for the upcoming presidential election and constitutional reforms, he again expressed his distrust towards the new government. “You just need to recall how today’s leaders grabbed the power in Ukraine. There is and was no legitimacy or constitutionality here,” he said. Read more from The Kyiv Post.
CHILE HIT BY NEW EARTHQUAKE
The northern Chilean coast was shaken by another 7.6-magnitude quake last night, one day after a magnitude-8.2 tremor that killed at least six people and destroyed over 2,500 homes, national newspaper La Tercera reports. This aftershock, the most powerful of the 30 registered since yesterday, forced another massive evacuation. President Michelle Bachelet, who was visiting the region, was among those evacuated.
FOUR DEAD IN FORT HOOD SHOOTING
An Iraq war veteran believed to be plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder opened fire at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, killing three colleagues and injuring 16, before turning the gun on himself, CNN reports. An investigation has begun to find out what sparked Army Specialist Ivan Lopez’s shooting spree, and a senior military official told reporters “there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas.” In 2009, 13 soldiers had been killed in a similar event at the Texas military base. Read more from The New York Times.
MUSHARRAF CONVOY TARGETED BY EXPLOSION
A convoy carrying Pakistan’s ex-President Pervez Musharraf escaped a powerful explosion in the capital of Islamabad, just days after he was charged with treason. According to newspaperDawn, between four and six kilograms of explosive material were placed in a pipeline near a bridge, and the bomb went off just after the convoy passed. This was the fourth assassination attempt on the former ruler, the previous three having taken place while he was in office.
Le Monde’s David Revault d'Allonnes paints a portrait of Manuel Valls, the man chosen by French President François Hollande to lead a new government. A risky choice, for many reasons: "For a long time, the comparison to Nicolas Sarkozy exasperated Valls. These last few months, he accepted it much more willingly, his team even claiming to have traveled the country nearly 300 times, more than Sarkozy when he was Minister of the Interior. Call it the ‘bulldozer technique.’”
Read the whole article here: Manuel Valls: How A "Sarkozy Of The Left" Rose To Be French Prime Minister.
“CUBAN TWITTER” A U.S. PLOT
Documents obtained by AP show that U.S. government officials, via USAID, were secretly behind the creation of “ZunZuneo,” a Cuban version of Twitter, hoping to stir unrest in the communist country. According to the report, the 1,000 pages of documents “tell the story of how agents of the U.S. government, working in deep secrecy, became tech entrepreneurs — in Cuba. And it all began with a half a million cellphone numbers obtained from a communist government.”
“I guessed I pushed the wrong button,” Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said, after casting the lone “no” votes on resolutions to honor Canada’s Olympic athletes and the late Nelson Mandela.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
RECEIPT TATTOO, 2ND EDITION
A young man in Norway became a worldwide sensation last week when he decided to have a McDonald’s receipt tattooed on his forearm, but his latest tattoo is likely to attract just as much attention.