UK-GERMANY THREATEN RUSSIA WITH MORE SANCTIONS
British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have reached common ground on the issue of the Crimean referendum, scheduled for next Sunday, by saying that Russia faced further consequences if it attempted to legitimize the vote, The Guardian reports.
In a phone conversation with Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed it was in everybody’s interest that the situation stabilized in Ukraine and said he was open to a diplomatic resolution, AFP reports. But according to RT, he explained that Crimea had the right to secede, as the decision to hold a referendum was “based on international law and aimed at guaranteeing the legitimate interests of the peninsula’s population.”
Former President Viktor Yanukovych is due to speak publicly tomorrow from the Russian town of Rostov-on-Don, where he already gave a news conference two weeks ago, Interfax reports. Ukraine’s Interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has said he will travel to Washington Wednesday for “top-level meetings,” USA Today reports.
Former Russian oil tycoon and Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky appeared before thousands of people in Kiev's Maidan Square, telling the crowd that “Russian propaganda is lying as always” and accused Russia of being an accomplice in police violence against protesters. See our Snapshot here.
MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT
The search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and its 239 passengers has entered its third day after the aircraft vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur early Saturday. Speaking at a press conference, Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the event was an “unprecedented mystery” that was leaving officials “puzzled,” as no object from the plane has been found so far. Search teams from nine countries are working to find any trace of evidence.
Earlier today, Vietnam sent helicopters to check a “yellow object” it thought could be a life raft floating in its waters, but it turned out to be the “moss-covered cap of a cable reel,” Reuters reports.
Interpol yesterday confirmed that two passengers had boarded the flight with stolen passports, in what appears to suggest the possibility of a terrorist hijacking, but a source close to the investigation said there was no evidence of foul play yet.
Follow The Guardian’s liveblog for the latest updates.
CALIFORNIA HIT BY EARTHQUAKE
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake off the coastal Northern California town of Eureka shook the U.S. west coast from San Francisco to South Oregon Sunday night, The Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Eureka police, no injuries have yet been reported. A few hours earlier, a magnitude 5.8 quake hit the southern Pacific coast of Mexico.
PALESTINIAN SHOT DEAD AT BORDER WITH JORDAN
A Palestinian man was shot dead by an Israeli soldier at the Allenby Bridge crossing, a terminal that marks the border between the West Bank and Jordan, after he allegedly attempted to seize the soldier’s weapon, Haaretz reports. According to Ma’an news agency, the man was from the West Bank town of Nablus and had left the occupied territory in 2011.
TALIBAN VOW TO TARGET AFGHAN ELECTION
The Taliban pledged today to disrupt next month’s presidential election in Afghanistan and urged its fighters to attack “all workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices,”AFP reported, quoting an official statement. During the last election in 2009, 57 people were killed on polling day alone.
NUNS KIDNAPPED IN SYRIA’S MALOULA FREED
Jihadist fighters for the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra front have released 13 Lebanese and Syrian nuns who had been kidnapped in the historic Christian town of Maaloula, in southwest Syria, The Daily Star reports. AFP quotes the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying that the nuns were freed in exchange for the liberation of some 150 women held in Syrian jails.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
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BY THE NUMBERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was re-elected to the country’s parliament with 100% of the vote. (In case you were wondering, he was the only candidate, per North Korean politics.) Read more from AP.
MUSIC TO YOUR EARS
If you’re adept of listening to music at work, you might have found that it can sometimes affect your productivity. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as this Quartz guide to listening to music at work illustrates.
“I couldn’t think of anything more I’d need from a life partner,” British divorcee Amanda Rodgers said … upon marrying her dog. Read more from Metro UK.