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French electro duo Daft Punk got lucky at the 56th Grammy Awards
French electro duo Daft Punk got lucky at the 56th Grammy Awards
Worldcrunch

SYRIA TALKS TO FOCUS ON TRANSITION
Talks about Syria’s future are due to continue today in Geneva and will focus on the thorny issue of power transfer, amid reports that the Israeli air force bombed a Syrian base in the town of Latakia. Yesterday, both parties agreed to let women and children leave the besieged city of Homs, where humanitarian aid should arrive soon, government officials told Al Jazeera.

UKRAINE’S JUSTICE MINISTER WARNS PROTESTERS TO LEAVE MINISTRY

  • Ukrainian Justice Minister Olena Lukash warned EuroMaidan protesters who have been occupying her ministry since last night that she would call for a state of emergency if they do not leave the premises, describing acts of vandalism inside the building, Interfax reports.

  • Protests in Ukraine have spread to the center and western parts of the country, after opposition leaders refused President Yanukovych’s offer of the prime minister and deputy prime minister posts Saturday. Read more from AFP.

  • In a letter published by Voice of Russia, a riot police officer complains of “fabricated” reports in the media, portraying the Berkut as “fascists,” and describes how an 18-year-old officer was “crucified” by the protesters without it being reported.

THAI ELECTION SHOULD BE POSTPONED, SAY ELECTION OFFICIALS
Thailand’s Election Commission recommended that the early election, planned for next Sunday, should be delayed for at least a month, Reuters reports. This comes after violent clashes erupted yesterday near voting stations, with anti-government protesters blocking access to the sites. One protester died and 12 others were injured. According to The Bangkok Post, a total of 10 people were killed in the protests, since they began in November 2013.

RELATIVES OF KIM JONG-UN’S UNCLE ALL EXECUTED?
All direct relatives of North Korea’s former No. 2 — Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek — have been executed, news agencyYonhap reports anonymous sources as saying. Among the people believed to have been targeted are officials such as the ambassadors to Cuba and Malaysia, as well as children.

VERBATIM
The mayor of Sochi, the Russian city where the Winter Olympics will be hosted starting next month, has declared that there are no gay people in his town.

BY THE NUMBERS
Brazil is investing big in Cuba, giving the Communist government credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars to buy Brazilian products and services.

GRAMMY AWARDS CELEBRATE FRENCH ELECTRO
French duo Daft Punk were the big winners of the 56th Grammy Awards. Read about the highlights.

BLOOD OF POPE JOHN PAUL II STOLEN
A relic containing a few drops of former Pope John Paul II’s blood has been stolen from an Italian church in the Abruzzo region, leading to a frenzied police search, Italian media first reported. Authorities believe the theft may have been commissioned, NBC News reports.

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Geopolitics

Europe v. Turkey: A New Mediterranean Gas Race That May Turn Nasty

Europe needs new energy sources. One alternative to Russian gas could be in the eastern Mediterranean. But with Turkey also actively exploring the region for reserves, the potential for conflict is high.

The "Abdülhamid Han" ship takes the sea.

Christine Kensche

It is the pride of the Turkish fleet. The bow of the "Abdülhamid Han" ship is painted red, with a crescent moon and star emblazoned on the sides. Like all four of Turkey's drillships, which are used for exploratory offshore drilling, it is named after a sultan and embodies Istanbul's claims of being a great power.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the state-of-the-art drilling ship a "symbol of Turkey's new vision in the energy sector."

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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