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Geopolitics

Ukraine And Russia Talk, Mudslide Update, Storks In Love

In Beijing, a mourner faints at news of Malaysian Airlines plane's demise
In Beijing, a mourner faints at news of Malaysian Airlines plane's demise
Worldcrunch

UKRAINE AND RUSSIA OFFICIALS MEET
Ukraine’s Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Andrii Deshchytsia met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of a nuclear meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, Itar-Tass reports. This is the first bilateral meeting between Ukrainian and Russian officials in recent weeks, and a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said this was a positive sign, although she expressed concern over the massing of troops along the Ukrainian border.

  • News agency Interfax reports that the Parliament in Kiev accepted the resignation of the country’s acting Defense Minister Ihor Teniukh, a member of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party, after it was rejected by a first vote. According to AFP, Teniukh resigned over his handling of the Crimea crisis. He is replaced by Gen. Mykhailo Koval.

  • Ukraine’s Interior Ministry announced that Oleksandr Muzychko, a leader of the far-right nationalist Right Sector movement, was killed in a police operation. According to Itar-Tass, he was responsible for the death of 20 Russian soldiers. RT reports that the extremist group said they considered the acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov responsible for the death of their leader and would avenge it.

  • Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is coming under fire after she called for Russians to be killed with an atomic weapon in a recorded phone conversation that was leaked on YouTube. Tymoshenko, who said she would run in the upcoming presidential election, admitted the recording was authentic but claimed that passages were edited to make it appear overtly anti-Russian. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty describes the revelation as Tymoshenko’s “Nuland moment,” a reference to the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State’s rant against the EU.

176 MISSING AFTER WASHINGTON MUDSLIDE
Washington state officials say that at least 176 people are still unaccounted for three days after a massive mudslide that is thought to have killed at least 14 near the small town of Oso, The Seattle Timesreports. Describing the search conditions, a fire district chief said “in areas it’s like quicksand. Sometimes it takes five minutes to walk 40 or 50 feet and get our equipment over these berms.”

MH370: FAMILIES OF CHINESE VICTIMS PROTEST IN BEIJING
Families of Chinese passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 gathered outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing to protest against “cover-up and mishandling of the disaster by Malaysian authorities,” South China Morning Postreports. This came after Malaysian Airlines told relatives of the passengers by text message that they now “assumed beyond any reasonable doubt” that the aircraft had crashed in the South Indian Ocean and that there were no survivors.

According to AP, China demanded that Malaysia hand over the data that led to this conclusion. It is still unclear why the plane was flying in that direction instead of its planned destination of Beijing. Meanwhile, the search for the aircraft was suspended because of bad weather and is due to resume tomorrow.

KABUL ELECTION OFFICE HIT BY BLAST
Afghanistan’s election headquarters in Kabul was hit by a suicide bomb, followed by an attack from gunmen believed to be Taliban members, AFP reports. Initial reports suggested the home of presidential favorite Ashraf Ghani, located near the office, was the target. Earlier this month, the Taliban vowed to disrupt the April 5 presidential election and to attack poll offices and staff.

TWO KILLED IN SHOOTING AT VIRGINIA NAVAL STATION
A sailor and a civilian were killed late Monday in a shooting at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, the biggest naval base in the world, AP reports. No other injuries were reported and no suspects have been taken into custody.

MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD

7 MILLION
The World Health Organization says that air pollution killed 7 million people in 2012.
Read more from AFP.

VERBATIM
“There have been more tweets from Turkey since the government blocked Twitter,” a state department spokeswoman said Monday night.

GOING THE DISTANCE: LOVED UP STORKS EDITION
While this may sound like something from a Disney film, we assure you that it is nothing less than true love: A male stork flies 13,500 kilometers every single year to be with his beloved. Read more about Croatia’s sweet winged couple Klepetan and Malena.

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eyes on the U.S.

Eyes On U.S. — California, The World Is Worried About You

As an Italian bestseller explores why people are fleeing the Golden State, the international press also takes stock of unprecedented Silicon Valley layoffs. It may be a warning for the rest of the world.

Photo of a window pane with water droplets reflecting Facebook's thumb up logo, with one big thumb down in the background

Are you OK, Meta?

Ginevra Falciani and Bertrand Hauger

-Analysis-

For as long as we can remember, the world has seen California as the embodiment of the American Dream.

Today, this dream may be fading — and the world is taking notice.

A peek at the Italian list of non-fiction best-sellers in 2022 includes California by Francesco Costa, a book that looks to explain why 340,000 people moved out of the state last year, causing a drop in its population for the first time ever.

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Why are all these people leaving a state that on paper looks like the best place in the world to live? Why are stickers with the phrase “Don't California my Texas” attached to the back of so many pick-up trucks?

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