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Ukraine's Far Right, Ebola In Guinea, Comic Darth Vader

Far right protesters attack Ukraine’s Parliament.
Far right protesters attack Ukraine’s Parliament.

Ukraine’s ultranationalist Right Sector group could be banned after 2,000 of its members encircled and threatened to storm the Parliament in Kiev, a source from former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party told news agency Ria Novosti. The group has increased pressure on Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov following the death of one of their leaders in a shootout with the police. According to Interfax, 1,000 militants were gathered outside the Parliament this morning to demand Avakov’s resignation.

In an address to the Ukrainian people, ousted President Viktor Yanukovych called for the population to demand “a referendum on the determination of the status of each region within Ukraine,” Itar-Tass reports.

This comes after yesterday’s vote on a UN resolution condemning Russia’s action in Crimea, with 100 countries voting in favor, 11 against and 58 abstaining. The New York Times describes the vote as one that “isolates” Moscow, but the Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that there was “no isolation,” adding that many countries had complained of “colossal pressure on the part of Western powers,” RT reports.

“Leaders can’t afford to be weary,” former U.S. Secretary of State Condeleezza Rice told attendees at a Republican Party fundraiser Wednesday, referring to the face-off with Russia. Read what else she said here.

A new analysis of radar data concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 was traveling faster than originally estimated, meaning it would have burned fuel more quickly and wouldn’t have traveled as far south as previously thought, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. In light of this new evidence, described as “the most credible lead” by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the search area for the missing plane has been shifted 684 miles northeast of the previous zone, and is now four times larger. Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Chinese insurance companies have started compensating the victims’ families, with China Life paying over $670,000 to the families of seven passengers.

At least four people were killed and another 16 were wounded this morning after a triple explosion in a busy market area of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, AP reports. The bombings come after a series of attacks in commercial areas yesterday, in which 26 people died.

Israel’s government has canceled tomorrow’s planned release of the last group of Palestinian prisoners, a Palestinian official told AFP. Under the framework of the U.S.-sponsored negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian authorities, Tel Aviv was to release 104 prisoners in four groups. But The Jerusalem Post reported that the ministerial committee that selects the names of the released prisoners failed to meet. According to Ma’an news agency, Palestinian minister of prisoners' affairs Issa Qaraqe warned that he would hold Israel responsible for the consequences of Palestinian “anger.”


Four people in Guinea’s capital city Conakry have been infected with the deadly Ebola virus and put in quarantine along with their families, Al Jazeera quotes the country’s Health Minister as saying. These are the first cases in the city of two million inhabitants and show that the virus has spread from rural areas, where it has already killed 63 people.

The Philadelphia 76ers tied the NBA losing streak record Thursday after their loss to the Houston Rockets (120-98). Read more on ESPN.

A new international study shows that laws banning smoking in public places have had an enormous impact, particularly on child health, reducing premature births and severe childhood asthma by 10% within a year of smoke-free laws being implemented. Read more from the BBC.

For CIA director and former Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger, a Republican economist who worked in multiple presidential administrations, has died at age 85.

Even evil deep breathers have a soft side.

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China v. India: A New Twist In Asia's "Billion Club" Rivalry

The news that China's population has shrunk for the first time in 60 years, comes as India appears to be outperforming its giant neighbor on a number of fronts. But this would be reversal of fortune still has too many variables to predict the demise of one or the rise of the other.

Photo of a crowded street in Hyderabad, India

Street scene in Hyderabad, India

Pierre Haski


PARIS — China and India have at least one notable feature in common: the Asian giants are the only two countries in the world with a population above one billion. Yet Beijing announced this week that China has registered its first decline in number of inhabitants after 60 years of continuous expansion. This comes as India’s population continues to grow — on the path to overtake China as the world's most populous country.

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