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NPR 2014-03-18
03-19-2014, 11:27 AM
Post: #1
NPR 2014-03-18

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From NPR News in Washington, I’m Windsor Johnston.

Russian officials say Crimeans have voted overwhelmingly to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. NPR’s Gregory Warner reports they are overjoyed at the prospect of once again becoming a part of Russia.

A very joyous crowd here gathered at Lenin Square in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea. People are waving Crimean flags, Soviet flags, Russian flags and celebrating what it seems to be an overwhelming victory for the Russia-vote in this referendum. Of course people who are pro-Ukrainian had organized a boycott of the referendum to try to inflate the numbers and show this referendum to be illegitimate. The government in Kiev does not recognize this referendum. They’ve called it a circus directed at gunpoint. The question now is what will the Ukrainian government do, how militaristic will be their response, and what will Russia do, will it annex the Crimean Peninsula and does bring economic sanctions on itself. Gregory Warner, NPR News, Simferopol.

The UN Refugee Agency reports thousands of refugees from Central African Republic are arriving in Cameroon, many of them sick and dying and having experienced unspeakable violence. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports many of the refugees have been on the road for up to seven weeks without food or clean water.

The refugees recount stories about the atrocities being committed Christian anti-Balaka militia men targeting Muslims in revenge attacks in Central African Republic. UN spokeswoman Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba says many arrive in Cameroon deeply traumatized by the horrors they have experienced. Lejeune-Kaba says about 80% of the newest arrivals suffer from malaria, diarrhea and respiratory infections and more than 20% of the children are malnourished. For NPR News, I’m Lisa Schlein in Geneva.

The eight people that were killed in last week’s explosion that leveled two New York City apartment buildings were remembered today. Speaking at Bethel Gospel Assembly, Santos Mercado, the assistant pastor at the Spanish Christian Church, which was destroyed in the blast, said he’s grateful another church opened its doors for them.

“I feel wonderful because these people, you know, opened the doors and they offer all kinds of help we need. And they are dear for us.”

Emergency workers have gained access to the basements of the apartment buildings. They are focusing on gas pipes and meters in an effort to determine what caused the blast.

The search is continuing for the Malaysian jetliner that went missing over a week ago. Authorities say they are taking a closer look at a flight simulator one of the pilots had in his home. 239 passengers and crew were on board the plane which was headed to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

This is NPR.

Honda will recall nearly 900,000 Odyssey minivans. That’s according to a notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company says model years 2005 to 2010 built in Alabama had a fuel-pump part that can crack, cause a fuel leak and pose a fire risk. In a filing with the agency, Honda says it has no reports of fires or injuries related to the issue.

The US Navy’s Blue Angels are airborne again. NPR’s Nathan Rott reports the elite aviation team returned to action this weekend after being grounded for much of the last year because of spending cuts.

Thousands of southern Californians watched the Blue Angels put on their first performance in almost a year Saturday. Many post in YouTube videos like this of the blue and gold jets criss-crossing, rolling and diving. The Navy’s best precision pilots usually do about three dozen performances every year. Last year they did two, citing government cutbacks that brought about “budget realities”. Navy officials say the program cost about $40 million annually. This year they are not expecting any cutbacks for their aerial acrobatics. The team is scheduled to appear at more than 30 shows for the rest of the calendar year. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

A piece of sports history dating back to the 1867 meeting that marked the beginning of institutionalized racial segregation in baseball is up for sale. A main auction company on Wednesday will offer a ticket to the National Association of Base-Ball Players convention in Philadelphia, where the rule’s committee voted to ban teams with black players.

This is NPR News in Washington.
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