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VOA 2014-03-19
03-20-2014, 11:59 AM
Post: #1
VOA 2014-03-19

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From Washington, this is VOA News.

Russia signs treaty with Crimea. Search widens again for missing Malaysian Airliner. I’m Ray Kouguell, reporting from Washington.

The Kremlin’s declared Crimea as now a part of Russia. VOA’s Steve Herman reports from Kiev on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions. Much to the dismay of the interim government here in Kiev which could only watch helplessly Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow signed a treaty that incorporate the Ukrainian province of Crimea into Russia. This comes less than a month after Ukraine’s President Victor Yanukovych fled the capital after his forces killed protesters. During an address to Russia’s parliament which was nationally televised alive in both Russia and Ukraine, Mr.Putin condemned the Ukraine’s leaders who replaced Mr.Yanukovych saying they have abused the rights of ethnic Russians in Crimea. Mr.Putin also declared Kiev the cradle of Russian civilization and expressed hope Russia and Ukraine can continue to coexist. Steve Herman, VOA News, Kiev. White House spokesman Jay Carney condemned Russia’s latest move saying it clearly violates international law and disregards Ukraine’s constitution and sovereignty. Russian and Ukrainian news media quoted Ukrainian military spokesman as saying that Russian forces had attacked Ukrainian troops at a base in Crimea’s main city Simferopol one serviceman. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his American counterpart, US Secretary of State John Kerry that sanctions on Russia over the annexation of Crimea are unacceptable and will not remain without consequences. The two spoke by telephone Tuesday. Earlier in the day, US vice president Joe Biden in Poland as part of a swing through Eastern Europe, characterized Russia’s move as a land grab and said the world is rejecting what he called a flawed logic behind the annexation.

The search is now 11 days old when military personnel from 26 countries appeared to be no closer finding the missing Malaysian passenger jet. Malaysian authorities say the search for the Boeing 777 Airliner with 239 people aboard is expanded to cover more than 7 million square kilometers. It extends from central Asia in the north to the vast waters of the Indian Ocean to the south. Authorities believe the jet was deliberately diverted.

Iran and six world powers have launched a new round of nuclear talks. These latest discussions opened Tuesday in Vienna after waht a spokesman for European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief described as a constructive meeting between Catherine Ashton and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. Talks are expected to end on Wednesday.

A suicide bomber attacked a busy market in northern Afghanistan Tuesday killing at least 15 civilians. VOA’s Sharon Behn has details. A man driving a rickshaw into a crowded market Tuesday detonated the bomb killing or wounding scores of civilians in the northern province of Faryab. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack which took place near a security checkpoint but the Taliban and allied militants are known to operate in the area. A lawmaker from Faryab, Naqibullah Fayeq, said the suicide bomber killed only innocent bystanders. He says the very sad part of this attack is that all those killed were women, children and workers. President Hamid Karzai blamed the attack on those working for foreign interests but did not elaborate. Sharon Behn, VOA News, Islamabad.

US officials have told the Syrian embassy in Washington to suspend operations. They say any Syrian diplomats who are not US citizens or lawful permanent residents must leave the country. The order also affects Syria’s 2 honorary consulates in the US. US special envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein says the Syrian embassy had stopped providing consular services and in light of what he said were the atrocities committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.

The US military’s concluded that a contractor’s deadly attack inside a naval office building in Washington last year would have been prevented if the government had taken a closer look at his background before handing him a security clearance. The contracted worker gunned down 12 people before being fatally shot by police last Sepetember of the Navy Yard, several blocks from the US capitol. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the two reviews of the incident showed “troubling gaps” in security at military installations and the background checks the government makes on the workers they hire.

I’m Ray Kouguell, VOA News, more on the internet at
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