Ukraine crisis: US calls for Russia to pull back troops in Crimea

US President Obama and Russian President Putin have discussed the Crimea crisis via telephone. Obama called for Russian forces to withdraw, while Putin said Moscow reserved the right to defend its interests in Ukraine.   President Barack Obama reportedly told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday that Moscow had violated international law by intervening in Crimea, calling for Russian forces to withdraw to their bases on the peninsula. The White House has suspended its […]

Putin ready to invade Ukraine; Kiev warns of war

(Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded and won his parliament’s approval on Saturday to invade Ukraine, where the new government warned of war, put its troops on high alert and appealed to NATO for help. Putin’s open assertion of the right to send troops to a country of 46 million people on the ramparts of central Europe creates the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, leading […]

China blames Xinjiang militants for train station attack that killed at least 33 persons

(Reuters) – China blamed militants from the restive far western region of Xinjiang on Sunday for an attack at a train station on the other side of the country by knife-wielding “terrorists” in which at least 33 died, including four of the assailants, who were shot dead. The attack, in the balmy southwestern city of Kunming late on Saturday evening, marks a major escalation in the simmering unrest which had centered on Xinjiang, a heavily Muslim […]

Obama Makes Phone Call To Putin On Ukraine, Expresses Deep Concern

(Reuters) — U.S. President Barack Obama told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday (March 1) that Russia had committed a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty by sending forces into Crimea and warned of consequences. In a written statement outlining what was discussed in a 90-minute phone call between Obama and Putin, the White House said: “The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.” The White House said the United States will suspend participation in preparatory meetings for G8 summit in Sochi, Russia.

Ukraine cites Russian troop movements as Crimea sliding from its grasp

Ukraine accused Russia on Saturday of sending thousands of extra troops to Crimea and placed its military in the area on high alert as the Black Sea peninsula appeared to slip beyond Kiev’s control. Russia’s RIA news agency said pro-Russian authorities in the region, which has an ethnic Russian majority, and the Russian Black Sea fleet based there had agreed to guard important buildings. Regional premier Sergei Aksyonov said that that Fleet personnel had already […]

Armed men seize two airports in Ukraine’s Crimea, Yanukovich reappears

(Reuters) – Armed men took control of two airports in the Crimea region on Friday in what the new Ukrainian leadership described as an invasion by Moscow’s forces, and ousted President Viktor Yanukovich surfaced in Russia after a week on the run. Yanukovich said Russia should use all means at its disposal to stop the chaos in Ukraine as tension rose on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, the only region with an ethnic Russian […]

South Korea Urges Japan To Write A “New History Of Truth”

(Reuters) — South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Saturday (March 1) urged Japan to stop denying the past during an official ceremony to mark Independence Movement Day. This year commemorates the 95th year of the declaration of the nation’s independence from Japanese colonisation on March 1, 1919. Japan’s ties with South Korea are increasingly strained over a host of issues, including the territorial rows and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit late last year to the Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted war criminals are […]

Obama warns Russia of ‘costs’ for intervention in Ukraine

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that military intervention in Ukraine would lead to “costs,” as tension with old foe President Vladimir Putin rose in a Cold War-style crisis. “We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” he told reporters. Obama and European leaders would consider skipping a G8 summit this summer in the Russian city of Sochi if Moscow intervenes militarily […]

Baghdad Motorbike Blast Kills 31, Wounds 51

(Reuters) — Residents of Baghdad’s Sadr City neighbourhood lit candles at the scene where more than 30 people killed in a blast of motorcycle rigged with explosives on Thursday (February 27). The motorcycle was parked in a second-hand bike market in the Shi’ite Muslim neighbourhood that was filled with people, mostly young men, when it exploded late Thursday afternoon, killing 31 and wounding 51 others, Iraqi medical and police sources said. Blood covered the ground, storefront windows were […]

13 students, 2 teachers, killed in bus accident in Thailand

(Reuters) — At least 15 people were killed, mostly school students, and 40 injured in a bus accident in eastern Prachin Buri province during a school trip to the beach on Friday (February 28). A school bus, carrying female students from Baan Donlop school from northeastern Nakorn Ratchasima province bound for eastern Chonburi province. The bus collided with a truck in Prachin buri province, 135 kilometres east of Bangkok at dawn, police said. Local media reported that the bus driver lost control of the vehicle. […]

China Detains Over 1,000 In Online Baby Trafficking Crackdown

(Reuters) — Chinese police have detained 1,094 people and rescued 382 babies in a nation-wide crackdown on four online baby trafficking rings, state media reported on Friday (February 28), as criminals prey on citizens yearning to escape strict population curbs. Child trafficking is widespread in China, where population control rules have bolstered a traditional bias for sons, seen as the support of elderly parents and heirs to the family name, and led to the abortion, killing or […]

South Korea Calls North’s Missile Launch Intentional

(Reuters) — South Korean Defence Ministry said on Friday (February 28) they view the launch of North Korea’s short-range missiles as intentional. A media official at the ministry said North Korea fired four missiles over the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday (February 27), but provided no information as to the purpose of the firing. “This is the first time that North Korea has fired scud missiles since 2009. However, of all the occasions, they fired as the Key Resolve exercise was […]