Vladimir Konstantinov (in purple tie) is the speaker of Crimea's parliament. He was welcomed with flowers Friday during his meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament. She is at the far right of this photo.
Senior U.S. officials were warned of imminent Russian military action in Crimea about a week before the troop movements that have sparked a major international crisis over Ukraine, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency tells NPR.
Many countries in the European Union are drawn to the benefits of fracking: cheap energy and energy independence. But many Europeans, including these protesters standing outside EU headquarters in Brussels, object to the practice on environmental grounds.
While watching the turmoil in Ukraine unfold, you may feel as though it has little to do with the United States, but the conflict is stirring a contentious debate in Europe over a topic familiar to many Americans: fracking.
Much of the continent depends on Russian natural gas that flows through pipelines in Ukraine. European countries are asking themselves whether to follow the U.S. example and drill for shale gas.
President Barack Obama delivered a statement about Ukraine from the White House on Thursday, condemning the possibility that international law would be violated in Crimea. Earlier in the day, it was announced the European Union suspended talks on some of the agreements with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, and threatened further sanctions.
Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: "Total Nonsense," Russian Official Reportedly Says:
Any claims that the Russian military has warned Ukraine to surrender in Crimea or face an assault on Tuesday are "total nonsense," a Russian Defense Ministry official says, according to The Voice of Russia.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who has described Moscow's military intervention in the Crimea an "incredible act of aggression," will travel to Ukraine's capital on Tuesday to meet with the country's embattled government.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that Kerry "will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada [Ukraine's parliament], and members of the civil society."
Young people look at pro-Russian armed men blocking access to the Ukrainian frontier guard base in Balaklava, a small city not far from Sevastopol, on Saturday.
Credit Viktor Drachev / AFP/Getty Images
Armed men take up positions around the regional parliament building in the Crimean city of Simferopol on Saturday. Ukraine's defense minister said on Saturday Russia had "recently" brought 6,000 additional personnel into Ukraine.
Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.
President Obama spoke about the Ukraine crisis Friday afternoon, saying, "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."
Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:46 pm
Saying that the United States is "deeply concerned" by reports that Russia is taking military action in Ukraine, President Obama urged Russia not to intervene in the destabilized country, where tensions have reached new highs this week.
Obama said that he had spoken to Russia's President Putin in recent days, to foster cooperation in coping with the situation.
Whenever we hear that a new U.S. ambassador has been nominated, it’s not unreasonable for us to assume that the nominee has been to his or her appointed country. But, as we learned from President Obama’s most recent ambassadorial appointments -- in America, at least -- that's not always the case.
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:43 am
"North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles off its southeast coast Thursday," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reports, citing a "South Korean defense ministry official" as its source.
Norm Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, poses at his official residence in Prague in October 2013. Eisen's mother was born and raised in what was Czechoslovakia and was sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which she survived.
Credit Filip Singer / The Washington Post/Getty Images
During World War II, the Nazi secret police occupied a palace in Prague that is now the residence for the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. Underneath an antique table at the residence is a Nazi sticker showing an iron eagle with a swastika and a serial number.
Credit Filip Singer / The Washington Post/Getty Images
The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.
Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.
While visitors watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, enjoy spectacular feats of athletic ability from the world's most accomplished athletes, those in Russia's LGBT community anticipate laws that punish Russians for even suggesting that it's okay to be gay, let alone live openly as a gay adult.
In 1947, the world watched as South Asia gave birth to a new independent nation. That nation was called Pakistan -- a word combining Persian and Hindi to signify a holy and pure country.
That name, however, now stands as an example of tragic irony. Since Pakistan established itself as a militant nation, internal tension and strained international relations -- particularly those with the United States and India -- have tainted Pakistan’s community.
The U.S. is curtailing drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, a step toward better relations between two allies who’ve seemingly been at odds for years.
As Husain Haqqani sees it, it’s all part of a history of misunderstanding between the countries. He’s the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., and a Boston University professor whose new book is called Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding.
In it, he explains the Pakistani obsession with it’s rival India, and with building military might, something the U.S. has been quick to support. We talk with him on a recent visit to the state. We also run these ideas of U.S.-Pakistan relations past two members of that community here in Connecticut.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Credit Waqar Hussein / EPA/Landov
Benazir Bhutto, who served two terms as Pakistan's prime minister, waves to supporters at the Islamabad International airport on Nov. 6, 2007. She was killed in a bombing attack the following month.
Credit Aamir Qureshi / AFP/Getty Images
Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto stands with Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi before a summit in Simla, India, on June 28, 1972. Bhutto was overthrown in a military coup in 1977 and hanged two years later.
Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:51 pm
In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.
In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.
The 40th session of the Yale Model United Nations is underway in New Haven. Nearly 1,700 high school students from as far away as New Zealand have been immersing themselves in the Model U.N. experience, taking advantage of the plethora of speeches, classes and other activities happening this weekend.
A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles.
No, it's not the plot for a new horror film. According toThe Independent, the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, which has been drifting, crewless, around the North Atlantic for nearly a year since it snapped its towline en route to the scrapyard, might be moving east toward the English coast.
Shortly after protests began in Ukraine, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy flew to Kiev and met with the anti-government demonstrators.
"The protesters are down there because they’re sick of seeing a government that too often resorts to violence, that has become endemic with corruption and is moving toward Russia instead of towards the European Union," said Murphy.
We hear more from Murphy about the recent, violent developments in the Kiev protests.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.
A man runs with a child after an attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Activists said President Bashar Assad's military carried out an airstrike.
Credit Ammar Abdullah / Reuters/Landov
Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday, a day before the start of a major Syrian peace conference that 40 countries will attend.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am
With a major push from the U.S., a new Syrian peace conference opened Wednesday in Switzerland, the first such effort since the middle of 2012. It wasn't easy getting everyone there, and it will be harder still to achieve a breakthrough.
Here are a few key things to know about the conference:
From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.
The Cold War is over – but some political relationships in the former Soviet Union remain tense. On Where We Live, we explain the latest turmoil in Ukraine as Russia and the European Union are pulling Ukraine in opposite directions. We're joined by experts and a member of Connecticut's Ukrainian community about to discuss what's happening and why.
Plus, we follow up on a recent show about distracted driving.