Landon Donovan, the all-time leader in scoring and assists for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team, will not be part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster in Brazil, U.S. Soccer says.
ESPN writes: "Donovan, 32, has played for the U.S. in the past three World Cups dating back to 2002. He has been the face of the national team for most of the past decade, but spoke in recent months about how his body is no longer what it had once been."
Pro-Russian separatists attacked a military checkpoint in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing at least 13 soldiers and wounding about 30, according to Ukraine's acting prime minister. The country is preparing to hold national elections on Sunday.
A separatist commander told The Associated Press that one of his men also died.
The attack took place near the village of Blahodatne in Donetsk, one of two main areas in eastern Ukraine where separatists say they want to break away from the country and its interim government.
Deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to three years in prison and a fine, after a court found him guilty of embezzling public money. Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were given four-year sentences; the three were accused of using public funds to pay for work on their own property.
The criminal court in Cairo ordered the three to pay a fine of nearly $3 million.
A referendum on independence from Ukraine shows strong support for secession, according to separatist leaders in the districts where Sunday's vote was held. Kiev and Western governments say the vote is illegitimate.
Russia, which has been accused of orchestrating the unrest in eastern Ukraine, says it "respects the expression of will of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions." But the Kremlin's statement also called for dialogue with Kiev, not violence.
It's a day for patriots in Russia, where the country is celebrating Victory Day to commemorate the World War II defeat of Nazi Germany. A parade of troops, tanks and missile launchers made its way through Red Square to mark the occasion.
"It is a holiday when an overwhelming force of patriotism triumphs, when all of us feel particularly acutely what it means to be loyal to the motherland and how important it is to defend its interests," President Vladimir Putin said.
Robert Ford, who was U.S. Ambassador to Syria until he stepped down in February, will be speaking at the World Affairs Council of Connecticut Luminary Award event on Wednesday. His visit coincides with an announcement this week by U.S. officials that they plan to allow Syria’s main opposition alliance to open a diplomatic mission in Washington.
Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 5:09 pm
Update at 9 a.m. ET:
The White House announced sanctions Monday against seven top Russian officials with links to President Vladimir Putin, including freezing their assets and banning them from obtaining U.S. visas. It also threatened to impose more economic sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy if there is evidence of further Kremlin involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine.
The United States is urging North Korea to refrain from a new nuclear test amid indications of "heightened activity" at Pyongyang's Punggye-ri test site.
"We have certainly seen the press reports ... regarding possible increased activity in North Korea's nuclear test site," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. "We are closely monitoring the situation on the Korean peninsula."
Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 5:04 pm
A shootout at a checkpoint killed at least two people in eastern Ukraine Sunday, according to multiple reports. The violence comes on the heels of an agreement between Ukraine, Russia and the West that calls for armed groups to disband; that pact led officials to announce a truce for this Easter weekend.
Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.
Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.
Obama, who has seen his approval numbers decline since he took office in 2009, met for about 50 minutes with the pope, who has become one of the world's most popular leaders since becoming leader of the Roman Catholic Church a year ago.
Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:27 pm
(This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET.)
President Obama on Tuesday said that he believed that Russia was "still making a series of calculations" regarding any further moves after its annexation of Crimea, but that there was no expectation of dislodging it by force from the Black Sea peninsula.
"What we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments," he said at a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte following a nuclear security summit in The Hague.
Today on The Scramble, we'll talk about a system run by the Navy that keeps track of, among other things, parking tickets and field information cards filled out by police, even when no crime has occurred - is this data collection crossing a line?
With the situation in Ukraine as bad as it is, semantics are not high on the list of priorities. But it's something that inevitably comes up for journalists when we discuss names and locations in other parts of the world.
Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 1:12 pm
Ukraine announced the pullout of its troops from Crimea after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula and took control of the military bases there. The decision comes as President Obama arrived in the Netherlands on Monday for a summit of the G-7 group of industrialized nations that is certain to focus on discussion of the international crisis.
Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said Monday that the Defense Ministry has been ordered to redeploy Ukrainian servicemen from the Crimea to Ukraine's mainland, in remarks confirmed by his office.
President Barack Obama expanded economic sanctions against Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine, with further sanctions on top officials of the Russian government.
"In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals," said Obama in a statement on the south lawn of the White House.
For the second time in recent months, Senator Chris Murphy traveled with other U.S. senators to Kiev to meet with the new political leaders in the embattled country of Ukraine. But the conversation for many has turned from Ukraine, to the U.S. relationship with Russia. What's next for the region and has Ukraine completely lost the Crimea peninsula?
Murphy joins us in-studio to debrief on his trip and discuss the possibility of further U.S. actions against Russia.
Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:36 pm
Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.
In the past year, Russia has been a decisive player in several events on the international stage — often to the chagrin of the Obama administration. It gave asylum to former NSA contractorEdward Snowden, blocked United Nations efforts to impose sanctions against the Syrian government and sent troops into Ukraine.
Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:25 pm
This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.
A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.
The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.
Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.
Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.
Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:28 pm
Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.
Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.
Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.
Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 11:47 am
Malaysian officials are asking more than a dozen nations to help find the jetliner that went missing last weekend. The search area for the Boeing 777 was widely expanded Saturday; investigators are now looking for potential motives among the plane's crew and passengers to disrupt the flight.