Secretary of State John Kerry made a high profile visit to Kiev today, showing political support for Ukraine's new government. He promised a billion dollars in loan guarantees. With lesser due, a team from the International Monetary Fund arrived. They're there to assess the state of Ukraine's finances.
Troops under Russian command scream orders to turn back before firing warning shots at the Belbek airbase in Crimea. The troops were reacting to a large group of unarmed Ukrainian troops who approached them.
Ukrainians line up to get money from a bank machine in the western city of Lviv on Feb. 20. The country's political crisis has also created economic turmoil. The international community is expected to pump billions of dollars into Ukraine's struggling economy.
Credit Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP/Getty Images
The ousted Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, had dozens of luxury cars at his country estate outside the capital, Kiev. Ukraine has been plagued by widespread corruption and an economy that is near bankruptcy.
Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of the Soviet Union for its fertile fields of wheat. Now it's just a basket case. The outgoing finance minister said the country needed $35 billion to stave off bankruptcy over the next couple years.
Some analysts say that figure may be on the high side. Still, such admissions usually send potential donors dashing for the exits. Yet one thing Ukraine has in abundance these days, in addition to political turmoil, is a long line of financial suitors.
Chinese authorities are trying to contain a growing problem — graffiti written on and carved into the stones of the Great Wall of China — by giving tourists a designated section on which they can leave their marks.
China News Service reports that "Mutianyu, a famous section of the Great Wall of China, has established a specified area for graffiti to better protect the ancient heritage item, the governing authority said on Sunday."
Most of the graffiti, the news service says, is in English.
On 'Morning Edition': NPR's David Greene speaks with 'New York Times' Moscow correspondent Steven Lee Myers
(We updated this post at 11:55 a.m. ET.)
Russian soldiers have not occupied government buildings and surrounded Ukrainian military bases on the Crimean Peninsula, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Tuesday during a news conference near Moscow at which he gave an account of recent events that contradicts reports from the ground.
Instead, he told reporters that the heavily armed men are "local self-defense forces."
These days you can fly to far corners of the world and eat pretty much the same food you can get back home. There's pizza in China and sushi in Ethiopia.
A new scientific study shows that something similar is true of the crops that farmers grow. Increasingly, there's a standard global diet, and the human race is depending more and more on a handful of major crops for much of its food.
Chinese paramilitary police stand guard outside the scene of a terrorist attack at the main train station in Kunming, Yunnan Province, Monday. Knife-wielding assailants left at least 29 people dead in the attack.
Police in China say they have arrested some of those responsible for a massacre that took place at a train station Saturday, according to state media. The attackers used knives to kill 29 people; they injured more than four times that number.
Three suspects have been captured, reports Xinhua. The state-run agency cites a report from the Ministry of Public Security saying that with the arrests, it has now accounted for the eight people who took part in the attack.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour in Ukraine where Russian troops took control of more areas in Crimea today, including a ferry terminal between the Ukrainian peninsula and Russia. Western countries are strategizing a response to the crisis with many meetings and several high level visits to Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry is due in Kiev tomorrow.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
President Obama met today in the Oval Office with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the top of the president's agenda: Getting Israel to accept a framework for peace talks with the Palestinians.
NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith reports.
To the list of political issues with which we began this mid-term election year, which had the Affordable Care Act and the economy at the top, we can now add Russia's involvement in Ukraine.
But while the domestic issues divide along fairly clear blue and red lines, the political question of what the U.S. should do about Russian President Vladimir Putin's deployment of the Russian military into Ukraine's Crimea is scrambling Washington's normal partisan lines.
On my third day in Tehran last week, I was detained by Iran's notorious "morals police." This volunteer corps, with a presence in nearly every city and town, polices infractions against Islamic values. These guardians patrol parks, recreation centers, shopping malls and cafes where young people gather.
My introduction to the morality squad began with shouts and threats and ended with fruit juice and a hug from a lady cop in a black chador that covered bleached blond hair and a snug red leather jacket.
For history nerds, it's fascinating to see the word "Crimea" back in the news. The last time this peninsula on the Black Sea dominated world headlines was nearly 160 years ago. (Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin met there at the town of Yalta in 1945, but that wasn't really about the region.)
The Chinese government has blamed the deadly stabbing attack in southwest China on Muslim separatists from the country's northwest, but it has yet to provide hard evidence for the claim.
Police said they have captured the final three suspects in a knife attack that killed 29 people and left more than a 140 injured in the city of Kunming on Saturday, according to the state-run New China News Service.
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on June 17. Obama has strongly condemned Russian intervention in Ukraine but has not yet announced a concrete response.
Russian troops enter a former Soviet republic claiming they must protect ethnic Russians who have strong ties to the motherland. The U.S. and other Western nations threaten sanctions, but do little. Russia effectively gets its way.
We're talking, of course, about Russia's 2008 decision to send troops into South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region with a large Russian population.
And now we turn to Back Talk. That's where we hear from you about the week's stories. Editor Amita Parashar Kelly is with us for that. Welcome, Amita. And I know that we got a big response to one of our stories last week. So why don't you tell us about that?
PARASHAR KELLY: Yeah. Well, Michel, we got hundreds of tweets, comments and some actual mail about our conversation with evangelical leader Scott Lively. Now he's a pastor who's traveled around Africa and the world preaching against gay rights.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're headed to South Africa now where many people are focused on the trial of Oscar Pistorius, the famed Olympic athlete and double amputee known as Blade Runner for the striking prosthetics he uses to race.
Carnival is going strong in Brazil, but its not all about music, dancing and elaborate costumes. Every year in the historic city of Olinda, giant puppets are paraded through the streets during Carnival. It's been a tradition in the small town on the northeastern coast of Brazil since the early part of the last century.