Today's Headlines and Commentary

Today’s Headlines and Commentary

By Jane Chong
Monday, May 5, 2014, 2:37 PM
After 46 people died last Friday in riots across east Ukraine, and pro-Russian demonstrators stormed Odessa police headquarters on Sunday to free 67 people detained after rioting, Ukraine has sent an elite national guard unit to reestablish control over Odessa, a southern port city seized by pro-Russia militia. Here's the Associated Press with details.

An agreement signed last week between Slovak and Ukrainian pipeline operators has opened the possibility of modest reverse-flow deliveries of gas from Europe, possibly allowing Ukraine to break free from Russia's gas grip. But the deal is less than what it could be. The New York Times explains why.

The interim president of Ukraine, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, has announced that roadblocks are being set up around Kiev because of fears of provocation; his announcement comes on the heels of a gunfire outbreak around the outskirts of Slovyansk, a Russian stronghold in the east. The  Times reports.
Clemens Wergin has an op-ed in the Times today criticizing former politicians and public figures in Germany for siding with Russia following the annexation of Crimea, and noting "a disturbing undercurrent among ordinary Germans that harks back to old and unfortunate German traditions"---including anti-Westernism.
In an interview Friday with reporters at FBI headquarters, FBI Director James B. Comey said more Americans are traveling to Syria to fight in the civil war, and the agency is concerned that the Americans who have joined al-Qaeda linked groups will return to the U.S. to carry out attacks. Here's the Washington Post coverage.
"I abducted your girls," announced Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video obtained by the Agency France-Press news agency and released Monday, claiming responsibility for the April 14 abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who have still not been returned to their families, reports Al Jazeera America. Shekau has threatened to sell the girls as slaves, confirms the AP. Finally responding to three weeks of mounting international pressure, President Goodluck Jonathan promised to find the girls in a public appearance on Sunday, writes Time; in the meantime, the leader of a protest group trying to pressure the government into action has been detained, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Al Jazeera reports that it has obtained a confidential government report, dated May 2013, criticizing the U.S. State Department's diplomatic security operations. The report was prepared by a six-member panel of experts in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
Last week Amnesty International issued a report summarizing attacks on journalists in Pakistan---at least 34 journalists may have been killed "as a direct consequence of their work" since 2008. That report is the subject of a New York Times editorial today; the Editorial Board notes that journalists have focused on government corruption since the return of democratically-elected government, and that although the government denies tolerating violence against the media, only one of 34 killings has prompted a prosecution.
The BBC reports that China has sentenced a man in the coastal city of Guangdong to ten years in prison for leaking military information; he has been identified in the media only as Li.
The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, has announced his support for the USA Freedom Act, which is expected to pass in the Judiciary Committee this Wednesday. The Guardian has details.
Mohammed al-Shimrani, the Guantanamo detainee scheduled to appear today before the Periodic Review Board, is boycotting the hearing because he does not want to submit to an intrusive genital search, the Miami Herald reported yesterday.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has stepped down in response to the company's disastrous December data breach, which exposed as many as 40 million shoppers' credit cards and personal data to hackers. His resignation is inspiring renewed interest in the breach. Here's Forbes.
Wired identifies five separate projects that are attempting to design "a more private way to bitcoin."
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