NEWS: Putin Bathes In Western Tears As Crimea Joins Russia

Crimea has spoken and the West ain’t happy. A referendum held on whether to succeed from Ukraine and join Russia resulted in a 97 percent approval rate for the initiative, which Ukraine and western allies have called illegitimate. Russia could be asked to leave the economic G8, but Putin doesn’t seem to give a shit as he moves forward with bringing Crimea under Russian control.

Helicopter crashed near the Space Needle. A news helicopter crashed close to the iconic Seattle Space Needle on Tuesday, leaving two dead. It is unclear what caused the helicopter to pitch sideways shortly after takeoff.

Building collapse in East Harlem. A suspected gas leak lead to the explosion of a residential building on March 12, which killed many dead, injured, and missing. A leak in a gas main was found on Tuesday after residents complained of a strong gas smell around the building in days leading up to the explosion. The tragedy has brought into question the safety of urban piping in the U.S., a great deal of which is over one hundred years old.

Protests continue in Turkey following death of teenager. Berkin Elvan, who died on March 11 due to injuries caused when he was hit by a tear-gas cannister near Gezi Park last July, has become a rallying point for a fresh wave of unrest in Turkey. Thousands have taken to the streets, while Prime Minister Erdogan has alleged that Elvan was involved in terrorist activities which resulted in his death.

Stabbing attack occurs in China. In the second knife attack this month, five were killed Southern China. The attack comes on the heels of a deadly mass stabbing attack at a train station that left 33 dead.

Obama expands overtime pay by executive order. The order calls for the Department of Labor to draw up a plan to expand overtime pay to workers earning more than $455 per week, where the cutoff was set under George W. Bush.

Panel finds no reason to continue ban on transgender troops. A panel, brought together by San Francisco State University and led by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, has released a report calling for an end to the U.S. military ban on transgender troops. The report finds no basis for the ban, which it calls “expensive and unfair.” The report also challenges the ban on the basis that an estimated 15,450 transgender personnel currently serving do not have access to proper healthcare. The White House currently has no plans to lift the ban.

Fighting spreads in Yemen, threatening capital. Shiite militant group Houthi has been advancing slowly on the Yemeni capital of Sana’a for months, and now poses a real threat to central leadership. Despite attempts to downplay the militant group’s progress, attacks on military bases and clashes with rival clans have brought large parts of Yemen under Houthi control. Yemen is an unstable state, often referred to as failed, where a high number of U.S. drone strikes have been carried out in recent years.

Income inequality growing in the U.K. Oxfam has released a report highlighting increased income inequality in the U.K., where the five wealthiest families now hold more wealth than the bottom 20 percent of earners.

Thailand will be lifting emergency decree. The state of emergency in place over Bangkok has been lifted on Tuesday as months of protests began to ease. The 60-day decree was issued in late January, but was lifted early in hopes of bringing tourists back to the capital city. Although easing somewhat, protests are not expected to end.

Search expands and continues for missing Malaysia Airlines flight. With searchers no closer to finding the missing plane, the hunt has expanded to cross multiple countries and the Indian Ocean. Indonesia, however, has refused to allow planes to fly over their territory during the search, claiming radar picked up no sign of the missing plane.

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