Venice wants to be a republic again. The latest region to vote for secession? The Veneto region of Italy, once subject to the Republic of Venice—that’s who. Late last week, Venetian residents voted by an overwhelming 89% to break ties with Italy, and join NATO and the EU. Voters now wait to see whether Rome will grant them independence. Other regions looking to break away this year include Scotland and Catalonia.
Malaysian flight 370 remains missing. After Chinese and French satellites observed suspicious debris on a path from Perth, Australia from the Indian Ocean, it’s believed the plane crashed. Whether any passengers survived, and why the plane veered so far off course, remain unknown. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak reports that the flight “ended” in the Indian Ocean, although the debris believed to belong to flight 370 has not yet been retrieved or examined.
Obama to propose end to NSA phone sweeps. The administration is expected to propose an overhaul to NSA mass surveillance programs this week. Rather than U.S. agencies holding on to phone data for up to 5 years, this responsibility would be given to phone companies and the record length shortened to 18 months. Because who do you trust more—the NSA or AT&T? We’re going with the third option, “neither.”
BP crude oil spills into Great Lakes. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a BP refinery in Indiana released an unknown amount of crude into Lake Michigan on Monday. The leak was due to a technical glitch, and engineers plugged the leak early Tuesday. Lake Michigan is a drinking water source for tens of millions, and the effect on these communities has not yet been determined. Be aware that the oil Exxon Valdez spilled 25 years ago is still on Pacific beaches. Truth facts.
Death toll in Venezuela hits 33. As protests against President Nicolas Maduro entered week five, the number of casualties caused by clashes rose to 33, including a young pregnant woman. To learn more about the unrest, check our backgrounder here.
Landslide in Washington leaves 14 dead, 176 missing. Sudden disaster hit the northwestern corner of the state along Route 530 on Saturday morning, leveling homes and pushing vehicles off roads. Survivors and relatives are using #530slide to locate missing loved ones.
G-7 finds new and exciting ways to snub former member Russia.
Roose Bolton Vladimir Putin cannot sit with the now G-8 anymore, as the group has chosen to push Russia out due to the crisis in Ukraine. The group also decided to skip a meeting scheduled to be held in Sochi, all claiming to have totally forgotten about this really important world leader thing they had going on that day. Meanwhile, Putin probably doesn’t give a single shit, and even if he did he would only whisper his woe into the ear of a bear as he wrestled the beast into submission.
U.S. increases manpower behind Kony search. 2014 could be a very bad year for warlord and strong candidate for Actual Worst Human Being In The World Joseph Kony. The United States has sent troops and aircraft to Uganda, where the search party for the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army is believed to be closing in on their target. Kony, who became a household hated person in 2012 due to a campaign by Invisible Children, leads a militia known for use of child soldiers.
Egyptian court hands down mass death penalty sentence. A court sentenced 529 people associated with former President Mohammed Morsi to death on Tuesday, a move that has shocked many and alarmed rights groups. Although the sentenced will likely be appealed and could very well be overturned, the move sends a strong signal as the country continues cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, the political organization Morsi was affiliated with and which briefly held power before a military coup forced the party from office.
Ukraine removes troops from Crimea. As Russian forces continue seizing Crimean naval bases from Ukrainian control, leadership in Kiev has called back troops still in the now-part-of-Russia peninsula. Although still contested by both Ukraine and the west, Russia has continued moving forward with plans to bring fully under Russian control after a referendum approved secession from Ukraine by a huge margin.
Far-right gains in French local elections. First round municipal elections in France showed huge gains for the far-right National Front party, signalling displeasure among the electorate with President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party. Far-right parties, often highly nationalistic, have seen a resurgence in parts of Europe, particularly with high immigrant populations.
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