Moscow pledges to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity after Russian flag raised in Crimea | News | DW.DE | 27.02.2014

Russia has denied that Moscow had any hand in the takeover of the local parliament building in Simferopol, the Crimean regional capital on Thursday. Gunmen with rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles erected a sign reading “Crimea is Russia” and raised the Russian flag over the building. The gunmen wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of victory in World War II.

Later there were reports that similar gunmen had taken control of the airport of Crimea’s capital Simferopol. But the AFP news agency reported early on Friday that the airport was open, although a number of armed men in uniform were standing behind the exterior security fence.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow “will respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine” but voiced concerns about the situation in Crimea, according to US Secretary of State John Kerry. After meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Washington, Kerry said he had spoken by telephone with Lavrov on Thursday.

via Moscow pledges to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity after Russian flag raised in Crimea | News | DW.DE | 27.02.2014.

Ukrainian Journalists Rush To Fish Out Deposed President’s Dirty Secrets

KYIV — Someone wanted the records to disappear without a trace under the gray waves of the Kyiv Reservoir. Instead, they are ending up on the Internet for everyone in the world to see.

When ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his entourage were fleeing the lavish presidential residence at Mezhyhirya, outside of Kyiv, on the night of February 21-22, they apparently dumped hundreds of documents into the reservoir in an amateurish attempt to conceal the information they contain.

But journalists and scuba divers showed up on the scene just hours later and began recovering the soggy papers. Some were floating surreally along the edges of the water; others were recovered in stuffed file folders from the depths.

via Ukrainian Journalists Rush To Fish Out Deposed President’s Dirty Secrets.

Obama Opens the East Coast to Seismic Blasting; Drilling to Come | Michael Jasny’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Today the Obama administration released its long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement on oil and gas exploration off the east coast.  And not surprisingly, it is a capitulation to the forces of drill-baby-drill.  Within months, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will start issuing permits for seismic exploration, letting companies troll our coasts from New Jersey to Florida with arrays of high-powered airguns.

via Obama Opens the East Coast to Seismic Blasting; Drilling to Come | Michael Jasny’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

Not in favor of the testing and not in favor of implying that President Obama personally opened the door for this.

Not acceptable on both counts.

Sevastopol: the Ukrainian port on Russia’s side | Europe | DW.DE | 27.02.2014

Reminds me of coal mine owners who forced workers to attend “rallies” to oppose mine safety and such…

The port is port for Russian Navy – their Guantanamo!

Buses continue to arrive late into the evening, shuttling more demonstrators toting Russian flags.

One thing that’s worrying is the different narratives being expressed. No one can agree on what’s actually happening in the country. Earlier this month, security forces opened fire on demonstrators on Kyiv’s Independence Square, known as the “Maidan,” killing more than 70 people in clashes that also killed and injured policemen.

via Sevastopol: the Ukrainian port on Russia’s side | Europe | DW.DE | 27.02.2014.

Settlers bulldoze Palestinian lands near Nablus to expand outpost | Maan News Agency

Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers from the Shvut Rachel outpost had decided to expand their illegal settlement at the expense of nearby private Palestinian landowners.

The fields that were leveled belong to Ahmad Ibrahim Hajj Muhammad, he added.

Daghlas said that the Israeli government had granted the settlers construction licenses.

via Settlers bulldoze Palestinian lands near Nablus to expand outpost | Maan News Agency.

13 were exposed to radiation at US plant – The Hindu

Thirteen workers at the U.S. underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico have tested positive for radiation exposure after a recent leak released toxic particles in and around the plant, officials announced.

The accident is the first-known release of radiation since the dump began taking plutonium-contaminated waste from U.S. nuclear bomb building sites 15 years ago.

via 13 were exposed to radiation at US plant – The Hindu.

Why am I seeing this first in an Indian newspaper and not in US yet?

Yippee! Not! More Outsourcing of Jobs Made Easier! Cathay Pacific Airways service to Columbus’ Rickenbacker International Airport starting from Hong Kong – Columbus – Columbus Business First

Cathay Pacific Airways and Rickenbacker officials said Thursday the cargo airline would launch service March 21 in a Wednesday and Friday route that includes touchdowns in Hong Kong, Anchorage, Columbus, New York and Vancouver.

via Cathay Pacific Airways service to Columbus’ Rickenbacker International Airport starting from Hong Kong – Columbus – Columbus Business First.

Dear CVS: A Real ‘Health-Care Company’ Guarantees In-Store Access to Birth Control

Imagine this: You had sex and the condom broke. You definitely don’t want to get pregnant. You cannot afford to have a baby. The next morning you walk into your neighborhood pharmacy to get emergency contraception. The pharmacist looks at you and says no, he won’t give it to you, that’s not something he believes in, his buddy here behind the counter doesn’t either, and you’d better go somewhere else.

Astonishingly, this scenario does not violate a corporate-level policy governing more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores in the United States. Despite recent changes from the Food and Drug Administration, certain types of emergency contraception, including but not limited to brands sold as ella and Next Choice, still require a prescription or are behind the pharmacy counter and require proof of age. When the personal beliefs of all available pharmacists on duty conflict with someone’s need for emergency contraception, CVS specifies that the person seeking emergency contraception should go to another store.

via Dear CVS: A Real ‘Health-Care Company’ Guarantees In-Store Access to Birth Control.

Chinese Strawberries and 11,000 sick kids in Germany

Eurosurveillance – View Article.

The dishes had been prepared in different regional kitchens of the catering company and were served in the schools two days before the peaks of the respective outbreaks. All affected institutions had received strawberries of one lot, imported frozen from China. The outbreak vehicle was identified within a week, which led to a timely recall and prevented more than half of the lot from reaching the consumer. This outbreak exemplifies the risk of large outbreaks in the era of global food trade. It underlines the importance of timely surveillance and epidemiological outbreak investigations for food safety.

Eurosurveillance – View Article – Import-Export of Dengue Fever

Imported dengue via travellers to currently non-endemic countries has increased steadily in recent decades, as reported by GeoSentinel, a worldwide network of travel medicine providers [8,9]. Dengue is the top cause of febrile illnesses in international travellers returning from south-east Asia [10]. Australia has seen a dramatic rise in the number of dengue cases caused by returning travellers, particularly from south-east Asia, with an increase of approximately 350% between 2004–2007 and 2008–2011 [11,12]. In Europe, various countries have also reported increased numbers of dengue in returning travellers to Europe [13-16].

via Eurosurveillance – View Article.