Sunday, March 16, 2014

Newshour: Ukraine reports Russia 'invasion'by BBC World Service

Newshour: Ukraine reports Russia 'invasion'

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Russia vetoes UN Crimea vote; angry over Malaysia's handling of missing plane; 3rd anniversary of Syrian conflict

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Newshour: Crimea votes 

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Crimean referendum; plane hunt widens; Venice votes on sovereignty.

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Крым перед выбором - Украина или Россия?

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Published on Mar 16, 2014
Референдум в Крыму контролируют военизированные формирования. Официальный Киев и страны Запада не признают результаты голосования.
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Crimeans vote on union with Russia as troops build up rapidly

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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine/KIEV (Reuters) - Crimeans voted in a referendum on Sunday on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, with Kiev accusing Moscow of rapidly building up its armed forces on the peninsula in "crude violation" of an international treaty.
Caught in an East-West crisis reminiscent of the Cold War, Ukrainian acting defense minister Ihor Tenyukh said Russian troop numbers in Crimea were now almost double the level agreed with Moscow, and Kiev's forces were taking "appropriate measures" along the border with Russia.
Tenyukh dismissed any suggestion that a militarily and economically weakened Ukraine might give up in the face of the Russian power.
"Decisions will be taken depending on how events unfold. But let me say once again that this is our land and we will not be leaving it," he told Interfax news agency.
Western countries say the vote, which is likely to favor union with Russia for a region which has a Russian-speaking majority, is illegal and being conducted at the barrel of a gun.
At the United Nations, 13 Security Council members voted for a draft resolution saying the result should not be recognized internationally, but Moscow exercised its veto while China abstained. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected the Western accusations, telling his U.S. counterpart John Kerry that the referendum complied with international law.
Both the West and Kiev have been powerless to stop the referendum. At a polling booth at a school in Simferopol, the Crimean regional capital, dozens of people lined up outside to cast their ballots early.
"I have voted for Russia," said Svetlana Vasilyeva, a veterinary nurse who is 27. "This is what we have been waiting for. We are one family and we want to live with our brothers."
Last month's fall of Moscow-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich following deadly protests in Kiev has aroused fears among some of the country's native Russian-speakers.
"We want to leave Ukraine because Ukrainians told us that we are people of a lower kind. How can you stay in such a country?" said Vasilyeva.
Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) and close 12 hours later. Provisional results will be released late on Sunday with the final tally expected a day or two later.
Crimea's 1.5 million voters have two options: union with Russia or giving their region, which is controlled by pro-Kremlin politicians, the broad right to determine its own path and choose relations with whom it wants - including Moscow.
Russia has the right to keep forces on the Black Sea peninsula, including at its naval base in the port of Sevastopol, under a treaty signed after Ukraine gained independence from the wreckage of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But Tenyukh accused Moscow of going far beyond an agreed limit on servicemen which he said was 12,500 for 2014. "Unfortunately, in a very short period of time, this 12,500 has grown to 22,000. This is a crude violation of the bilateral agreements and is proof that Russia has unlawfully brought its troops onto the territory of Crimea," he said.
This figure had risen from 18,400 on Friday. "The Ukrainian armed forces are therefore taking appropriate measures along the southern borders," he said.
Many Crimeans hope union with Russia will bring better pay and make them citizens of a country capable of asserting itself on the world stage. But others see the referendum as a land grab by the Kremlin from Ukraine, whose new rulers want to move the country towards the European Union and away from Russia's sway.
Ethnic Tatars, Sunni Muslims who make up 12 percent of Crimea's population, said they would boycott the vote despite promises by the authorities to give them financial aid and proper land rights.
"This is my land. This is the land of my ancestors. Who asked me if I want it or not? Who asked me?," said Shevkaye Assanova, a Crimean Tatar in her 40s. "For the rest of my life I will be cursing those who brought these people here. I don't recognize this at all. I curse all of them."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has justified his stance on Crimea by saying he must protect people from "fascists" in Kiev who ousted Yanukovich following the uprising in which more than 100 people were killed.
Western powers, preparing economic sanctions against Moscow over Crimea, largely dismiss his characterization of the new authorities in Kiev as the successors of Nazi-allied Ukrainian forces which fought the Red Army in World War Two.
At the United Nations Russia vetoed on Saturday the draft resolution drawn up by the United States which called on "all states, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of Crimea on the basis of this referendum".
"This is a sad and remarkable moment," Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said after the vote. "Crimea is part of Ukraine today. It will be part of Ukraine tomorrow. It will be part of Ukraine next week," she said.
Paris also tried to portray Moscow as isolated. "This annexation...goes beyond Ukraine, it concerns us all," Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, said in a statement. "This veto must be seen as a defeat only for Russia."
However, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that Lavrov had told U.S. Secretary of State Kerry in a phone call the previous day that the referendum was legal.
"Lavrov reiterated that the Crimean referendum fully complies with international law and the United Nations Charter and the results should be the starting point in determining the future of the peninsula," the ministry said in a statement.
Tenions over Crimea appear also to be spreading in cyberspace. Unidentified hackers brought down several public NATO websites with attacks on Saturday, the alliance said.
Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said on Twitter that the attacks, which began on Saturday evening, continued on Sunday, although most services had now been restored.
"It doesn't impede our ability to command and control our forces. At no time was there any risk to our classified networks," another NATO official said.
A group calling itself "cyber berkut" - named after riot police formally disbanded by the central powers in Kiev - said the attack had been carried out by patriotic Ukrainians angry over what they saw as NATO interference in their country.
The streets of Simferopol have been largely calm in the days leading up to the vote, although the heavy presence of armed men, many wearing black balaclavas, has created an unnerving atmosphere in the normally sleepy town.
On Saturday night, about 30 men in balaclavas with automatic weapons barged into the Hotel Moscow, a Soviet-era hotel where many Western reporters covering Sunday's referendum are staying.
They said they had come to investigate an unspecified security alert and did not threaten anyone, but some witnesses saw it as a move to intimidate journalists.
Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, whose election two weeks ago in a closed session of the regional parliament is not recognized by Kiev, does not officially acknowledge that Russian troops are in control of Crimea - a position also maintained by Moscow.
They say that thousands of unidentified armed men, visible across the region, belong to "self-defense" groups created to ensure stability.
(Additional reporting by Andrew Osborn in Simferopol, Ron Popeski and Richard Balmforth in Kiev,Mirjam Donath at the United Nations, Adrian Croft in Brussels, Peter Apps in London; Writing by David Stamp)
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Tensions High For Controversial Crimea Vote

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By Nick Martin, News Correspondent in Simferopol
The Crimean people are voting in a referendum widely expected to transfer control of the Black Sea region from Ukraine to Moscow, despite an outcry and threat of sanctions from the West.
The vote, dismissed by Kiev and Western governments as illegal, has triggered the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War and marks a new peak in turmoil in Ukraine.
Moscow insists the referendum complies with international law, and Crimea’s new Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov has said the poll would be "open and transparent".
As people were casting their ballots the Ukrainian and Russian defence ministries announced a truce in the region until March 21. More than 20,000 Russian troops are now stationed in Crimea, troop movements Ukraine has called an invasion.
Cossacks and pro-Moscow militias were seen patrolling some polling stations and Russian flags were seen flying across the area. No violence has been reported so far.
Voting will end at 6pm UK time and early results are expected later on Sunday evening.
The unrest follows events in November when the now ousted President Viktor Yanukovych walked out on a trade deal with the European Union, sparking violent protests in Kiev.
The vote has split even the closest-knit families, many of whom say they want their peninsula to be governed in different ways. Elena Kruglova, 26, said Crimea should remain part of Ukraine, while her mother Lyna Losyeva is staunchly pro-Russian.
She said: "Two weeks to organise a referendum doesn’t give people the chance to make a proper decision.
"At the moment, the way the referendum works there are two choices, Russia, or Russia. We are not being given the option to stay the way we are."
But her mother, who remembers being part of the former Soviet Union until Ukraine gained independence in 1991, disagrees.
She said: "I was born in a time when there was no difference between Russia and Ukraine and in the Soviet Union we didn’t feel any differences.
"But my daughter was born in a different time.
"What do I expect from Russia? I expect that Russia will listen to us, to Crimean people because for 23 years Ukraine didn’t listen to us."
As voting was taking place, protests broke out against the redeployment of Ukrainian troops and armoured vehicles in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, according to eyewitnesses.
Thousands of pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk expressed support for the vote and pushed for their own referendum. The security headquarters and the prosecutor's office there have been stormed, according to reports.
Despite Russian’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry talking daily since the crisis began a diplomatic solution has not been reached. 
In a phone call after voting got underway, the pair agreed to work on constitutional reform in Ukraine as a way of solving the crisis.
Johannes Anderson, an expert in Crimean affairs, believes Russia has a "grand plan" for Crimea. He said: "I think there's been a long-time dream for Russia to reincorporate Crimea into the Greater Russian empire.
"This is a broader trend of Russia pushing its imperial ambitions.
"Ukraine has been growing and emerging as an economy in recent years and this is Russia attempting to destabilise that growth and stamp its authority on the region."
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The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

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  • Uriel Sinai for The New York Times
  • Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • Uriel Sinai for The New York Times
  • Uriel Sinai for The New York Times
  • Vadim Ghirda/Associated Press
  • Uriel Sinai for The New York Times
  • Uriel Sinai for The New York Times
  • Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Crimeans walked to a polling station in Simferopol, Ukraine, on Sunday to vote on secession from Ukraine in a referendum.

Crimea Votes as Russian Troops Keep Watch

With the outcome of the secession referendum almost a foregone conclusion, the greater suspense lay in how swiftly the West would levy threatened sanctions against Russia.
Opposition Drowned Out as Putin’s Popularity Soars
Russia is trying to mobilize support on federal television channels and has muted independent voices on the Internet.
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U.S. Navy scans ocean for missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

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Crew aboard the USS Kidd scan the ocean for debris from the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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Reuters tells the world's stories like no one else. As the largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters provides coverage around the globe and across topics including business, financial, national, and international news. For over 160 years, Reuters has maintained its reputation for speed, accuracy, and impact while providing exclusives, incisive commentary and forward-looking analysis.
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Miles Davis - Sketches of Spain (Original Full Album)

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This is the originally produced version of 'Sketches of Spain', released in 1960 and arranged and conducted by Gil Evans.
1. Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio) 0:00
2. Will 'o the Wisp 16:21
3. The Pan Piper 20:12
4. Saeta 24:12
5. Solea 29:12
When Columbia re-issued the album in 1997 they had it *re-produced* instead of simply remastering it, and as many of their Davis re-issues, made significant alterations to the original mixing such as removing much of the reverb on Miles, drastically altering the atmosphere of the recording. This original version is no longer in print, but it's not hard to find it floating around on CD or vinyl.
All rights belong to their respective owners. This out of print version is posted here for the purpose of preserving the work of the artists.
***Edit: I should add that this version was from a pre-1997 CD. I am not aware of the vinyl situation as far as whether or not any recent releases have been printed with the original production. If you wish to find a version true to the original production, be sure that Teo Macero is the only producer listed.
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U.S. Navy continues the search for MH370 as USS Kidd (DDG 100) transits the Strait of Malacca

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The Rise of Anti-Capitalism -

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WE are beginning to witness a paradox at the heart of capitalism, one that has propelled it to greatness but is now threatening its future: The inherent dynamism of competitive markets is bringing costs so far down that many goods and services are becoming nearly free, abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring those costs to near zero.
The first inkling of the paradox came in 1999 when Napster, the music service, developed a network enabling millions of people to share music without paying the producers and artists, wreaking havoc on the music industry. Similar phenomena went on to severely disrupt the newspaper and book publishing industries. Consumers began sharing their own information and entertainment, via videos, audio and text, nearly free, bypassing the traditional markets altogether.
The huge reduction in marginal cost shook those industries and is now beginning to reshape energy, manufacturing and education. Although the fixed costs of solar and wind technology are somewhat pricey, the cost of capturing each unit of energy beyond that is low. This phenomenon has even penetrated the manufacturing sector. Thousands of hobbyists are already making their own products using 3-D printers, open-source software and recycled plastic as feedstock, at near zero marginal cost. Meanwhile, more than six million students are enrolled in free massive open online courses, the content of which is distributed at near zero marginal cost.
Industry watchers acknowledge the creeping reality of a zero-marginal-cost economy, but argue that free products and services will entice a sufficient number of consumers to purchase higher-end goods and specialized services, ensuring large enough profit margins to allow the capitalist market to continue to grow. But the number of people willing to pay for additional premium goods and services is limited.
Now the phenomenon is about to affect the whole economy. A formidable new technology infrastructure — the Internet of Things — is emerging with the potential to push much of economic life to near zero marginal cost over the course of the next two decades. This new technology platform is beginning to connect everything and everyone. Today more than 11 billion sensors are attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks and recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores and vehicles, feeding big data into the Internet of Things. By 2020, it is projected that at least 50 billion sensors will connect to it.
People can connect to the network and use big data, analytics and algorithms to accelerate efficiency and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just as they now do with information goods. For example, 37 million buildings in the United States have been equipped with meters and sensors connected to the Internet of Things, providing real-time information on the usage and changing price of electricity on the transmission grid. This will eventually allow households and businesses that are generating and storing green electricity on-site from their solar and wind installations to program software to take them off the electricity grid when the price spikes so they can power their facilities with their own green electricity and share surplus with neighbors at near zero marginal cost.
Cisco forecasts that by 2022, the private sector productivity gains wrought by the Internet of Things will exceed $14 trillion. A General Electric study estimates that productivity advances from the Internet of Things could affect half the global economy by 2025.
THE unresolved question is, how will this economy of the future function when millions of people can make and share goods and services nearly free? The answer lies in the civil society, which consists of nonprofit organizations that attend to the things in life we make and share as a community. In dollar terms, the world of nonprofits is a powerful force. Nonprofit revenues grew at a robust rate of 41 percent — after adjusting for inflation — from 2000 to 2010, more than doubling the growth of gross domestic product, which increased by 16.4 percent during the same period. In 2012, the nonprofit sector in the United States accounted for 5.5 percent of G.D.P.
What makes the social commons more relevant today is that we are constructing an Internet of Things infrastructure that optimizes collaboration, universal access and inclusion, all of which are critical to the creation of social capital and the ushering in of a sharing economy. The Internet of Things is a game-changing platform that enables an emerging collaborative commons to flourish alongside the capitalist market.
This collaborative rather than capitalistic approach is about shared access rather than private ownership. For example, 1.7 million people globally are members of car-sharing services. A recent survey found that the number of vehicles owned by car-sharing participants decreased by half after joining the service, with members preferring access over ownership. Millions of people are using social media sites, redistribution networks, rentals and cooperatives to share not only cars but also homes, clothes, tools, toys and other items at low or near zero marginal cost. The sharing economy had projected revenues of $3.5 billion in 2013.
Nowhere is the zero marginal cost phenomenon having more impact than the labor market, where workerless factories and offices, virtual retailing and automated logistics and transport networks are becoming more prevalent. Not surprisingly, the new employment opportunities lie in the collaborative commons in fields that tend to be nonprofit and strengthen social infrastructure — education, health care, aiding the poor, environmental restoration, child care and care for the elderly, the promotion of the arts and recreation. In the United States, the number of nonprofit organizations grew by approximately 25 percent between 2001 and 2011, from 1.3 million to 1.6 million, compared with profit-making enterprises, which grew by a mere one-half of 1 percent. In the United States, Canada and Britain, employment in the nonprofit sector currently exceeds 10 percent of the work force.
Despite this impressive growth, many economists argue that the nonprofit sector is not a self-sufficient economic force but rather a parasite, dependent on government entitlements and private philanthropy. Quite the contrary. A recent study revealed that approximately 50 percent of the aggregate revenue of the nonprofit sectors of 34 countries comes from fees, while government support accounts for 36 percent of the revenues and private philanthropy for 14 percent.
As for the capitalist system, it is likely to remain with us far into the future, albeit in a more streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to thrive as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, entering a world partly beyond markets, where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent, collaborative, global commons.
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