A daunting array of military equipment, including warplanes, tanks and armored vehicles, is lined up near Ukraine’s border, dramatic satellite images reveal. The images represent the first clear evidence of Russia’s military preparations, which include some 40,000 troops. Moscow has accused the West of exaggerating its presence at the border but has also vowed to protect Russians in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, warned Ukraine to pay what it owes for Russian gas — $2.2 billion — or face being left in the cold.
The Presidential Daily Brief
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius steps down today after being blamed for web snags that snarled Obamacare registration. Sebelius, who took responsibility for the website problems, waited to leave until after numbers from the registration deadline were reported. They showed some 7.5 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. President Obama will nominate his current budget director, Sylvia Burwell, to replace Sebelius, but the chairman of the Republican National Committee warned that Obamacare problems won’t end with her departure.
The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been “significantly” narrowed, thanks to a series of detected transmissions that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is “confident” are from the plane wreckage. Abbott is in China to brief President Xi Jinping about the findings. An Australian aviation journalist said sources indicated that the black boxes had been pinpointed, but search officials said there was nothing major to report. Search chief Angus Houston, meanwhile, contradicted the reports, saying it was unlikely the most recent pings came from a black box.
The biggest election in the world is under way in India, and Muslims could play a major role in determining its outcome. They make up 14 percent of India’s population but constitute up to 40 percent of the vote in some constituencies. Muslims in states like Uttar Pradesh are expected to rescind their traditional support of the ruling Congress party in favor of the Aam Aadmi Party. Front-runner Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP Party, which has been associated with alleged anti-Muslim violence in the past, is also not expected to fare well with Muslim voters.
FedEx truck collides with bus in Calif., killing 10. (USA Today).
Nirvana, Kiss inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (NPR).
Man faces murder charges for Omagh bombing. (The Guardian).
UN approves peacekeepers for CAR. (Al Jazeera).
Facebook tells chat users to download Messenger app. (CSM).
A sole protester kicked up an incident yesterday as she hurled a shoe at Hillary Clinton. It happened minutes after the former secretary of state took the stage at an Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries meeting in Las Vegas. Clinton ducked, and the shoe sailed by. The shoe-chucker — who didn’t explain her actions — was hauled out by security. “Good thing she didn’t play softball like I did,” quipped Clinton, who’s considering a run for the presidency.
A scrap of papyrus labeled the ‘Gospel of Jesus’s Wife’ is likely to be from ancient times and not a forgery. Harvard Professor Karen King was criticized after presenting her find in 2012, but scientists have found — using radiocarbon tests and microscopic imaging — that it does bear resemblance to other documents produced between the first and eighth centuries CE. King has said the document doesn’t mean Jesus was married, pointing instead to its historical significance. But the words “Jesus said to them, my wife” caused some to dismiss it as a fake.
Coffee lovers will raise their lattes high and rejoice when they hear that French and German scientists have found evidence that drinking caffeine may have a preventive effect on the devastating disease. Regular doses of caffeine given to rats inhibited the growth of tau, a protein that clogs brain cells in Alzheimer’s patients. They not only had less tau, but also better memories and less brain inflammation than the control group. This bolsters earlier research suggesting that older people experience less cognitive decline with regular, moderate amounts of caffeine.
The cable TV charmer will host The Late Show starting in 2015. While many applauded the CBS announcement, Colbert is more of a wild card than your average variety show host. CBS hired Colbert the man, not the satirical neo-con many know and love, with the hope that his quick wit will serve him well. The move also sparked speculation about who will take Colbert’s place on Comedy Central, the fate of Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson and whether we’ll have to start pronouncing the ‘t’ in Stephen’s last name.
Miami police are investigating San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over an incident reportedly involving a woman at a hotel. Two other NFL players are also being investigated. An unidentified woman reported lying down in bed in the hotel room after getting light-headed while hanging out with the players. At one point, according to the incident report, Kaepernick started to undress her, but the two did not have sex. The next thing the woman remembers is waking up in a hospital bed. A 49ers spokesman said the team is “gathering the pertinent facts.”