Russia, without sending in a tank or an infantry brigade, has started taking control of a string of towns in eastern Ukraine. And that, according to The Telegraph, shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to push around his neighbors.
"Subversion from within — not attack from without — has emerged as Mr Putin’s favoured technique for controlling events in Ukraine," the UK paper writes. The operation has been similar to the operation in Crimea, with Russia clearly pulling the strings, but maintaining enough distance to deny it has any role. Whether it goes any further depends on what it is Putin wants to accomplish — and that's what has everyone guessing.
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Another case of questionable justice delays the Guantanamo Bay trials
The many-times delayed trial of 9/11 alleged terrorists at Guantanamo Bay hit another snag this week. It turns out a security officer working for the defendants' legal team had been approached by the FBI to be an informant.
The Guardian reveals that the FBI was seeking information about a manifesto written by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and subsequently leaked to the media. A defense attorney said the FBI move raises a question about whether the government can be trusted and she asked the presiding judge to investigate. The trials started in 2012, but the defendants have been in custody for many years. The trials themselves aren't expected to start until 2016 — and even that date is in doubt.
Rising sea levels may swamp Miami's immigrants as much as the rich
Miami is one of the cities most vulnerable to climate change, where rising sea levels could swamp many communities. When people think about that, they imagine vast swaths of pricey South Beach disappearing into the sea. But, as PRI's The World reports, an area inland that is home to many immigrants may be at even greater risk. Areas of west Miami Dade County are actually at a lower elevation than coastal Miami, which is just six feet above sea level.
Beijing hopes an app will help with its potty problem
Beijing is home to 19 million people and, evidently, not enough toilets. At a marathon there last year, community members were outraged when runners and spectators, unable to find a toilet to use, urinated along the walls of the historic Forbidden City. Turns out, though, that was just a manifestation of a long-running problem.
To try and make things a little better, the Beijing government has released an app that locates the nearest public toilet for you. Unfortunately, it won't tell you about the quality of that toilet, Quartz reports. And neither will local media — because toilet issues are on the government's no-reporting list.
Iraq's ambassador is practicing marathon diplomacy
Lukman Faily will join 36,000 others on the streets of Boston next week running the Boston Marathon. He probably will not win — but he's not running to win, as PRI's The World reports. He's running to send a message to terrorists around the world: they won't win. And he is running to show solidarity with Americans. Faily is the Iraqi ambassador to the US and something of a runner, having run in marathons in Japan while the Iraqi ambassador there.
What we're seeing on social
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) April 15, 2014
Weather around the world
The Philippines have been socked with tropical rains in recent days. According to AccuWeather, more than a foot of rain has fallen in parts of the Philippines just since Sunday. Among the cities hardest hit are Punta Maria and Guiuan, each with about 12.5", or nearly 32 centimeters, of rain.