Sochi's Opening Show: Let Putin's Games Begin
Sochi's Opening Show: Let Putin's Games Begin
AirAsia Plane Carrying 162 Lost; 3rd Malaysia Airline Shock
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They're designed to celebrate a millennium of Russian might and this country's modern rebound, and kick off two weeks of extraordinary human endeavors and planetary sportsmanship. But the ceremony opening the Sochi Olympics on Friday, more than anything, will be about one man: Vladimir Putin. He charmed and strong-armed his way to hosting the games at a summer beach resort that he envisioned as a winter paradise. He stared down terrorist threats and worldwide wrath at a scarcely veiled campaign against gays. He has shrugged off critiques that construction of the most costly games in Olympic history was both shoddy and corrupt.
An astonishingly tragic year for air travel in Southeast Asia turned worse Sunday when an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people disappeared over stormy Indonesian waters, with no word on its fate despite several hours of searching by air and sea. AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished in airspace possibly thick with dense storm clouds, strong winds and lightning on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. Searchers had to fight against heavy rain. The Malaysia-based carrier's loss comes on top of the still-unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in July over Ukraine. At the Surabaya airport, shocked family members pored over the plane's manifest, crying and embracing when they learned the news. Nearly all the passengers and crew are Indonesians, who are frequent visitors to Singapore, particularly on holidays.
Police said Tuesday, an alleged bank robber who overpowered a guard and escaped a Virginia hospital is now back in custody. Wossen Assaye was being watched by two private security guards at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, when he managed to grab the gun of one of the guards. Fairfax County police said, a shot went off in the struggle, and Assaye escaped in a hospital gown. Law enforcement officials stated he was then seen chasing people in the hospital. After the hospital went on lockdown, police announced that Assaye stole a vehicle, abandoned it as authorities searched for it, and then stole another.
Capitalism gets a bad rap these days, often conjuring up images of greedy oil barons, sweatshop factories and polluted oceans, but a recent study shows exactly how much capitalism has helped the poorest of the world. The study, conducted by Max Roser of the Institute for New Economic Thinking at Oxford University, shows that global poverty has declined dramatically over the last two centuries, with the sharpest declines coming just after industrialization began to take hold. Roser wrote in the report, “In 1820 the vast majority of people lived in extreme poverty and only a tiny elite enjoyed higher standards of living." He continued, “Economic growth over the last 200 years completely transformed our world-- and poverty fell continuously over the whole two last centuries.”
The Department of Education released on Tuesday morning a partial list of the 560 colleges and universities that were subjected to heightened financial scrutiny by the department due to concerns about their financial stability or accreditation. The release is bad news in particular for for-profit colleges, which dominate the list. The list includes schools of every type, from state universities to small religious colleges. However, for-profits are by far the largest contingent. Despite educating only 10 percent of U.S. students, more than half of the institutions on the heightened scrutiny list were for-profit.
On the day of the self-imposed deadline to reach a political agreement, the talks between Iran and six other countries are reportedly poised to continue in a new phase, with the intention of having a comprehensive agreement by the end of June. According to the AP, officials from the countries are expected to issue a joint statement with documents that show enough of an understanding to claim progress has been made for another round of negotiations. An official on conditions of anonymity stated, the Iranians have not yet signed off on the deal. Another official said the documents will cover more of the technical nature of the talks and will be released publicly later in the day.
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