Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly stressed his right to send Russian troops into eastern Ukraine, but rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in the region.

According to the New York Times, Putin emphasized that Russian Parliament's upper chamber had authorized him to use military force if necessary, and stressed Russia’s historical claim to the territory, repeatedly referring to it as “new Russia."

Putin recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, asked Putin a question during the televised call-in show, Reuters reported.

According to the report, this exchange was the first known direct contact between Snowden and Putin since Russia granted Snowden asylum last summer.

Snowden reportedly submitted his question in a video clip and it was not immediately clear if he was speaking live or if it had been recorded earlier.

"Does Russia intercept, store or analyze, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" Snowden said, also asking whether Putin thinks improving the effectiveness of investigations justifies "placing societies .. under surveillance."

Putin, who was a spy during Soviet rule, said: "You are an ex-agent. I used to have ties to intelligence."

According to Reuters, Putin said Russia regulates communications as part of criminal probes, but "on a massive scale, on an uncontrolled scale we certainly do not allow this and I hope we will never allow it."

Putin said authorities need consent from a court to conduct such surveillance on a specific individual, Reuters reported.

Putin's comments Thursday came as Ukraine's Interior Minister said three pro-Russian protesters were ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A Pennsylvania teenager convicted of disorderly conduct for recording his alleged tormenters in class wants changes to the district’s zero tolerance policy rather than the wishes of his mother, who wants “heads to roll” for the incident.

Shea Love, 40, said her 15-year-old son, Christian, had long been victimized by fellow students in his special education math class at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pa. So the frustrated sophomore made an audio recording of the alleged bullying using his iPad, which school officials forced him to delete upon learning of the 7-minute segment in February. He was later convicted of disorderly conduct and fined $25 plus court costs.

“What I want is for heads to roll,” Love told “But he said to me, ‘Mom, it might make you feel better if people get fired, but that won’t change anything.’ He said there needs to be more compassion for people and changes to the zero tolerance policy. I want people’s heads to roll, but my son doesn’t and I have to respect his wishes.”

Love’s son has been diagnosed with comprehension delay and anxiety disorders, as well as ADHD. Love said his special needs can be problematic to some.

“He has a low processing speed, the way he does everything is very slow,” she said. “And some people get very frustrated by that.”

Love said her only child hasn’t been the same since the alleged incident. He has lost at least 10 pounds, requires additional therapy sessions and has missed many days of school, she said.

“This has been just devastating,” Love continued. “I’m a single mom — it’s just him and I — and I feel like they were just trying to get us to shut up. Until people started ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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US Airways said it was investigating a pornographic tweet on Tuesday sent on its Twitter account in response to a customer complaint about a flight delay, which went viral on social media.

US Airways issued an apology on Monday immediately after deleting the tweeted photograph of a naked woman lying on a bed with a toy airplane between her legs, said Davien Anderson, spokesman for US Airways.

By Tuesday morning, the apology had been retweeted nearly 13,000 times and social media was flooded with jokes and gripes about the image.

Anderson said US Airways, part of American Airlines Group Inc, was investigating the mishap. So far it has determined that the photo was originally posted to its Twitter feed by another user, but was inadvertently included in its response to the customer.

"We apologize for the inappropriate image we recently shared in a Twitter response," Anderson said in an emailed statement.

"We deeply regret the mistake and we are currently reviewing our processes to prevent such errors in the future," he said.

US Airways tweeted the photo to the Twitter alias @ElleRafter, according to an archived image of the tweet, which has since been deleted.

The customer, whose @ElleRafter Twitter page includes the tag line "(Complaining) several times a year since 2009," did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The @ElleRafter Twitter page's timeline includes a raft of consumer criticisms, ranging from UPS drivers who failed to knock on the door when dropping off packages, to the restaurant chain Red Robin failing to offer honey mustard, to the Portland Police Department's lax enforcement of crosswalk safety.

The most recent grievance appeared to be about Sunday evening's US Airways flight 1787 from Charlotte, North Carolina to Portland, Oregon. According to ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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South Korean officials said Wednesday that nearly 300 people were still missing several hours after a passenger ferry sank off that country's southern coast, leaving at least two dead and seven injured.

A government official had said earlier Wednesday that around 100 people were unaccounted for, but the number was later revised upward due to a tallying error.

The ferry was carrying 477 people, most of them high school students, and was bound for the island of Jeju when it sent a distress call at around 9 a.m. local time Wednesday as it began leaning to one side, according to South Korea's Ministry of Security and Public Administration.

The government said about 95 percent of the ship was submerged.

Two coast guard officers told the Associated Press that a 27-year-old woman named Park Ji-yeong and another unidentified person had died. Both spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules.

Media photos showed wet students, some without shoes, some wrapped in blankets, tended to by emergency workers. One student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN from a gym on a nearby island that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.

"As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another," Lim said, adding that some people were bleeding. Once he jumped, the ocean "was so cold. ... I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live."

The water temperature in the area was about 12 degrees Celsius, cold enough to cause signs of hypothermia after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, according to an emergency official who spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules. Officials said mud on the ocean floor made underwater search operations ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – The discovery of seven dead babies in cardboard boxes in a Utah garage has police desperately seeking answers from the mother and other family members about how such a tragedy unfolded over a decade with no one noticing.

Megan Huntsman, 39, is accused of killing her babies after giving birth to the children between 1996 and 2006, investigators said. She was booked Sunday into the Utah County Jail on six counts of murder. It wasn't immediately clear if Huntsman has an attorney or why there were six counts and not seven.

The gruesome case has raised a series of questions about how the killings occurred despite Huntsman carrying out what neighbors said seemed like a normal existence. Police declined to comment on a motive and on what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

Her estranged husband made the discovery while cleaning out the garage after recently getting out of prison. Authorities do not believe he was aware of the killings and he isn't a person of interest at this time.

Police Capt. Michael Roberts said officers responded to a call from him Saturday about a dead infant, and then they found the six other bodies.

Family and neighbors identified the estranged husband as Darren West, who has been in prison on drug-related charges.

Roberts said police believe West and Huntsman were together when the babies were born.

"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," Roberts told The Associated Press

Asked how West could not have known about the situation, Roberts replied, "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."

The babies' bodies were sent to the Utah medical examiner's office for tests, including one to determine the cause of death. DNA samples taken from the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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A great-great grandmother who is the oldest barmaid in the world will soon celebrate her 100th birthday - but has no plans to retire.

Dolly Saville still works three days a week at The Red Lion Hotel in Wendover, Bucks, where she has been pulling pints for an incredible 74 years since 1940.

She started working at the bar when she was just 26 and King George VI was on the throne, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and Britain was in the grip of World War Two.

Over the last seven decades she has served scores of famous faces, including Pierce Brosnan, Ted Heath, Stanley Matthews, Vera Lynn, Margot Fonteyn and Elizabeth Taylor.

Until six years ago, she was still working at least six hours a day, six days a week and has only ever had two weeks sick leave.

She has now reduced her work to three shifts a week, but still spends hours on her feet clearing tables, polishing glasses and serving customers.

Mrs Saville, who has three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter, reckons she has pulled two million pints in the bar, named Dolly's in her honour.

"I love my work and I love the people, it keeps me going and it's better than sitting around," she said.

"I never thought I would be here this long, but I've loved every minute of it. My family keeps asking if I want to stop, but I have no plans to retire.

"My boss is lovely and if he asked me to work an extra shift I would say yes as he has been so kind to me."


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A Brooklyn man wants a million dollars for every year the state wrongly locked him up in prison.

Derrick Deacon, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, has hit the state with a $25 million lawsuit he hopes will teach authorities a lesson about bending the rules to gain a conviction.

“These people have to pay for every day they made me suffer behind the wall for no reason,” Deacon, 58, who was freed last year by new evidence, told The New York Post.

Deacon was convicted of murder on Dec. 21, 1989, in the fatal shooting that April of Anthony Wynn, 16. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

But Deacon was granted a new trial on June 20, 2012, after a Jamaican gangbanger said a fellow gang members killed Wynn.

Also, a woman who took the stand at Deacon’s trial recanted her testimony, saying police or district attorney investigators had coached and even threatened her.

Colleen Campbell had told investigators Deacon was not the man she saw fleeing in a stairwell after the shooting, but she was coached to give vague testimony at trial, with authorities threatening to take her children if she didn’t cooperate, the suit states.

“[Police] told Campbell that she was in trouble for leaving the children unattended and that the children would be taken away unless she accompanied them to the District Attorney’s Office,” says the suit, filed by Deacon’s defense attorney, Glenn Garber.

Fox News

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KAMPALA, Uganda – Goaded by journalists who wanted a clear view of her face, the Ugandan nurse looked dazed and on the verge of tears. The Ugandan press had dubbed her "the killer nurse," after the HIV-infected medical worker was accused of deliberately injecting her blood into a two-year-old patient.

The 64-year-old nurse, Rosemary Namubiru, was charged with attempted murder, denied bail and sent to jail in an unusual case that many here saw as a horrifying example of the lax hospital standards believed to be prevalent in this East African country.

But in the course of her trial -- on the revised charge of criminal negligence -- the nurse is attracting sympathy and emerging as the apparent victim of rampant stigma in a country that until recently was being praised as a global leader in fighting AIDS and promoting an open attitude toward the disease.

The nurse, while attempting to give an injection to a distraught child on Jan. 7, accidentally pricked her finger with a needle, according to AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy group that has been monitoring the ongoing trial. After bandaging her finger she returned to administer the injection, apparently using the contaminated needle. Uncertain about whether the same needle was used, the child's mother "became concerned about the possibility that her child had been exposed to HIV," the group said. After a test showed the nurse was HIV positive, she was arrested and prosecutors argued against giving her bail on the grounds that she posed a grave danger to the public.

If convicted, the nurse faces seven years in jail and would be the first Ugandan medical worker to be sentenced under a colonial-era law against negligent acts likely to lead to the spread of an infectious disease.

The ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius accused him on Monday of "tailoring" his version of how he killed his girlfriend, as the grueling cross-examination of the track star went into a second week.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has accused the athlete of hiding the truth about the death of Reeva Steenkamp, whom he shot last year through a closed toilet door in his luxury home in Pretoria, South Africa.

His questions have sought to undermine Pistorius' reliability and credibility and to portray the Olympic and Paralympic athlete as someone who was inventing his version of events to suit his story.

Nel, known in South African legal circles for his bulldog-like approach to questioning, has gone through minute detail regarding the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013, repeatedly challenging the double amputee over his actions that night.

On Monday, in yet another intense scrutiny of his story, the prosecutor again tried to exhaustively highlight apparent inconsistencies between Pistorius' bail application and his testimony in court to show he is "tailoring his evidence" to suit the defense case.

"I am going to point out to you how improbable your version is," Nel told the runner, who sat immobile, staring ahead at the judge as he answered questions.

The prosecution's argument is that Pistorius shot Steenkamp intentionally after a heated argument. Pistorius does not deny shooting her but insists that he mistook her for an intruder.

"I did not fire at Reeva," Pistorius told the court, his voice breaking, causing a second brief adjournment in the day's proceedings so he could gather himself.

Scrutinizing every detail

Nel took Pistorius detail by detail through what happened on the night of Steenkamp's death -- where he moved, how he moved, what he saw ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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Police in Poland say an alleged thief tried to dispose of incriminating evidence - by eating the proceeds of his crimes.

A police surgeon was called after suspected burglar Dariusz Piotrowski complained of stomach pains after being taken into custody.

The medic was baffled as to the cause of the discomfort after a preliminary examination so arranged for the man to have an x-ray.

It was then he found to his amazement that Piotrowski's stomach was stuffed with stolen goods.

He had swallowed cigarette lighters, six watches, a fork, a spoon, nail clippers and a pen.

The case has become a textbook example of unusual medical cases for the Polish Anaesthetics' Society which placed details of the human dustbin on its Facebook page.

"The patient ate them," said a caption alongside the objects. "The patient was referred by the court to undergo psychiatric treatment after it was proved the swallowed watches were stolen."

Police confirmed that Piotrowski, 39, had been arrested in Warsaw and taken to the cells as he fled a house burglary.

A police spokesman said: "Officers lost sight of him briefly after chasing him, but then found him hiding in the bushes of a garden of a nearby house.

"It was while he was crouched down in the shrubbery that he probably took the opportunity to try to mask his crime by eating the objects he had stolen."

It took surgeons several hours to remove the plundered goods.


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