|Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announces that the Obama administration has stepped up its aid to Ukraine as tensions with Russia continue.

Published in U.S. Politics

April 14, 2014: The USS Donald Cook is docked in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania.AP

A Russian warplane made several close-range passes by an American warship in the Black Sea over the weekend, in what the Pentagon is calling a "provocative" move amid escalating tensions in the region. 

The jet, a Russian Su-24, made numerous low-altitude passes on Saturday over the USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile Navy destroyer in the western Black Sea, the Pentagon confirmed.

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Igor Birman, shown here, is running for Congress in California.Igor Birman

During the darkest days of the Cold War, some in Washington feared a Communist infiltration inside the highest reaches of the government. It would have been unimaginable then that a man born and raised in Soviet-era Moscow would mount a strong challenge for a seat in Congress, with a rallying cry of freedom against government. 

Yet that's exactly what's happening in suburban Sacramento where Moscow-born Igor Birman, 32, is living his American dream and trying to become the first-ever member of Congress born in the Soviet Union.

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April 6, 2014: Pro-Russian activists hold a huge Russian national flag in front of the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Andrey Basevich)

Ukrainian authorities say that pro-Russian gunman have seized government buildings in two major cities the eastern part of that country in the latest case of unrest that the interim Ukrainian government believes is being fueled by Moscow. 

Speaking at an emergency Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Russia's plan was "to destabilize the situation, the plan is for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country's territory, which we will not allow.

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MOSCOW – A senior Russian diplomat says U.S. officials should do yoga and watch TV comedy series to ease what he calls their irrational fixation on punishing Russia over Ukraine.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov's comments to the Interfax news agency Thursday reflected simmering tensions between Moscow and Washington over Russia's annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and the EU have slapped members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's entourage with travel bans and asset freezes.

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U.S. actor Steven Seagal talks to the media after he adopted Grivei, a stray dog from the Dogtown kennel in Uzunu, 40 km (24 miles) south of Bucharest November 17, 2013.Reuters

Steven Seagal is raising eyebrows with some comments he made about the situation in Russia and when speaking to state-run newspaper Rossiskaya Gazeta, according to the Moscow Times.

Seagal praised controversial President Vladimir Putin, calling him "one of the great living world leaders" adding he "would like to consider him as a brother.

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|President Obama says what's at stake in the standoff with Russia over Ukraine is a set of international norms that took generations to develop.

Published in U.S. Politics
Romney: Obama's failed Russian diplomacy
Monday, 24 March 2014 18:01

Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for his diplomacy with Russia in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

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FILE: Nov. 5, 2013: Former President Jimmy Carter at a news conference in New York City, N.Y.REUTERS

Former President Jimmy Carter on Sunday criticized the Obama administration’s surveillance efforts, saying the country’s uses of drones has been “abused” and that he communicates by mail with foreign leaders for fear his electronic correspondences are being watched.

“I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored,” the former Democratic president told NBC’s “Meet the Press.

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Alien broadcast beacon? Rocket launch? Extra-terrestrial city?

A new analysis of a photograph taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals an unusually bright light amid the frozen seas of Saturn's giant moon Titan. But according to researchers from the University of Idaho in Moscow, the light -- just a few pixels in the overall image -- is no alien transmission or nuclear blast but a reflection of the planet's churning waters: It's the first time waves on the seas of the moon have been spotted.

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