VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April 9, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: separatists in Pakistan bomb a train station killing 14 people, US officials accuse Russia of fueling unrest in eastern Ukraine, deadly clashes in a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon and Edward Snowden testifies before the Council of Europe via webcam.

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Baluch Separatists Bomb Train Station Killing 14
An explosion has ripped through a passenger train in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, killing 14.

US Accuses Russia of Fueling Unrest in Eastern Ukraine
US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Russia of orchestrating the recent unrest in Eastern Ukraine.

Deadly Clashes in Palestinian Refugee Camp
Eight people were killed in violent clashes between rival Palestinian factions at a refugee camp in the south of Lebanon.

Snowden Testifies at Council of Europe via Webcam
Whistleblower Edward Snowden told Europe’s top human rights body that America’s surveillance program has been illegally spying on NGOs like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

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Tatar Nation: The Other Crimea

Crimea’s Tatars — who amount to 12 percent of the peninsula’s 2.2 million residents — overwhelmingly boycotted the March 16th referendum for Crimea to become part of Russia. The Tatar’s bad history with Russia was a major factor of their decision, as Stalin persecuted and deported them en masse from the Crimean Peninsula in 1944. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Tatars trickled back into Crimea, but their status there was always temporary. With Crimea’s much-disputed status as part of Russia following the referendum, the future of the Tatars is a big question mark. VICE News’ Simon Ostrovsky spent some time with Tatars in Simferopol in the week leading up to the referendum to get their side of the story.

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Protesters Break Into Kiev’s Parliament: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 20)

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As Crimea becomes part of Russia, tensions continue to rise in Ukraine and demonstrators attempt to break into parliament in Kiev. VICE News’ Simon Ostrovsky joins the protesters in Independence Square as they fight for a change in their government.

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Forcing Troops out of Crimea: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 19)

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Earlier this week, Ukraine’s government finally grasped reality and ordered its troops out of Crimea. But by the time of the evacuation order, Russia’s military had already started booting Ukrainian troops from their bases or getting them to switch sides. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky met with Ukrainian Marines in Feodosia as they decided whether to remain loyal to their country or break their oath of allegiance to stay with their families in Crimea.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – March 26, 2014.

The VICE News Capsule is a daily roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: France’s far right party, Russia’s space program, Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and Syria’s space program.

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France’s Far Right Party Wins A Socialist Stronghold
France’s anti-immigrant National Front party just won an election in Henin-Beaumont — an industrial town that used to be a stronghold of the Socialist party.

Sanctions Impacting Russia’s Space Program
The recent tensions between Moscow and Washington could hinder the US-Russian Space collaboration, affecting NASA’s future role in Space. Read the article on VICE News: https://news.vice.com/articles/how-to-screw-your-partner-in-space

Attacks Highlight Afghanistan’s Fragile Security
The Taliban killed at least six people and left dozens wounded in three separate attacks in Afghanistan, just 10 days before the general elections are set to take place. Read the Article on VICE News: https://news.vice.com/articles/taliban-intensifies-attacks-ahead-of-afghan-election

Syrian Government Announces Space Agency
In spite of a civil war that has torn its country apart for more than three years, the Syrian government has announced plans to start its own Space agency.

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Crimean Crisis Takes Its First Life: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 15)

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Just a few days after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted in a referendum to join Russia, the crisis across the peninsula has taken its first life. In dispatch 15, VICE News’ Simon Ostrovsky attends the funeral of the young Tatar man whose body was found this week after he was beaten by Cossacks. Despite this death, residents across Crimea are hopeful that joining Russia will bring them a brighter future.

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Start from the beginning and watch Dispatch 1 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNKsLlK52ss&list=PLw613M86o5o5zqF6WJR8zuC7Uwyv76h7R&index=2

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Putin: Crimeans Expressed Their Will in Full Accordance with Intl Law, UN Charter

The referendum in Crimea was fully consistent with international law and UN Charter, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Barack Obama, after the overwhelming majority of Crimeans expressed their willingness to join Russia.

The citizens of the peninsula have been given an opportunity to freely express their will and exercise their right to self-determination, the Russian president said in a phone conversation with his US counterpart, according to Kremlin’s press service.

With a record-breaking turnout of over 80 percent, according to preliminary results, over 95 percent of the Crimean population said ‘yes’ to the reunion of the republic with Russia. International observers have not reported any violations or anything resembling any kind of pressure during the vote.

However, Obama said the Unites States and the “international community” will “never recognize” the results of the referendum “administered under threats of violence and intimidation,” according to White House spokesman.

Obama “emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that the US in coordination with its European partners is “prepared to impose additional costs on Russia,” the White House added.

Despite the existing differences in the assessment of the situation in Ukraine, the leaders of Russia and US have agreed that they must jointly seek to help stabilize the situation in the country, the Kremlin said.

“Putin drew attention to the inability and unwillingness of the current Kiev authorities to curb rampant ultra-nationalist and radical groups, destabilizing and terrorizing civilians, including Russian-speaking population, and our fellow citizens,” Kremlin statement reads.

In this context, the possibility of sending an OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine was discussed, the press office reported. The Russian President believes such a mission should be extended to all Ukrainian regions.

Source: http://rt.com/news/crimea-referendum-reaction-putin-222/

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Ukraine: Defending the Homeland

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Last week the Ukrainian government announced the formation of the National Guard, after it was revealed that the army only had 6,000 combat ready troops compared to Russia’s 200,000. The volunteer force will bolster the under-strength military and protect Ukraine’s borders after Crimea having been effectively annexed and Russian forces now building up along Ukraine’s eastern border.

The first to answer the call were the self defense groups who fought on the barricades during last month’s revolution. So we headed down to the Maidan to hopefully tag along with them to the training grounds outside of Kiev for their induction day.

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Civilians Clash Over Crimea Referendum: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 8)

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As Russia moves 10,000 troops to the Ukrainian border and Crimea prepares for a secession referendum, tension remains high all over Ukraine, especially in the East.

On the night of Thursday, March 13 VICE News reporter Robert King captured this scene on the streets of Donetsk, where a large group of pro-Russian activists attacked a group of pro-Ukrainian demonstrators calling for unity.

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Ship Sinked to Block Port: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 4)

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With Crimea’s parliament voting to secede from Ukraine, Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian military installations in the peninsula has moved seaside. The Russian Black Sea Fleet prepared a special operation: the sinking of a decommissioned ship in the middle of Donuzlav Bay in order to prevent traffic in and out of Crimea’s port.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky noticed that the unidentified men in military fatigues had suddenly disappeared from the bases — locals said that they’d gone to obstruct a mission of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from entering the region.

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