Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says Russian President Vladimir Putin is bent on slicing off more territory from neighboring lands in an attempt to rebuild a romanticized ideal of the Soviet Union.
In an interview with Meet the Press that will air Sunday, Yatsenyuk says Putin has his sights set on eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have in the past two weeks taken over buildings and sparred with security forces.
"President Putin has a dream to restore the Soviet Union," he says, "and every day he goes further and further, and God knows where is the final destination."
The remark comes days after Putin referred to eastern Ukraine as "new Russia" and warned that he could send troops to the region to protect ethnic Russians. And it comes as Ukrainian troops are engaged in a deadly clash to dislodge entrenched separatists from the area. A shootout at a checkpoint on Sunday left one dead and hospitalized others.
The U.S. government to some degree shares Yatsenyuk's concern. Putin infamously said in a 2005 speech that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." --Jon Terbush
Authorities in Tennessee say an 11-year-old boy shot and killed his 8-year-old neighbor Saturday after she wouldn't let him see her puppy.
Staff at White Pine School is working right now on a plan for students/faculty in wake of shooting. pic.twitter.com/ld2OTEiYnl
— Heather Burian (@WVLTBurian) October 4, 2015
Jefferson County Sheriff Bud McCoig told The Washington Post the boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the girl's death, and the case could eventually be transferred to adult court. McCoig said each child had a puppy, but when the boy asked to see the girl's puppy and she refused, he went into his house and retrieved a 12 gauge shotgun that belonged to his father and was in an unlocked closet. He fired from inside the house, hitting the girl as she stood outside in her yard. First responders found her with a gunshot wound to the chest, McCoig said, and she later died at a local hospital.
McCoig did not name the children, who both attended White Pine School in White Pine, Tennessee, but Latasha Dyer told WATE her daughter McKayla was the victim. "She was a precious girl," she said. "She was a mommy's girl. No matter how bad of a mood you were in, she could always make you smile." Dyer said she went to White Pine School's principal because the boy was "making fun of her, calling her names, just being mean to her." After talking with the principal, she said, "he quit for awhile, and then all of a sudden...he shot her." Counselors are on hand to offer support to students and staff at White Pine School, and McCoig said his department is getting through the investigation "by the grace of God." Catherine Garcia
Now that the rain that pounded the state over the weekend has stopped, officials in South Carolina say they have to start focusing on fixing the devastating damage that was done.
"I believe that things will get worse before they get better," Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said. "Eventually the floods will abate, but then we have to access the damage, and I anticipate that damage will probably be in the billions of dollars, and we're going to have to work to rebuild. Some peoples' lives as they know them will never be the same." South of Columbia, 20 inches of rain fell between Friday and Sunday, and due to widespread flooding, residents are being warned to stay off the road. "This is not the time to take pictures," Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said.
Across the state, nine people have died from weather-related events; five drowned after driving through floodwaters, and four were killed in car accidents, South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said. At least eight dams have failed, a spokesman for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said, and there are "several others that are in the process of being over-topped," he told CNN. Catherine Garcia
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said he's offered to return to the U.S. to serve prison time, but that the government has not gotten back to him with a formal plea deal.
"I've volunteered to go to prison with the government many times," he reportedly told BBC's Panorama in an interview set to air Monday. "What I won't do is, I won't serve as a deterrent to people trying to do the right thing in difficult situations."
After leaking thousands of secret government documents revealing NSA processes, Snowden sought asylum in Russia in 2013. Without a plea deal, Snowden could face a life sentence under the Espionage Act if he returns to the U.S., The Guardian reports. Authorities could use a strict sentence as a deterrent to other potential government whistleblowers.
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said a plea deal with Snowden would be a possibility, but former NSA head Michael Hayden told BBC he disagreed.
"If you're asking me my opinion, he's going to die in Moscow," Hayden said. "He's not coming home." Julie Kliegman
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) signed a bill Monday permitting doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who request them, The Los Angeles Times reports. California will join Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Vermont in legalizing the practice.
To obtain the prescriptions, terminally ill patients must be mentally competent and expected to die within six months. The law will be enforced 90 days after the state legislature adjourns its special session on healthcare, which likely won't happen until at least January, the Times reports.
California resident Brittany Maynard, who had a brain tumor, raised nationwide awareness of the issue in 2014, but state legislators didn't pass a previous version of the bill. Ultimately, the 29-year-old moved to Oregon, where she died from legally taking a fatal dose of barbiturates.
Brown, who once studied to become a priest, faced criticism from religious advocates — including the Catholic Church — for his decision to sign the bill.
"In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death," the governor said. "I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others." Julie Kliegman
Top conservative blogger Erick Erickson is leaving his role as RedState editor-in-chief at the end of December, he announced in a blog post Monday. The departure had been rumored since August, when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution alluded to a possible "re-ordering of Erick Erickson's life."
Leon Wolf, a longtime RedState writer, will become the site's managing editor. Erickson, who has served as editor-in-chief for 10 years, wrote that he'll still contribute to the site and attend 2016's RedState Gathering. He cited his growing radio career as the reason for the shift.
"Right now, RedState is me and I am RedState. It's time for Erick to be Erick and it is time for RedState to have its own identity," Erickson wrote. "I think Leon is the best person to run that transition and make that happen." Julie Kliegman
If Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina were to face off in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup in Iowa right now, Fiorina would crush Clinton by double digits. A new The Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll has Fiorina beating Clinton 52-38 — a margin of 14 points. And while Fiorina was the Republican who beat Clinton by the widest margin in Iowa, she wasn't the only Republican to lead Clinton in a matchup. Clinton also trailed Jeb Bush by 10 points and Donald Trump by seven points in Iowa.
While Clinton is still the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, her biggest competition, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), fared better than she did against Fiorina, Bush, and Trump in Iowa. Sanders only lags behind Fiorina by three points and behind Bush by two points; in a Trump matchup, Sanders leads by five points.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three points. Becca Stanek
"There is a reason the director of national intelligence said among those refugees are no doubt a significant number of ISIS terrorists," he told a crowd at a Michigan campaign stop Monday. "It would be the height of foolishness to bring in tens of thousands of people, including jihadists, that are coming here to murder innocent Americans."
But James Clapper, who Cruz refers to, has not said that. Rather, he's mentioned he's aware of the risk.
The Obama administration has also announced its plan to up its total refugee acceptance to 100,000 per fiscal year by 2017, a target designed to accommodate people fleeing Syria. As part of the September announcement, Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed background checks would be a part of the process in an effort to keep ISIS fighters from infiltrating refugee pools. Julie Kliegman