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April 14, 2014
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As they did in Crimea, gun-wielding pro-Moscow militants are taking over government buildings in eastern Ukraine, posing something of a dilemma for the interim government in Kiev. Without a forceful response, it could risk a repeat of Russia's near-bloodless takeover of Crimea, starting with eastern cities like Donetsk and Slavyansk, or it could fight back and risk giving Russia a pretext to send troops in ostensibly to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine. With the militant activity expanding, President Oleksandr Turchynov chose the former course.

"The Council of National Security and Defense has decided to carry out a large-scale anti-terrorist operation with the use of armed forces of Ukraine," Turchynov said Sunday afternoon. "We won't allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern region of Ukraine." He softened the news a little bit, promising amnesty to protesters to leave peacefully without firing shots and offering greater local governance to eastern provinces.

Russia responded by calling for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sunday night, where Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin argued that the world's powers should stop Ukraine from using force. The U.S. incited the anti-Moscow demonstrations in Kiev that led to the ouster of pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych, Churkin alleged, "so now the U.S. is going to encourage this criminal use of force?.... In just a few hours' time things might take an irreversible turn for the worse."

The U.S., Europe, and Ukraine countered with evidence that the well-armed militants leading the takeover of Ukrainian government buildings are Russian commandos. But forget about that for a minute.

The idea that Russia would argue that a government doesn't have the right to quell uprisings within its own borders would be darkly comical if the situation weren't so serious. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that no other countries interfere as he brutally crushed Islamic separatist movements in Checnhya and Dagestan — though, to be fair, the U.S. at least wasn't overly sympathetic toward Russia's Islamist militants in the post-9/11 Chechen crackdowns. And it was right after meeting with Putin at the Sochi Olympics that Yanukovych started his ill-fated crackdown on the Ukrainian protesters camped out in Kiev's Maidan square.

If any other country were dealing with an armed separatist movement within its borders, Russia would applaud its strong hand and warn other countries to back off. I wouldn't be surprised if Turchynov chose his words — "anti-terrorist operation" — primarily for Russia's benefit. Peter Weber

7:56 a.m. ET
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Facebook and Microsoft are taking their quest for faster internet to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The two tech giants have announced that they're planning to start construction on a giant underwater fiber optic cable in August that will span from Virginia Beach to Balboa, Spain — a distance of more than 4,000 miles. The cable is set to be "the highest capacity link across the Atlantic," The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a joint statement Thursday, Microsoft and Facebook said the cable will make bandwidth rates faster and increase reliability of cloud services like Skype, Xbox Live, photo sharing, and live video broadcasting. The cable will handle up to 160 terabytes per second. That's roughly 8.5 million times the average home internet speed in the UK, The Independent reports.

Construction is set to be completed by October 2017. Becca Stanek

7:47 a.m. ET
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On Thursday night, the U.S. government–funded National Toxicology Program released partial results from a multi-year, peer-reviewed study on the risk of cancer from cellphone emissions, and unfortunately they found "low incidences" of two types of tumors. Some previous epidemiological studies have also found an increase in these two types of tumor — gliomas, in the brain's glial cells, and schwannomas in the heart — leading the World Health Organization to classify cellphone radiation as a 2B possible carcinogen (the same category as coffee and some pickles, The Wall Street Journal notes).

"Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health," the NTP said. The $25 million study, overseen by the National Institutes of Health, used rats and mice, exposing them to radio frequencies from GSM and CDMA devices, the two most common types of consumer wireless technologies. Only the male rats appeared to experience a boost in cancer rates.

Experiments on rodents and other lab animals don't always translate to humans, and a number of other studies have found no link between cancer and cellphones, including a recent study from Australia that found no rise in brain cancer since cellphones were introduced in the 1980s. But "where people were saying there's no risk, I think this ends that kind of statement," Ron Melnick, who ran the NTP project until retiring in 2009, told The Wall Street Journal. The full study, slated to be released by the fall of 2017, could prompt the U.S. government to modify its safety guidelines, including recommending you talk only with a headset or avoid carrying your phone in your pocket. Peter Weber

7:33 a.m. ET
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Anyone who has ever tried to teach a parent how to use a newfangled electronic device is likely to be sympathetic to Hillary Clinton's apparent plight with her desktop computer. According to a sworn deposition by former State Department administrative official Lewis A. Lukens, Clinton was not ultimately set up with a computer in her office when she became secretary of state in 2009 because she was "very comfortable checking her emails on a BlackBerry, but she [was] not adept or used to checking her emails on a desktop."

The "I can't work a computer" excuse might have made sense in the early aughts... but it's pretty baffling for a high government official by 2009 (although one presidential candidate in 2016 has confessed he still doesn't even do "the email thing"). What's more, the release of the deposition follows an excruciating report from the State Department's inspector general earlier this week, which raised questions about Clinton and her aides' seemingly willful disregard for following proper cybersecurity measures.

The question of how adept Clinton was at computers is only the latest excuse from her camp; the Clinton team has also defended the former secretary of state for using her BlackBerry by saying two phones would have been a hassle, that she did not want a government account to mingle with her nonwork matters, and to keep information from the potentially prying eyes of Republican lawmakers.

The State Department has said 22 emails sent or received from her private email server while secretary of state were top secret, but not marked as classified. Clinton has since called the decision to use her private server "a mistake." Jeva Lange

6:32 a.m. ET

On Wednesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel asked Donald Trump a question from Bernie Sanders — a Trump-Sanders debate may arise out of it, seriously — and on Thursday's show, Kimmel asked Sanders a Trump question: "Dear Crazy Bernie, will you run [as] a third-party communist against Hillary, or are you a coward and a loser?" That wasn't the actual question, but what Trump really proposed was essentialy the same. "Bernie, you have been treated very unfairly," Trump began. "Will you run as an independent when Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic Party bosses steal this nomination away from you?"

"Well, I think there's a little self-service there for Donald Trump," Sanders said. And then he poured on the sarcasm, finally ending with his final answer: "Tell him what I hope will happen is that, in fact, I will run against him as the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, and if I do, we're going to beat him, and beat him bad. You can tell him that." "I don't think I'll see him again," Kimmel replied. But if the debate really happens — and I'd say it won't, but who knows with this election? — Sanders can tell Trump himself. Peter Weber

5:41 a.m. ET

In a speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Obama called for an end to nuclear weapons. On June 6, 1945, Obama said, "death fell from the sky and the world was changed." When the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki, killing about 210,000 people and effectively ending World War II, the bomb "demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself."

"We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell," Obama said, "We listen to a silent cry." He did not apologize, but said the memory of Hiroshima "must never fade." He ended his speech with a call for "a future in which Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not known as the dawn of atomic warfare, but as the start of our own moral awakening."

Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima. Before speaking, Obama laid a wreath at the monument, and afterward he met with survivors of the bombing. Obama also signed the guest book, and this is what he wrote: "We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons." Peter Weber

4:46 a.m. ET

On Friday, President Obama landed in Hiroshima, making him the first sitting U.S. president to visit the city destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Obama has said he won't apologize for the bombing, which killed 100,000 people, mostly civilians, but on Friday he laid a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and also visited the more controversial museum, which mostly portrays Japan as a victim. Security is tight at the memorial park, but hundreds of people are lined up along Peace Boulevard, waving for Obama, The New York Times reports, including bombing survivors, a Buddhist monk, and families and office workers.

"Even if all he does is come here, that is enough," said Jitsuo Mizuta, 84, who survived the Hiroshima bombing. "I am so happy. I don't need any apology or anything." Peter Weber

4:25 a.m. ET

On Thursday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert had a little announcement: "Just today, Donald Trump received his 1,237th delegate, clinching the Republican nomination." He let that sink in a bit. "So, that's it," he said. "It's official. The die is cast. Trump's the nominee." Colbert laid down on the floor. Then he explained what put Trump over the top: really unenthusiastic Republican delegates agreeing to back the now-really-presumptive nominee. Seriously, the quote he read from a Pennsylvania delegate is hilariously cold — and Colbert reluctantly got off the floor to offer some suggestions to spice it up.

"But wait, there's more," Colbert said, bringing up the tentative debate between Trump and Bernie Sanders. The audience cheered. "I don't know why you're applauding," he said. "That's going to be two angry New Yorkers shouting at each other. It'll be like the whole country is trapped in a subway car." Colbert also noted that Trump's condition is raising somewhere near $15 million for a charity — and Colbert had a guess at the one Trump would choose. Watch below. Peter Weber

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