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March 8, 2014
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If there was still any question as to whether Russia is in total control of Crimea, Andrew Higgins reports for The New York Times that planes headed for Kiev no longer even depart from the domestic terminal.

Higgins' article also serves as an excellent history lesson on Crimea in general and conflicted city Sevastopol in particular. He found residents divided over whether to return to their Russian roots through a March 16 referendum, or remain loyal to Ukraine:

Victoria Krupko: "We're returning home. We've waited a long time for this."

Viktor Negarov: "In reality, Sevastopol is a city of losers. People here don't like to hear this, but that is the reality of our history … I don't know how to fix this. Nearly everyone has been brainwashed." [The New York Times]

Read Higgins' entire story here. Sarah Eberspacher

10:53 a.m. ET

At least three times since the election, Hillary Clinton has been spotted — and duly photographed for social media — while taking walks through the woods near her home in Chappaqua, New York. The sightings have become such a regular occurrence that Saturday Night Live launched a "quest for Bigfoot"-style investigation to find Clinton in a sketch called "The Hunt for Hil."

As one eyewitness recounts, the creature haunting the woods of Westchester County is "blonde, about 5-foot-6, and it seemed like it wanted to be by itself — so I started running after it." Wildlife investigators Rafe DeGraw and Coop Dixon are on the case, mimicking as a lure the distinctive laugh of "the most elusive legend of all." Watch the full skit below. Bonnie Kristian

10:33 a.m. ET

The ashes of former Cuban President Fidel Castro were interred Sunday morning in Santiago, Cuba, following nine days of national mourning. "Few in the world believed in [Cuba's] ability to resist and overcome," said Fidel's brother, current Cuban President Raúl Castro, at the interment. "Fidel showed us that it was possible."

Raúl also announced Cuba would not name streets and landmarks after his deceased brother, insisting that the "leader of the revolution rejected any manifestation of a cult of personality and was consistent in that through the last hours of his life." Apparently having missed that memo, Cubans who watched a four-day procession of Castro's casket chanted, "I am Fidel! I am Fidel!" as it passed. Bonnie Kristian

8:47 a.m. ET
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President-elect Donald Trump "is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world's leading countries," said Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview aired Sunday. "Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if [he is] a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility. We assume that he will be acting from these positions," Putin added.

Trump has been accused of undue friendliness toward Putin, particularly considering alleged Russian hacking to influence the U.S. election. Before Sunday's remarks, Trump liked to quote a mistranslated Putin comment in which Trump believed the Russian president called him "brilliant." But a better translation than "brilliant" would be "vivid" or "colorful;" the Russian word Putin used means "bright," yet does not carry the English meaning of "intelligent." Bonnie Kristian

8:25 a.m. ET

Saturday Night Live returned with an opener featuring Alec Baldwin's Twitter-happy President-elect Donald Trump, as well as the random Twitter users he loves to retweet. While Kate McKinnon’s Kellyanne Conway vainly attempted to wrangle Trump for a security briefing, the apparently irresistible lure of sharing the words of complete strangers with millions of people just kept pulling him back to his phone.

Though the sketch was ripped from real life (Trump actually did retweet a 16-year-old high school kid weighing in on voter fraud last week), the man himself was yet again displeased with SNL's portrayal. "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live — unwatchable!" he said on Twitter, apparently without irony. "Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse." Watch the offending skit below. Bonnie Kristian

8:01 a.m. ET

The Green Party dropped its initial case for a statewide recount in Pennsylvania in court documents released Saturday, but early Sunday the Green Party nominee spearheading the recount campaign, Jill Stein, said she will instead file suit in federal court demanding a recount on constitutional grounds.

On "Monday the Stein campaign will escalate our campaign in Pennsylvania and file for emergency relief in federal court, demanding a statewide recount on constitutional grounds," said a statement released around midnight.

Pennsylvania required a $1 million bond to advance the recount under Stein's previous strategy. Her recount push has also been hit with lawsuits in Michigan and Wisconsin, and critics have charged the whole project is pointless given electoral realities. Bonnie Kristian

December 3, 2016
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A transgender police officer in San Diego was barred from an LGBT event that she helped organize over concerns that her uniform would upset other attendees. Officer Christine Garcia helped plan and provided security for the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event honoring victims of transgender-violence, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. But when she tried to enter a post-march event, she was turned away. A spokesperson blamed the incident on a "misunderstanding" and later apologized directly to Garcia, as well as the San Diego police chief.

"While we need to support those that are uncomfortable and honor their reactions to valid and understandable difficult previous experiences," one of the organizers wrote in a statement, "our LGBTQ San Diego police liaisons are a valued part of our community." The Week Staff

December 3, 2016
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Just days after the NFL's decision to suspend Seantrel Henderson, Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, for 10 games for using marijuana to treat his Crohn's Disease, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr — the NBA's coach of the year last season — expressed support for a softer stance on pot from professional sports leagues.

"I'm not a pot person. It doesn't agree with me. I tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all," Kerr said in a podcast interview that aired Friday. "So I'm not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you're an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don't think there's any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin," he continued. "And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it's Vitamin C, like it's no big deal."

Kerr said he hopes to see a more reasonable approach to medical marijuana in pro sports, noting that concerns about negative public perception of pot users are increasingly a thing of the past. The full podcast is available here. Bonnie Kristian

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