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March 3, 2014

It's anyone's guess how Russia will act in Ukraine over the coming days and weeks. The New Yorker's David Reminick, who spent years reporting out of Russia, and who recently wrote a fascinating analysis of Putin's worldview, argues that the situation could get much worse before it gets better. To justify the invasion of Crimea, the Russian parliament "repeatedly echoed the need to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine — a theme consonant with the Kremlin's rhetoric about Russians everywhere, including the Baltic States," he writes. "But there was, of course, not one word about the sovereignty of Ukraine, which has been independent since the fall of the Soviet Union, in December, 1991."

If this is the logic of the Russian invasion, the military incursion is unlikely to stop in Crimea: nearly all of eastern Ukraine is Russian-speaking. Russia defines its interests far beyond its Black Sea fleet and the Crimean peninsula […]

It's also worth noting that, in 1968, Moscow was reacting to the "threat" of the Prague Spring and to ideological liberalization in Eastern Europe; in 1979, the Kremlin leadership was reacting to the upheavals in Kabul. The rationale now is far flimsier, even in Moscow's own terms. The people of the Crimean peninsula were hardly under threat by "fascist gangs" from Kiev. In the east, cities like Donetsk and Kharkov had also been quiet, though that may already be changing. That's the advantage of Putin's state-controlled television and his pocket legislature; you can create any reality and pass any edict. [The New Yorker]

So far, the U.S. and other Western powers have condemned the Russian incursion without calling for forceful consequences beyond sanctions. That could change if Russia indeed decides to solidify its grasp on Crimea, or push on into Ukraine. Jon Terbush

11:27 p.m. ET

One of Jimmy Kimmel's signature segments on his late night show is "Mean Tweets," and just because Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are nominated for Academy Awards, he didn't let them off easy in his Oscar edition. In a pre-recorded bit, the La La Land stars and other celebrities read rude messages sent to them via Twitter, and while several were able to laugh them off — like Eddie Redmayne, who thought it was hilarious that @tahnight said he's the "scum between my toes" — others were not so keen (cough Robert De Niro). Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia

10:56 p.m. ET

When Jimmy Kimmel and the producers of this year's Academy Awards had the idea to surprise a group of Hollywood tourists by having them crash the ceremony, they probably had no idea that someone like Gary from Chicago was going to show up.

Gary walked into the Dolby Theater snapping photos on his iPhone, and he continued to do so as he walked past the front row of A-listers, shaking hands with Ryan Gosling, kissing Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer's hands, and ignoring Emma Stone and her brother. He was also able to hang out with newly-minted Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, who kindly let him hold his statue. Gary was accompanied by his fiancée, Vicki, who told Kimmel her favorite actor is Denzel Washington. That was all Kimmel had to hear — he asked Washington to serve as the best man at their wedding, but Washington did one better, and pronounced them husband and wife. "He's Denzel, so it's legal," Kimmel quipped. Watch the video of The Gary Show below. Catherine Garcia

10:23 p.m. ET

With her Academy Award win for best supporting actress on Sunday night, Fences star Viola Davis became the first black performer, and the 23rd person overall, to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for acting.

In 2015, Davis, the star of How to Get Away with Murder, won an Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series, and she has received two Tonys — one in 2011 for King Hedley II and one in 2010 for the Broadway performance of Fences. While Whoopi Goldberg has an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony, her Tony Award came from producing the Broadway musical Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Huffington Post reports. Other winners of the triple crown of acting include Helen Mirren, Al Pacino, and Ingrid Bergman. Catherine Garcia

9:34 p.m. ET

Without the calculations of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, the Apollo mission might not have happened, and the acclaimed movie Hidden Figures definitely would never have been made.

On Sunday, Johnson, 98, was honored by the Hidden Figures cast during the Academy Awards ceremony, where she received a standing ovation from the audience. Johnson's daughter, Katherine Moore, said her mother never bragged about her job, and also never backed down; while women normally weren't allowed to attend meetings at NASA, Johnson still sat in on them. "They never sent her out because nine times out of 10, she would have the answers," Moore told WNCN. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, and Moore said her hard work will inspire young girls for generations, teaching them "you can do anything you want to do." Catherine Garcia

8:53 p.m. ET
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Businessman Philip Bilden, President Trump's pick for Navy secretary, has withdrawn his name from consideration, citing ethics requirements.

In a statement on Sunday, Bilden said the position would cause "undue disruption" to his family's financial interests, and he would not be able to satisfy rules by the Office of Government Ethics. Bilden also said he still "fully supports" Trump's agenda. Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement he will make a new recommendation to Trump soon. Earlier this month, Vincent Viola, a businessman and Trump's choice for Army secretary, dropped his bid for that position. Catherine Garcia

8:12 p.m. ET
Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

Judge Joseph Wapner, famous for presiding over The People's Court, died Sunday. He was 97.

Wapner's son, David, told The Associated Press his father, who was hospitalized a week ago, died in his sleep. Wapner was the original judge for The People's Court, staying with the program from 1981 until 1993 and inspiring the television judges who followed. A native of Los Angeles, Wapner was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959 and the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1961. He retired in 1979, and was recommended for the show by a fellow judge. In 1986, Wapner told AP everything on The People's Court was real. "There's no script, no rehearsal, no retakes," he added. "Everything from beginning to end is like a real courtroom, and I personally consider each case as a trial." Catherine Garcia

1:00 p.m. ET
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

While many Americans tune in to Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, the Trump White House will host its first major social event: the 2017 Governors' Dinner. The black tie affair includes a receiving line, reception, and formal dinner with the First and Second Couples. It is timed to correspond with the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington each year.

"The Governors' Dinner is one of the most important social events held at the White House each year," said Laura Dowling, who was the chief White House floral designer for six of President Obama's eight years in office. "In terms of scope, style and planning requirements, it is just one step below a state dinner in organizational complexity."

The dinner is First Lady Melania Trump's first in her new role as White House hostess. "The first lady has put a lot of time into this event, welcoming our nation's governors to the capital," said White House Press Secretary of the evening's festivities. Bonnie Kristian

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