foreign affairs
March 1, 2014

With the Russian Parliament approving Vladimir Putin's request to deploy troops in Ukraine, foreign policy wonk Ian Bremmer has weighed in with a graphic illustrating Russia's perspective on the Ukraine, and just why Russia is willing to entangle itself in the country, in spite of the warnings of President Obama and other Western leaders not to do so:

The territory that makes up the Ukraine today has been part of various Russian empires for much of the past 400 years. Some regions — including the troubled Crimea — have Russian majorities even today due to mass migration that occurred during the Soviet years. And Kiev — the Ukrainian capital today — was the first capital of Russia itself.

The breakup of the Soviet Union has been a long and messy process, and is in some ways still ongoing today in the Ukraine. If the Russian-majority regions including Crimea wish to leave and rejoin Russia, it would seem to be rather impossible and futile to prevent that process.

On the other hand, if Russia tries to annex the whole of the Ukraine, then that is much more likely to draw Western retaliation, a rather edgy and tense prospect given the massive numbers of Russian and Western nuclear weapons. John Aziz

face off
2:26 p.m. ET

Rebekah Aversano's brother was struck by a minivan and killed three years ago, when he was 21. Aversano's Maryland family donated Joshua's face to Richard Norris, who received a transplant in 2012 for the teeth, jaw, tongue muscles, and nerves after being severely disfigured in a years-old shooting accident, The Guardian reports. The risky procedure took the University of Maryland team 36 hours.

When Aversano met Norris, a 39-year-old from Virginia, she asked permission to stroke his face.

"Wow, this is the face I grew up with," she said.

The 60 Minutes Australia trailer for the meeting is surreal. Julie Kliegman

Around the world
1:37 p.m. ET
Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Police detained about 20 people during an unsanctioned LGBT rights rally in central Moscow on Saturday, Reuters reports, including demonstrators and anti-gay protestors. Authorities have now blocked demonstrators from holding a pride parade 10 years in a row. Police and anti-LGBT protestors attacked, beat, and pepper-sprayed activists.

Activists, who were outnumbered by cops at Tverskaya Square, held a rainbow flag reading "Make love not war" before police took it away. Julie Kliegman

zoinks!
12:33 p.m. ET
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond was convicted Friday of two misdemeanors related to a barroom stabbing last Christmas, the Associated Press reports. The Wisconsin jury cleared "Screech" of the felony charge, which was recklessly endangering public safety.

Diamond, 38, testified he had not intended to stab anybody. The victim said he hadn't known he was stabbed until he left the bar and talked to police, AP reports.

Carrying a concealed weapon carries a maximum sentence of nine months, and disorderly conduct a maximum of 90 days. Diamond's girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, was also convicted of disorderly conduct. A sentencing date has not been announced. Julie Kliegman

if you say so
12:00 p.m. ET
Alessandro Della Bella/Getty Images

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said at a news conference Saturday he has no ties to the governing body's corruption, Mashable reports.

"Arrested for what? Next question," he told a reporter one day after easily winning re-election to his fifth term.

He denied that the "high-ranking FIFA official" who wired $10 million in alleged bribes mentioned in Wednesday's U.S. Department of Justice department was him.

"Definitely that is not me," Blatter said. "I have no $10 million." Julie Kliegman

police shootings
11:38 a.m. ET
Ricky Rhodes/Getty Images

An Ohio prosecutor filed a motion Friday asking a state appeals court to correct "egregious" mistakes in clearing police officer Michael Brelo in the 2012 fatal shooting of an unarmed black man and woman, Reuters reports. Judge John O'Donnell ruled a week ago it was impossible to determine whether Brelo fired the shots that killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a high-speed car chase. The officer had been charged with voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. Julie Kliegman

2016 fever
11:03 a.m. ET
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) formally launched his presidential candidacy Saturday in a Baltimore speech.

"I declare that I am a candidate for president of the United States and I am running for you," he told a crowd of supporters with his family by his side.

O'Malley spoke of striving to work toward economic, racial, marriage, and gender inequality. He'll face off against Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and likely former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the Democratic nomination. Julie Kliegman

hockey
8:11 a.m. ET
Elsa/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning bought a ticket to the Stanley Cup final with a 2-0 win over the New York Rangers in Game 7 on Friday night. After a scoreless 40 minutes in Madison Square Garden, Alex Killorn and Ondrej Palat each notched a goal.

The Lightning will face the winner of tonight's Game 7 matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Stanley Cup finals begin June 3. Julie Kliegman

See More Speed Reads