Only "God knows", apparently, why eastern Ukraine was so foolishly cut off from Russia almost a century ago, says Vladimir Putin—the pièce de resistance in remarks that saw him make nods to Tsarist might and count parliamentary approval for a potential military invasion of what he's now calling "New Russia." But Putin insists his soldiers haven't been helping foment the increasingly violent pro-Russian uprisings in "New Russia"—even though he's now admitted that's what happened in recently seized Crimea. Ukraine has responded to all this by making it more difficult for Russian men to enter the country.
This all played out on live Russian TV. And naturally, that also meant a live video question from NSA whistle-blower (and Pulitzer Prize contributor) Edward Snowden. Asked by Snowden if Russia spies on itself like America spies on itself, Putin pretty much lied and said no. Snowden is now also a circus bear.
All this nationalist posturing has left Putin rather popular at home—a turnabout after his relatively narrow "election" victory. It might also have been meant as an antidote to Russia's weakening economy. Even before western sanctions meant to punish Russia's expansionism, things were starting to sour.
The reports say he cut off his own penis, before jumping off a building. And somehow not dying (because I can't call that surviving). But doesn't anyone else find that depiction of what happened to rapper Andre Johnson more than a little suspicious?
Republicans have figured out a genius way to build their donor rolls for the mid-term elections and beyond. They've started giving away guns.
The captain of a sinking South Korean ferry abandoned ship with six crew members yesterday—never mind that nearly 300 people were still trapped inside, many of them teenagers who'd been told to shelter in their cabins instead of heading for the rails.
In China, economic growth of 7.2 percent—almost three times more than America's rate of economic growth—is seen as a troubling sign of a downturn.
A "missing" French toddler, subject of a massive, frantic, and heartfelt search-and-rescue effort, was nothing more than a Facebook construct. Neither he nor his parents apparently exist IRL.
The reverse 911 calls meant to warn people not to go outside during a tense manhunt after yesterday's police shooting in Southwest Portland were an epic failure. And now the city is in a war of words with the service's contractor over who's to blame.
Someone peed in the Mount Tabor reservoir. When I posted the security footage last night, I was surprised no one seemed to care—quite unlike a similar story three years ago that got national play. I was wrong. It's gone national again.
A pregnant woman checked into a Florida motel and allegedly treated herself to a daylong crack-cocaine binge. Pretty soon after, she was giving birth to her premature child in the bathtub. She bit off the umbilical cord. Her other child, 11 months old, was with her. Her boyfriend was not. He'd been pulled over for speeding and was snapped up on an attempted murder charge out of Colorado. The tiny baby, mercifully, did not die.
Carrying a bright-yellow squirt gun is considered a capital offense at Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Maine. A sophomore found himself suspended for two weeks after the toy tumbled from his backpack.
This is just a reminder that Larry Flynt still sends monthly copies of Hustler to every congressional office. He's been doing it since 1983.
I KNOW RUSSIA IS IN THE PAPERS A LOT THESE DAYS. THAT UKRAINE STUFF IS A REAL BAD TRICK! BUT PLEASE DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU RUSSIA IS ALL BAD. BECAUSE THIS HERE IS A REAL GOOD TRICK!