akipress.com. “Spacecraft assembly and test complex to be launched in Kazakhstan by 2016” - A spacecraft assembly and test complex is planned to be commissioned in Kazakhstan in late 2015 - early 2016, Chairman of the National Space Agency of Kazakhstan Talgat Musabayev said at a briefing in the Central Communications Service.
cnn.com. “China, Vietnam, Philippines collide amid escalating South China Sea tensions”- Tensions escalated in the South China Sea region this week after China, Vietnam and the Philippines were involved in a series of potentially explosive confrontations over disputed territory.
bbc.com. “Ukraine crisis: Eastern rebels hold self-rule referendums” - Pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's two eastern regions are holding "self-rule" referendums - a move condemned by the Ukrainian government and the West. Self-proclaimed leaders in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are going ahead with the vote despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to postpone it.
“Oman’s operatic shift in sound – and sin” - Dubai, Kuwait and Baghdad have all announced plans to build their own opera houses, But this scramble to construct opera houses in the Gulf is more than just a trend. It represents a cultural shift in these conservative Islamic nations, where indulging in the pleasure of music has traditionally been regarded as haram (sinful).
“Nigeria abductions: Michelle Obama 'outraged' - US First Lady Michelle Obama has said the mass kidnap of Nigerian schoolgirls is part of a wider pattern of threats and intimidation facing girls around the world who pursue an education.
“Lithuania election: Incumbent Grybauskaite eyes second term” - Lithuania is to hold presidential elections, with incumbent Dalia Grybauskaite widely predicted to secure her second term.
washingtonpost.com. “Vladimir Putin’s new world order with the West” - The post-Cold War order that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union was doomed to fail because it rested on a belief that post-Soviet Russia was no longer a problem. Even when Western leaders realized that Russia under Vladimir Putin was becoming a problem, they exchanged political acquiescence with the Kremlin for economic benefits. Liberal democracies agreed to play a game of “let’s pretend,” in which they viewed Russia as a “normal country” while the Russian elite became integrated into the West — and corrupted the Western system from within.
afp.com. “London tops super-rich city list, survey shows” - London has more billionaires than any other city in the world, and Britain has more billionaires per head of population than any other country, new data showed on Saturday.