In brief | Nation & World, March 9, 2014


Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea; Moscow denounces Ukrainian authorities

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine —Dozens of military trucks transporting heavily armed soldiers rumbled over Crimea’s rutted roads Saturday as Russia reinforced its armed presence on the disputed peninsula in the Black Sea. Moscow’s foreign minister ruled out any dialogue with Ukraine’s new authorities, whom he dismissed as the puppets of extremists.

The Russians have denied their armed forces are active in Crimea, but an Associated Press reporter trailed one military convoy Saturday afternoon from 25 miles west of Feodosia to a military airfield at Gvardeiskoe north of Simferopol, over which a Russian flag flew.

Some of the army green vehicles had Russian license plates and numbers indicating that they were from the Moscow region. Some towed mobile kitchens and what appeared to be mobile medical equipment.

The strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine has become the flashpoint in the battle for Ukraine, where three months of protests sparked by President Victor Yanukovych’s decision to ditch a significant treaty with the 28-nation European Union after strong pressure from Russia led to his downfall. A majority of people in Crimea identify with Russia, and Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, as is Ukraine’s.

Vladislav Seleznyov, a Crimean-based spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces, told AP that witnesses had reported seeing amphibious military ships unloading around 200 military vehicles in eastern Crimea on Friday night after apparently having crossed the Straits of Kerch, which separates Crimea from Russian territory.

Domestic violence cases that saw Lebanese women killed spark protests, call for stricter laws

BEIRUT — Nada Sabbagh received a brief, chilling telephone call from her son-in-law last month telling her: “Come to your daughter. I am going to kill her.”

Sabbagh said by the time she arrived to her daughter’s home in Beirut, her husband had kicked, punched and beaten her with a pressure cooker, leaving her mortally wounded and bleeding on the floor.

“I walked in and started jumping in shock then begged him to let me take her out,” Sabbagh later recounted. She said he responded by saying: “I will not let her out. I want her to die in front of you.”

Manal Assi’s husband, Mohammed Nuheili, was detained shortly afterward and is still being questioned by authorities. It remains unclear if he has a lawyer and he could not be reached for comment.

The killing of Sabbagh’s daughter is one of three domestic violence slayings in Lebanon in recent months, drawing new attention to women’s rights in this country of 4 million people. Although Lebanon appears very progressive on women rights compared to other countries in the Middle East, domestic violence remains an unspoken problem and the nation’s parliament has yet to vote on a bill protecting women’s rights nearly three years after it was approved by the Cabinet.

Daylight saving time arrives early Sunday across nation — except Hawaii, most of Arizona

WASHINGTON — Spring is closer than you think, and here’s a sure sign: Daylight saving time arrives this weekend.

Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.

You may lose an hour of sleep, but daylight saving time promises an extra hour of evening light for many months ahead.

It’s also a good time to put new batteries in warning devices such as smoke detectors and hazard warning radios.

The time change is not observed by Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.

By wire sources