US puts together $1 billion aid package for Ukraine; Xi Jinping expands China's anticorruption campaign; descendants of Japanese samurai and feudal class overrepresented in upper echelons of society, finds study; UN recommends sending more troops to Central African Republic; Osama bin Laden's son-in-law to go on trial in US; and more

U.S. Prepares $1 Billion Aid Package for Ukraine

The Obama administration announced a $1 billion energy subsidy package (AP) for Ukraine as Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Kiev to show support for the new government. Russian president Vladimir Putin, in his first public remarks since former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital last month, said there was no need to invade eastern Ukraine, but reserved the right to use force to protect ethnic Russians and to fulfil the request from "a legitimate president, Yanukovich, on military aid to protect Ukrainian citizens" (Bloomberg). Meanwhile, Russian gas producer Gazprom said it will remove a discount on gas prices for Ukraine starting in April (Reuters), and the United States said it suspended defense cooperation with Russia because of Moscow's military intervention in Crimea (AFP).


"The transitional government talks of being a 'kamikaze government', taking tough and unpopular measures, but that could put extraordinary stress on an already fragile coalition. To try and rush a program would be a mistake, as it would likely be underfunded and subject to conditions the current government cannot or will not stick to," writes CFR Senior Fellow Robert Kahn.

"There is a method to Putin's moves. The territorial disputes his actions create give Europeans pause in considering further integration of those countries into the European Union, NATO and other Western institutions. This leaves the door open for further Russian pressure to join Putin's Eurasian Union and to accept increased integration into the Russian sphere" write Stephen J. Hadley and Damon Wilson in the Washington Post.

"Both eastern and western camps had a chance at ruling, and both failed. In doing so, they showed Ukrainians that the challenge was not between one region or another, but between the corrupt at the top and the people, whatever region they are from. Politicians today are finally being asked for plans of action that will actually achieve things, rather than populist slogans or ideological myths," writes Natalka Sniadanko in the New York Times.


Pacific Rim

China’s Xi Broadens Graft Crackdown

President Xi Jinping, who took office last year, has expanded an anticorruption campaign that is now one of the broadest in China's modern history, positioning Xi as the country's most powerful leader in decades (Bloomberg).

JAPAN: A new study showed that descendants of the samurai and Japan's feudal ruling class are overrepresented in the upper echelons of society today (WSJ).


UN recommends sending more troops to Central African Republic

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law to go on trial in US

 This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on


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