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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Former White House Official: Putin Wants 'New Russian Empire'

On Friday in Moscow Russian President Vladimir Putin signs a bill making Crimea and the city of Sevastopol part of Russia.
Sergei Chirikov/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 5:10 pm

The United States and Europe need to stand together against Moscow in the wake of its incursion in Crimea, keeping the door open for Ukraine and other countries to join NATO, former U.S. officials tell NPR.

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Parallels
2:50 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Can Europe Wean Itself Off Russian Gas?

The Russian gas giant Gazprom's Adler thermal power plant in Sochi, Russia. Europe gets about one-third of its natural gas from Russia.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:22 pm

Many European nations were searching for ways to cut back their reliance on Russian energy long before the crisis in Ukraine flared last month.

In 2006 and 2009, for example, the EU was rattled by the ease with which Moscow cut off gas supplies to Ukraine and other parts of Europe after disputes over cost and supply. The two-week standoff in 2009 left millions in Eastern Europe without heat in the middle of winter.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Reports: FBI Agent Who Killed Chechen During Boston Bombing Probe Is Cleared

Ibragim Todashev, in an undated booking photo provided by the Orange County (Fla.) Corrections Department.
Reuters /Landov

Florida State Attorney Jeff Ashton will not charge an FBI agent who shot and killed a Chechen man being questioned in connection to the twin bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon, The Boston Globe, the Associated Press and

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

How Your Love Of Burgers May Be Helping To Drive Wildlife Extinct

Rancher Denny Johnson looks over his cattle in Joseph, Ore., in 2011. Conservationists say ranchers raising beef cattle are responsible for the decline of some wildlife.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:57 pm

Many animal lovers have made peace with their decision to eat meat.

But the Center for Biological Diversity has a new campaign that hopes to convince them that a hamburger habit does wildlife a disservice.

"We need to see a drastic reduction in meat consumption to protect land, water and wildlife," Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director for the Center for Biological Diversity, tells The Salt.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

Duke forward Amile Jefferson, in white, and Mercer guard Langston Hall battle for the ball during Friday's game.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:53 pm

We updated this post with the first shock of the day at 2:35 p.m. ET:

It's one-and-done for the Duke Blue Devils as their men's basketball team was beaten Friday by the Mercer Bears, 78-71, in the Division I men's basketball championship.

Mercer, a No. 14 seed in the Midwest region, was a huge underdog to the No. 3 seed Duke.

The win for Mercer, which has its main campus in Macon, Ga., is by far the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Heading into play, Duke was No. 8 in The Associated Press rankings. Mercer wasn't even among the nation's top 75 teams.

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