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Today's Briefing
More than 6,000 lives have now been lost in less than a year due to the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
– Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Al-Hussein released a statement March 2, saying people were killed in eastern Ukraine "in spite of successive ceasefires." Another at least 13,961 were wounded by the middle of February.
Consumer spending fell 0.2% in January, the Commerce Dept. reported on March 2. Purchases of both durable goods and nondurable goods increased 0.2%. The figures are attributed to a decline in the price of oil, which may lead to further robust growth in spending in the first few months of 2015.
Jason Rezaian has been allowed to hire a lawyer, his family said March 1. He will be represented by Leila Ahsan, the same lawyer who represents his wife. Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron called on Iranian authorities to give Rezaian's defense team full access to Rezaian and his case file.
We clearly cannot keep searching forever, but we want to do everything that's reasonably possible to locate the aircraft... We have to make other decisions, then, about how long the search should continue.
– Warren Truss
Australian deputy prime minister
Australian officials told Reuters March 1 that the search may be called off if the plane is not found by the end of the current search mission. It would need significant international financial aid to continue.
©Mapbox ©OpenStreetMap
Mar 1st, 2015
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced the start of an offensive against IS militants north of Baghdad. The mission targets several towns along the Tigris River and Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein. It includes thousands of troops and militia fighters.
"Under the Dome," a documentary about air pollution in China, was watched more than 100 million times on Chinese online streaming sites by March 2, just two days since its release. "There's no way to avoid" breathing pollution, says filmmaker Chai Jing, a former Chinese Central Television reporter.
©Mapbox ©OpenStreetMap
Mar 1st, 2015
A group of LAPD officers responding to a robbery report wrestled a man to the ground and used a Taser on him. They eventually shot and killed the man as he was on the ground. The LAPD said the man was struggling over an officer's weapon.
Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted Ebola from the first person diagnosed in the U.S., intends to file a lawsuit against the parent company of the Texas hospital where she became infected.
NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore competed their third spacewalk in a little over a week on March 1. The work was necessary to install cables and antennas for docking ports that will be used for the new crew capsules. Issues with the spacesuits had caused concerns. The docking ports are slated to arrive in June.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on March 1 that IS militants had released at least 19 Assyrian Christians. A day earlier, the group said a self-proclaimed IS court had ordered their release. More than 200 Assyrians remain captive.
Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, is at the center of several lawsuits alleging rape, sexual assault and groping.
Iraq's national museum in Baghdad reopened Feb. 28 for the first time since it closed during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Nearly a third of the 15,000 objects looted have been recovered, the museum said. Its collection has 7,000 years of history. Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi (pictured second from left) asked for international help to stop smuggling.
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