BBC News with Jerry Smit.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has admitted, for the first time, that he ordered the annexation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea weeks before paramilitaries took power there. His comments featured in a trailer for a documentary to be shown on state-run television. Sarah Rainsford reports from Moscow.
Crimea, the path to the motherland, coming soon on Russian State Television. It sounds and looks like the trailer for an action film, a hero here on screen is Vladimir Putin. Revealing the truth now seems like defiance, but it does cast even stronger doubt than ever over his claims that the fighting in eastern Ukraine is a popular uprising and Russia is not involved. Here, at home, though, Mr. Putin's comments are likely to play well.
The Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, says pro-Russian rebels have withdrawn a significant amount of weaponry from the frontlines in eastern Ukraine in accordance with the ceasefire deal agreed three weeks ago. In a televised interview, Mr. Poroshenko said Ukraine had managed, as he put it, to halt the offensive and drive off the aggressors.
Republican Senators in the U.S. have warned Iran that any deal on its nuclear program could be revoked once President Obama leaves office. 47 Republican Senators have signed an open letter in which they say that without Congressional approval, any deal would be nothing more than an agreement between Mr. Obama and Ayatollah Khomeini. The White House spokesman, Josh Earnest, condemned the move.
I would describe this letter as the continuation of a partisan strategy to undermine the President's ability to conduct foreign policy and advance our national security interests around the globe. The fact is we have heard Republicans now for quite some time, including the principal author of this letter, make clear that their goal was to undermine these negotiations.
A French journalist held hostage for ten months by Islamic State militants in Syria has described how he secretly wrote a children's book in captivity. Nicolas Henin told the BBC that his story, called Will Daddy Hedgehog Ever Come Home, was written on scraps of paper at night with a fellow French journalist. It grew out of a game to relieve the boredom of captivity devised by a British aid worker, David Haines, who was later killed by his captors. Mr. Henin said he was struck by how much cultural background the detainees shared with their captors.
These jihadists have little to do with the local culture, Arab or Muslim. They are children of our societies. They speak our language. They have the very same cultural reference that we have. They watch the same movies we watch. They play the same video games our kids play. They are products of our culture.
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Sources in Mosul, the biggest city held by the Islamic State group in Iraq, have told the BBC there are noticeably fewer militants on its streets. IS has sent reinforcement south to defend Tikirt against a major government offensive.
President Obama has ordered a fresh wave of sanctions against a number of senior Venezuelan officials. They'll have their assets frozen and their visas suspended. Those targeted include the Venezuelan Intelligence Service Chief and the National Police Director. President Obama said the seven officials had been chosen because they had committed human rights abuses during opposition protests last year.
A German professor has apologised for refusing an internship to a male Indian student on the grounds that his country had a rape problem. Annette Beck-Sickinger of Leipzig University had originally told the man she did not accept any Indian male students, and that it was unbelievable that Indian society could not solve the rape issue. But Germany's own Ambassador to India was horrified. He said on Twitter that her attitude was an offence to millions of law-abiding tolerant Indians. The professor has now apologised for hurting anyone's feelings.
Apple has unveiled its latest product to the media in San Francisco. It's a smart watch that can be used to make phone calls, receive emails, play music and track health and fitness. Apple's boss is Tim Cook.
Right from your wrist, you can receive messages, and a tactic engine alerts you by tapping your wrist, so that you can read and respond that message instantly if you want. You can also, with a built-in speaker and microphone, you can receive calls on your watch. I have been wanting to do this since I was five years old. The device will go on sale next month, its price's ranging from about 350 to 10,000 dollars.
They bought the machine directly from the manufacturer.
His private actions are in direct contradiction with his publicly expressed opinions.
The rural scenery was so beautiful that he decided to stay one more week.
In rural Nepal, owning a book is something many women and children only dream about.
The committee meets at three today.
Some members of the committee expressed reservations about the proposal.
Her ambition knows no limit.
We must limit our spending.
His face had a deadly paleness after the accident.
The good knub will not hurt you deadly.
The prisoner was questioned before his release.
Boeing is also developing a special carriage release system for the weapon.
I advise you not to cooperate with that deceitful businessman.
If they can cooperate with each other, everything should run smoothly.
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