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OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  Welcome to the Overnight News Digest with a crew consisting of founder Magnifico, current leader Neon Vincent, regular editors side pocket, maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, rfall, and JML9999. Alumni editors include (but not limited to) palantir, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, ek hornbeck, ScottyUrb, Interceptor7, BentLiberal, Oke and jlms qkw. The guest editors are Doctor RJ and annetteboardman.

Please feel free to share your articles and stories in the comments.

BBC:Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine


Putin calls Obama to discuss Ukraine

Russia's Vladimir Putin has telephoned President Barack Obama to discuss the US proposal for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing, the White House said in a statement.

According to the Kremlin, Mr Putin suggested examining how the situation could be stabilised.

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has sparked international condemnation.Russia's Vladimir Putin has telephoned President Barack Obama to discuss the US proposal for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.

Mr Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing, the White House said in a statement.

According to the Kremlin, Mr Putin suggested examining how the situation could be stabilised.

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has sparked international condemnation.


BBC:GM adds 824k small cars to ongoing recall

GM adds 824k small cars to ongoing recall

General Motors is adding 824,000 more cars to an ongoing recall over defective ignition switches that have caused some engines to shut off and to disable airbags.

The US car maker said it was recalling a variety of models made 2008-11, in addition to 1.6m cars made before 2007 that were recalled last month.

GM said it was unaware of deaths caused by the flaw in the 2008-11 models.

But the problem has been linked to between 12 and 303 deaths in crashes.


BBC:Obama meets Saudi King Abdullah to smooth ties

Obama meets Saudi King Abdullah to smooth ties

US President Barack Obama has held talks with Saudi King Abdullah, amid long-running tension over Iran's nuclear programme and Syria's conflict.

After the meeting in Riyadh, the White House hailed the "strong relationship" the US enjoyed with Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis have been frustrated by what they see as the West's failure to tackle Syria's government, and the US willingness to negotiate with Iran.

It was Mr Obama's first trip to Saudi Arabia in almost five years.


BBC:Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe threatens EU summit boycott

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe threatens EU summit boycott

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe might not attend an EU-Africa summit next week because his wife has been refused a visa to go with him, officials in Harare have said.

Mr Mugabe, 90, and his wife Grace are subject to travel bans by the EU because of alleged human rights abuses and election-rigging.

Harare on Friday urged other African Union members to shun the summit.

But diplomats in Brussels say they are unfazed by the boycott call.


BBC:Taliban attack on Kabul guest house 'brought to an end'

Taliban attack on Kabul guest house 'brought to an end'

A Taliban attack on a guest house in Kabul has come to an end with police killing the last gunman inside, Afghan military sources have told the Reuters news agency.

At least four people were trapped inside the guest house during the attack, officials say.

Afghan special forces were rushed in to fight the attackers, police said.

Fighting continued for much of Friday and the AFP agency has reported that a girl has been killed.


BBC:Egypt detainees 'routinely tortured'

Egypt detainees 'routinely tortured'

Brutal beatings, sexual abuse, and electric shocks are being carried out on detainees, including teenage children, in Egypt, according to testimonies gathered by the BBC.

As many 20,000 people are estimated to have been held since last July in a sweeping clampdown on dissent.

A growing number are now emerging from police stations and prisons with serious allegations of torture.

The claims are denied by the military-backed interim government.  


Reuters:Russia's buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources

Russia's buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources

(Reuters) - Russia's reinforcement of troops near Ukraine has brought the total forces there to as many as 40,000, U.S. officials estimated on Friday, as the United States voiced anxiety over the buildup and called on Moscow to pull back its military.

The U.S. estimates of as many as 35,000 to around 40,000 troops are higher than the more than 30,000 total deployments reported earlier this week by U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.

Some European sources remain cautious of increasing the estimates beyond 30,000.

The military buildup is adding to concerns that Russia may again be readying an incursion into Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea, which has triggered the worst stand-off with the West since the Cold War.


Reuters:Fukushima worker killed in accident, cleanup halted

Fukushima worker killed in accident, cleanup halted

(Reuters) - A worker at Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant died on Friday after being buried under gravel while digging a ditch, prompting the operator to suspend cleanup work for safety checks.

Tokyo Electric Power Co said it was the first time a laborer had died as a direct result of an accident inside the plant since the nuclear disaster in March 2011, the world's worst since Chernobyl in 1986.

An earthquake and tsunami struck the plant, 220 km (130 miles) northeast of Tokyo, sparking triple nuclear meltdowns, forcing more than 160,000 residents to flee from nearby towns and contaminating water, food and air.

"In the three years since the disaster, we had not had any worker deaths caused by work (inside the plant). The fact that such a serious accident has occurred is deeply regrettable," said Tepco spokesman Masayuki Ono.


Reuters:U.S. judge OKs class action in e-book suit against Apple

U.S. judge OKs class action in e-book suit against Apple

(Reuters) - A federal judge in New York granted class certification on Friday to a group of consumers who sued Apple Inc for conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices in violation of antitrust law.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said the plaintiffs had "more than met their burden" to allow them to sue as a group. She rejected Apple's contentions that the claims were too different from each other, or that some plaintiffs were not harmed because some e-book prices fell.

"This is a paradigmatic antitrust class action," wrote Cote, who has scheduled a trial later this year to determine damages, which could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.


Reuters:Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know

 Taxable swag: If you got free goodies, the IRS wants to know

(Reuters) - You might be able to score a free lunch these days, but get anything beyond that and the Internal Revenue Service may come after you for taxes.

Lucky enough to score an $80,000 goodie bag at the Oscars? You'll owe something in the neighborhood of $26,400, if you're in the 33 percent tax bracket. Won an iPad in a raffle at a conference? That would be more than $100.

Stuff We All Get, known to most as "swag", comes with no direct price tag to you. We all score a few promotional t-shirts or pens every now and then, and while you may think they're gifts - or, worse, utterly useless junk - they're not gifts for tax purposes since they weren't given to you out of sheer generosity. Instead, those so-called gifts are taxable income in the amount of their fair market value, and you need to report them to the IRS and pay the appropriate tax on it.

"People go to events all the time, and if you go to an event for your job and get certain swag, it affects you," says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant at TurboTax.


Reuters:Geopolitical games handicap Malaysia jet hunt

Geopolitical games handicap Malaysia jet hunt

(Reuters) - The search for flight MH370, the Malaysian jetliner that vanished over the South China Sea on March 8, has involved more than two dozen countries and 60 aircraft and ships but been bedeviled by regional rivalries.

While Malaysia has been accused of a muddled response and poor communications, China has showcased its growing military clout and reach, while some involved in the operation say other countries have dragged their feet on disclosing details that might give away sensitive defense data.

That has highlighted growing tensions in a region where the rise of China is fuelling an arms race, and where several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are engaged in territorial disputes, with the control of shipping lanes, fishing and potential hydrocarbon reserves at stake.

The Malaysian Airline jet, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was last officially detected hundreds of miles off course on the wrong side of the Malaysian peninsula.


Reuters:Brazil grows wary of Venezuela under Maduro, reduces support

Brazil grows wary of Venezuela under Maduro, reduces support

(Reuters) - Brazil, Latin America's biggest economy and diplomatic power, has toned down its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro because of disappointment over how he is handling mounting economic problems and opposition-led street protests.

The shift, while subtle, has deprived Maduro of some of the regional backing he wants at a time of food shortages, high inflation and political uncertainty in the OPEC nation.

Broadly speaking, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains an ally of Maduro. While Rousseff is more moderate, both are part of a generation of leftist Latin American presidents who grew up opposing pro-Washington governments and believe they are united by a mission to help the poor.

However, Rousseff has been increasingly disappointed by some of Maduro's actions and has reined in the more enthusiastic support that characterized Brazil-Venezuela relations under his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, according to two officials close to Rousseff's government.(Reuters) - Brazil, Latin America's biggest economy and diplomatic power, has toned down its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro because of disappointment over how he is handling mounting economic problems and opposition-led street protests.


LA Times:Facebook to use drones and satellites to bring internet to remote regions

Facebook to use drones and satellites to bring internet to remote regions

 Facebook plans to send drones and satellites to remote parts of the world to connect them to the internet using laser technology, its founder Mark Zuckerberg announced.

The social media site hopes to expand its reach, particularly in the developing world, by dispatching a fleet of solar-powered aircraft and satellites which would emit infrared laser beams to speed up internet connections.

The move puts Facebook in direct competition with Google, which is aiming to provide internet access to hitherto unconnected areas using balloons.

Staff at Facebook’s Connectivity Lab have been working with experts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center to develop the ‘connectivity aircraft’.  

 
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