TIME Ukraine

Washington and Kiev Say Moscow Is Sending Heavily Armed Troops Into Ukraine

A group of Russian servicemen, who are detained by Ukrainian authorities, attend a news conference in Kiev
A group of Russian servicemen, taken prisoner by Ukrainian authorities, are presented at a news conference in Kiev on Aug. 27, 2014. Ukraine said on Tuesday its forces had captured a group of Russian paratroopers who had crossed into Ukrainian territory on a "special mission," but Moscow said they had ended up there by mistake Valentyn Ogirenko—Reuters

Putin shrugs and says the war is none of his business but a "domestic matter" for Kiev

Ukrainian and U.S. officials accused Moscow of sending heavily armed columns across the border into Ukraine on Wednesday — a move that Washington says is likely part of a “Russian-directed counteroffensive” against Kiev.

During a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said reports indicated that “additional columns of Russian tanks, multiple rocket launchers, and armored vehicles” entered southeastern Ukraine this week, sharply escalating the five-month-old conflict.

“These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely under way in Donetsk and Luhansk. Clearly, that is of deep concern to us,” Psaki told reporters.

In Kiev, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told the New York Times that an armored Russian column entered the town of Amvrosiyivka on Wednesday in what was likely an attempt to expand the current multipronged counteroffensive against Ukrainian troops.

Separatist forces have long claimed that they use weaponry captured from Ukrainian arsenals. However, American officials argue that the hardware in rebel hands includes highly sophisticated air-defense systems — equipment that the Ukrainian armed forces are not believed to posses, according to the Times.

Ukraine went on to accuse the Kremlin of directing troops toward the coastal city of Mariupol, in what appears to be a bid to draw Ukrainian forces away from the heavy fighting near the rebel strongholds in Luhansk and Donetsk.

The escalation of the conflict comes only hours after an inconclusive round of talks wrapped up between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday night.

Following the meeting, Putin described the increasingly violent war in Ukraine as a purely domestic affair.

“Frankly speaking, we cannot discuss any conditions for a ceasefire or possible agreements between Kiev, Donetsk and Luhansk,” Putin told reporters, according to a transcript published by his office. “This is not our business; it is a domestic matter of Ukraine.”

Putin’s remarks came less than 24 hours after Ukrainian authorities said they captured at least nine Russian paratroopers inside the country earlier this week.

Russian officials later went on to explain that the presence of members of an elite Russian airborne division in Ukraine was likely the result of an accidental incursion that occurred during a patrol.

Putin brushed off the incident — explaining that such incursions aren’t really that big a deal.

“After all, Ukrainian service members entered our territory with armored equipment,” said Putin. “And we didn’t have any problems.”

The U.N. estimates that more than 2,000 people have been killed since the pro-Russia uprising kicked off in April. The fighting has also displaced close to 400,000.

TIME Travel

10 Things To Do Wherever You Are

Businesswoman with suitcase in airport
Getty Images

Traveling this holiday weekend? Whether you’re headed to New York or San Francisco, Singapore or Tokyo, we’ve put together a list of your destination’s must-see attractions and activities. So if you want to hit the tourist hotspots, or if you prefer to see how the locals live, these ideas will make your Labor Day planning a bit less laborious:

TIME Ukraine

Rice Slams Moscow’s Intervention in Ukraine as ‘Dangerous and Inflammatory’

Susan Rice
National Security Adviser Susan Rice listens to reporters questions during a briefing on March 21, 2014 Manuel Balce Ceneta —AP

The National Security Adviser's condemnation comes ahead of a meeting between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has berated Russia for continuing to pump heavy weaponry and military personnel into Ukraine’s eastern provinces, where a pro-Moscow insurgency has been taking place since April.

“Repeated Russian incursions into Ukraine unacceptable. Dangerous and inflammatory,” said Rice on her Twitter account. “Russia has no right to send vehicles or cargo into Ukraine without Govt of Ukraine’s permission,” she said in a separate tweet.

She added that the Kremlin’s incursions into Ukraine represented a “significant escalation” of the crisis.

Rice’s strong words came hours ahead of a scheduled round of talks between Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Belarus on Tuesday. They also followed confirmation from NATO commanders last week that artillery units, manned by Russian troops, were operating both outside and within Ukraine and were bombarding Ukrainian forces.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow have been in a precipitous downward spiral since the ousting of Kremlin-backed President Viktor Yanukovych by mass demonstrations earlier this year. That was followed in March by the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula — a move that inspired a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine the following month.

Under the leadership of Poroshenko, Ukraine has incrementally beaten back the insurgency, despite the aid that the rebels are receiving.

“What we’ve seen in recent weeks is a steady advance by the Ukrainian forces and Russia trying to pull various expedients out of the hat to help their proxies over the border,” John Besemeres, professor and adjunct fellow at Australian National University’s Center for European Studies, tells TIME. “So far, at least, it doesn’t appear that any of these are working.”

On Monday, Kiev claimed to have captured a number of Russian paratroopers inside its borders.

The news came as President Poroshenko dissolved the country’s parliament and called for a new round of elections in October.

“Many deputies who are in the [Parliament] are direct sponsors or accomplices, that is to say allies of the militant separatists,” said Poroshenko, according to the Associated Press.

Approximately 2,249 people have been killed and more than 6,000 injured in Ukraine since hostilities erupted, according to an assessment by the U.N.

Despite the heavy losses, which include more than 700 Ukrainian servicemen, Poroshenko appears to be committed to eradicating the insurgents.

“We will manage to defend the independence, life and security of everyone, our right to live freely on our Ukrainian land at the cost of colossal efforts of the entire nation,” the President told the country during a national address on Aug. 24, the country’s Independence Day.

TIME Crime

Tragic End After 4-Day Search for Missing Girl

Jenise Paulette Wright
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Jenise Paulette Wright, who disappeared from her Washington state home over the weekend. AP

Authorities said there have been no arrests in the case

(SEATTLE) — A four-day search for a missing Washington girl who vanished from her home over the weekend came to a tragic end Thursday, as authorities said they believe they have found the body of 6-year-old Jenise Wright.

Authorities in Kitsap County said Thursday they’re trying to track down anyone responsible, and they’re “not ruling out anything.”

“This is going to be a criminal investigation, there’s no doubt about that,” said Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson.

A forensic pathologist under contract to the county will perform an autopsy, Wilson said. That may take place Friday, depending on the pathologist’s schedule. The county coroner has custody of the body, and formal identification is expected Friday, the deputy said.

Determination of the manner and cause of death is pending, Wilson said, but “we suspect that she just did not go off by herself and fall into some bushes and die.”

Jenise was last seen when she went to bed Saturday night. Her parents waited a day before calling for help because they say the girl had wandered around the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park on her own in the past. She was outgoing and unafraid to talk to anyone, family said.

Wilson said in an interview Thursday that there were no signs of forced entry at the girl’s home and no indication that she was taken from her room.

An FBI team using search dogs discovered the body late Thursday morning in a forested area near the mobile home park where the girl lived. Her family has been notified.

An FBI evidence research team has finished checking the area where the body was found and a forensic mapping team from the Washington State Patrol’s criminal investigation division will map the spot, Wilson said Thursday evening.

Authorities said there have been no arrests in the case.

Her parents are cooperating with authorities, Wilson said Thursday.

“It’s tragic circumstances that bring us here,” said Frank Montoya Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle division. Several FBI specialized teams were involved in the search.

In a statement, the sheriff’s department said a coroner will make official confirmation of the identity, but “it appears that the body is that of Jenise.”

More than 350 people, including officers from 15 law enforcement agencies, searched for Jenise, going door to door at the mobile home park near Bremerton, on the west side of Puget Sound, across from Seattle.

They also pulled surveillance video from nearby businesses and checked in with sex offenders in the county.

After the search began, state child welfare workers removed two other children, an 8-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl, from the home.

Court records show Jenise Wright’s father, James Wright, was charged more than a decade ago with molesting two girls, ages 8 and 15.

He eventually pleaded guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court in December 2001 to a misdemeanor assault charge related to the older girl. It was not immediately clear why the molestation charges were dropped. Prosecutors there did not return calls.

A judge in Whatcom County Superior Court sentenced Wright to a year in jail but suspended the entire jail term on the condition that he follow certain conditions, including paying fees.

Wilson said at a news briefing Wednesday that authorities are aware of the past charge against the father, but that officers are focused on finding the girl. “That has nothing to do with this investigation right now,” he said.

Authorities searched all 103 homes and every outbuilding and vehicle in the Steele Creek Mobile Home Park.

TIME Foreign Policy

The U.S. Will Spend $110 Million a Year on African Peacekeeping Efforts

Uganda
A soldier from the Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) engages in weapons training at the Singo training facility in Kakola, Uganda Monday, April 30, 2012. The camp provides different training courses run by the U.S. Marines and also by instructors contracted by the U.S. State Department. Ben Curtis—ASSOCIATED PRESS

The plan is to help fund African rapid-response forces that will deal with armed Islamist groups

Correction appended, Aug. 7

During the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington on Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled plans to invest $110 million annually over the next three to five years to help six African countries create rapid-response forces, Reuters reports.

At a summit news conference, Obama said the funds the funds would boost African Union and U.N. operations in crisis spots around the continent, using peacekeepers from Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana.” Obama said that the funds are meant to remedy the current “gap in systematically supporting these peacekeepers to help them deploy more quickly.”

The U.S. has become more involved in supporting African military efforts to combat Islamic extremists recently, training over a quarter-million African police and military.

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., added that the U.S. hoped to create “troop-contributing countries” that would fight off extremist groups like al-Shabab, al-Qaeda affiliates and Boko Haram, which has killed over 10,000 people since it began its uprising in Nigeria in 2009.

Obama also announced intentions to spend an initial $65 million on strengthening security efforts in Niger, Tunisia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya. Along with the funding, Obama unveiled a plan called the Security Governance Initiative, which will help bolster security sectors and other infrastructures that offer crises resolution in Africa.

[Reuters]

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified countries as crisis zones where African Union and United Nations peacekeepers would be deployed.

TIME 2014 Election

The 5 Takeaways from Tuesday’s Primaries

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts greet each other at Johnson County Republican's election watch party Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts greet each other at Johnson County Republican's election watch party, Aug. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan. Charlie Riedel—AP

The fight for the soul of the Republican Party rages on

Most of the results in the primaries in Michigan, Kansas, Missouri and Washington on Tuesday were predictable. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprise exit in June has primed most political watchers to look for unexpected results as the fight for the soul of the Republican Party rages on. This week’s results proved a mixed bag, with one incumbent going down but others surviving. From a Santa impersonator to Barack Obama’s cousin, here are the most interesting results from Tuesday’s primaries:
 
Sen. Pat Roberts survived. Three-term Kansas incumbent Roberts beat off Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf, a radiologist whose claim to fame is that he is President Obama’s cousin once removed. Roberts overcame questions about residency—whether he even maintained a home in Kansas—that brought down his colleague Dick Lugar in Indiana last cycle. But Milton faltered over the revelation of Facebook posts in which he apparently mocked patient X-rays. Roberts, who outraised Milton by $4.7 million to $1.1 million, was always ahead in the polls. A loss here would’ve been a huge upset.

Rep. Justin Amash survived. In a year when establishment Republicans like Roberts have generally prevailed against Tea Party challengers, they have less successfully gone on the offensive against Tea Party incumbent troublemakers like Amash. Despite being outspent and in the crosshairs of the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove, the two-term Michigan Republican prevailed Tuesday night. Amash so angered House leadership with his antics, they stripped him of his Budget Committee membership in 2012. Apparently, being unpopular in the most unpopular institution in America is a winner with voters.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio didn’t survive. If Amash hadn’t played his cards right, he could’ve easily have ended up like fellow Michigan upstart Bentivolio. The reindeer rancher and Santa impersonator was an accidental congressman. He happened to be the only one left on the ballot in 2012 when Rep. Thaddeus McCotter failed to properly qualify for the GOP ballot. Bentivolio didn’t toe the party line and failed to properly fundraise, leaving himself vulnerable to a challenge. Businessman David Trott won the backing of the Chamber of Commerce and self-funded $2.5 million to prevail Tuesday night.

Rep. Mike Pompeo survived. The perception of being an old school, ear marking Republican hurt former Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s bid to take back his former seat from Pompeo. Tiahrt, who represented Kansas’s fourth district from 1997 to 2011, left office to make an unsuccessful bid for the Senate in 2010. At the last minute before the May filing deadline, Tiahrt challenged his successor to win the seat back. Pompeo, though, had the backing of the Koch brothers and the anti-tax group the Club for Growth, who ran ads mocked Tiahrt’s “earmark of the day.” Pompeo won easily.

Two Republicans advanced from a crowded Washington primary. Doc Hastings,10-term incumbent and chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, is one of nearly three dozen House incumbents beating an path to the exit, disgusted with Congress’s newly intractable ways. But that didn’t stop a dozen people from running for the chance to succeed him. Washington has a top-two advance system regardless of party affiliation but in the reliably Republican 4th district, two Republicans topped the polls: Clint Didier, a former NFL star who won two Super Bowl rings with the Washington Redskins and ran as a Tea Partier and Dan Newhouse, a former state legislator and agricultural director. Which means, voters in that district will have until November to decide their own Tea Party versus establishment battle.

TIME Crime

The Wire Actor Anwan Glover Stabbed in D.C. Nightclub

Anwan Glover attends the "LUV" premiere during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival held at Eccles Center Theatre on Jan. 23, 2012 in Park City, Utah.
Anwan Glover attends the "LUV" premiere during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival held at Eccles Center Theatre on Jan. 23, 2012 in Park City, Utah. Jemal Countess—Getty Images

"My flesh may be stabbed but my spirit is unbreakable”

Actor Anwan Glover, who played “Slim Charles” in the hit HBO series The Wire, was stabbed in a Washington, D.C. nightclub early Sunday morning after a fight broke out.

The Washington Post reports Glover was treated for a laceration at the George Washington University Hospital after being stabbed in Cafe Asia, located in downtown Washington. Glover, who also appeared in the Oscar-winning film “12 Years A Slave,” is a 41-year-old Washington native. He’s the lead rapper in a local band called Backyard Band.

Glover posted a note Sunday on Instagram detailing his version of the incident, which he said occurred while he was supporting another local band.

“I am not a stranger to adversity and when shown hate, I’m going to spread love,” Glover wrote. “I am recovering and will be back soon. My flesh may be stabbed but my spirit is unbreakable.”

TIME Congress

Eric Cantor and John Boehner: The Bromance Is Over

As told through the lyrics of Alan Jackson's "Remember When"

On Thursday, Congressman Eric Cantor will step down from his post as House majority leader, following his shocking primary defeat in June, thus ending his Capitol Hill bromance with House Speaker John Boehner — a relationship that captivated so many hearts across the nation.

When Cantor first assumed the role of HML in 2011, some speculated that the up-and-comer was angling for Boehner’s job, but the GOP’s two top dogs were not to be defined by acrimony — after all, what good romance doesn’t begin with a little tension? (Have you seen The Notebook?)

Here, we’ve assembled a scrapbook that illustrates the bromance heard round the Beltway, each photo captioned with a lyric from Alan Jackson’s “Remember When,” because obviously. It is highly advisable to play the song as you click through the photos.

TIME Crime

Man Arrested for Stabbing Transgender Teen on D.C. Metro

A suspect has been charged with assault using a deadly weapon and could face a longer sentence if convicted of a hate crime

Authorities say a 15-year-old transgender teenager who was stabbed on the Green Line Metro in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. is currently recovering from her non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital, and remains in stable condition. The police apprehended a suspect, 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber of Greenbelt, Md., after witnesses identified him at a nearby station.

The victims’ friends told local news that Klaiber approached the group, singled out the victim, and ridiculed her for her appearance. Dan Stessell, a Metro spokesman, told CBS DC that Klaiber allegedly stabbed the victim in the back one time before he fled to Fort Totten Station, where he was later arrested.

The attack comes shortly after a report released by Trans Violence Tracking Portal (TVTP), revealed that 102 transgender people were murdered in 12 countries from January to April this year. Allison Woolbert, the founder of TVTP, says an antitransgender stigma has led to a disproportionate rate of violence against transgender people in 2014. “The suicides, the violence, the missing persons, and the murders are all directly related to a person’s gender identity,” Woolbert wrote to Vox.

The District of Columbia’s hate-crime laws offer some protection to transgender victims by enhancing sentences for offenders. The Metropolitan Police Department is also required to federally report hate crimes each year.

Klaiber was charged with assault using a deadly weapon and could face additional hate-crime charges, according to NBC Washington. If found guilty, the suspect’s sentence could be extended 1.5 times under District of Columbia law.

TIME Immigration

Migrant Girls Share Haunting Stories About Why They Fled

Central American Female Immigrants
Central American immigrants await transportation to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center on July 24, 2014 near Mission, Texas. John Moore—Getty Images

A recent UN report gives haunting accounts from some of the girls who fled

The number of young girls captured at the US-Mexico border has increased by 77 percent this year, according to Pew Research Center analysis released Friday.

The number of girls under the age of 18 apprehended at the border this fiscal year was 13,008 compared to last year’s 7,339, according to Pew. The number of boys under 18 apprehended is still much higher at 33,924, but that represents only an 8% increase from 2013.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a report earlier this year that included haunting accounts from some of the young girls apprehended, in an analysis of 404 children from Mexico and Central America who had been detained at the border.

“The head of the gang that controlled her neighborhood wanted Josefina to be his girlfriend and threatened to kidnap her or to kill one of her family members if she didn’t comply,” the report writes, of one 16-year-old from El Salvador. “Josefina knew another girl from her community who had become the girlfriend of a gang member and had been forced to have sex with all the gang members.”

Two-thirds of the children from El Salvador, both male and female, reported threats of violence from organized crime as one reason for fleeing. “One of [the gang members] ‘liked’ me. Another gang member told my uncle that he should get me out of there because the guy who liked me was going to do me harm,” said 15-year-old Maritza. “In El Salvador they take young girls, rape them and throw them in plastic bags. My uncle told me it wasn’t safe for me to stay there.”

Other girls reported domestic violence as a reason for leaving. Lucia, a 16-year-old from Guatemala, escaped her abusive grandmother’s home only to move in with an abusive boyfriend. “He beat me almost every day,” Lucia said. “I stayed with him for four months. I left because he tried to kill me by strangling me. I left that same day.”

The increasing numbers of children from Mexico and Central America seeking refuge in the United States has prompted a legislative battle in Washington. It remains unresolved.

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