Amid severe international criticism for Russia's incursion into Ukraine and ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Wales for a NATO summit and to Estonia next week, President Vladimir Putin warned "it is better not to come against Russia" as it is "one of the most powerful nuclear nations."
"I want to say immediately that Russia is far from getting involved into any large-scale conflicts. We do not want and do not intend to do this," state-run Itar-Tass quoted Putin as telling a group of youngsters in central Russia Friday.
"I want to remind you that Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear nations. This is a reality, not just words," Putin went on to say. "We are strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces and our armed forces. They are getting more compact and more efficient at the same time. They are getting more modernized in terms of their supply with the latest armaments. We continue building up this potential and we'll be doing this in the future," Putin said. more >>
Atheist author Richard Dawkins has further clarified his highly controversial recent comments that it would be "immoral" not to abort a baby with Down syndrome, by stating that if he had such a child, he would "love her dearly." He argued that this does not change the fact, however, that he believes aborting such a child would still be the right choice.
"I have not the slightest doubt that, if I had a Down child, I would love her dearly. If I believed in God, I'd probably thank God she wasn't aborted, and I would sincerely mean it and deeply feel it. But that is a judgment in hindsight, and it is totally compatible with a statement that, if offered a similar choice now, I would be in favor of abortion. Totally compatible with a belief that abortion would be the right decision, in circumstances where such a decision was available," the evolutionary biologist said in a message on his website.
He further argued that "the child that you now love is a person. You have grown to adore her every smile, her every facial expression, everything that makes her the individual personality that she is. The bundle of cells she once was had no personality at the time when she might have been aborted. There was nothing to love there at that time." more >>
The United States' ambassador to the United Nations accused Russia of "manipulating" and "lying" about its role in Ukraine, as U.N. Security Council members met for the 24th time on Thursday to discuss the apparent Russian invasion into Ukraine. The Russian ambassador retaliated by telling America to stay out of other country's affairs.
Ambassador Samantha Power said that President Vladimir Putin's government "has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied," about its involvement in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin fought back against the accusations, and said that Ukraine "is waging war against its own people." more >>
British police and social care workers are facing mounting criticism after a major report revealed widespread failure to help at least 1,400 children in the town of Rotherham who were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, mostly by Pakistani criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013, out of fear of coming off as racist.
"By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councilors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councilors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away," the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham wrote in its 157-page report.
"Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so," according to the report. more >>
A Ukrainian military official said that Russia is carrying out a "full-scale invasion" in Ukraine and is sending tanks to aid the pro-Russian rebels who have attacked and captured several Ukrainian cities. President Petro Poroshenko has in response cancelled a planned trip to Turkey, citing "Russian troop deployments" in the east of the country for changing his schedule.
"I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region... as Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine," Poroshenko said in a statement.
A new investigation will look into the well-being of 17 teenagers born in a New Jersey hospital 15 years ago that are believed to be the world's first group of individuals born using and advanced fertilization technique that utilizes a "three-parent" embryo to avoid the risk of passing on maternally inherited, life-threatening mitochondrial diseases. The findings of this investigation could be the key determination for the legalization of a similar procedure in the United Kingdom.
This in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique takes cytoplasm from a donor egg or embryo and is injected into an egg with compromised mitochondria to help produce a healthier egg and, in theory, a healthier person free of mitochondrial diseases.
Although the procedure, commonly known as cytoplasmic transfer, does not involve the transfer of nuclear DNA, the resulting children still inherit genetic material from three parents. more >>