International News

Russia Undermines Cease-Fire in Eastern Ukraine

Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Tuesday that Russia is not pulling out heavy weapons from Eastern Ukraine and is undermining the cease-fire agreed upon two weeks ago. The United States and its allies are considering imposing more sanctions on Russia for not adhering to the cease-fire, which was coordinated by France and Germany. Yatsenyuk said his primary goal is to create peace in Ukraine and see Russian military forces removed. (NBC)


Eurozone Extends Greece’s Billion Euro Bailout

The 19-nation Eurozone voted on Tuesday to extend Greece’s 240 billion euro bailout by four months. At the end of 2014, Greeks owed their government about €76 billion ($86 billion) in unpaid taxes through 2009. The government says only €9 billion can be recovered. Billions more in taxes are owed on revenue from Greece’s underground economy, which is estimated to comprise more than a quarter of the country’s GDP. Greece’s new government agreed on Tuesday to make tax collection a top priority on a long list of measures. (Wall Street Journal)


ISIS Demands End to U.S. Airstrikes

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is currently holding an estimated 90 Assyrian Christian hostages kidnapped early Monday from villages near Tal Tamer in Northeastern Syria. ISIL will reportedly release a message Wednesday threatening to kill them. The video is expected to say that the hostages will be killed unless the airstrikes against ISIL cease. Osama Edward, founder of the Assyrian Human Rights Network, said the video will be directed to U.S. President Barack Obama and other members of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL. (The Guardian)


National News

ISIL-Affiliated Men Arrested in New York

Three men were arrested in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday for allegedly plotting to aid the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Uzbek citizens Abdurasul Juraboev and Akhror Saidakhmetov planned to travel to Turkey and then on to Syria to allegedly wage jihad and were financed by Kazakhstani citizen Abror Habibov. They were charged with attempt and conspiracy to provide material to support ISIL and are each facing 15 years in prison. Juraboev drew law enforcement’s attention in August 2014 after posting on a pro-ISIL website, offering to kill U.S. President Barack Obama if asked to do so by ISIL. (NBC)


FCC To Vote on New Internet Rules

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote today on a new set of rules for Internet service providers. The rules, drawn up by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, plan to preserve Internet openness by keeping Internet service providers from discriminating against content makers. The new rules to be voted on have been in the works for approximately ten months, with the last set of rules shot down in federal court in January 2014. Supporters of the new set of rules include Amazon and Netflix, among others. (USA Today)


Iranian Revolutionary Guard Assaults U.S. Warship Replica

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard carried out a drill entitled Great Prophet 9 on Wednesday, assaulting a replica U.S. aircraft carrier near the Strait of Hormuz in the entrance of the Persian Gulf. This simulation was the first of its kind performed on a replica of a U.S. carrier. While the U.S. typically has at least one carrier stationed near the Gulf, U.S. Navy Commander of the 5th Fleet in Bahrain Kevin Stephens said the U.S. is confident in its naval forces, and compared the drill to destroying a “Hollywood movie” set. (The Guardian)