In an inauspicious start to talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers in Geneva on Thursday, Ukrainian troops killed three masked pro-Moscow militants during a Wednesday night attack on a Ukrainian National Guard base in Mariupol, a Black Sea port town in eastern Donetsk province, not far from the border with Russia. According to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, the Guardsmen also wounded 13 of the roughly 300 attackers and captured 63. No Ukrainian troops were reported killed.
"After the attackers threw fire grenades and Molotov cocktails into the territory of the unit and opened fire on soldiers on guard, the National Guard troops opened warning fire and then... as the attack was repeated they began shooting to kill," Avakov wrote. Speaking to parliament on Thursday, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said the pro-Russia gang tried to take the base three times, with some of the attackers carrying automatic weapons.
Earlier Wednesday in Kramatorsk, about 100 miles due north of Mariupol, a unit of Ukrainian paratroopers surrendered several armored vehicles after being surrounded by unarmed protesters, then armed pro-Russia militants. "After the shocking setbacks in Kramatorsk," Dmitry Tymchuk, head of the Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research, tells the Los Angeles Times, "the actions of our soldiers in Mariupol demonstrate that the anti-terrorist operation in the Donetsk region is still continuing and may yet gain momentum." Peter Weber
About 4,000 migrants, many fleeing war in Syria, arrived in Austria early Saturday, where they were greeted by applause, food, and medical supplies. Many refugees, which Hungary agreed to bus, will request asylum in Austria, while others will continue on to Germany, BBC News reports.
Europe's ongoing migrant crisis has seen renewed attention in September after graphic photos emerged of a Syrian toddler's body washed up on a Turkish beach. The United Nations called on the European Union to help migrants Friday, one day after Hungary had forced migrants off of the nation's trains. Many of the migrants, including young children, had walked along Hungary's train tracks for hours toward Austria before boarding buses.
Jailed Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis will reportedly appeal her contempt of court ruling and has no plans to resign as Rowan County clerk, her lawyer said Friday. Davis, who was sent to jail Thursday after a judge found her in contempt of court for defying the Supreme Court's order to issue same-sex marriage licenses, says she has a "clean conscience."
Though a deputy clerk began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Davis' absence Friday, her attorney asserted that the licenses are void because she didn't authorize them. Samantha Rollins
Only in America: University professors threaten to give bad grades to students who use 'offensive' language, like 'male' and 'female'
Washington State University professors have warned students that using "oppressive and hateful language" such as "male," "female," and "illegal immigrant" will result in bad grades. But administrators promised to ensure that no student will be punished for "using terms that may be deemed offensive to some."
In a Friday interview with NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton once again refused to apologize for using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. "I'm sorry this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions," Clinton said.
While she admitted a personal server "wasn't the best choice," she maintained that she never knowingly broke the law. "This was fully above board, people knew I was using a personal email, I did it for convenience," Clinton said. "I sent emails that I thought were work related to people's dot gov accounts."
Jellyfish are "hypnotizing to watch," writes BlessThisStuff, so why not let them hypnotize you in your home or office? The Pulse 80 Jellyfish Aquarium ($1300) was designed with the special needs of jellyfish in mind, and it lets a human operator play with lighting effects. A remote control that governs the LED system lets you choose among thousands of colors and set the brightness and timing for flashes or color shifts. The aquarium is handmade from scratch-resistant cast acrylic and features a low-maintenance filtration system and an Italian-made pump designed to be virtually silent while operating.
A Georgia school district is investigating the mass baptism of its high school football players just before practice. A video showing the baptism appeared on a Baptist church's website, with the caption: "See how God is STILL in our schools." A spokeswoman for the Freedom From Religion Foundation said the coach was illegally misusing his authority "to promote his personal religious agenda.'' School district officials said they would "take appropriate steps."
Martin O'Malley wants the U.S. to accept as many as 13 times the number of Syrian refugees it currently plans to take in. The former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate called Friday for the U.S. to up its plans to accept between 5,000 to 8,000 immigrants to "at least 65,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016." O'Malley cited the photos of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who washed up dead on a Turkish beach after a failed attempt to sail from Turkey to Greece, for stirring his moral obligation to urge Americans to do more to help some four million Syrian refugees.
"Americans are a generous and compassionate people. But today our policies are falling short of those values," O'Malley said in a statement. "If Germany — a country with one-fourth our population — can accept 800,000 refugees this year, certainly we — the nation of immigrants and refugees — can do more."
As Europe faces an influx of migrants from Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East — a record 107,500 migrants entered the European Union in July alone — O'Malley contends that Americans are "not immune from the injustices and tragedies that unfold outside our borders." So far, according to numbers from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) reported by Newsweek, only 1,541 Syrian refugees have arrived in the U.S. Becca Stanek