10 Things to Know: This Week's Takeaways
Looking back at the national and international stories to remember from the past week:
1. PUTIN PLEDGES TO RESPECT OUTCOME OF UKRAINE's PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SUNDAY
The promise by the Russian president is a strong indication the Kremlin wants to cool down the crisis. Deadly violence has flared in eastern Ukraine this week, casting a shadow over Sunday's balloting. It is uncertain how widespread the voting will be in the east, where separatists have vowed to disrupt the election.
2. THAILAND'S MILITARY SEIZES POWER IN A COUP
The army scrapped the constitution Thursday after six months of political deadlock and protests. Street protests started in November against then-Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and she dissolved the lower house of Parliament in a failed bid to ease the crisis. A court ousted her for nepotism this month but left the ruling party in place.
3. PRESIDENT NOMINATES SAN ANTONIO MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO AS HUD CHIEF
The up-and-coming Democrat, nominated Friday, is seen as a possible vice presidential nominee in 2016 and has helped revitalize San Antonio. Shaun Donovan, the current secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is getting the new title of budget director.
4. DOZENS KILLED IN NORTHWESTERN CHINA REGION BESET BY SEPARATIST VIOLENCE
Bombs were thrown Thursday from two SUVs at a busy market in Urumqi, in the Xinjiang region, killing 31 and wounding more than 90. It was the deadliest of recent violence that Chinese authorities blame on separatists from the Muslim Uighur minority.
5. SENATE GOP LEADER MITCH McCONNELL DEFEATS TEA PARTY CHALLENGER IN KENTUCKY
In primary elections Tuesday, Democrats turned to Alison Lundergan Grimes to oppose the five-term McConnell. Georgia Democrats chose Michelle Nunn, daughter of the four-term Democratic senator.
6. U.S. CHARGES FIVE CHINESE MILITARY OFFICIALS WITH HACKING AMERICAN COMPANIES
The Justice Department said Monday that big-name makers of nuclear and solar technology are stealing confidential business information, trade secrets and internal communications. Beijing denied it and warned the U.S. was jeopardizing military ties, calling Washington "the biggest attacker of China's cyberspace."
7. CREDIT SUISSE PLEADS GUILTY IN U.S. TAX CASE, AGREES TO PAY $2.6 BILLION FINE
The settlement, announced Monday, resolves a criminal investigation into allegations that Switzerland's second-largest bank recruited U.S. clients to open Swiss accounts, helped hide them from the IRS and enabled misconduct by bank employees. The case is part of an Obama administration crackdown on foreign banks believed to be helping U.S. taxpayers hide assets.
8. AT&T AGREES TO BUY DIRECTV IN $48.5 BILLION DEAL
Under the deal, announced Sunday, both are seeking to take on cable companies and online video providers, delivering content to living room TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile phones. The combined AT&T-DirecTV would serve 26 million, making it the second-largest pay TV operator behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable, which would serve 30 million under a $45 billion merger proposed in February.
9. SINGER JERRY VALE, KNOWN FOR HIGH-TENOR VOICE, DIES AT 83
He recorded more than 50 albums in the 1950s and early 1960s, and his renditions of "Volare," ''Innamorata" and "Al Di La" became classic Italian-American songs. Vale died Sunday at his Palm Desert home.
10. DONALD STERLING REPORTEDLY TO SURRENDER STAKE IN CLIPPERS
A person with knowledge of the negotiations said Friday that Sterling agreed to give the stake in the team to his estranged wife and that she is moving ahead with its sale. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million because of racist comments that damaged the league and its teams.
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