WASHINGTON (AP) — It will be all about education and people-to-people connections when first lady Michelle Obama heads for China with her mother and daughters in tow on Wednesday. And there will be some awesome stops at historical and cultural treasures along the way.
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday recognizing Crimea as a sovereign state after the Ukrainian region declared itself independent and applied to join Russia following a weekend referendum. The decree, which took effect immediately, says Moscow recognition of Crimea as independent is based on "the will of the people of Crimea". Crimea's leaders declared a Soviet-style 97-percent result in favor of seceding from Ukraine in a vote condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West. The Crimean parliament formally proposed that Russia "admit the Republic of Crimea as a new subject with the status of a republic".