We take a look at three global hot spots that are currently making international news. Ukraine is facing a leadership crisis and a potential Russian takeover of Crimea. Syria is still suffering waves of violence between rebel and government forces. And Venezuela, where protesters have taken to the streets in opposition to President Nicolas Maduro, has cut ties with Panama, calling it a U.S. lackey.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE HOT SPOTS:
• Venezuela cuts ties with Panama, calling country a 'lackey' for the United States
"Venezuela, rather than trying to distract from its own failings by making up false accusations against diplomats from the United States, the government ought to focus on addressing the legitimate grievances of the Venezuelan people," U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters last month. (CNN)
• Syria and Security Council Criticized by Rights Panel
A commission of inquiry established by the United Nations to investigate human rights abuses in Syria singles out the government and its allied militias for "systematically committing murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearance," while pointing a sharp finger at the Security Council for allowing both sides in the three-year-long war to continue breaking international laws with impunity.
"The warring parties do not fear being held accountable for their acts," the three-member panel wrote in its seventh report, released Wednesday. (The New York Times)
• Russia may face second round of sanctions over Ukraine
In their first concrete response to Russia's move to seize Crimea from Ukraine, Brussels and Washington warned of further sanctions, such as asset seizures, if Moscow did not relent. "I am confident that we are moving forward together, united in our determination to oppose actions that violate international law," Obama told reporters in Washington. "That includes standing up for the principle of state sovereignty." (The Guardian)