All Things Considered for Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pro-Russian separatists have seized government buildings in another eastern Ukrainian city. After Luhansk fell, Ukraine's acting president said his troops were helpless in the face of the unrest. He said he now was working to keep the rest of eastern Ukraine under his government's control.
The latest round of sanctions against Russia has created a lot of uncertainty for U.S. and European oil and gas companies. They're growing concerned that another round of sanctions could target Russia's energy sector, jeopardizing Western oil companies' activities there.
British actor Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71, after a bout with pneumonia. The skilled character actor starred in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and received an Oscar nomination for Mona Lisa.
Dick Costolo calls the @ sign "scaffolding" that gets in the way of clear communication. And he says Twitter has to bridge the gap between the brand's global awareness and user engagement.
For the first time since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011, Iraqis went to the polls to vote on their leaders. As Reuters reporter Ned Parker says, the day's events paint a grim future for Iraq's future.
In Afghanistan, as the winter snows melt, Taliban violence heats up. This year, there will be even fewer foreign troops in Afghanistan to prop up Afghan forces, who suffered record casualties in 2013 as they took the lead for security. While U.S. officials feared that could hamper recruiting efforts for the Afghan Army, Afghan officials say they have a surplus of volunteers.
Data from the Department of Education show an increase in sexual assault reports, but college officials say new federal guidelines are helping more students come forward.
Congress held its first hearing on "dark money," the donations to tax-exempt political groups that can keep donors' names secret. The star witness at the Senate committee was former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a vocal critic of the rulings that opened the door for the secret spending.
Inventing a new product is hard if you can't afford to build a prototype. Enter maker spaces, workshops boasting shared high-tech tools. Entrepreneurs love them, and big backers are taking notice.
Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett's execution was botched on Tuesday, when a relatively new combination of drugs failed to work as expected.
A botched execution in Oklahoma is only the latest issue since states started having trouble obtaining the drugs used to execute inmates. They've been trying new combinations and new drugs, which often had never been used before for that purpose.
A bill to increase the federal minimum wage was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday, as Democrats failed to muster the 60 votes necessary to bypass a filibuster.
The military's reliance on cyberspace is outpacing its ability to defend against cyberattacks, according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Here's how cyberwarriors are being trained.
Students, parents and teachers often argue that American students take too many standardized tests — but how many do they really take? A visit to one high school in Rockville, Md., offers an answer.
American students take an alphabet soup of mandatory and voluntary exams: SAT, PISA, AP. Sure it's a lot, but in places like Japan and England, tests are incredibly high-stress and life-defining.
The economy slowed sharply in the first quarter, but Federal Reserve policymakers voted unanimously to continue winding down their stimulus program.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he'll do everything in his power to ensure that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling sells the team. Michael McCann, director of the Sports and Entertainment Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, explains the NBA rules behind this.
The remarks resulting in Donald Sterling's banishment from the NBA were recorded at his home and apparently without his knowledge. Should even a bigoted team owner be entitled to a zone of privacy?
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