We tell you five things you need to know this morning.
1. Russia still denies its troops are in Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, continues to refer to soldiers occupying parts of Crimea not as Russian troops, but as “self-defence units” over which Moscow has no control. John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, met Putin’s suggestion that the troops weren’t under Russia’s command with disbelief. “Did he really deny that there were troops in Crimea?” Western leaders are virtually united in opposition to Russia’s aggression in the region, and the G-7—that is, the G-8 minus Russia—is planning a meeting in coming weeks.
2. Nine bombings in Baghdad kill at least a dozen. The carnage in Iraq’s capital yesterday fits the norm for the past year: car bombs target suburban Shiite neighbourhoods and kill or wound civilians going about their daily lives. Al-Jazeera counts 1,790 deaths since the beginning of the year. Iraq Body Count, which independently tracks the nation’s death toll, identified 40 deaths in 17 cities and towns in the troubled country yesterday—and 130 since the beginning of March alone.
3. Anti-virus software might be useless. There is so much malicious software on the internet, and so many criminal elements probing personal computers for valuable personal information—credit card data, for example—that anti-virus software can’t keep up because it’s forced to react to hackers’ relentless attacks. Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of the U.S.-based KnowBe4.com, suggests creating an online regime where clean sites are whitelisted, or approved—not blocked, reactively—as a means of protecting users.
4. Aboriginal women are too scared to complain. David Langtry, Canada’s human rights commissioner, says a cross-country consultation revealed that many aboriginal women see the human-rights act as “meaningless.” Many don’t file complaints for fear of retribution, says Langtry, including lack of access to social services—or even violence.
5. South Sudan soldiers fight over money. An army barracks in Juba, the country’s capital, erupted in gunfire as troops—who are paid in person, as a means of combatting corruption—scuffled over pay. Reuters reported one death of a soldier. Meanwhile, government and rebel forces will resume peace talks in Ethiopia later this month.