US Simon Ostrovsky of Vice News Held in Ukraine

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#Pro-RussianGunmen in eastern Ukraine hold #Simon Ostrovsky, a journalist for Vice News, has been covering the crisis in Ukraine for weeks and was reporting about groups of masked gunmen seizing government buildings in one eastern Ukrainian city after another. Members of the nationalist Right Sector movement have also been occupying two buildings in the capital Kiev for months, but authorities have said the priority is to get the gunmen in eastern Ukraine to vacate the buildings they hold.

Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern city of Slovyansk, confirmed today that Ostrovsky was being held at the local branch of the Ukrainian security service that they seized more than a week ago. "He's with us. He's fine," Khorosheva told the AP. When asked why Ostrovsky was held captive, Khorosheva said he is "suspected of bad activities" which she refused to explain. She says the insurgents are holding Ostrovsky pending their own investigation. Vice News said it "is in contact with the US State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky."

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Google Street View Lets You Travel Back in Time

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Trips down memory lane are now available on Google's digital maps.

The new twist on time travel is debuting Wednesday as part of the "Street View" feature in Google's maps, a navigational tool that attracts more than 1 billion visitors each month.


Street View snapshots will now include an option to see what neighborhoods and landmarks looked like at different periods in the last seven years, as Google Inc. has been dispatching camera-toting cars to take street-level pictures for its maps.

Google Inc. intends to keep adding pictures to the digital time capsules as its photo-taking cars continue to cruise the same streets gathering updates.

"As time goes by, many of these images are going to become vintage," predicted Vinay Shet, a Google product manager who oversaw the company's glimpse into the past. "We want our maps to be comprehensive as we build a digital mirror of the world."

Like everything else on Google's map, the time-tripping option is free. Google makes money off its maps from advertising, so the Mountain View, Calif., company is constantly coming up with new attractions to keep people coming back.

Even though the photos only date back to 2007, some of them illustrate dramatic changes. Some photos show how neighborhoods in cities like Tohoku, Japan looked before and after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck in March 2011. Others show the gradual recovery of New Orleans neighborhoods in the years following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Scrolling over to Washington D.C. will provide a look at the restoration of the historic Howard Theatre in the nation's capital.

In New York, the Street View map presents a string of photos illustrating the changing skyline as the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center was built. Even looking at the evolution of Times Square during the past seven years can evoke nostalgic feelings while gazing at a giant billboard advertising a flip-style cellphone in 2007.

The visual retrospectives aren't available throughout Google's maps, although Shet says there should be at least one look back in time for just about every neighborhood that can be viewed through the Street View format.

Google's new feature is displaying more photos of major city centers over time than suburban streets because the company's camera-bearing cars return to densely populated areas more frequently.

Adding the photos from the past will roughly double the total imagery in Street View once the rollout is completed in the next two days. Google declined to say how many pictures are already in Street View, which spans 55 countries. The look-back feature will be available in all but three of those countries: Germany and Switzerland, where government regulations restrict Google's use of the past images, and South Africa, where technical problems have slowed the feature's rollout.

When a retrospective is available in Street View, a small clock appears in the left corner of the current picture of a location. Clicking on the clock produces a visual portal into different time periods.

The trips can be emotional. For instance, Street View's scenes often include people who happened to be in the frame when Google's cars took the picture. Over time, some of these people will die and Google expects those pictures will have special meaning for survivors and other descendants.

Some Street View pictures posted through the years have also upset people who were captured in activities or visiting places that they wanted to keep private. Google now blurs the images of people who contact the company asking to be shielded from Street View. Masking will be available on the older photos too, Shet said, even if it's just because a person didn't like the way he or she looked a few years ago.

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Turkey Downs Syria Jet in Airspace 'Slap'

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Days after Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attempt at eradicating Twitter didn't go so well, the Turkish PM is confirming that his armed forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet after it violated Turkish airspace, reports the BBC. " A Syrian plane violated our airspace," he told a rally today, as per Reuters. "Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard."
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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: France Satellite Images Could Be Debris

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France today provided Malaysia with satellite images of the latest round of "potential objects" that could be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, this time "in the vicinity of the southern corridor"—thought to be close to areas of the Indian Ocean where Australia and China provided satellite images of objects that could be debris. Air and sea searches since Thursday in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean to determine whether the objects were from the missing jet have been unsuccessful. The images had been sent to Australia, which is coordinating the search about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth.
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Russia's 'Eiffel Tower' Could Be Destroyed

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It's been hailed as a masterpiece of design and Russia's answer to the Eiffel Tower, but pretty soon the Shabolovka radio tower, also known as the Shukhov Tower, could disappear. Late last month the Russian State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting agreed to dismantle the tower, the New York Times reports, setting off a wave of debate and even protests in Russia.

The 50-story cone of metal spans was commissioned by Lenin in 1922 to spread communism to the masses through the then-new medium of radio. A shortage of materials kept it shorter than the Eiffel, and unlike the Eiffel it's in an area inaccessible to tourists—which helps explain why it's been allowed to rust.

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