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Chess Champ Kasparov Challenges Putin

Since Vladimir Putin regained his seat as President of Russia, reformists have taken to the street in growing numbers to protest against an election they believe was fraudulent and a government they believe is corrupt.

"This is a game without any rules," says chess Grandmaster and reformist Garry Kasparov who spoke to Christiane Amanpour from Moscow about the rising impatience among Russians.

Kasparov has been fighting for political change in Russia full time since retiring as an international chess master in 2005, but even he's surprised at how quickly the tone has changed in Russia. "I don't believe anyone at the end of November, early December, could have made such a prediction that very soon, the Russian political landscape would change so dramatically."

Kasparov believes that the Russian people were willing to give Putin the benefit of the doubt a decade ago when he rose to power, but in 2012 there is still no sign of economic recovery, even with the high price of oil and the numbers are growing in favor of change.

"People have lost their patience," he believes.

  • Ukraine says battles raging in heart of rebel-held Lugansk
    Ukraine says battles raging in heart of rebel-held Lugansk

    Ukraine said Tuesday fighting had erupted in the heart of major rebel stronghold Lugansk, as the bodies of 17 civilians fleeing the city were recovered from wreckage of their destroyed convoy. Kiev's military claimed street battles with insurgents were raging in the city centre after one outlying district was "liberated". If confirmed, any advance by Ukraine's army into Lugansk, which has endured brutal shelling and weeks without running water or electricity, would be a major breakthrough for Kiev after four months of fighting that has claimed over 2,100 lives. Adding to this toll, the military said it had recovered the bodies of 17 civilians burned alive when a convoy evacuating them from Lugansk was hit by a rebel mortar strike on Monday.

  • Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas
    Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Government troops pressed attacks Tuesday in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, while Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000 and displaced another 300,000.

  • Islamic State vows to 'break the American cross'

    Islamic State, the Sunni militant group which seeks to establish a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, released a video on Tuesday that gave the strongest indication yet it might attempt to strike American targets. The video with the theme "breaking of the American cross" boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over "crusader" America. It follows a video posted on Monday warning of attacks on American targets if Washington struck against its fighters in Iraq and Syria. The latest footage speaks of a holy war between the al-Qaeda offshoot and the United States, which occupied Iraq for nearly a dacade and faced stiff resistance from al Qaeda.

  • Pakistani protesters reach parliament as police look on

    By Katharine Houreld and Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters marched to the Pakistani parliament on Tuesday as part of a bid to force the prime minister to resign, using a crane and bolt cutters to force their way past barricades of shipping containers in the capital Islamabad. Riot police and paramilitaries had tried to seal off the diplomatic and government zone before the march began, and were told not to intervene as protesters, some of them women throwing rose petals, moved all obstacles in their way. The protests were led by former international cricketer Imran Khan, head of the country's third-largest political party, and cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, who controls a network of Islamic schools and charities. Hours before the protesters set off, the interior minister announced that soldiers would be deployed to stop them.

  • Islamic State says another U.S. journalist's fate depends on Obama

    Islamic State militants claimed in a video on Tuesday to be holding U.S. "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," said a masked man in the video posted on social media sites, speaking English with a British accent as he held a prisoner the video named as Steven Sotloff. The video could not immediately be verified.

  • Michigan girl mauled by raccoon finishes surgeries
    Michigan girl mauled by raccoon finishes surgeries

    ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Now that Charlotte Ponce has her ear, she's looking to accessorize.

  • Taco Bell makes smart bet on U.S. Taco Co.
    Taco Bell makes smart bet on U.S. Taco Co.

    It's not typical for nationwide buzz to accompany a Taco Bell restaurant opening. But when it's Taco Bell's new store called U.S. Taco Co., a higher-scale eatery whose first location is now operating, it starts to make some degree of sense.

  • Ukraine says ready for short-term compromise on Russian gas price

    Ukraine's energy minister on Tuesday said the country was prepared to pay an interim compromise price for Russian gas and criticized Russia's Gazprom for being unwilling to negotiate. Last year, Russia supplied about half of the gas Ukraine used, but Gazprom cut supplies on June 16 in a row over pricing and after Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Ukraine, which is sourcing more gas from the European Union and cutting consumption from last year's 50 billion cubic meters (bcm), is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.