Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels have signed a ceasefire to bring an end to nearly five months of fighting. The truce, brokered in the capital city of Ukraine’s neighbor to the north, is based on a twelve-point peace plan. The European Union also announced the addition of more persons to the travel-ban and asset-freeze list, including the Crimean government and various Russian decision-makers. Russia’s foreign ministry severely criticized the proceedings, claiming that they would risk destroying the peace that had been made in Ukrainian society.
New York, New York
The world mourns the loss of another beloved celebrity, comedic legend Joan Rivers, after she passed away in New York City due to complications from a procedure on her vocal cords. In her usual extravagant style, Rivers left a list of demands for her funeral and other post mortem arrangements, such as to “be buried in a Valentino gown,” to have “Harry Winston make [her] a toe tag,” and “a wind machine so strong that even in the casket, [her] hair will be blowing more than Beyoncé’s on stage.”
According to foreign news reports, eight journalists from China have been arrested for extorting money and essentially blackmailing several companies around the country in exchange for writing only positive news stories about them. The writers, from the 21st Century Business Herald, forced companies to pay steep fees to avoid bad press. Various experts in China have called for a reform of the supervisory system in media. As this is not the first time that the country has faced such a media scandal, a nationwide campaign against extortion in media had actually been announced earlier in the year.
A new crop of “monuments men” are being trained by archaeologists from around the world on how to protect some of Syria’s most beloved historic places. The conflict that has raged on between rebel forces and those of President Bashar al Assad have left both death and destruction in their wake, with national monuments often the last concern in the minds of the Syrian people. The University of Pennsylvania’s Cultural Heritage Center, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and Heritage for Peace have all held workshops for Syrian archaeologists, curators and activists in the midst of a war that has killed more than 190,000 people.