SIMFEROPOL -- Ukraine lurched toward breakup as Crimean MPs unanimously declared they wanted to join the Russian Federation and would hold a March 16 referedum.
Ukraine now believes Russia has 30,000 troops in the southern Ukrainian peninsula, almost twice the estimate of 16,000 given by the Ukrainian government earlier this week.
SYDNEY -- The value of Australia’s liquefied natural gas exports will triple to A$60 billion ($54bn) by 2017 as China steps up purchases of cleaner energy.
DELHI -- India’s 814 million voters will go to the polls in elections that pit Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi against the Gandhi family's ruling party.
ALBERTA -- Flexcoin, the Canada-based Bitcoin bank, is to close after losing $600,000 in a hacker attack – another victim in a spate of recent Bitcoin robberies.
MOSCOW -- Russia's President Putin has warned that Moscow "cannot ignore calls for help" from other parts of Ukraine – a threat of further military intervention.
PRETORIA -- A female judge will decide the fate of Oscar Pistorius and pronounce him innocent or guilty of the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.
BEIJING -- China will boost its 2014 military spending by 12.2 percent to $132 billion – the biggest rise for three years, as Beijing continues to assert itself in Asia.
LONDON -- Three years of civil war in Syria has seen more than 140,000 people killed, including 71,000 civilians, while 2.5 million Syrians are refugees.
CARDINGTON -- The world's largest aircraft – part plane, part airship and part helicopter – has been unveiled in the UK. The HAV304 is 91m long and 26m high.
SOCHI -- The XI Paralympic Games sees a record 47 countries competing in seven disciplines of five sports, including para-snowboarding for the first time.
LONDON -- Singapore has topped 131 cities globally to become the world's most expensive city to live in 2014, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.