Images of pro-Russia demonstrators during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula. Text and photos by Reuters
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In northwestern Wisconsin, crowds of people flocked last month to trek on a frozen-over Lake Superior to reach dramatic ice caves accessible on foot for the first time in several years, courtesy of the long frigid winter. The ice caves on Superior’s shoreline are carved out of sandstone by waves from the lake and derive their name from the icy freeze in winter that makes them glisten with hoar frost, icicles and ice formations. Reachable in warm weather by boat, the caves are accessible in winter only by walking across ice when it is thick and stable enough. Text and photos by Reuters
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox announced Friday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection, admitting that it had lost 850,000 bitcoins. The company said it lost 750,000 bitcoins belonging to customers, and an additional 100,000 of its own bitcoins. Those bitcoins today would be worth more than $450 million. Mt. Gox also said it has debts of about $63.6 million. -Reuters
China continues to suffer a pollution crisis, with Beijing shrouded in acrid smog. Authorities have introduced anti-pollution policies and often pledged to clean up the environment but the problem has not eased. In October 2013, clouds of smog blanketed Harbin in China’s Heilongjiang province. According to reports, visibility was cut to 33 feet.
The Canadian men’s ice hockey team blanked Sweden, 3-0, to win gold. In other Olympics results, Russia won gold in the four-man bobsled event, while Russia’s Alexander Legkov claimed gold in the men’s cross-country 50 km mass start free event.
Snow has blanketed much of the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States. New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta were hit particularly hard by the snow storm and winter weather.