Monday, March 10, 2014

Obama to Egyptian Christians: Don’t Protest the Brotherhood

Obama to Egyptian Christians: Don’t Protest the Brotherhood


morsi-obamaAs Egyptians of all factions prepare to demonstrate in mass against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi’s rule on June 30, the latter has been trying to reduce their numbers, which some predict will be in the millions and eclipse the Tahrir protests that earlier ousted Mubarak.  Among other influential Egyptians, Morsi recently called on Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to urge his flock, Egypt’s millions of Christians, not to join the June 30 protests.
While that may be expected, more troubling is that the U.S. ambassador to Egypt is also trying to prevent Egyptians from protesting—including the Copts.  The June 18th edition of Sadi al-Balad reports that lawyer Ramses Naggar, the Coptic Church’s legal counsel, said that during Patterson’s June 17 meeting with Pope Tawadros, she “asked him to urge the Copts not to participate” in the demonstrations against Morsi and the Brotherhood.
The Pope politely informed her that his spiritual authority over the Copts does not extend to political matters.
Regardless, many Egyptian activists are condemning Patterson for flagrantly behaving like the Muslim Brotherhood’s stooge.  Leading opposition activist Shady el-Ghazali Harb said Patterson showed “blatant bias” in favor of Morsi and the Brotherhood, adding that her remarks had earned the U.S. administration “the enmity of the Egyptian people.” Coptic activists like George Ishaq openly told Patterson to “shut up and mind your own business.” And Christian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris—no stranger to Islamist hostility—posted a message on his Twitter account addressed to the ambassador saying “Bless us with your silence.”
Indeed, the U.S. ambassador’s position as the Brotherhood’s lackey is disturbing—and revealing—on several levels.  First, all throughout the Middle East, the U.S. has been supporting anyone and everyone opposing their leaders—in Libya against Gaddafi, in Egypt itself against 30-year U.S. ally Mubarak, and now in Syria against Assad.   In all these cases, the U.S. has presented its support in the name of the human rights and freedoms of the people against dictatorial leaders.
So why is the Obama administration now asking Christians not to oppose their rulers—in this case, Islamists—who have daily proven themselves corrupt and worse, to the point that millions of Egyptians, most of them Muslims, are trying to oust them?
What’s worse is that the human rights abuses Egypt’s Coptic Christians have been suffering under Muslim Brotherhood rule are significantly worse than the human rights abuses that the average Egyptian suffered under Mubarak—making the Copts’ right to protest even more legitimate, and, if anything, more worthy of U.S support.
Among other things, under Morsi’s rule, the persecution of Copts has practically been legalized,  as unprecedented numbers of Christians—men, women, and children—have been arrested, often receiving more than double the maximum prison sentence, under the accusation that they “blasphemed” Islam and/or its prophet.  It was also under Morsi’s reign that another unprecedented scandal occurred: the St. Mark Cathedral—holiest site of Coptic Christianity and headquarters to the Pope Tawadros himself—was besieged in broad daylight by Islamic rioters.  When security came, they too joined in the attack on the cathedral.  And the targeting of Christian children—for abduction, ransom, rape, and/or forced conversion—has also reached unprecedented levels under Morsi.  (For more on the plight of the Copts under Morsi’s rule, see my new book Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.)
Yet despite the fact that if anyone in Egypt has a legitimate human rights concern against the current Egyptian government, it most certainly is the Christian Copts, here is the U.S., in the person of Ms. Patterson, asking them not to join the planned protests.
In other words, and consistent with Obama administration’s doctrine, when Islamists—including rapists and cannibals—wage jihad on secular leaders, the U.S. supports them; when Christians protest Islamist rulers who are making their lives a living hell, the administration asks them to “know their place” and behave like dhimmis, Islam’s appellation for non-Muslim “infidels” who must live as third class “citizens” and never complain about their  inferior status.

Almost 70 Years Late -- FBI Quietly Opens Secret Files That Attest HITLER WENT TO ARGENTINA Rather Than Commit Suicide...

Almost 70 Years Late -- FBI Quietly Opens Secret Files That Attest HITLER WENT TO ARGENTINA Rather Than Commit Suicide...

Read the documents yourself at fbi.gov
(by R&S, Exposing the Realities) -- Newly declassified FBI documents prove that the government knew Hitler was alive and well, and living in the Andes Mountains long after World War II.
On April 30 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker. His body was later discovered and identified by the Soviets before being rushed back to Russia. Is it really possible that the Soviets have been lying all this time, and that history has purposely been rewritten?
No one thought so until the release of the FBI documents. It seems that it is possible that the most hated man in history escaped war torn Germany and lived a bucolic and peaceful life in the beautiful foothills of the Andes Mountains.

The Intelligence Community Knew.

Recently released FBI documents are beginning to show that not only was Hitler and Eva Braun’s suicide faked, the infamous pair might have had help from the Swiss Director of the United States OSS himself, Allen Dulles.
In one FBI document from Los Angles, it is revealed that the agency was well aware of a mysterious submarine making its way up the Argentinian coast dropping off high level Nazi officials. What is even more astonishing is the fact that the FBI knew he was in fact living in the foothills of the Andes.

Who is the Mysterious Informant?

In a Los Angeles letter to the Bureau in August of 1945, an unidentified informant agreed to exchange information for political asylum. What he told agents was stunning.
The informant not only knew Hitler was in Argentina, he was one of the confirmed four men who had met the German submarine. Apparently, two submarines had landed on the Argentinian coast, and Hitler with Eva Braun was on board the second.
The Argentinian government not only welcomed the former German dictator, but also aided in his hiding. The informant went on to not only give detailed directions to the villages that Hitler and his party had passed through, but also credible physical details concerning Hitler.
While for obvious reasons the informant is never named in the FBI papers, he was credible enough to be believed by some agents.
The FBI Tried to Hide Hitler’s Whereabouts.
Even with a detailed physical description and directions the FBI still did not follow up on these new leads. Even with evidence placing the German sub U-530 on the Argentinian coast shortly before finally surrounding, and plenty of eye witness accounts of German official being dropped off, no one investigated.
Click on image to download PDF or review directly on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website fbi.gov
Click on image to download PDF or review directly on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's website fbi.gov

Even More Evidence is Found:

Along with the FBI documents detailing an eye witness account of Hitler’s whereabouts in Argentina, more evidence is coming to light to help prove that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun did not die in that bunker.
In 1945, the Naval Attaché in Buenos Aires informed Washington there was a high probability that Hitler and Eva Braun had just arrived in Argentina. This coincides with the sightings of the submarine U-530. Added proof comes in the form of newspaper articles detailing the construction of a Bavarian styled mansion in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.
Further proof comes in the form of architect Alejandro Bustillo who wrote about his design and construction of Hitler’s new home which was financed by earlier wealthy German immigrants.

Irrefutable Evidence that Hitler Escaped:

Perhaps the most damming evidence that Hitler did survive the fall of Germany lies in Russia. With the Soviet occupation of Germany, Hitler’s supposed remains were quickly hidden and sent off to Russia, never to be seen again. That is until 2009, when an archeologist from Connecticut State, Nicholas Bellatoni was allowed to perform DNA testing on one of the skull fragments recovered.
What he discovered set off a reaction through the intelligence and scholarly communities. Not only did the DNA not match any recorded samples thought to be Hitler’s, they did not match Eva Braun’s familiar DNA either. So the question is, what did the Soviets discover in the bunker, and where is Hitler?
It was not only General Eisenhower who was concerned over Hitler’s compete disappearance, Stalin also expressed his concerns. In 1945, the Stars and Stripes newspaper quoted then General Eisenhower as believing that the real possibility existed of Hitler living safely and comfortably in Argentina.

Is it Possible?

With all of the new found evidence coming to light, it is possible and even likely that not only did Hitler escape from Germany; he had the help of the international intelligence community. Released FBI documents prove that they were not only aware of Hitler’s presence in Argentina; they were also helping to cover it up.
It would not be the first time the OSS helped a high ranking Nazi official to escape punishment and capture. Look at the story of Adolf Eichmann who was located in Argentina in the 1960’s.
Did Hitler escape to Argentina? The answer is yes.

Read the original posting of this article via Exposing the Realities...

i dont bwelieve a word out of this obamas best iran embassor runs the nsa he banked rolled ukraine take over and owns snowen lies i dont trust them

Snowden advocates at SXSW for improved data security

The best encryption may conflict with the business model of Google and Facebook, speakers said at the show

By , IDG News Service |  Security, Edward Snowden, privacy

Edward Snowden speaks via video link to the SXSW conference on March 10, 2014
Image credit: IDG News Service/Martyn Williams
Encryption technologies can be a powerful tool against government surveillance, but the most effective techniques are still largely out of reach to the average Internet user, Edward Snowden said Monday.
"Encryption does work," Snowden said, speaking via satellite video from Russia at the South by Southwest Interactive technology festival in Austin, Texas. "We need to think of encryption not as an arcane black art, but as a basic protection in the digital realm," the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor said.
Snowden chose to speak at SXSW rather than before a legislative or policy group because it's the technology community that can really fix security and digital rights, he said. "This is something we should not only implement, but actively research and improve on an academic level," he said.
But now, the best encryption, like end-to-end encryption, often does not find its way into mainstream product and is not always employed by major Internet companies that depend on advertising.
Ideally, more companies would make strong encryption a default part of their services, without requiring action from the consumer, or burying the option several menus deep. It may be difficult, however, for companies like Google and Facebook to adopt the strongest encryption protocols like end-to-end encryption, Snowden said during a discussion about security with two representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union. Those companies gather lots of data about their users and use it for advertising. It's harder to gather that data when the endpoints are encrypted, the speakers said.
Since the disclosures began last June from documents leaked to reporters by Snowden, "companies have improved their security," said Chris Soghoian, a senior policy analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. There is security, for instance, between user's computers and Google's servers, he said.
But it's difficult for major Internet companies providing a free service to offer end-to-end encryption because it conflicts with their business model, he said. And. unfortunately, the tools that offer secure, end-to-end online communications are not polished or easy to use, speakers said. "The tools designed with security as a first goal are often developed by independent developers, activists and hobbyists," he said.
After previously classified documents were leaked by Snowden, a number of large technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo announced new protocols for encrypting users' data. But the problem is that one of the most commonly used encryption technologies, known as TLS (Transport Layer Security) is not all that strong against the intelligence gathering community, Snowden said.
TSL encryption, which is used by services owned by Google and Skype, encrypts communications at the point of transport and then the companies de-crypt and re-encrypt it, Snowden said. End-to-end encryption, on the other hand, forces intelligence-gathering groups to target individual computers, which are much harder to crack.
"I think that's the way to do it," Snowden said, speaking on the value of end-to-end encryption.
Some of the most advanced encryption technologies are difficult to use and they're not always free. Still, Snowden identified several steps Internet users can take to protect their data from surveillance. There's disk encryption, which protects data stored on hardware; there are browser security plug-ins like NoScript; and apps like Ghostery for Web cookie tracking, Snowden said. He also recommended Tor, which is designed to conceal online activity by routing Internet traffic through a networked relay system.
If people take those steps to encrypt their hardware and network communications, their online data would be better protected from massive government surveillance. But targeted surveillance is still harder to evade.
Snowden did not say that companies like Google and Facebook should not collect any data about their users. Rather, companies should not store data for long periods of time.
"You can do these things in a responsible way where people can still get value of the services ... without putting users at risk," he said.
The appropriate length of time that companies should retain user data was not, however, addressed during the talk.
Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Famous pizza chain files for bankruptcy

Famous pizza chain files for bankruptcy

3 weeks after forced to close 40% of locations

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The news was not so mouth-watering for pizza fans Monday, as the Sbarro pizza chain filed for bankruptcy court protection.
The move comes less than three weeks after it was forced to close more than 40 percent of its restaurants across the United States.
Sbarro is best known for locations in malls, airports, train stations and highway rest stops.
It’s actually the second bankruptcy filing in less than three years by Sbarro, whose previous action was in April 2011.
Sbarro, based in Melville, N.Y., issued a statement Monday indicating the bankruptcy filing is a pre-packaged plan, which means it has already agreed on a reorganization plan with creditors that hold 98 percent of the company’s debt. That should allow it to quickly shed an estimated $140 million in debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company.
According to CNNMoney, the company announced in February it was closing 155 company-owned restaurants in the U.S., effective immediately. That left it with 220 U.S. locations and more than 600 other locations owned by franchise operators in 40 different countries.
The closings left the company with some 2,700 employees.
Spokesman Jonathan Dedmon told CNNMoney no further closings are envisioned under the bankruptcy plan. He said Sbarro has already closed its weaker locations and expects to shed 80 percent of its debt during the bankruptcy. It has also secured $20 million in new financing.
“The previous closures and bankruptcy filing are part of an overall plan to invest in and grow the company for the future,” he said.
This latest closing announcement was one of many mass store closing announcements so far in 2014.
Just this month, Radio Shack announced plans to shut up to 1,100 stores, and office-supply giant Staples said it would close 225 locations.
Department-store chain J.C. Penney announced in January it would close 33 stores, while Macy’s said it would shut five stores and lay off 2,500 employees in a cost-cutting effort.

fukushima anniversary

fukushima anniversary

Study claims USS Reagan crew exposed to extremely high levels of radiation near Fukushima

Study claims USS Reagan crew exposed to extremely high levels of radiation near Fukushima

Published time: February 20, 2014 21:12
US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (AFP Photo / US Navy)
US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (AFP Photo / US Navy)
A new report on the nuclear crisis that started to unfold in Fukushima, Japan almost three years ago suggests that American troops who assisted with disaster relief efforts were exposed to unheard of radiation levels while on assignment.
Kyle Cleveland, a sociology professor at Temple University Japan, makes a case for that argument in an academic paper published in the Asia-Pacific Journal this week titled Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty.
According to Cleveland, transcripts from a March 2011 conference call obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that United States servicemen on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier experienced radiation levels 30-times above normal during relief operations that week.
During that March 13 phone call, Cleveland wrote, Troy Mueller — the deputy administrator for naval reactors at the US Department of Energy — said the radiation was the equivalent of “about 30 times what you would detect just on a normal air sample out at sea.”

“So it's much greater than what we had thought,” Mueller reportedly warned other American officials after taking samples on the Reagan. “We didn't think we would detect anything at 100 miles.”
After Mueller made that remark, according to Cleveland’s transcript, Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman asked him if those levels were “significantly higher than anything you would have expected.” He responded yes.
When Poneman later asked Mueller, “how do the levels detected compare with what is permissible,” Mueller said those on the scene could suffer irreversible harm from the radiation within hours.
“If it were a member of the general public, it would take -- well, it would take about 10 hours to reach a limit,” he said. At that point, Mueller added, “it’s a thyroid dose issue.”
If people are exposed to levels beyond the Protective Action Guideline threshold released by the Energy Department, Cleveland acknowledged in his report, radiation could have ravaged their thyroid glands.
When approached for comment by reporters at the website NextGov, however, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Sarah Flaherty said in an email that the crewmembers aboard the USS Reagan were never at danger of such exposure.
“Potentially contaminated personnel were surveyed with sensitive instruments and, if necessary, decontaminated. The low levels of radioactivity from the Fukushima nuclear power plant identified on US Navy ships, their aircraft, and their personnel were easily within the capability of ship's force to remedy,” Flaherty said
The latest report, NextGov’s Bob Brewin wrote, comes only days after the attorneys representing 79 USS Reagan crewmember filed an amended lawsuit in California against Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO., which has been accused of negligent with regards to maintain the Fukushima nuclear facility ahead of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that started the emergency.Attorneys for those servicemen are asking TEPCO for $1 billion in damages, and say that the infant child born of one of the crewmembers since the incident has a rare genetic disorder likely brought on by radiation exposure.
Attorneys in that suit say that “up to 70,000 US citizens [were] potentially affected by the radiation,” and might be able to join in their suit.

After Fukushima, safety issues linger

After Fukushima, safety issues linger

Pa. has six reactors similar to those at Fukushima, and while regulators and reactor operators insist they are safe, a close scrutiny raises serious questions.

Clouds of condensed water vapor leave the cooling towers of the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pottstown Monday, November 18, 2013. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Clouds of condensed water vapor leave the cooling towers of the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pottstown Monday, November 18, 2013. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer
Clouds of condensed water vapor leave the cooling towers of the Limerick nuclear power plant in Pottstown Monday, November 18, 2013. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer Gallery: After Fukushima, safety issues linger
Three years ago this week, the world watched a nuclear accident unfold. Although Fukushima Daiichi sits halfway around the globe, there are chilling similarities between what happened in Japan and what could happen here.
Pennsylvania has six reactors that are of similar designs to those at Fukushima, two each at the Limerick, Susquehanna, and Peach Bottom nuclear plants. New Jersey has one each at the Hope Creek and Oyster Creek facilities. In addition to a shared technology, U.S. and Japanese regulatory systems have much in common.
But the most important thread that ties nuclear safety in this country with a nuclear disaster in Japan is a common mindset: that severe accidents are so unlikely they need not be rigorously considered in design, regulations, or emergency planning.
Even after the cascading crises at Fukushima stunned the world - and continue to grab headlines today - U.S. regulators and reactor operators insist that a similar event can't happen in this country. The existing nuclear safety net is adequate, they say.
But on close scrutiny those claims stretch credulity. Consider just one component of that safety net, emergency planning at Peach Bottom, south of Harrisburg.
In the aftermath of Fukushima Daiichi, Peach Bottom's owner, Exelon Corp., which owns 17 reactors, submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission its voluntary plan for responding to a severe accident, such as a flood or earthquake. Such events could destroy the reactors' electrical systems, making it impossible to cool the cores and spent reactor fuel, as happened at Fukushima.
At Fukushima Daiichi, all six reactors lost power, a situation called "station blackout." Despite the heroic efforts of workers, time ran out. Three meltdowns followed, along with hydrogen explosions and the release of massive amounts of radiation. It took nine days to restore full power.
Peach Bottom is adding portable generators to supply backup power in the event of such a crisis. But Exelon has proposed storing the equipment below flood level with the assumption that workers would have plenty of time to move the equipment and get it operating, an assumption consistent with nuclear-industry guidelines. Peach Bottom sits alongside the notoriously flood-prone Susquehanna and below a large dam. A dam breach or ice jam could create a destructive wall of water, akin to a tsunami.
Under Exelon's scenario, the disaster would leave electrical systems unscathed, the floodwaters or earthquake somehow miraculously sparing wiring that was not designed to withstand such events.
If that backup isn't enough, the utility is relying on additional emergency equipment - stored in Tennessee. Getting that equipment to the site in time to save the day after a disaster that disrupted transportation seems a rather high-stakes gamble. If by some chance the plant lost power during routine refueling, when the entire core is removed and placed in a spent fuel pool, there would be just eight hours before the pool began to boil dry and the fuel at risk of catching fire.
And what about evacuations in the event of a severe accident?
Central Pennsylvania is the only place in the United States that has actually experienced a nuclear evacuation - 35 years ago during the Three Mile Island accident. Then, the state recommended that pregnant women and children living within five miles of the plant leave. Instead, about 150,000 people took it upon themselves to flee, and the exodus was far from smooth.
During Fukushima, the NRC recommended that Americans living within 50 miles of the plant evacuate, a wise call based on a dangerous radiation plume that spread about 30 miles northwest of the reactors. Despite that experience, the NRC today remains steadfast in its belief that the existing 10-mile emergency evacuation zone around U.S. nuclear plants is adequate and that there would be plenty of time to expand that zone if conditions warranted. (In the case of the Limerick reactor, a 50-mile zone would include much of metropolitan Philadelphia.)
More than 10 million Pennsylvanians (80 percent of the state) live within 50 miles of a nuclear plant. That statistic prompted Sen. Robert Casey (D., Pa.) in 2012 to ask the NRC to reevaluate the adequacy of the 10-mile evacuation zone. The 10-mile zone remains in effect.
Three years after Fukushima Daiichi, the NRC and the nuclear industry continue to repeat a familiar mantra: The likelihood of a severe accident is so low there is no need to plan for it. That was what the Japanese said, too.


Susan Q. Stranahan is co-author of the new book "Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Accident," written with David Lochbaum and Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She was a member of the Inquirer team awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Three Mile Island accident susan.stranahan@gmail.com

Russia condemns 'lawlessness' in eastern Ukraine

Russia condemns 'lawlessness' in eastern Ukraine

By Marie-Louise Gumuchian. Jason Hanna and Kellie Morgan, CNN
updated 2:04 PM EDT, Mon March 10, 2014
People shout slogans during a pro-Russia rally in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Sunday, March 9. Pro-Russian forces have taken control of Ukraine's autonomous Crimean region, prompting criticism from Western nations and the Ukrainian interim government. The standoff has revived concerns of a return to Cold War relations. People shout slogans during a pro-Russia rally in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Sunday, March 9. Pro-Russian forces have taken control of Ukraine's autonomous Crimean region, prompting criticism from Western nations and the Ukrainian interim government. The standoff has revived concerns of a return to Cold War relations.
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Crisis in Ukraine
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Ukrainian military base commander in Crimea denies switching allegiance
  • Russia says far-right groups "conniving" with new authorities in Kiev
  • Germany's Merkel tells Putin planned Crimea referendum illegal
  • Ukrainian prime minister expected to arrive in the United States on Wednesday
Simferopol, Ukraine (CNN) -- Russia accused far-right groups Monday of "conniving" with the new authorities in Ukraine, as pro-Moscow forces consolidated their hold on their neighbor's Black Sea peninsula.
In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned "lawlessness" in eastern Ukraine and accused the West of being silent over violence and detentions taking place against Russian citizens, such as one incident last week when it said masked gunmen fired on and injured peaceful protesters.
The statement came a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel bluntly told Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone the Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia is illegal and would violate Ukraine's constitution if it goes ahead on March 16.
Putin has defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces have been tightening their grip on a region that has been the epicenter of a battle for influence among Moscow, Kiev and the West since Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's ouster last month.
Pro-Russian forces last week pushed into the autonomous region in a bloodless siege, prompting criticism from Western nations and Ukraine's interim government.
Will Putin stop at Crimea?
Ukraine: 30,000 Russian troops in Crimea
Ripple effect of Ukraine crisis
Moscow has denounced the events that led to Yanukovych's ouster as an illegitimate coup and has refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, putting the two countries on a collision course over control of Crimea, which has longstanding ties to Russia and has thousands of Russian troops stationed there.
Putin has said Russia has the right to protect Russians living in the former Soviet republic.
As tensions mount, Ukraine's armed forces carried out training exercises to test their readiness, the country's Defense Ministry said. Citing televised comments made by Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh on Sunday, it said the army however was not calling for full mobilization, as diplomacy was still the preferred method to resolve the crisis.
Propaganda war
Earlier, Ukraine's Defense Ministry said a group of about 20 pro-Russian activists from the so-called Crimea self-defense squads had broken into the military hospital in the region's main administrative city, Simferopol, and thrown out its chief.
In a later statement, it said the hospital chief was back at work after negotiations but added the premises were being blockaded by the activists.
However a CNN team that traveled to the hospital found it very quiet, with no one around. A guard on duty said he had not heard or seen anything unusual and that there was no senior official to speak with as Monday was a public holiday.
In the course of the rapidly changing events of the past week, a propaganda war over Ukraine has quickly developed as each side seeks to strengthen its stance.
Scenes of balaclava-wearing men without insignia patrolling streets or other premises have now become a familiar sight in the region.
On Monday, conflicting accounts cast doubt as to which side was in charge of a Ukrainian military base in Bakhchisaray, Crimea, with a Ukrainian commander denying accusations that he had defected.
Ukraine's military said the commander, Vladimir Sadovnik, initially appeared to have been abducted from the base by pro-Russian self-defense fighters on Sunday. A CNN team visited the base Monday morning, and the deputy commander said Sadovnik was being held by pro-Russian forces. The base still appeared to be in Ukrainian military hands.
But later Monday, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said Sadovnik -- apparently having switched allegiance -- returned to the base with pro-Russian fighters and persuaded some of the Ukrainian troops there to join him.
Sadovnik and the men who joined him loaded trucks with fuel, radios and other goods to take away from the base, according to Seleznyov.
When a CNN team visited the base Monday afternoon, armed masked men appeared in control of the base. The Ukrainian flag that had been flying there was gone.
CNN then reached Sadovnik by phone, and he denied Seleznyov's account. He said he was kidnapped Sunday but eventually was allowed to return to the base. He said he still was on the base and still was loyal to Ukraine.
He said pro-Russian forces did ask Ukrainian troops there to change sides Monday, but that he did no such thing. CNN couldn't immediately verify his location.
Reports of confrontations weren't limited to Crimea. In the eastern mainland Ukrainian city of Lugansk, just a few kilometers west of the Russian border, 50 to 60 people burst into an IRTA TV station building on Monday, editor-in-chief Katerina Rakova said.
The intruders initially threatened to burn the building if they weren't allowed to broadcast. But they eventually left, warning that they would return if they are dissatisfied with the station's news broadcasts, Rakova said.
On Monday afternoon, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "increasingly alarmed" by developments in Ukraine.
"Recent events in Crimea in particular have only served to deepen the crisis. As tensions and mistrust are growing, I urge all sides to refrain from hasty actions and provocative rhetoric," he said.
Singing Soviet songs
On Sunday in Simferopol, demonstrators waving Crimean and Russian flags clapped along to Soviet-era songs as dancers from Russia's Black Sea fleet entertained the crowd.
Because of language and history, one man at the rally told CNN, Russia and Crimea are already "brothers."
But not all Crimeans are convinced. Across town, beneath a statue of Ukraine's most celebrated poet, another crowd was much smaller and the mood much more somber.
Asked what he thought about the possibility of Crimea becoming part of Russia, one demonstrator shook his head.
"It will be very complicated because of economics, and a lot of different nations live here, not only Russians. ... Not all of the people want to be part of Russia," he said. "It's kind of a show. Putin's show."
Elsewhere, in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, another Ukrainian rally came under attack by pro-Russian gangs who whipped and beat demonstrators.
Ukrainian PM to U.S.
Washington has warned Moscow that any moves to annex Crimea would close the door to diplomacy. On Saturday, U.S. President Barack Obama rounded up world leaders to demand Russia "de-escalate the situation."
Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will fly to the United States this week to discuss the crisis in Crimea.
On Tuesday, Yanukovych will speak from the Russian town of Rostov, Russia's state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported, citing sources close to Yanukovych.
Putin earlier this month secured permission from his parliament to use military force to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine. The move came within days after Yanukovych's flight from the country. Yanukovych was ousted after three months of protests against his decision to spurn a free trade deal with the European Union and turn toward closer ties with Moscow.
The referendum on whether the Crimean Peninsula should join Russia has become the focus of the Ukraine crisis. Yatsenyuk has called it "an illegitimate decision."
"If there is an annexation of Crimea, if there is a referendum that moves Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, we won't recognize it, nor will most of the world," U.S. deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
"So I think you'd see, if there are further steps in the direction of annexing Crimea, a very strong, coordinated international response."