President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would use its influence with separatists in east Ukraine to allow a full investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but said the West must put pressure on Kiev to end hostilities. Putin also called on Western powers not to meddle in Russia's domestic affairs and said steps were needed to strengthen the country's military capabilities because of moves by NATO and to protect the economy from "external threats". "We are being called on to use our influence with the separatists in southeastern Ukraine. Putin's comments were his first detailed response in public to Western criticism of Russia's role in Ukraine since the Malaysian airliner was brought down on Thursday, killing 298 people.
Humans are getting taller; Most of the transformations that occur within such a short time period "are simply the developmental responses of organisms to changed conditions," such as differences in nutrition, food distribution, health care and hygiene practices, said Stephen Stearns, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University. But the origin of these changes may be much deeper and more complex than that, said Stearns, pointing to a study finding that British soldiers have shot up in height in the past century. "Evolution has shaped the developmental program that can respond flexibly to changes in the environment," Stearns said.