A journalist for Vice Media has been taken hostage by a pro-Russian separatist group while reporting on the situation in Ukraine. Details of Simon Ostrovsky’s abduction are still not completely clear, but his last Tweets seem to indicate that a press conference with a local pro-Russian “mayor” had suddenly taken a concerning turn when reporters were not allowed to leave. In a statement, the State Department wrote, “The Department of State takes its obligation to assist U.S. citizens abroad seriously and stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. We have no further information at this time” ... Discuss


If you've been paying attention, you know the apepocalypse is upon us. The signs are everywhere. They're breaking out of zoos. They're raising our children as their own. They're turning the tables on poachers. They're going on Easter Egg hunts, for goodness' sake. But if you remain unconvinced that we're currently living in a Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequel, look no further than Kanzi, a bonobo in America who has taken away humanity's monopoly on fire. Kanzi can comfortably light a fire, and even knows how to best use fires: for toasting marshmallows. That's right, gorillas now have our fire and our best snack. What's next? Learning how to use iPads? ... Discuss


Next week, the Bin Laden Group (yes, that Bin Laden; it was founded by Osama Bin Laden’s father) will kick off construction on what will be the tallest man-made structure on earth. At a staggering 3,280 feet, it’s 568 feet taller than the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai. On the 157th floor of the 200-story structure, there will be a massive terrace where visitors can essentially walk out on the clouds. Back in 2011, after the building was announced, Gizmodo put together the chart below showing just how much taller the tower is than other famous global skyscrapers ... Discuss


Wildlife photographer Marc Mol was at a river in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park when he captured something surely wrought by the blood moon: a stand-off between armies of hippos and crocodiles. A massive herd of hippos stumbled upon over a hundred sunbathing crocodiles, and it resulted in a battle for the very heart and soul of the animal kingdom. Although the action was a little hard to track, Mol reported only one fatality—a hippo who lost his life protecting his hippo brothers. His hippobrotamuses, if you will ... Discuss


Very scary, very sad news out of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, which has been taken over by pro-Russian militants. Reports are saying that Jews are being forced to register with their government, provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated." The information was printed on leaflets and distributed to the city's synagogue, all bearing the name of Denis Pushilin, who's styling himself as the chairman of Donetsk's interim (maybe) government. The leaflet said the registration was necessitated by leaders in the local Jewish community who supported Stepan Bandera, who fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II. "We don't know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it's serious that it exists," Olga Reznikova, a 32-year-old Jewish resident of Donetsk, told USA Today. "The text reminds of the fascists in 1941" ...

Update: Pushilin has denied any connection with the flyers. Whether they were distributed by a rogue faction of his government, a pro-Russia splinter group or someone else altogether remains unclear. Secretary of State John Kerry says that his department is taking the leaflets seriously, saying "In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable—it's grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable." Discuss


This week, the Islamic militant group Boko Haram abducted more than 100 girls from schools in Nigeria, though according to some reports, many are now free. The details are still unclear as to how they were freed—some had escaped following their kidnapping, and the military was involved in a rescue attempt—and at least one person has been arrested. Some reports say that as many as eight of the girls are still missing. Boko Haram—whose name means "western education is sin” regularly carry out attacks on students and Christians. Earlier this year, more than 120,000 young students were sent home after frequent attacks on schools. The group has also been blamed for a recent bus station bombing in the capital of Nigeria that killed dozens ... Discuss