Current Affairs Global - 17 March 2014

1. Crimea will formally apply to join Russia after its people vote to split from Ukraine. More than 97% of voters have supported leaving Ukraine to join Russia. At the same time, the referendum was widely condemned by Western leaders who were planning to discuss economic sanctions to punish Russia. The European Union also said the referendum was illegal and illegitimate and its outcome would not be recognised.

2. Tomas Halik, the Czech Czech public intellectual, Roman Catholic priest, and scholar, won the Templeton Prize for 2014. The award was announced by the John Templeton Foundation on 13th March and with total award value of 1.1 million Euro. His work is aimed at seekers, the segment of those asking questions about religious and spiritual issues but unaffiliated with religion or atheism.

3. Serena Williams continues to top the women-s tennis rankings released by the WTA today. The 32-year-old player has 12,660 points to retain a large advantage over second-placed Li Na of China who has 7,185. They were followed by Agnieszka Radwanska(3rd), Victoria Azarenka (4th) and Simona Halep (5th) in the same list.