Pro-Russian forces expand hold in Crimea...West looks for ways to blunt Russia in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 3, 2014 at 2:52 a.m.



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KERCH, Ukraine (AP) — Another key Crimean facility has been secured by pro-Russian troops. The soldiers didn't identify themselves but spoke Russian and had vehicles with Russian plates. They took over a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Crimea close to Russia today, exacerbating fears that Moscow is planning to bring even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It has the appearance of a Cold War reboot as the U.S. and its allies weigh sanctions on Moscow and whether to bolster defenses in Europe in response to Russia's military advances on Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry says world leaders are prepared to "isolate Russia with respect to this invasion." Kerry is scheduled to travel to Ukraine tomorrow.

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Double-amputee Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius (pihs-TOHR'-ee-uhs) is in a South African courtroom today, answering charges that he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day last year., The victim's mother says she came to court to "really look him in the eyes." Pistorius says he thought Steenkamp was an intruder and the shooting was an accident.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The death penalty is back before the Supreme Court today. At issue is how authorities determine who is mentally eligible to be put to death. The case centers on a Florida death row inmate who claims he is mentally disabled. It was a dozen years ago that the justices prohibited the execution of the mentally disabled, but the states get to decide what classifies a person as such.

TOKYO (AP) — The head of a Tokyo virtual currency exchange that went belly-up says there is a "high probability" that theft is behind the disappearance of 750,000 bitcoins. Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy and says it's looking into a criminal complaint. Mt. Gox chief Mark Karpeles posted the announcement on the company website today, saying a huge number of transactions must be investigated.

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The Associated Press

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