Ukraine options limited...Storm hammers wide area...Emergency ad prompts fines



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S and major allies are attempting to build a strong Western front to persuade Russia to step back from a military takeover of Ukraine's strategic Crimea region. But there is acknowledgement that there are few options beyond already-threatened economic and diplomatic penalties. An official in Ukraine says 16,000 Russian troops have moved into his country.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in Washington has been asked by former security contractors charged in a deadly shooting in Iraq to dismiss the indictment against them. The four former Blackwater Worldwide contractors are accused of taking part in a 2007 shooting that prosecutors say was unprovoked and killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Residents of parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are coping with several inches of snow on top of a layer of slush. Governors declared states of emergency in Virginia and Tennessee, where there were hundreds of traffic crashes and tens of thousands of power outages. For the fourth time this winter, wintry weather in Washington shut down the federal government.

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Eleven children forced to sleep in cages by their adoptive parents have reached a $2 million settlement with an Ohio county where three of them lived before they were placed in the home outfitted with wire and wood enclosures. The agreement still needs final approval from a judge.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission says it's fining three media giants $1.9 million for an ad for the movie "Olympus Has Fallen." The ad features emergency warning tones with images of the White House blowing up and the flashing words "THIS IS NOT A TEST." The ad aired on Viacom networks like BET and Comedy Central, 38 times on NBCUniversal channels like USA and SyFy and 13 times on The Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN in March 2013.

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