Kerry arrives in Kiev...Putin blames the West

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 4, 2014 at 5:51 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in the Ukraine capital in a visit designed to show support for Ukrainian leadership. Meanwhile, the U.S. and its allies continue to grapple with whether to slap Moscow with sanctions for its military takeover of Ukraine's strategic Crimea region.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is accusing the West of encouraging an anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine and says Moscow reserves the right to use all means to protect Russians there. Putin pulled his forces back from the Ukrainian border today, but pro-Russia forces still occupy Crimea. Putin says any sanctions the West places on Russia will backfire. It was Putin's first comments on the crisis.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say at least six people have been killed in an attack by militants who stormed a government building in a city north of Baghdad today. Police officers say two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to the local council in Samara, paving the way for five other attackers to storm inside after detonating a parked car bomb. Authorities say the rest of the attackers were killed in a two-hour gunbattle.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch diplomat leading an international mission to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons program says it's still possible to meet an end-of-June deadline. Sigrid Kaag says the pace of removing chemicals from the civil war-torn country is picking up. He says Syria has agreed to a 60-day timetable to accelerate and intensify efforts toward removal of the chemicals that will be destroyed outside the country.

KUNMING, China (AP) — Some analysts are skeptical that China's version of a deadly slashing attack at a railroad station gets it right. China says the vicious slashing rampage that killed 29 people was the work of separatists linked to international terrorism. The analysts' doubt about outside help stems from the assailants' homespun methods and low-tech weapons — nothing more than long knives. There's been no claim of responsibility.

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The Associated Press

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