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Kerry arrives in Kiev ... Putin talks tough ... RadioShack to close more than 1,000 stores


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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in the Ukrainian capital to show support for the country's government. Kerry touched down in Kiev today as the U.S. announced a $1 billion aid package to Ukraine amid worries that Moscow would extend its military reach past the pro-Russian Ukrainian region of Crimea. Russia's state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom already has announced that it would hike the price on gas supplies to Ukraine.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is talking tough in his first public comments about Ukraine. Putin says Western nations are driving Ukraine into anarchy, and he warns that any sanctions placed on Russia for Russian troops taking control of Ukraine's Crimea region will backfire. Putin has ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops in Russia to move away from the Ukraine border, but Putin says Moscow reserves the right to protect Russians in Ukraine.

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The first witness in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has broken down in tears, saying she still remembers the terrified screams of a woman the night the South African Olympic runner killed his girlfriend by shooting four times through a bathroom door. Michelle Burger wept as she testified in court in Pretoria today. Pistorius says he thought girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was an intruder when he fired the shots on Valentine's Day 2013. Prosecutors allege Pistorius killed Steenkamp in an argument.

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — RadioShack says it's closing up to 1,100 underperforming stores in the U.S. Its stock tumbled more than 24 percent in premarket trading today. The electronics retailer lost more than $191 million during the last quarter of 2013, compared with a loss of a little more than $63 million a year before. The store closings would still leave RadioShack with more than 4,000 stores.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Despite rain and cold in the forecast, revelers are gathering along parade routes as the Carnival season in New Orleans heads to a crest with the unabashed celebration of Mardi Gras. Rain is expected to hit the metropolitan area sometime after 10 a.m. local time, which means it could rain on both the krewes of Zulu and Rex. Temperatures aren't expected to rise above the low 40s.

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