Kerry in Ukraine...Obama sends budget...Kentucky will appeal

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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is in Ukraine's capital, where he left a bouquet of roses at a shrine set up to memorialize protesters killed during last month's unrest. U.S. officials traveling with Kerry say the Obama administration is considering slapping Russia with unspecified economic sanctions as soon as this week because of its takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region. Members of Congress say they're preparing legislation that would impose sanctions. But Russia's Vladimir Putin says he won't be deterred by economic sanctions from the West.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is sending Congress a $3.9 trillion election-year budget that would funnel money into road building, education and other programs aimed at bolstering the economy and creating jobs. From its tax boosts on the wealthy to its spending for pre-school and job training, the budget introduced today gives Democrats a playbook illustrating their campaign-season theme of closing the widening income gap between rich and poor. But election-year pressures and gridlock between the Democratic-run Senate and Republican-led House mean much of Obama's proposals will go nowhere. Many of the proposals were in earlier budgets and ignored.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state will hire outside attorneys to appeal a judge's decision granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married in other states and countries. Beshear's announcement came moments after state Attorney General Jack Conway said he would not ask a higher court to review the decision. Both are Democrats. Their moves come four days after a federal judge in Louisville gave the state 21 days to implement a ruling overturning a voter-imposed ban on recognizing same-sex unions.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Some frigid weather has made for a dangerous drive to the polls this morning for some voters in the primary election in Texas. Polling locations around Austin were opening on a four-hour delay because of icy conditions. Crowded fields in the Republican races for attorney general and other offices make it likely that there will be runoff votes in May.

TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is said to be upset about his appearance last night on Jimmy Kimmel's late-night TV talk show. A Toronto Sun reporter says he overheard Ford say he'd been "set up." During the interview in Los Angeles, Ford laughed off a suggestion from Kimmel that he get help for his drinking problem.

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