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VIENNA (AP) — The United States and 14 other nations have put together a military observer mission at Ukraine's request to monitor the situation in Crimea. Heavily armed pro-Russian forces took over the strategic peninsula over the weekend. And Russian troops fired warning shots to ward off Ukrainian soldiers today. A U.S. official says the team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation plans to take off within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the U.S. and the European Union are preparing economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country has "no enemies in Ukraine" and describes the situation there as "gradually stabilizing." But speaking to reporters at his personal residence in Moscow today, Putin also talked tough, accusing the West of promoting an "unconstitutional coup" and warning that Russia is willing us all means to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have regained all the ground lost yesterday amid fears over where Russia's military action in Ukraine could lead. But with Russia pulling troops back from the border and agreeing to talk to NATO about the situation, investors expressed relief, moving from safer assets like bonds and gold back to stocks. The Dow jumped 227 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 16,395. The S&P 500 set another record high, gaining 28 points to 1,873. And the Nasdaq composite rose 74 points to 4,351.
EWING, N.J. (AP) — A gas explosion in a New Jersey town house development today has destroyed at least one home and damaged several others. However, officials say just three of seven people hurt will need to be admitted to a hospital, and none has life-threatening injuries. Utility crews were repairing a gas line damaged by a private contractor when the gas ignited this afternoon.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Twelve people have been taken to the hospital after a minivan collided with a light rail commuter train in Los Angeles today. Two are in serious condition. Fire officials say the driver of the mini-van did not have serious injuries and declined transportation to the hospital. Metro says the minivan ran a red light and hit the train at an intersection.
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