Analysts say US and Europe don't have strong options with Putin...Conservative influence strong in Texas primaries



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts and former Obama administration officials say the United States and Europe may wind up having to concede Crimea and pursue a limited strategy of keeping Russian President Vladimir Putin in check in areas other than Ukraine. The threat of economic sanctions and other modest measures have done little to persuade the Russian leader to pull his forces back from Crimea.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texans will have to wait until November to find out how much political influence the tea party and Sen. Ted Cruz will have, but primary results in one of the nation's most conservative states suggest it will be considerable. GOP state Sen. Dan Patrick, who forced longtime Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst into a runoff, says "we will show the rest of the country what it means to be conservative."

CHICAGO (AP) — County clerks in Illinois are being given the green light to issue same-sex marriage licenses even though a new law is still a few months from taking effect. Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan says that because current restrictions have been ruled unconstitutional, same-sex couples can be given a marriage license. The new law takes effect in June.

PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) — An attack in northwest Pakistan today killed six soldiers. A local official says a roadside bomb targeting Pakistani troops went off in an area near the Afghan border, also wounding eight soldiers. No one immediately claimed responsibility but both local and foreign al-Qaida-linked militants operate in Pakistani tribal areas.

BEIJING (AP) — State-run China National Radio reports a Chinese official says the eight suspects in a knife attack that killed 29 people at a train station over the weekend had wanted to leave the country to join a "holy war." Failing that, the official says the group, instigated by far west separatists, conducted the train station slashings in the southern city of Kunming.

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