EU preparing Ukraine financial aid...Diplomats in Paris mull Ukraine...Positive eurozone economic news



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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is getting ready to step in with financial aid for nearly bankrupt Ukraine. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the bloc could provide $15 billion in loans and grants over the coming years. Barroso didn't immediately provide a time frame or say what conditions Kiev will have to meet. Kiev estimates it needs $35 billion over two years.

PARIS (AP) — The crisis in Ukraine is occupying an increasing amount of time in the international community. Top diplomats from the West and Russia are gathered in Paris today. A team of international observers is headed to Crimea and NATO is preparing to take up the issue directly with Russia.

LONDON (AP) — The economic recovery in the 18-country eurozone appears to be picking up momentum. A survey from financial information company Markit suggests that economic growth in the eurozone accelerated to a 32-month high in February, prior to the Ukraine crisis. And in a sign that Europe's indebted countries maybe over the worst, Markit found that Spain is enjoying its best quarter in seven years, while Italy is growing at a near 3-year high.

EWING, N.J. (AP) — The investigation into a deadly New Jersey natural gas leak and explosion is turning today to identifying the victim and pinpointing the cause. Authorities say they're also trying to secure the area so displaced residents of Ewing, a Trenton suburb, can return home. The body of a woman was discovered on a car near the site. No one else is believed to be missing.

DETROIT (AP) — Some apartment residents on the west side of Detroit survived an inferno today by jumping for their lives. Officials say no injuries are immediately reported and Detroit Fire Arson Chief Charles Simms tells WWJ-AM that it's believed that everyone was out of the three-story building.

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The Associated Press

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