EU prepares aid, freezes assets...Stocks open steady...Former IRS official won't answer questions



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PARIS (AP) — As the European Union puts together a $15 billion aid package for Ukraine, it's also freezing the assets of 18 people accused of looting that country's treasury. Meanwhile, diplomats from Russia and the West are gathered in Paris, hoping to defuse tensions that have approached Cold War levels. And in Brussels, NATO is taking up the issue directly with Russia at a meeting of the military alliance.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are little changed in early trading, a day after setting a record high. Traders were unimpressed by a slight increase in hiring at private companies last month. Payroll processor ADP said businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from 127,000 in January. But January's figure was revised sharply lower.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former IRS official is again refusing to answer questions from a House panel today. Lois Lerner headed the division that improperly targeted tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. After disclosing the targeting, Lerner refused to answer questions from lawmakers, invoking her constitutional right not to incriminate herself. She's doing so again today.

NEW YORK (AP) — The chief information officer for Target is resigning. Beth Jacob had held the job since 2008. The move comes as the retailer overhauls its information security and compliance division, in the wake of a massive data breach. Target disclosed in December that 40 million credit and debit card accounts had been compromised. In January, it revealed that hackers also stole personal information from as many as 70 million customers.

NEW YORK (AP) — A biker who was paralyzed when he was hit by an SUV driver fleeing a crowd of angry motorcyclists says he doesn't blame the driver for his injuries. Edwin Mieses (mee-EH'-sehs) says he cannot judge what may have been going through driver Alexian Lien's (lee-EHNZ') mind. Mieses, who was interviewed on NBC's "Today" show, is vowing that he'll walk again.

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The Associated Press

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