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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will allow a two-year extension for people whose individual health insurance policies don't comply with requirements of the new health care law. The decision will help defuse a politically difficult issue for Democrats during an election year. A government official familiar with the policy said today that the administration has decided to extend for another two years a transition plan the White House announced last fall. The cancellation of at least 4.7 million individual policies was the most politically damaging issue in the transition to a new insurance system.
PARIS (AP) — The effort to get the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers to sit down together in Paris today has been unsuccessful. A top French official says Russia's Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) refused to meet his Ukrainian counterpart during a whirlwind day of talks. The French diplomat says Russia is open to international mediation -- but that a major sticking point has been Moscow's refusal to recognize Ukraine's new government.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister is calling on Russia's Vladimir Putin to "stop this mess." The Ukrainian leader (Arseniy Yatsenyuk), in his first interview since taking office, today vigorously defended the legality of his government against attacks coming from Russia. He denied reports that Ukraine is seeking military assistance from the United States. Russian troops are now in control of much of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor at the New York trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law says he used the "murderous power of his words" to rally others against America after the Sept. 11 attacks. Opening statements are under way at the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (SOO'-lay-mahn AH'-boo GAYTH). The former imam at a Kuwaiti mosque was brought to New York from Turkey last year. He also once served as al-Qaida's spokesman.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lois Lerner is still refusing to answer questions from Congress. She's the former IRS official who headed the division that improperly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. For a second time, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when she appeared before a House panel today.
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