Kerry optimistic...CIA denies snooping on senators...Game show host Geoff Edwards dies



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PARIS (AP) — There may be a glimmer of hope that Russian and Western diplomats will come up with a plan to ease the crisis in Ukraine, where Russian troops advanced after a successful uprising. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Paris on Wednesday that after talks with his Russian counterpart that he'd rather be where he is today than yesterday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has asked National Security Adviser Susan Rice to travel to Israel in May. Rice's visit comes after bilateral talks this week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Obama. The trip would be Rice's first visit to Israel as national security adviser and the White House says she would continue strategic consultations on a wide range of bilateral and regional issues.

WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Director John Brennan is strongly critical of Senate claims that agents improperly monitored members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The panel oversees the spy agency. Brennan says the allegations are "spurious." The CIA inspector general is looking into the circumstances surrounding the committee's investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities in Daytona Beach, Fla., say it's too early to say if a woman who drove her minivan into the ocean with three children inside will face criminal charges. They were rescued by officers and bystanders. Police say the woman's sister had called earlier about her mental state. The mother is undergoing evaluation. The children, ages 3, 9 and 10, were turned over to child welfare.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former TV game host Geoff Edwards has died. Edwards, who was 83, hosted game shows including "Jackpot!" and "Treasure Hunt." Edwards also worked as a radio DJ and actor, appearing on TV shows including "Petticoat Junction," ''I Dream of Jeannie" and "Diff'rent Strokes." His agent says Edwards died today of complications of pneumonia at a Los Angeles-area hospital.

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