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Russian forces clamping down on Crimea...Gadhafi son handed ver to Libya...SKorea upset over North artillery launch


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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The new leader of Ukraine's Crimea region says pro-Russian forces control all access to the strategic peninsula and have blockaded all Ukrainian military bases that have not yet surrendered. Sergei Aksyonov says riot police and security forces have been joined by 11,000 self-defense troops. All or most of these troops are believed to be Russian, even though the Russian president and defense minister have denied sending in troops. A U.N. official says a U.N. envoy sent to Crimea to monitor the situation was threatened by up to 15 armed men.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan officials say Niger (nee-ZHEHR') has handed over Moammar Gadhafi's son al-Saadi, who fled to the neighboring country as his father's regime crumbled in 2011. Al-Saadi Gadhafi had been under house arrest in Niger ever since. Al-Saadi arrived at Tripoli's airport early Thursday and was transferred to a prison in the capital. Libya says he'll be treated "in accordance with international law."

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean officials are criticizing a North Korean artillery launch they say happened minutes before a Chinese commercial plane reportedly carrying 202 people flew in the same area. Seoul's Defense Ministry calls it a "serious threat" that Pyongyang didn't notify international aviation authorities of its Tuesday launch plans. South Korea officials say the China Southern Airlines plane passed through the area about five minutes after the artillery hit the water.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two more Texas abortion clinics are closing because of new restrictions placed on the facilities by the Republican-controlled Legislature. Ten clinics have already closed. One that's about to close is the last one in the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas. Abortion rights groups have been challenging the law in court, arguing it has no medical basis. One provision requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

CONROE, Texas (AP) — A man in Texas is waiting to hear whether he'll be tried as an adult for allegedly dousing a boy with gasoline and setting him on fire when he was a teenager in 1998. Prosecutors say when Don Willburn Collins was 13, he allegedly poured gasoline on a boy during his eighth birthday. Robert Middleton survived but died in 2011 from skin cancer that authorities say was caused by his injuries. The judge is expected to rule Thursday.

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