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HILLARY CLINTON ON PUTIN
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tough guy with a thin skin who is squandering his country's potential.
She also says his actions on the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine threaten stability in the region.
Her remarks yesterday at the University of California, Los Angeles, came a day after the potential 2016 presidential contender likened Putin's actions to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.
Putin contends ethnic Russians in Ukraine need to be protected. Clinton said in Long Beach on Tuesday that's what Hitler did when he maintained ethnic Germans in places such as Czechoslovakia and Romania needed to be protected.
Clinton said at UCLA she wasn't making a direct comparison although Russia's actions were "reminiscent" of claims Germany made in the 1930s.
OHIO SLAVERY TRIAL
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — One of two people accused of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in an Ohio home for two years with her child is denying the allegations at trial.
Jessica Hunt testified yesterday in a Youngstown federal court the woman was free to go as she pleased and at times left the home for several days.
Hunt and her boyfriend, Jordie Callahan, have pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say the pair looted the woman's bank account and public assistance while forcing her and her daughter to live in a locked basement in Ashland.
Hunt says she tried to help the woman care for her daughter.
Two other people charged in the case have pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.
PROBE INTO HEALTH CARE EXCHANGES
UNDATED (AP) — The investigative arm of Congress has agreed to look into problems with state health exchange websites around the country.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has agreed to a request from a group of House Republicans to audit how $304 million in federal grants were spent on the Cover Oregon Web site, which has yet to enroll a single person online without special assistance.
The agency said due to similar requests from several members of Congress and congressional committees related to the rollout of online health care exchanges, it would broaden the investigation.
GAO spokesman Charles Young says just which states will be included with Oregon will be determined as the investigation goes forward.
MAN CREDITS DOG WITH SAVE AFTER SNOWMOBILE CRASH
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 52-year-old Alaska man says his dog saved his life after a snowmobile crash left him injured in the woods.
The Anchorage Daily News (http://is.gd/y6Ldlk) says Otis Orth of Trapper Creek was rescued more than 24 hours after he crashed the snowmobile Sunday in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Orth says his 2-year-old golden retriever, Amber, kept him warmer then he would have been alone. He was injured, unable to move, in temperatures below freezing.
On Monday afternoon, the dog went barking to nearby snowmobilers.
Locals responded, bringing a generator and a hairdryer to keep Orth warm in his wet clothes. Alaska State Troopers were among responders, who transported Orth by helicopter to Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Orth is being treated for an injured neck, dislocated arms and frostbite.
POT-SMOKING THIRD GRADERS?
SONORA, Calif. (AP) — Toking in the boys room? Police in a Central California city are trying to determine how three third-graders caught smoking marijuana got the drug.
Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson says the two 8-year-olds and a 9-year-old were discovered by another student last week at Sonora Elementary School. Superintendent Leigh Shampain told KPIX-TV the students were smoking in a school bathroom.
The student who found the smokers told school officials, who contacted police. The third-graders were released to their parents.
Stinson says police are looking into whether someone supplied the drug to the kids.
KPIX-TV said Shampain would not discuss how the third-graders might be disciplined.
GAMBLER SUES CASINO; CLAIMS HE WAS TOO DRUNK TO BET
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada gamblers lost nearly $20 million on Super Bowl bets last month. But one man, who was playing table games while others were focused on the football championship, is trying to get back $500,000 he lost at a Las Vegas casino that weekend.
Southern California retiree Mark Johnston is suing the Downtown Grand for loaning him money and allowing him to play while he was blackout drunk.
Nevada law bars casinos from allowing visibly drunk patrons to gamble and from serving them comped drinks.
Johnston's attorney Sean Lyttle says the Grand, which opened late last year, is countersuing Johnston for trying to shirk his gambling debts. The Grand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The state Gaming Control Board is investigating.