Punishments aimed at Russia...US fighter jets arrive...Cruz: GOP should stick to its principles

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia may soon be feeling some heat from the West, for its occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region. The Obama administration today slapped new visa restrictions on pro-Russian opponents of the new Ukrainian government. And the White House says there will be financial sanctions targeting those who it says are "most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine." Officials say the penalties will be significantly worse if Russia presses into other areas of eastern Ukraine.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House this afternoon is expected to approve the first U.S. aid measure for Ukraine's new pro-Western government. It provides loan guarantees to the government in Kiev that came to power last month. Both chambers of Congress are looking to move ahead with legislation imposing hard-hitting sanctions on the Russian government.

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Officials in Lithuania say six U.S. fighter jets and two tanker planes have arrived there. It follows a U.S. decision to increase NATO's mission of policing the air above Lithuania and the two other Baltic states. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that the U.S. was boosting the defense of its allies in Europe in response to Russia's military move into Ukraine.

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz says Republicans need to stick to their principles heading into the November elections — and that the alternative means more losses at the ballot box. The Texas Republican was the first speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington. Cruz says conservatives need to get behind proposals such as repealing the health care law, abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and balancing the federal budget.

CONROE, Texas (AP) — A judge says a Texas man can be tried as an adult for an alleged childhood attack on a boy who died nearly 13 years later. Authorities say Don Collins was 13 when he poured gasoline on Robert Middleton and set him on fire on Middleton's eighth birthday in 1998. Middleton survived but died in 2011 of skin cancer authorities blamed on his injuries. Prosecutors charged the now-28-year-old Collins with murder last year, but they needed the case moved out of juvenile court in order to take him to trial.

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