Americans' net worth hits record high...EU approves initial sanctions...General pleads guilty to 3 counts

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 6, 2014 at 11:01 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — The stock market surge and rebounding home prices at the end of last year have pushed Americans' wealth to a record high. Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during the last three months of 2013, to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 percent. The value of Americans' homes rose just over $400 billion, a 2 percent gain. And checking account balances, pensions plan assets and retirement savings, such as 401(k)s, also increased. However, the gains have slowed so far in 2014.

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has suspended talks with Russia on a wide-ranging economic pact and on a visa deal to punish Moscow for its military incursion into Ukraine. EU leaders made the announcement at an emergency summit in Brussels. They're also threatening further sanctions if Russia doesn't quickly engage in talks to end the crisis. The move comes after the U.S. imposed visa restrictions on pro-Russian opponents of the new Ukrainian government in Kiev, while also clearing the way for financial sanctions.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer says the Pentagon will need two years and billions of dollars to assess and repair the damage caused by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey says a Pentagon task force faces a big challenge as it tries to determine how documents Snowden revealed could be used and what must be done to overcome the loss of security to military operations and tactics.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — An Army general accused of sexual assault has pleaded guilty to three lesser charges as his court-martial gets underway in North Carolina. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair still faces five charges, including sexual assault, in his military trial before a jury of five generals at Fort Bragg. The former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on the most serious charges. Opening statements are expected tomorrow.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging uninsured Latinos to sign up for health care through new exchanges before the window closes at the end of March. Obama was speaking at a virtual town hall hosted by Spanish-language media outlets as part of a push to boost enrollment figures. Immigrants in the U.S. illegally are not eligible, but those in the country legally are.

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The Associated Press

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