Ukraine lurches toward split...Christie: Republicans need to define themselves...Schools need repairs



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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine appears to be headed toward a possible breakup -- after lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared that they want to join Russia, and that they will put the decision to voters in ten days. In Kiev, Ukraine's prime minister quickly denounced the action, saying the referendum has "no legal grounds at all." President Barack Obama says the vote would violate international law -- as well as Ukraine's constitution. But Russian lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow the handover to take place.

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is attacking the media as he returns to the national stage for the first time since a political retribution scandal erupted in his home state. The Republican governor faced conservative activists gathered in suburban Washington today -- and told them his party must stop letting the media define the GOP and what it stands for. But to do that, he says Republicans must start talking about what they're for, and not what they're against.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new survey finds that more than half the nation's public schools need to be repaired, renovated or modernized. The National Center for Education Statistics says it would cost about $197 billion to get the schools in good condition. That would total about $4.5 million per school on average.

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A human rights activist says four young men were convicted today of gay sex and were whipped publicly as punishment in an Islamic court in northern Nigeria. They were among dozens who were caught in a wave of arrests after Nigeria strengthened its criminal penalties for homosexuality in January. The activist says the men could face further violence in prison if human rights groups don't come up with a fine of $120 for each of the four. She says their confessions had been forced from them by police who beat them.

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are vowing to act quickly to pass legislation outlawing the taking of photographs up the skirts of women in public. Yesterday, the state's highest court ruled that a man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of female passengers riding the Boston subway did not violate state law. The court said the law, as written, protects people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but it doesn't protect clothed people in public areas. A revised measure could be on the governor's desk by tomorrow.

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