Crimea breakaway effort...Military assault bill defeated...Anti-Barbie campaign



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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — President Barack Obama says any decision about the future of the pro-Russian Crimea region of Ukraine must include input from the new government. Lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared today they want to join Russia. They've called for a referendum in just 10 days. Speaking at the White House, the president said that would violate Ukraine's constitution and international law.

WASHINGTON (AP) — It failed to gain the 60 votes needed to get past a filibuster, but Senate leaders are expected to eventually bring back a bill that would strip senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute or prevent charges for alleged rapes and other serious offenses. Backers say far-reaching changes in the Uniform Code of Military Justice are necessary to prevent the continuing plague of rapes and sexual assaults in the military. Opponents say the chain of command would be weakened.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior defense official says the Army is investigating sexual abuse allegations against an officer who trains military prosecutors who handle sexual and physical abuse cases. The official says Lt. Col. Joseph Morse is being investigated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command for allegedly groping a female Army lawyer while both were attending a legal conference in Northern Virginia in 2011. Morse is currently on suspension pending the result of the investigation.

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — One of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, al-Saadi (ahl SAH'-dee), was extradited today to Libya from Niger (nee-ZHEHR'), where he had taken refuge as his father's regime crumbled in 2011. Word of his extradition brought cheers in Tripoli. The government plans to prosecute him for his alleged role in trying to suppress the uprising against Gadhafi's rule. His brother Seif (sayf) al-Islam was captured in 2011 and has been held in a western mountain prison by a militia that is putting him on trial.

NEW YORK (AP) — Two consumer advocacy groups have launched a petition drive urging the Girl Scouts to end a partnership with Mattel, the maker of the Barbie doll. The Girls Scouts said they won't do so. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for a New American Dream say Barbie is a flawed role model for little girls because the doll "sexualizes young girls" and "idealizes an impossible body type." The companies also say Barbie uniform patches create "walking advertising."

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