Obama talks with Putin...Frustration in Carlsbad...Kansans await school funding decision

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MOSCOW (AP) — President Barack Obama is demanding that Russian forces that have overtaken Ukraine's Crimea region withdraw and go back to their base. Obama spoke on the phone Thursday with Russia President Vladimir Putin, who the Kremlin says made it clear that Russia's moves are consistent with international law. The Kremlin says Putin told Obama that the newly formed Kiev government is the result of an "anti-constitutional coup" and that Russia is "unable to ignore" requests for protection from Ukraine's Russia-leaning east and south.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Residents in Carlsbad, N.M., are voicing frustration over what they say is a lack of information being released by the federal government about a radiation leak last month that exposed 13 workers at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump. At a town meeting Thursday the head of a local nuclear task force said the community hasn't been told about the extent of the radiation release and its effects on people. Energy Department officials say they don't have all the answers. But officials say recent monitoring in the community shows radioactive particles have decreased significantly.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to release its decision Friday on whether the state's $3 billion annual expenditure for education is enough. Parents and four school districts sued Kansas in 2010, saying lawmakers reneged on promises to provide a certain level of funding for public schools and that the state's education system is being harmed. A district court ruled last year that Kansas needs to increase school funding by at least $440 million, but the decision was appealed to the Supreme Court.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Former NFL player Darren Sharper heads to court in Los Angeles Friday to ask that he be released from jail. Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant in Louisiana accusing him and another man of raping two women in September. Sharper also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles.

BOBTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Energy giant Chevron is being criticized after it offered pizza coupons to a Pennsylvania community near a natural gas well that exploded last month and killed a worker. But not one resident of the hamlet of Bobtown has signed an online petition demanding that Chevron apologize. And many in the town are more furious with the response from outsiders. Some residents say the pizza offer was Chevron's way of apologizing for traffic after the fire, not to downplay the loss of life.

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