Jobs report due this morning ... Judge tosses out drone fine ... Russian lawmaker pushes for Crimea annexation



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Later this morning, the government releases February's jobs report. A survey by FactSet predicts that employers added 145,000 jobs last month, which would keep the unemployment rate at 6.6 percent. The U.S. economy has been skating on an icy patch, with hiring skidded in December and January. And auto buying, existing-home sales and factory orders have slid as key economic sectors surrendered to a harsh winter.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration says it'll review a federal judge's decision to dismiss a fine against a commercial drone user on the grounds that the small drone is no different than a model aircraft. The decision by National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge Patrick Geraghty appears to undermine the FAA's power to keep a burgeoning civilian drone industry out of the skies.

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — As citizens of Ukraine's Crimea region prepare for a March 16 vote on whether they want to join Russia, a prominent member of Russia's parliament has introduced a bill to simplify the procedure for Crimea to join Russia. That bill could be passed as soon as next week. Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin said Russia had no intention of annexing Crimea, whose population is 60 percent ethnic Russian.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Another person in Saudi Arabia has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS. That brings the number of deaths from the virus in the kingdom to 62. The Health Ministry says 150 people have been infected in Saudi Arabia since September 2012.

DENVER (AP) — A legislative dispute in Denver is pitting taxi drivers against emerging tech companies. Web-based businesses such as Uber and Lyft allow passengers to hail rides with the swipe of a smartphone, and taxi drivers say those firms are avoiding costly requirements they and other commercial drivers are forced to follow. Lawmakers in various states are now considering how to regulate those web-based companies. Ridesharing company officials say they're open to regulation, but they also say critics are trying to suppress competition.

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The Associated Press

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