Putin defends Crimean separatist drive...Ukraine's PM vows to hold territory ... No sign of missing plane



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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is defending the separatist drive in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula as in keeping with international law. Pro-Moscow forces are pushing for a vote in favor of reunification with Russia in next Sunday's referendum. Putin made it clear that he supports the referendum in phone calls Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Minister David Cameron. President Barack Obama says the March 16 vote would violate international law.

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister is vowing that his country will not to give up "a single centimeter" of territory and is imploring Ukrainians to "let Russia and its president know this." Arseniy Yatsenyuk (ahr-SEHN'-ee yaht-sehn-YOOK') made the comments Sunday in Kiev. Separatists in Crimea plan to vote in favor of reunification with Moscow next Sunday.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — There's still no sign of a missing Malaysian Airlines jumbo jet with 239 people aboard. The Boeing 777 vanished early Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Vietnamese authorities have dispatched ships to get a closer look at an object that a search plane spotted in the waters off Vietnam. Officials suspect it could be a door from the plane.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — No damages or injuries are reported after a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled southern Mexico's Pacific coast this evening. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake was centered just offshore, about 26 miles southwest of the coastal city of Pinotepa Nacional. The quake occurred at 5:38 p.m. local time.

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average. price of a gallon of gasoline has jumped 10 cents over the past two weeks. According to the Lundberg Survey of fuel prices, the price of a gallon of regular is $3.51. Of the cities surveyed, Los Angeles has the nation's highest average price for gas at $3.94. Jackson, Miss., has the lowest at $3.18.

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