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More Russia sanctions pending...Economy warming...Boston backpack concerns

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say the Obama administration is preparing to slap additional sanctions on Russia because of its intervention in Ukraine, where it has already annexed the strategic Crimean Peninsula. The decision to move forward on the sanctions will come after Thursday's talks in Geneva between the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. Not much progress is expected from the meeting and a list of wealthy individuals close to Russian leader Vladimir Putin has already been completed.

OAKDALE, Pa. (AP) — President Barack Obama has unveiled $600 million in competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs. The aim is to help people land good-paying jobs. He made the announcement at an event in Pennsylvania. Obama said skills training is needed to help the U.S. maintain a competitive edge.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both the economy and the weather are warming up in most of the country after a bitter winter. Ten of the Federal Reserve's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity. The report, known as the Beige Book, shows "modest or moderate" increases. Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth. The economy is expected to grow 3 percent this year, the fastest pace since 2005, two years before the Great Recession hit.

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — One survivor of the sinking of a South Korean ferry says he waited for a half hour aboard the doomed vessel because the crew told passengers to wait for rescuers. Officials say 280 of the 475 people aboard are still missing and there are fears many could be dead. Most of the passengers were high school students. The death toll is listed as six. It's unclear why the ferry sank.

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers and law enforcement officials are urging Boston Marathon spectators to leave backpacks and other bags at home. A man was arrested yesterday near the finish line after his backpack was allegedly found to have a rice cooker inside. He faces charges including possessing a hoax device.

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