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Diplomats to meet on Ukraine...Obama wants to boost job training... US economic growth improves

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is in Geneva for high-stakes meetings with Russia, Ukraine and the EU. But with low expectations for a breakthrough in the growing crisis, U.S. officials say the Obama administration is preparing to ratchet up sanctions on Russia and boost non-lethal aid for Ukraine's military as Kiev tries to contain a pro-Russian uprising in eastern cities.

OAKDALE, Pa. (AP) — President Barack Obama says "not all of today's good jobs require a four-year college degree." At a community college near Pittsburgh today, Obama announced $600 million in competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs to help people land good-paying jobs. Obama portrayed skills training as critical for U.S. competitiveness.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve survey shows that economic growth picked up across most of the United States over the past two months. According to the Beige Book, 10 of the Fed's 12 regions reported an increase in economic activity. In most places, the Fed describes the improvement as "modest or moderate." Only Cleveland and St. Louis reported slower growth.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's Gold Coast is living up to its name. High end homes there are selling well. A 50-acre waterfront estate in Greenwich sold for $120 million this month. That was quickly followed by a $14.3 million sale Monday of a 52-acre estate in nearby New Canaan. The assessor's office says so far five homes sold this year for more than $10 million in Greenwich.

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — At least five firefighters are among 14 people who were injured when two fire trucks collided in a Los Angeles suburb. One careened across a sidewalk and into a restaurant. Officials say one victim is in critical condition. The crash happened this afternoon in Monterey Park. An investigation is underway to determine what caused it.

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