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10 for today: Tuesday, March 18

10 for today: Tuesday, March 18

MISSING PLANE: Students from the Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino High School walk on a mural depicting the missing Malaysia Airlines plane Tuesday, March 18, at their campus at Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines. Officials revealed a new timeline Monday suggesting the final voice transmission from the cockpit of the missing Malaysian plane may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled, adding more uncertainty about who aboard might have been to blame. The search for Flight 370, which vanished early March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, has now been expanded deep into the northern and southern hemispheres. Photo: Associated Press/Bullit Marquez

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. PUTIN APPROVES DRAFT BILL FOR ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA

The action by Russia’s president means it is one step closer to formally taking over the Black Sea peninsula, which voted to secede from Ukraine.

2. CHINA FINDS NO TERROR LINK TO ITS NATIONALS ON JET

The remarks will dampen speculation that Uighur separatists in Xinjiang province may have been involved with the disappearance of the Boeing 777.

3. WHAT ILLINOIS VOTERS ARE UP TO

They’ll choose a Republican to try to win back the governor’s office in a race that already has drawn intense interest from labor unions.

4. ‘I FAILED HER AS A LEADER’

That’s what Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair says of his treatment of a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct. Sinclair pleaded guilty to lesser charges and awaits sentencing.

5. VP HEADS TO EUROPE TO SEND SIGNAL TO RUSSIA

Biden plans to meet with leaders of Poland and the Baltic states to show U.S. support for the NATO members.

6. WHAT TOURISTS DO THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU

Visitors to New York City have more than Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building on their itineraries. Some just want to observe one of the nation’s busiest courts in action.

7. AMERICANS STILL SEEK SERIOUS NEWS

An AP-NORC poll finds people nibbling from a reporting buffet spread across traditional media and social networks.

8. WHAT CHRIS BROWN SAID TO KEEP HIM IN JAIL

The Grammy-winning R&B singer will remain in jail after a judge says he was told Brown made comments in rehab about being good at using guns and knives.

9. MICK JAGGER’S GIRLFRIEND FOUND DEAD IN NYC APARTMENT

Fashion designer L’Wren Scott, who met the Rolling Stones frontman in 2001, died in what police are investigating as an apparent suicide.

10. MARCH MADNESS GETS EARLY START

Albany (N.Y.) meets Mount St. Mary’s and N.C. State faces Xavier as play-in games get underway for the NCAA tournament.

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Accused Boston bomber appears in court

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In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is depicted sitting in federal court in Boston Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, for a final hearing before his trial begins in January. Tsarnaev is charged with the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect told a judge that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack.

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Thursday’s Sports Minute

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Here's a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today, Thursday, Dec. 18.

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A judge has halted a $75-million settlement that aimed to end a massive class-action lawsuit.