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3:00 AM ET, March 17, 2014


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Crimeans overwhelmingly vote for secession  —  SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.  The United States and Europe condemned the ballot …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Mashable
Ukraine crisis: Early results show Crimea votes to join Russia  —  Ukraine's Crimea region votes  —  Perevalnoye, Ukraine (CNN) — Preliminary results in Sunday's referendum on whether Ukraine's Crimea region should join Russia or become an independent state show overwhelming support for Russia.
Burgess Everett / Politico:
U.S. rejects Crimea vote as invalid  —  U.S. lawmakers and senior officials hope new sanctions, cooperation with Europe and tough talk can head off Russia's ambitions, even as the world stands by and watches Crimea vote on breaking from Ukraine.  —  As voters in the Crimean region voted Sunday …
Discussion: CNN
Crimeans Choose to Join Russia in Vote, Exit Poll Shows
New York Times:
Pilot Spoke to Air Controllers After Shutoff of Data System  —  SEPANG, Malaysia — A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to Malaysian air traffic control without hinting at any trouble, a senior Malaysian official said Sunday …
Real news, real entertainment . . . in real time  —  MH370 picture exclusive: Pilot wears anti-government slogan t-shirt amid fears he hijacked missing jet
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Liberaland
Robert Mendick / Telegraph:
Malaysia Airline MH370: 9/11-style terror allegations resurface in case of lost plane
Hemant Mehta / Friendly Atheist:
Fred Phelps, Founder of the ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church, is on the ‘Edge of Death’  —  You know Fred Phelps.  You loathe Fred Phelps.  You despise everything he stands for, like his family members' infamous protests at soldiers' funerals with their awful “God Hates Fags” signs.
Doyle Murphy / NY Daily News:
Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Sr. ‘on the edge of death’  —  The anti-gay Kansas preacher who courted notoriety by picketing the funerals of gays and U.S. soldiers is living out his last days in a hospice care facility near his Topeka church.  —  Westboro Baptist Church member …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Age of Individualism  —  IN the future, it seems, there will be only one “ism” — Individualism — and its rule will never end.  As for religion, it shall decline; as for marriage, it shall be postponed; as for ideologies, they shall be rejected; as for patriotism, it shall be abandoned; as for strangers, they shall be distrusted.
Jack Pickell / Boston Globe:
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will not participate in South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade  —  Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has released a statement announcing he will not participate in the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade: … Late Saturday night, Walsh tried in vain to reach …
Agence France-Presse:
State TV says Russia could turn US to ‘radioactive ash’  —  Moscow (AFP) - A leading anchor on Russian state television on Sunday described Russia as the only country capable of turning the United States into “radioactive ash”, in an incendiary comment at the height of tensions over the Crimea referendum.
Discussion: NewsBusters and Mashable
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
RNC Chair On Paul Ryan's Remarks: Dems Always Waiting To ‘Pounce’ (VIDEO)  —  This post has been updated.  —  Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday addressed the controversy over Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) remarks about a “culture problem” in inner cities of men not wanting to work.
Discussion: Hinterland Gazette and Hullabaloo
Jonathan Topaz / Politico:
RNC chair: Obamacare ‘main target’
Erwin Chemerinsky / Los Angeles Times:
Much depends on Ginsburg  —  The 81-year-old Supreme Court justice should retire this summer to ensure Obama can choose a like-minded successor.  —  President Obama greets Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before his State of the Union address in January.  (Michael Reynolds / EPA / January 28, 2014)
Carole Cadwalladr / Guardian:
Scarlett Johansson interview: ‘I would way rather not have middle ground’  —  The star talks to Carole Cadwalladr about playing an alien in Under the Skin - Jonathan Glazer's low-budget sci-fi film set in Glasgow - and her role in the recent SodaStream controversy
Discussion: Israpundit and Israel Matzav
Andrew Cuomo / CNN:
CNN Poll: Rand Paul goes where his father never went  —  Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul has done something his father never did - top the list of potential Republican presidential candidates in a national poll.  —  According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 16% of Republicans and independents …
Discussion: Politico, Scared Monkeys and OnPolitics
Inside Politics: The Political Forecast: More Democrats to retire this week
Discussion: RedState
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 More Items: 
Sarah Aarthun / CNN:
‘Tonight Show’ favorite David Brenner dies at 78
Discussion: The Raw Story and The Jawa Report
Andrew O'Hehir / Salon:
How did Irish-Americans get so disgusting?
Laura Hancock / Casper Star-Tribune:
‘The Death Sentence of AIDS:’ Newly minted Wyoming lawmaker stands by controversial book
Discussion: Booman Tribune and The Raw Story
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
McCain Compares Russia To A Gas Station
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Karzai says Afghanistan doesn't need U.S. troops to stay past end of year
Tyler Cowen / Associated Press:
Crimea Through a Game-Theory Lens
Discussion: Outside the Beltway