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March 30, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - The top U.S. and Russian diplomats agreed Sunday to work with Ukrainian government officials to ease the crisis triggered by Russia's annexation of Crimea, but remained far apart on other key points after four hours of negotiations in Paris. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the meeting constructive. Lavrov's remarks suggested that Moscow may now be more willing to work with the interim Ukrainian government, which it has previously dismissed as illegitimate.
March 30, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in Silicon Valley my whole life. I am 70 years old and retired. I recently applied for housing at an apartment complex and asked the leasing agent what my chances were of getting an apartment. He told me they had received a lot of applications. When I asked if it was worth it to apply at all, he shrugged and said I was "up against some Google people. " I was outraged. Am I being discriminated against, since he implied that I did not stand a chance of being chosen over a person who works for Google?
March 29, 2014 | By Paul Richter and Sergei L. Loiko
 WASHINGTON -   Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet Sunday evening in Paris for discussions stemming from the crisis caused by Russia's recent annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The high-ranking diplomats will meet to discuss the U.S. response to a "working document" they have been putting together in an attempt to avert a serious confrontation,  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The Paris session was announced after President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Friday during a phone conversation that the diplomats should meet to discuss means of de-escalating the crisis.
March 29, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - Michael Robertson put the bag of chemicals in an inside pocket of his sport coat, the pump in the other. He snaked the tubes between the buttons of his shirt to the port in his chest. He adjusted his tie to cover them. Then he sat down in a cavernous room in the White House complex and pulled his chair close to the table, hiding the bulges. Robertson, an aide to President Obama, was meeting with top officials from federal agencies working to implement the Affordable Care Act. He was also in treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer.
March 29, 2014 | By Kevin Amerman
Just weeks after a plea for her birth mother to step forward blazed through media outlets across the globe, Katheryn Deprill stood just one room away from the woman who abandoned her as a newborn 27 years ago in a Burger King bathroom. As she got ready to meet with her birth mother, Deprill entered the lawyer's conference room with a lifetime of questions. Why did she leave me? What does she look like? But before the answers even started, Deprill got something else.
March 28, 2014
Re "The man who died laughing," Opinion, March 24 I comment Carol Starr Schneider for writing such a wonderful tribute to her father, Ben Starr. My dad, whom I lost in October, shared a lot of Ben's traits. He used humor as a coping mechanism and enjoyed being funny and making people laugh. The downside was that my sisters and I never got to know the person behind this very entertaining facade. He was a closed book as far as emotions and feelings went. He wanted to keep everything light.
March 27, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
VATICAN CITY - President Obama visited Pope Francis for the first time Thursday, a meeting the White House hoped would amplify the two men's shared concern about economic inequality rather than the president's conflicts with the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy at home. Obama introduced himself to Francis as a "great admirer. " The pope has become internationally popular as he has shed some of the lavish trappings of the papacy and focused his teachings on caring for the poor. Obama has sought to borrow some of that goodwill for the new pope to help promote his own effort to reduce income inequality in the United States.
March 27, 2014 | By Doyle McManus
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis a little more than a year ago, the first thing that struck those who knew him well was his unexpected, beatific smile. “In Argentina, he didn't smile like that,” Sergio Rubin, the pope's biographer, said this week at a conference sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center. “That was the big surprise.” Since then, the pope has mostly kept on smiling - in homilies, in audiences, in meetings with the homeless and the poor.
March 27, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday. The faster trips were held out to voters in 2008 when they approved $9 billion in borrowing to help pay for the project. Since then, a series of political compromises and planning changes designed to keep the $68-billion line moving ahead have created slower track zones in urban areas.
March 27, 2014 | By Christi Parsons, Kathleen Hennessey and Laura King
ROME - After spending four days in Europe dealing with the crisis over Russia's annexation of Crimea, President Obama now turns to a diplomatic challenge of another sort: trying to smooth relations with Saudi Arabia without making the longtime U.S. ally seem like an afterthought. Obama is scheduled to arrive in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, shortly before sunset Friday to meet with King Abdullah, whose inner circle is riled by how the United States has handled Iran's nuclear ambitions and Syria's civil war. Some with close ties to the royal family have talked about breaking ranks with Western partners.
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