1. UKRAINE CRISIS TAKES AN OMINOUS TURN; TENSIONS WITH RUSSIA RISE SHARPLY
Ukraine's fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych resurfaced in Russia on Friday and condemned the uprising against him as a "bandit coup," while men described as Russian troops took up positions at airports and a coast guard base in the Crimea. Ukraine accused Russia of a "military invasion and occupation."
2. PENTAGON CHIEF WANTS TO SHRINK THE ARMY TO ITS SMALLEST SIZE SINCE 1940
With the winding down of America's post-/11 wars, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined his proposals on Monday for making the military a more nimble force. He can expect a major battle on Capitol Hill.
3. OBESITY DROPS BY NEARLY HALF AMONG U.S. PRESCHOOLERS IN THE PAST DECADE
The findings, announced Tuesday, raised a glimmer of hope that the anti-obesity message is actually getting through. The rate of obesity among children ages 2 to 5 dropped from 14 percent to 8 percent. Still, one-third of U.S. children and teens and more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.
4. THE RUSSIANS SWELL WITH PRIDE OVER THE WINTER OLYMPICS
Vladimir Putin had reason to be pleased as the Sochi Games drew to a close on Sunday with the host country racking up the most gold medals (13) and the most medals overall, 33.
5. THE BITCOIN SUFFERS A MAJOR SETBACK
Mt. Gox, a major bitcoin exchange in Tokyo, filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and said 850,000 bitcoins worth several hundred million dollars are unaccounted for. That could be a heavy blow to efforts to establish the exotic new online form of money.
6. GAY RIGHTS MOVEMENT RACKS UP MORE VICTORIES IN THE LEGAL REALM
A federal judge on Wednesday struck down the ban on gay marriage in deeply conservative Texas. On the same day, Arizona's governor, under heavy pressure from corporations and major politicians from both parties, vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners to refuse service to gays on religious grounds.
7. NUTRITION LABELS COULD BE HEADED FOR THEIR FIRST OVERHAUL IN TWO DECADES
The Food and Drug Administration wants labels to more accurately reflect the way Americans actually eat — that is, with big appetites. For example, the serving size for ice cream would jump from a half cup to a cup. Calorie counts would be in larger print, too. The projected cost to food companies: around $2 billion.
8. COMIC DIRECTOR AND WRITER HAROLD RAMIS DIES AT 69
The man who helped create some of the most beloved — and most-quoted — movies of the 1970s and '80s, including "Animal House, "Caddyshack," ''Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day," died Monday in suburban Chicago. He had an autoimmune disease that damaged his blood vessels.
9. JASON COLLINS BECOMES FIRST OPENLY GAY PLAYER IN ANY OF THE FOUR MAJOR U.S. PRO SPORTS
The NBA veteran signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday and played 10 scoreless minutes that evening. The 35-year-old center revealed at the end of last season that he is gay.
10. THIS COLD, SNOWY WEATHER IS GETTING OLD
All over the Midwest and the East Coast, travel agents are hearing from people who are begging to go someplace warm. And warm-weather destinations in California, Arizona and Florida are doing more to woo tourists.