Mark Memmott

We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

Already in the news for a recall involving 1.6 million small vehicles with faulty ignition switches, General Motors on Monday added 1.2 million SUVs and nearly 400,000 other vehicles to its list of models with problems that need fixing.

The new recalls, which GM has listed here:

Hoping to cut down on air pollution that in recent days has reached dangerous levels, city officials in Paris on Monday began trying to cut automobile emissions by enforcing an odd-even system of traffic rules.

For the most part, only cars with odd-numbered license plates could be on the rues et boulevards Monday (since it's the 17th of March). On Tuesday, the city's streets were to be open only to cars with even-numbered plates.

We're updating this post as new information comes in.

There's still no sign of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 or the 239 people on board.

The plane went missing March 8, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on what was supposed to be about a six-hour flight to Beijing.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

Walter Williams, the 78-year-old man from Mississippi who two weeks ago "came back to life once he was put on an embalming table," has died.

This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET: After Flight MH370 Disappeared, It Kept Telling Satellites 'I'm Awake':

Communications satellites continued to receive signals from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane for at least 5 1/2 hours after it disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand, a source familiar with the investigation tells NPR's Frank Langfitt.

Frank, reporting from Shanghai, writes that:

"Flight MH370's last known communication came after 1 o'clock last Saturday morning, local time, according to Malaysian officials.

Among the latest developments related to the crisis in Ukraine:

The nation's entire power grid could be blacked out for months if as few as nine of the nation's 55,000 electric substations were put out of commission by saboteurs, The Wall Street Journal writes, citing a "previously unreported" study by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

There were 315,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration says.

That's down 9,000 from the previous week and marks a three-month low.

So for the second straight week, there's at least modestly good news to report about the labor market.

This post was updated at 7:22 p.m. ET.

Rescue workers in New York pulled an eighth body out the smoldering rubble of two Harlem buildings that collapsed because of a gas explosion that also injured more than 70 people.

Unfortunately, according to NBC New York, not everyone has been accounted for: Crews are still looking for three people who remain missing.

This post is being updated.

Just a few hours after a stunning report from The Wall Street Journal — headlined "U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Airplane Flew On For Hours" — the Malaysian officials in charge of the investigation say that story's central premise isn't true.

This post has been updated. Click here to jump to that news.

Revelry turned to horror early Thursday "after a car plowed through South by Southwest crowds in Downtown Austin," KUT reports.

You kind of have to admire headlines such as this:

"UK-bound great white shark Lydia could be PREGNANT"

That's the Mirror doing its best to scare folks into reading its report.

The story behind the scary headline, though, is interesting.

A "quick-moving, monstrous blaze" on Tuesday destroyed a nine-story apartment building that was under construction in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood.

The Obama administration's push to put income inequality atop the domestic political agenda has another battlefront.

According to The New York Times, the president "this week will seek to force American businesses to pay more overtime to millions of workers, the latest move by his administration to confront corporations that have had soaring profits even as wages have stagnated."

(This post was updated at 4:52 p.m. ET. to reflect President Obama's meeting with the interim prime minister of Ukraine.)

Conceding that "we cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Ukraine's acting president has told Agence France-Presse that his nation won't use force in a bid to keep Crimea from breaking off and joining the Russian Federation.

Our headline from last night could very well be repeated today:

"Confusion Reigns Over Missing Jet's Final Location"

In fact, to say things are confusing might even be an understatement.

Deborah Hersman, known to many Americans because she's the face of the National Transportation Safety Board at the scene of plane crashes and other transportation-related disasters, is stepping down as head of the NTSB.

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