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By Andrew Osborn and Alastair Macdonald SEVASTOPOL/KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's government appealed for Western help on Tuesday to stop Moscow annexing Crimea but the Black Sea peninsula, overrun by Russian troops, seemed fixed on a course that could formalize rule from Moscow within days. With their own troops in Crimea effectively prisoners in their bases, the new authorities in Kiev painted a sorry picture of the military bequeathed them by the pro-Moscow president overthrown two weeks ago. The prime minister, heading for talks at the White House and United Nations, told parliament in Kiev he wanted the United States and Britain, as guarantors of a 1994 treaty that saw Ukraine give up its Soviet nuclear weapons, to intervene both diplomatically and militarily to fend off Russian "aggression".
A top US lawmaker's hotly disputed charge that the CIA illegally spied on Senate staff has roiled the intelligence community, fraying ties between the agency and its overseers in Congress. Senator Dianne Feinstein brought what had been a behind-the-scenes spat into the public glare Tuesday with her furious broadside against the Central Intelligence Agency, saying its agents searched computers used by staffers investigating its interrogation methods. "I have grave concerns that the CIA's search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution," Feinstein said on the Senate floor. She alleged the CIA may have breached federal law as well as the executive order that bars it from domestic spying, but the agency's director John Brennan quickly denied the allegations.