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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — As Russian flags fluttered in the breeze and retirees grew weepy at the thought of reuniting with Russia, residents of Ukraine's Crimea region held a secession vote Sunday. The United States and Europe condemned the referendum as illegal, while Ukraine's new government called it a "circus" directed at gunpoint by Moscow.
By Mariam Karouny and Stephen Kalin BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian forces backed by Hezbollah militants took full control of the town of Yabroud on Sunday after driving out rebels, helping President Bashar al-Assad secure the land route connecting the capital Damascus with Aleppo and the Mediterranean coast. The fall of Yabroud, the last rebel bastion near the Lebanese border, could sever a vital insurgent supply line from Lebanon and consolidate government control over a swathe of territory from Damascus to the central city of Homs. A military source told Reuters that about 1,400 rebels from the Free Syrian Army, Ahrar al-Sham and other factions had fled Yabroud in the past two days. Another 1,000 militants from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front had held out on Saturday to fight government forces which had entered eastern districts of Yabroud and captured several hilltops.
US intelligence is focusing on the pilot and co-pilot's role in the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished March 8 with 239 people on board, a key US lawmaker said Sunday. And the question is who is behind that," said Michael McCaul, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.