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10 things you need to know today: March 24, 2014
Obama arrives in The Hague to discuss Russia, 18 remain missing after a deadly Washington mudslide, and more
 
Obama arrives in the Netherlands. 
Obama arrives in the Netherlands.  (AP Photo/Peter Dejong/POOL)

1. Western leaders join forces to counter Russia's power play
Ukraine ordered its last troops out of Crimea on Monday after Russian forces seized a Ukrainian marine base in the contested region. Also on Monday, President Obama arrived in The Hague planning to discuss the Ukraine crisis with other G-7 leaders on the sidelines of an official nuclear summit. The meeting was expected to focus on coordinating sanctions against Moscow for annexing the Ukrainian region after a secession referendum passed under a heavy Russian military presence. [Voice of America, The New York Times]
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2. Eighteen remain missing after Washington mudslide that killed eight
At least 18 people remained missing Monday, two days after a Washington state mudslide that left eight people confirmed dead. Heavy rains triggered the landslide, which buried homes and cars under as much as 15 feet of mud and debris and swept away at least six houses. Crews searching the treacherous quicksand-like terrain found "no signs of life," and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he expected "hard news" to come. [Reuters]
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3. Chinese search-plane crew reports possible Flight 370 debris
A Chinese plane hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished on March 8, spotted "suspicious objects" in the southern Indian Ocean on Monday, but a sophisticated U.S. military reconnaissance plane was unable to relocate them. A reporter aboard the Chinese aircraft said the crew saw "two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones" scattered across an area that was many kilometers wide. [CNN]
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4. Obama beefs up the team hunting for Kony
President Obama has sent 150 more special operations forces and other military resources into Uganda to search for warlord Joseph Kony. Obama first ordered about 100 special operations fighters to help hunt for Kony in 2011, but now for the first time he has called for dispatching aircraft — at least four CV-22 Ospreys along with refueling aircraft. In all, there will be about 300 U.S. forces in Uganda when the reinforcements arrive this week. [The Washington Post]
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5. Oil spill blocks ships and threatens wildlife in Galveston Bay
An oil spill in Galveston Bay blocked the busy Texas shipping channel and threatened a nearby wildlife sanctuary. Local emergency managers called the spill "significant," and the Coast Guard estimated that as many as 168,000 gallons might have been spilled from a barge. Crews tried to skim up oil and prevent the slick from spreading using absorbent booms as about 60 vessels, including cruise ships, were told to stay out. [Los Angeles Times]
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6. Train derails at Chicago's O'Hare airport, injuring 32
A commuter train derailed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport on Monday, crashing through the end of the platform at an underground station. The eight-car train came to rest after plowing part of the way up a set of stairs and escalators. The accident left 32 passengers injured, although police said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. [The Associated Press]
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7. Egypt condemns 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death
An Egyptian court has sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death, marking an escalation of the military-backed interim government's crackdown on the Islamist organization. The ruling was part of a larger trial against 1,200 people charged over clashes in southern Egypt in August after security forces broke up Cairo camps where Brotherhood members were demanding the return of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. [TIME]
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8. Venezuela arrested 15 police officers for alleged abuses
Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega said Sunday that prosecutors were pursuing 60 investigations into accusations of human rights violations committed by security forces against anti-government protesters. Most of the demonstrations have been peaceful, but some armed activists have fought with police and soldiers. Ortega said the 15 police officers had already been arrested. [The Associated Press]
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9. Hard-right National Front makes gains in France
France's far-right National Front party gained strength in the first round of municipal elections on Sunday. Analysts said voters were fed up with both conservatives and Socialists, and angry over the country's limping economy. The anti-immigration National Front still might wind up controlling just a couple of cities after next Sunday's second round, but that would be an improvement for the party, as it runs none now. [The New York Times]
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10. Kentucky ends Wichita State's unbeaten streak
The upsets continued in the NCAA men's basketball tournament on Sunday, with Kentucky knocking off previously unbeaten No. 1 seed Wichita State by a score of 78-76 to advance to Friday's Sweet 16 round in Indianapolis. Kentucky was the preseason No. 1 but had a disappointing 26-10 season. Now the Wildcats will face defending champions Louisville for a shot to move into the Elite Eight. [USA Today]

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Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

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