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More than a half dozen Marines have been killed in a training exercise near Reno.

The Marine Corps says seven Marines were killed during live fire training at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. It's part of the Joint Munitions Command. There is ammunition stored and disposed of there but the Marines say the incident happened during a mortar firing exercise late Monday night.

Besides the seven Marines killed several others with the 2nd Marine Division were injured. The cause is under investigation.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A woman and her 4-year-old daughter who were reported missing last week have been found safe in central Missouri, and the mother faces charges of faking their abduction, a sheriff said early Tuesday.

Rachel Koechner, 28, and her daughter, Zoee Sandner, had last been seen Thursday in the Brookfield area, about 100 miles northwest of Kansas City, and were reported missing that night after her boyfriend received a text message from her that read, "help me."

Authorities believed Koechner and Zoee were with her ex-husband, Devon Sandner, 37, who is Zoee's father, and that they could be in danger because of a history of domestic violence, Chariton County Sheriff Chris Hughes said.

Those concerns were compounded when Koechner reached out to her boyfriend from a motel in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs on Monday.

"She called her boyfriend and said everything is OK, but it sounded like she was reading off a script," Hughes said.

Linn County sheriff's police and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers located all three about 10 p.m. Monday at a home in Linn County, just north of Brookfield. Hughes would not say whose home, but stressed that no one was injured.

"It's a very unfortunate situation, but the good thing is everyone is safe," Hughes said.

Koechner was taken into custody and was being held in Chariton County Jail pending charges.

"Through investigation police learned she fabricated the (abduction) story," Hughes said. He provided no details.

Sandner was not charged in connection with Koechner and Zoee's disappearance, but was taken into custody on an outstanding forgery warrant, Hughes said. The child was placed in state custody.

When Hughes called the Blue Springs motel later on Monday to find out if Koechner was there, a motel worker said she was standing at the check-out desk and handed her he phone.

"She said she couldn't talk now," Hughes said. "I asked if she was OK, and she said, `No.'"

By the time Blue Springs police arrived at the motel, Koechner was gone.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A plan to seize up to 10 percent of savings accounts in Cyprus to help pay for a €15.8 billion financial bailout was met with fury Monday, and the government shut down banks until later this week while lawmakers wrangled over how to keep the island nation from bankruptcy.

Though the euro and stock prices of European banks fell, global financial markets largely remained calm, and there was little sense that bank account holders elsewhere across the continent faced similar risk. Asian stock markets rose Tuesday, shaking off jitters sparked by Cyprus' financial crisis.

Political leaders in Cyprus scrambled to devise a new plan that would not be so burdensome for people with less than €100,000 in the bank.

The authorities delayed a parliamentary vote on the seizure of €5.8 billion and ordered banks to remain shut until Thursday while they try to modify the deal, which must be approved by other eurozone governments. Once a deal is in place, they will be ready to lend Cyprus €10 billion ($13 billion) in rescue loans.

A rejection of the package could see the country go bankrupt and possibly drop out of the euro currency — an outcome that would be even more damaging to financial markets' confidence.

Even while playing down the chance of fresh market turmoil, experts warned that the surprise move broke an important taboo against making depositors pay for Europe's bailouts. As a result, it may have longer-term consequences for confidence in Europe's banking system — and its ability to end its financial crisis.

"It's a precedent for all European countries. Their money in every bank is not safe," said lawyer Simos Angelides at an angry protest outside parliament in Cyprus' capital, Nicosia, where people chanted, "Thieves, thieves!"

Eurozone finance ministers held a telephone conference Monday night, and concluded that small depositors should not be hit as hard as others. They said the Cypriot authorities will stagger the deposit seizures more, but they remained firm in demanding that the overall sum of money raised by the seizures remain the same.

In the short term, there was little sign of a new explosion in the European financial crisis. Stock markets dropped in early hours but stabilized by the close. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.05 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,452.06 Monday. The euro fell 0.6 percent — a bad day, but hardly a token of impending doom. Government bond prices for Italy and Spain were roughly unchanged, suggesting that investors do not expect the market trouble to spread beyond Cyprus for now.

In Asia, most benchmarks rose modestly Tuesday while Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2 percent to 12,467.18.

In part, that may be due to the fact that Cyprus' case is by many measures an exception.

The decision to hit deposits up to €100,000 ($129,290) — the deposit insurance limit in Cyprus — with a 6.75 percent tax and those above that with a 9.9 percent tax was dictated partly by the unusual qualities of the country's financial system.

Cyprus, with only 0.2 percent of the eurozone economy, has a bloated banking system seven times the size of the island's economy. Losses on Greek government bonds had crippled Cypriot banks and required government money to bail them out. Meanwhile, a large proportion of deposits — 37 percent — come from people outside Cyprus and the European Union, much of it from Russia.

European leaders wanted to limit the size of the rescue loans — which are backed by European taxpayers — to €10 billion. Leaders were also reluctant to bail out Russian depositors whose funds may be the result of tax evasion, crime or money laundering.

Dario Perkins, an analyst at Lombard Street Research, noted that "the German government couldn't be seen bailing out Russian mafiosi just before an election."

He said the bailout also showed that European leaders were willing to decisively confront Cyprus' problem — rather than postponing the day of reckoning with a partial solution. "On one level, you could argue this deal is good news," he wrote in a note to investors.

Officials say by tapping the depositors, they are reducing the total amount of debt taken on by the government, keeping it to a high but manageable 100 percent of GDP by 2020. That will mean less-painful austerity cutbacks than those that were imposed on Greece as a condition of its loans. Partly as a result, Greece is in the sixth year of recession.

Markets have been more resistant to new shocks since the European Central Bank's offer to purchase the bonds of indebted countries, lowering their borrowing costs. No bonds have been bought, but the offer's mere existence has calmed markets and left the eurozone far more resilient than it was a year ago. Last month's indecisive election in heavily indebted Italy, for instance, ruffled the market for only a day or two. Such fears were shortly dismissed by ECB President Mario Draghi as only "the angst of the week."

European authorities, meanwhile, have ways to defuse bank runs, should they occur. If depositors start withdrawing money, the ECB and national central banks can replace the funds with cheap credit through their emergency lending programs — so long as the banks have securities to put up as collateral.

But down the road, the Cyprus precedent, even if quickly reversed, could come back to haunt eurozone policy makers by making depositors less sure about the safety of their money in case of trouble. It could also complicate creation of an EU-wide system of bank deposit insurance, part of long-term efforts to create a more robust financial system and prevent future crises.

Technically, the national deposit insurance scheme remains intact. The money is being taken as a one-time tax — little comfort to those who thought their money was safe. If another eurozone country runs into a banking crisis, a run on the banks there will be more likely.

"The damage is done," said Louise Cooper, who heads financial research firm CooperCity in London. "Europeans now know that their savings could be used to bail out banks."

The deal adds uncertainty for depositors and investors because it underlines to ordinary people that there is no EU-wide deposit guarantee. Insuring deposits is a national responsibility — and can only be done when the government has the money.

"Basically, Cyprus has not honored, at least as of Saturday morning, an obligation that is enshrined in EU legislation," said Nicholas Veron, a visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "It clearly has consequences because I think there is a very clear message to depositors in Europe.

"It will not affect their behavior immediately, but it might affect their behavior in a future crisis," he said.

__ McHugh reported from Frankfurt, Germany. AP Business Writer Sarah Di Lorenzo in Paris contributed to this report.
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The same developer behind a controversial Walmart project in Ellisville may have a tougher time winning public financing for a new project. Sansone unveiled plans Monday night for a 30-million dollar, 12 acres retail and restaurant development on land adjacent to the Walmart site.

They also asked for more tax-payer financing, but the Economic Development Commission rejected the plan.

Commission chairman Tom Weis says they were hoping for something more than another shopping center. Weis said they want something "tying in with the great streets concept; trying to build these little pods people can live in, work in, they can shop in."

Tax Increment Financing has been a hot-button issue in the West County suburb, even contributing to the suspension of Mayor Adam Paul, who opposed the Walmart TIF.

Paul says he believes his election was a referendum by Ellisville residents against using tax dollars for such projects. "I believe we started TIF reform in the region," Paul said. "For the developer to come back asking for more tax increment financing and more incentives is preposterous."

Paul won a legal victory at a hearing Monday, forcing the city council to turn over documents detailing communications regarding his impeachment. Paul's attorney says he still expects the council to remove the mayor from office on March 27, saying the votes are already lined up.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 04:27
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