Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1545 GMT:

-- UKRAINE (sent; developing)

-- OBAMA-BUDGET (sent; developing)

-- PISTORIUS TRIAL (sent)

-- ARMY GENERAL-SEX CHARGES (sent; developing)

-- DISNEY-DISH (sent; developing)

-- EARNS-RADIOSHACK (sent)

PHOTOS: UKRAINE (sent; developing); MARDI GRAS-NEW ORLEANS (sent; developing); BRAZIL-CARNIVAL (sent)

VIDEO: UKRAINE (sent; developing) ALZHEIMER'S BUDDIES (sent; with text and photos)

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours:

TOP STORIES:

UKRAINE - Accusing the West of encouraging an "unconstitutional coup" in Ukraine, Putin said Tuesday that Moscow reserves the right to use its military to protect Russians there but voiced hope it won't need to do so. The Russian leader's first comments on Ukraine since its fugitive president fled to Russia came just as Kerry arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukraine's new government. SENT: 1,170 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing.

RUSSIA-PUTIN'S TOUGH TALK - He insists at a televised news conference that Russia has the right to protect its compatriots in Ukraine from radical nationalists and poured scorn on the West. At the same time, he seemed to step back from the brink of war. A look at what Putin said and how he said it. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 1900 GMT.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA - Kerry flew to Kiev Tuesday to show U.S. support for the fledgling Ukraine government, and the Obama administration announced with his arrival a $1 billion energy subsidy package. SENT: 870 words.

PISTORIUS-TRIAL - The first witness broke down in tears Tuesday, saying she still remembers the terrified screams of a woman on the night the double-amputee Olympic athlete killed his girlfriend by shooting four times through a toilet door. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: A wrapup with a new approach later in the day. Also a chunky-text GLANCE at today's developments; UPCOMING.

SYRIA-CHEMICAL WEAPONS - The Dutch diplomat leading an international mission to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons program said Tuesday the pace of removing chemicals from the civil war-torn country is picking up and an end-of-June deadline for total destruction of the program is still achievable. SENT: 400 words, photos.

CHINA-TRAIN STATION ATTACK - China says the slashing spree that killed 29 people was the work of separatists linked to international terrorism, but the assailants' homespun methods have led some analysts to suspect they didn't get outside help. SENT: 900 words, photos.

NEPAL-EVEREST - Mount Everest has new rules and oversight this week including a demand that climbers bring down their own trash. SENT: 820 words, photos.

EGYPT - Egypt's military chief, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, gave his strongest indication yet that he intends to enter presidential elections, saying in a speech Tuesday that he "can't turn his back" at a time when Egyptians want him to run. SENT: 540 words, photos.

IRANIAN POP STAR - Iranian pop star Googoosh has released a video that addresses homosexual love — a major gesture by one of the country's top cultural figures in exile — causing a stir in the Islamic republic, where the topic is taboo and being convicted of homosexuality can carry the death penalty. SENT: 520 words, photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-CONGRESSMAN - Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds says he is in hiding in South Africa following his deportation from Zimbabwe because he believes his life is in danger. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

CANADA-FORD-KIMMEL - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," laughs off a suggestion to get help for his drinking. SENT: 580 words.

BRITAIN-PHONE HACKING - Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks says she felt "revulsion" when she learned the newspaper had hacked the voicemails of a murdered 13-year-old girl. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

KOREAS-TENSION - South Korea says North Korea fires seven suspected artillery shells into the ocean, in what Seoul calls a provocation apparently directed against its ongoing military drills with the United States. SENT: 210 words.

VIETNAM-DISSIDENT TRIAL - A dissident blogger is sentenced to two years in prison for posting online criticism of Vietnam's authoritarian government. SENT: 340 words.

CHINA-CANADA-IMMIGRATION - Chinese millionaires plead for the Canadian government to keep its backlogged investor immigrant program and not eliminate thousands of applications from Chinese nationals. SENT: 500 words, photos.

THAILAND-FISHING INDUSTRY - An environmental and human rights group charges that Thailand is not adequately addressing severe abuse against Myanmar migrant workers in the Thai fishing industry. SENT: 460 words.

INDIA-BUSINESSMAN-FRAUD - An assailant hurls black ink at an Indian tycoon accused of multibillion dollar fraud. SENT: 380 words, photos.

VATICAN-MY POPE - Berlusconi's Mondadori, publisher of celebrity gossip and more, launches Pope Francis weekly. SENT: 130 words.

BRAZIL-CARNIVAL - Brazil keeps up frenetic Carnival pace, revels in final night of samba school parades. SENT: 440 words, photos.

BRAZIL-RECYCLING CARNIVAL - For trash pickers, Carnival is an annual boon, leaving them costly treasures they can re-sell or transform into new costumes. UPCOMING: 800 words by noon, photos.

GERMANY-POLICE-BREAST IMPLANTS A German court has ruled that a prospective Berlin police recruit's breast implants cannot legally be used as grounds to keep her off the force. SENT: 130 words.

OBAMA BUDGET — Obama asks Congress for a $3.9 trillion budget that includes $56 billion more than a deal he made with Republicans in December but recognizes they'll likely reject it. He projects the deficit in 2015 will drop another $85 billion from this year, largely due to $305 billion in more taxes from the recovering economy. SENT: 690 words, photos. UPCOMING: Obama makes remarks at 1630 GMT.

NETANYAHU - He speaks to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2100 GMT.

ARMY GENERAL-SEX CHARGES - Court martial begins for Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, believed to be the most senior member of the U.S. military ever to face trial on sexual assault charges. SENT: 440 words, UPCOMING: Developing from scheduled 1600 GMT start of hearing.

WINTER WEATHER - The seemingly endless winter dumped a half a foot snow on the ground in parts of the South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and many areas Tuesday morning saw something even more unusual in March: a blast of arctic air that sent temperatures plummeting into the single digits. SENT: 350 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing through the day.

MARDI GRAS-NEW ORLEANS - Despite rain and cold in Tuesday's forecast, revelers are gathering along parade routes as the Carnival season in New Orleans heads to a crest with the unabashed celebration of Mardi Gras. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

FINGER GUN — A central Ohio principal says she suspended a 10-year-old boy from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head. SENT: 260 words.

TECH

SILICON VALLEY ACTIVIST - Less than two months after stepping down as head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous will be joining a venture capital firm that invests in tech startups and projects such as a center for social impact in Oakland, California. SENT: 650 words, photos.

APPLE-CFO — Apple's longtime Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will retire in September and he'll be replaced by the company's corporate controller. SENT: 140 words

EARNS-RADIOSHACK - RadioShack plans to close up to 1,100 of its underperforming stores in the U.S. and reported a wider loss for its fourth quarter as traffic slowed during the critical holiday season. Its stock tumbled 24 percent in premarket trading. SENT: 400 words, photo.

DISNEY-DISH - Dish Network and Disney have reached a landmark deal that envisions the day when Dish will offer a Netflix-like TV service to people who'd rather stream TV over the Internet than put a satellite receiver on their roof. SENT: 500 words. UPCOMING: Developing; details TBD.

GENEVA-AUTO-SHOW - European automakers cast a wary eye toward Russia on the first day of the Geneva Auto Show on Tuesday, poised for a quick strategy rethink as the threat of sanctions hangs over the country because of its intervention in Ukraine. SENT: 460 words, photos.

GENEVA AUTO SHOW-SMALL SUV - Carmakers are banking on the fast-growing demand for small SUVs to earn new customers in the U.S. and help turn around their businesses in Europe's still-fragile market. SENT: 840 words, photos.

CHINA-REFORM HOPES - After a stream of small changes, reform advocates are looking to this week's meeting of China's ceremonial legislature for signs the ruling party is ready to tackle more ambitious and politically thorny changes. SENT: 780 words, photos.

POP CULTURE

BRITAIN-VIKINGS - A new exhibition at the British Museum strives to make people think again about the Scandinavian pillagers whose name means "pirate" in Old Norse. SENT: 750 words, photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

JUSTIN BIEBER-ARREST - Hearing on whether to allow police video of Bieber urinating into a cup for a drug test following his Jan. 23 arrest on DUI and other charges. UPCOMING: 400 words after 1 p.m. hearing.

MUSIC-INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY - Herbie Hancock will be back in Japan next month for an all-star concert at Osaka Castle Park highlighting the third annual International Jazz Day. SENT: 670 words, photos.