Russian naval infantry soldiers (marines) walk as they guard the Orsk Russian landing ship anchored in the Ukraine's Black Sea port of Sevastopol on March 2, 2014. In 2010, after years of tortuous negotiations, Ukraine agreed to extend Moscow's lease on Sevastopol port until 2042 in exchange for a 30-percent reduction in the price of Russian gas on which Ukraine depends for much of its energy needs.  - 

Germany's leader is indicating this morning that the crisis in Ukraine can still be resolved by political means. An aide to Angela Merkel today says Germany has proposed to Russia's president sending what's labeled as a "fact-finding mission" to the Crimean peninsula, where Russia's military is now in control without a fight.

Meanwhile, the newly-installed Prime Minister of Ukraine said a military conflict in the country would ruin regional stabilty. He also says the new government has no intention of nationalizing private companies. Nevertheless, the markets are reacting to the tensions with investors moving toward the safe haven of the U.S. Treasury.

Endless snowstorms, freezing cold, and an uncertain economy has car sales skidding off the road in 2014. So carmakers are extending their incentive programs.

Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio