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AP Top Political News At 8 p.m. EDT

DHS sec'y puts ex-watchdog on leave after report
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The secretary of the Homeland Security Department put the agency's former internal watchdog on administrative leave Thursday following the release of a Senate report that concluded he was too cozy with senior agency officials and improperly rewrote, delayed or classified some critical reports to accommodate President Barack Obama's political appointees....

Kerry warns Russia of expensive new sanctions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Secretary of State John Kerry is accusing Russia of failing to live up to commitments it made to ease the crisis in Ukraine....

Keystone XL pipeline part of larger Senate fight
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Alison Lundergan Grimes is the latest Democratic Senate candidate to call for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the Kentucky secretary of state's move doesn't seem to have cost her support among environmental groups who want to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell....

Senate's newest class speaks out on foreign policy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fresh voices in the U.S. Senate are speaking loudly on foreign policy, a new generation of Republicans and Democrats who reflect a war-weary nation cautious about America's next moves....

First lady gets resume from girl with jobless dad
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michelle Obama's annual question-and-answer session with the children of Executive Office employees took a serious turn Thursday when a 10-year-old girl in the front row told the first lady that her dad had been out of work for three years. Then the girl popped up to hand the first lady his resume....

US unwilling to give up Mideast peace process yet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The suspension of peace talks between Israel and Palestinians on Thursday delivered the harshest blow yet to Secretary of State John Kerry's ambitious, if perhaps quixotic, hope of ending the decades-long impasse at the cost of focusing on other crises around the world. But Kerry refused to accept defeat, saying "we will never give up our hope or our commitment for the possibilities" of Mideast peace....

NRA seeks universal gun law at national meeting
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- With concealed weapons now legal in all 50 states, the National Rifle Association's focus at this week's annual meeting is less about enacting additional state protections than on making sure the permits already issued still apply when the gun owners travel across the country....

AP sources: Work to free US soldier disorganized
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Critics of the U.S. government's nearly five-year effort to seek the release of the only American soldier held captive in Afghanistan claim the work suffers from disorganization and poor communication among numerous federal agencies involved, leaving his captors unclear which U.S. officials have the authority to make a deal....

South Korea ferry disaster may cloud Obama visit
TOKYO (AP) -- When President Barack Obama arrives in South Korea on Friday, he will be thrust anew into the role of consoler in chief in a time of crisis, a responsibility he has become all too accustomed to in the United States....

Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'
TOKYO (AP) -- Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those penalties may do little to influence Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis in Ukraine....

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Kerry warns Russia of expensive new sanctions

DHS sec'y puts ex-watchdog on leave after report

US unwilling to give up Mideast peace process yet

Nevada rancher defends remarks, loses supporters

Arkansas judge voids state voter ID law

Washington loses waiver on No Child Left Behind

New Jersey panel orders testimony on traffic jams

Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospects

DNC raises $10.3M in March, has $14M in debt