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US: Downed fighter jets part of pattern in Ukraine

The White House cast the downing of two fighter jets in Ukraine on Wednesday as part of a pattern of Russian-backed separatists using Russian weapons to pose risks to aircrafts and further destabilize the conflict in the former Soviet republic.

Dayton paid more in taxes, to charity in 2013

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton paid nearly $106,000 in state and federal taxes last year, and upped his charitable giving, too.

Social Security spent $300M on 'IT boondoggle'

Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement, according to an internal report commissioned by the agency.

Republican Milne formally launches campaign

Republican Scott Milne formally launched his campaign for Vermont governor Wednesday, accusing incumbent Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin of an "ultra-progressive" style of governing and promising a more moderate approach.

Calls for troops at border echo previous pushes

When Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced the deployment of up to 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border he was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas.

Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

Cruz suggests flight ban is boycott of Israel

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday questioned whether President Barack Obama used a federal agency to impose an economic boycott on Israel after the Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid fighting between Israel and Hamas.

S.C. man arrested at Congress office building after loaded gun is found in his bag

U.S. Capitol police arrested a 59-year-old Camden, S.C., man Wednesday as he tried to enter a congressional office building with a loaded 9mm Ruger handgun in his bag.

Boehner lauds doctor who saved lawmaker's baby

In a break from his chamber's often acrid political divisions, a choked-up House Speaker John Boehner prompted two bipartisan standing ovations on Wednesday when he praised the doctor who helped a congresswoman's infant survive a rare fetal condition.

Undercover GAO investigators secure health care tax credits using fake information

- Government undercover investigators using fake identities were able to get premium tax credits to help pay for health coverage in 11 of 12 attempts after applying online and by phone through the federal health insurance marketplace.

Schauer voted in 2012 GOP presidential primary

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer is acknowledging that he voted in the state's 2012 Republican presidential primary.

GA-Winners

By The Associated Press

Senators push to end Hamas threat in cease-fire

Senate Republicans and Democrats insisted on Wednesday that any viable cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants must eliminate the threat posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels.

FDA warns of compounded drug recall by Texas firm

The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors Wednesday not to use compounded drugs from a Texas specialty pharmacy due to potential risks of contamination.

Boehner asks Obama to declare stance on border

House Speaker John Boehner is calling on President Barack Obama to declare his support for changing U.S. law to speed removals of migrant kids arriving here from Central America.

Could plan to offer financial services save Postal Service?

Lawmakers and government officials looking for a way to save the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service are considering a proposal that would make check cashing, small loans, prepaid cards and other financial services available at your local post office.

Rubio: Same-sex marriage foes face 'intolerance'

Americans who oppose same-sex marriage often face "intolerance" from those who support it, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Wednesday in a speech about values that appeared aimed at wooing social conservatives.

Senate agrees on $11B highway funding measure

The Senate agreed Wednesday on an $11 billion measure to temporarily fix a multibillion-dollar shortfall in federal highway and transit programs, setting up a vote next week on several alternatives.

US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.

Poll: Florida voters not happy with Crist or Scott

Voters don't trust Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist in what's turning out to be close race for governor, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

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