AP Top Political News At 2:46 a.m. EDT

Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettered access....

US wants international push for Mideast cease-fire
CAIRO (AP) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping to get international support as he pushes for a Mideast cease-fire, but he acknowledges the differences between Israel and Hamas run very deep and must be addressed in any long-term solution....

Working-class whites lose voting dominance in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- For the first time, working-class whites make up less than half of Ohio's eligible voters, part of a demographic shift in a key Midwestern swing state that is pushing political parties to widen their appeal beyond the once-dominant bloc....

VA nominee McDonald goes before Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's choice to lead the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department is going before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee for a confirmation hearing as Congress considers a bill to help the next VA leader do his job....

Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre....

Obama heads off to raise money on the West Coast
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid a swirl of foreign and border challenges, President Barack Obama is embarking on the one mission that has regularly proved a winner for him - raising money for his fellow Democrats....

Gay, transgender workers gain US bias protection
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Monday ordered employment protection for gay and transgender employees who work for the federal government or for companies holding federal contracts, telling advocates he embraced the "irrefutable rightness of your cause."...

Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. and Europe should work together to develop tougher sanctions on Russia while she backed President Barack Obama's calls for a thorough investigation into the passenger jet that was shot down last week over Ukraine....

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn't heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a somber White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his nine platoon comrades who died that summer day in Afghanistan....

White House reports drop in minors crossing border
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border is dropping significantly....

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Up to the Minute
VA nominee McDonald goes before Congress

Obama heads off to raise money on the West Coast

Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia

White House reports drop in minors crossing border

Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site

Senate confirms Obama pick for UN aviation job

CBO: $25M of $3.7B border ask to be spent in 2014

Gay, transgender workers gain US bias protection

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor


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