AP Top Political News At 12:20 p.m. EST

Under pressure, Hagel steps as Pentagon chief
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday he is stepping down, leaving under pressure following a rocky tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular team of national security advisers....

GOP hopefuls avoid specifics in response to Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The rhetoric is barbed, but Republican presidential hopefuls generally fell in line behind the voices of restraint in the wake of President Barack Obama's order blocking deportation for millions of immigrants in the country unlawfully....

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A controversial and tireless advocate for the nation's capital who created jobs for generations of black families, Marion Barry was the ultimate District of Columbia politician, though his arrest for drug use in the midst of a crack cocaine epidemic often overshadows his accomplishments....

Hagel: US on stronger course toward security
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the Obama administration has put the Defense Department and the United States on a stronger course toward stability and security....

Obama defends moves on immigration
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) -- President Barack Obama is shrugging off Republican criticism of his actions to lift the threat of deportation from millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States....

Admiral denies role in counterfeiting casino chips
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An admiral linked by Navy investigators to counterfeit casino chips has denied he played any role in making them....

Obama: Americans want 'new car smell' in 2016
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) -- President Barack Obama says voters want a "new car smell" in the 2016 White House race and that Hillary Rodham Clinton would be "a great president."...

Health exchanges' finances face test in 2nd year
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The federal government shelled out billions of dollars to get health insurance marketplaces going in the 14 states that opted to run their own. Now they must act like true marketplaces and start paying for themselves....

Obama to award Presidential Medal of Freedom
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is presenting the nation's highest civilian honor to 19 artists, activists, public servants and others....

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, public health officials are girding for the next health disaster....

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Under pressure, Hagel steps as Pentagon chief

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Hagel: US on stronger course toward security

AP NewsAlert

Obama to award Presidential Medal of Freedom

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

Admiral denies role in counterfeiting casino chips

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78

Rhodes scholars for class of 2015 announced


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