AP Top Political News At 2:12 p.m. EDT

Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions
GENEVA (AP) -- Top diplomats from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement after marathon talks Thursday on immediate steps to ease the crisis in Ukraine....

US sending nonlethal aid to Ukraine military
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. will send medical supplies, helmets and other nonlethal aid to the Ukrainian military in response to Russia's "dangerously irresponsible" efforts to destabilize the country, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday....

Obama praises Biden, but doesn't endorse for 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is keeping to himself his favorite to succeed him in the White House....

Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections....

Iowa Senate race suddenly more competitive
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A catchy political ad and a gotcha video have raised Republican hopes of capturing the Senate seat in Iowa, a prospect that would greatly enhance the party's chances of regaining control of the Senate....

Little government response to bombing a year later
BOSTON (AP) -- A year after homemade bombs ripped through the Boston Marathon, state and federal officials have enacted virtually no policy changes in response to the attack, a dramatic departure from previous acts of terrorism that prompted waves of government action....

Obama says wounded bikers are an inspiration
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the site of wounded veterans biking at the White House is a mark of how far they've come....

War of words in Northwestern-athletes' union fight
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Northwestern University and a group trying to unionize college athletes are trading accusations as the National Labor Relations Board considers the school's appeal of a federal ruling that scholarship athletes essentially are employees of the university and therefore have the right to unionize, bargain collectively and even strike....

US sanctions government official in Zimbabwe
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Treasury Department is sanctioning a government official and others in Zimbabwe for allegedly undermining democracy in the southern African nation....

Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some low-paid workers won't benefit even if a long-shot Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage becomes law....

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