AP Top Political News At 3:31 p.m. EDT

GOP's Cochran seeks voters at 'Giant Houseparty'
PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) -- Republican Sen. Thad Cochran said Thursday that he's asking for the support of Mississippi voters in November "no matter your skin color, or how much money you have."...

House leaders abandon border bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Short on votes, House Republicans abruptly abandoned a bill Thursday to address the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border after last-minute maneuvering failed to lock down conservative support. An hour later, they called an urgent meeting to plot their next moves....

CIA director apologizes to Senate leaders
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An internal CIA investigation has found that agency officers improperly accessed Senate computers earlier this year in a dispute over interrogation documents, prompting CIA Director John Brennan to abandon his defiant posture in the matter and apologize to Senate intelligence committee leaders....

Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rushing toward the exits, Congress on Thursday scrambled to wrap up legislation addressing the troubled Veterans Affairs Department and a looming shortfall in highway money. House Republicans unexpectedly put off a vote on a border security bill as tea partyers withdrew their support....

Driving high questioned on busy day in Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid rancorous debate over other weighty issues Thursday on Capitol Hill, lawmakers wondered aloud whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous. Among the unanswered questions: Would drivers who are "high" travel too fast or too slow for safety?...

USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year....

White House: UN school shelling 'indefensible'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House said Thursday there's little doubt Israeli artillery hit a United Nations school in Gaza, a deadly incident that a spokesman called "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible."...

Obama order presses contractors to obey labor laws
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama moved Thursday to require federal contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes, putting his pen to an executive order the day after the House voted to sue him for allegedly exceeding his presidential powers. In an election-year dare to Republicans, Obama said congressional obstinacy would only embolden him to take even more aggressive actions on his own....

Eric Cantor steps down as House majority leader
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Eric Cantor used his farewell as House majority leader Thursday to lament what he calls a diminished U.S. role in a world that he said is rife with instability and terror....

GOP: Lerner emails show bias against conservatives
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional investigators say this is why they want all of Lois Lerner's emails....

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Up to the Minute
House leaders abandon border bill

USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

FDA approves Boehringer's once-a-day inhaler drug

Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

Obama order presses contractors to obey labor laws

$100 million for firm without offices, 1 agent?

CIA director apologizes to Senate leaders

Ex-Blackwater guard says didn't feel threatened

Study traces dinosaur evolution into early birds

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