U.S.

Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama escalated U.S. economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for its aggression against Ukraine but dismissed suggestions the growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations marked the start of a new Cold War.

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U.S. lawmakers worry about border security without extra funds 29 Jul 2014

WASHINGTON - U.S. border security will probably suffer if Congress fails to act on President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion request to cope with the explosion of child migrants into the U.S. Southwest, lawmakers and congressional aides warned on Tuesday.

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U.S. Senate unanimously confirms McDonald to head veterans agency 29 Jul 2014

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed Bob McDonald as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, pinning Washington's hopes on the former Procter & Gamble Co chief executive to launch a massive turnaround effort at the troubled agency.

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U.S. Senate bill proposes sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance 29 Jul 2014

WASHINGTON - Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation on Tuesday to ban the U.S. government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and Internet data and narrow how much information it can seek in any particular search.

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Former Virginia governor's marriage in spotlight at corruption trial 12:52am BST

RICHMOND Va. - Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife were barely on speaking terms when they accepted $165,000 in gifts and loans from a vitamin company executive, defense attorneys said on Tuesday at the start of the pair's corruption trial.

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Obama administration kicks off bid to renew Africa trade program 1:51am BST

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Tuesday pushed for Congress to renew a 14-year-old trade program giving African countries duty-free access to U.S. markets, warning that allowing the program to expire would disrupt trade flows between the two regions.

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U.S. Senate panel backs confirmation of new ambassador to Russia 12:53am BST

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's nominee to be the new U.S. ambassador to Russia could be on his way to Moscow in days, after U.S. senators put aside partisan differences to hold a quick vote backing his appointment on Tuesday.

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Texas Democrats question extra spending for border surge 29 Jul 2014

DALLAS - Texas lawmen told a statehouse committee on Tuesday extra spending was needed to cut down on crime at the border and were met with skepticism from Democrats who questioned whether the surge could produce results that would justify the price tag.

U.S. Senate shortens transport extension, sets up clash with House 1:19am BST

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved an $8.1 billion extension of federal funding for transportation projects through the end of 2014, setting up a clash with the House of Representatives just days ahead of cutbacks in money for road, bridge and transit construction.

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Senators from Colorado, Washington want federal pot laws applied fairly 29 Jul 2014

DENVER - U.S. senators from Colorado and Washington, seeking clarity on federal rules that may affect legal marijuana businesses in their states, are urging the Obama administration to ensure federal agencies take a consistent approach to enforcement.

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Key retirements mean a changing of the guard next year in U.S. Congress

Regardless what voters decide in the November elections, there will be a major changing of the guard next year in the U.S. Congress as result of a number of key retirements.