Obama's strategy for the 2014 midterms

FILE - This June 17, 2014, file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser gala in Gotham Hall, in New York. His name won't be on the ballot, but Obama will shape the midterm elections like no other. For Republicans, he is a punch line who fires up conservatives and reaches dissatisfied independents. And some Democrats won't even mention his name. It's left Obama able to do little more than raise money ahead of an election that will define how he spends his final two years in office. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)The president has a tricky path to walk if he wants his party to keep the Senate.



Brace yourselves: Campaign cash buying tons of ads

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2013, file photo shows Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., as he demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard arguments on campaign finance. The first midterm elections since both parties embraced a historic change in campaign finance, and with it a sea of campaign cash, will mean for most voters an avalanche of television ads trying to reach the few able to be swayed and willing to vote. In the nation's closest races for U.S. Senate, that translates into "price per vote" that could easily double what was spent in the 2012 presidential election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's airwaves are already jammed with political ads, most of them negative, in one of the Senate races nationwide that will decide which party claims the majority.



Ukraine accuses Russia of "open aggression"

Pro-Russian separatists stand in front of destroyed trains at a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of IlovayskBy Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and open aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in the war with pro-Moscow separatists. Ukraine's military said its troops had been ordered to pull back from a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where they had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev's Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.



Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform

Pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk Yan, center, is taken away by security guards after a protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)Pro-democracy lawmakers disrupt a Beijing official's speech on tightly limited voting reforms.



Paris suburb building blast death toll reaches 7

French firemen carry a victim in the rubble of a building after an explosion collapsed it, in Rosny-sous-Bois, outside Paris, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. French authorities say a four-story building in a northeastern Paris suburb has collapsed after an explosion, killing a child. More people are thought to underneath the rubble. Speaking on i-Tele, fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus said around 10 people were evacuated from the building in Rosny-sous-bois that occurred early Sunday morning. Plus said that around another 10 people could still be underneath the rubble, and emergency teams were working hard to rescue people who might be trapped. "We could still find living victims in the hours to come," he said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has arrived at the scene, but couldn't confirm a theory that the explosion was caused by a gas leak. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS (AP) — The death toll in the partial collapse of a four-story apartment building has risen to seven in a northeastern Paris suburb after emergency crews pulled the body of an elderly woman from the rubble.





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