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President Obama held a private fundraiser at a hotel near the White House on Tuesday to bolster his re-election effort.

The Obama campaign says the fundraiser at the W Hotel was with about 20 supporters paying $40,000 a person to attend. The campaign said the president was also giving a campaign update to 25 supporters before the fundraiser.

The money will benefit the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic parties. Both events were closed to reporters.

Mr. Obama has trailed Republican candidate Mitt Romney in fundraising during the past three months.


Court says employee dismissed due to age

A divided appeals court panel has ruled that the State Department improperly dismissed a former employee solely because he turned 65.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 2-1 Tuesday that former employee John R. Miller was protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The court rejected the State Department’s claim that the law’s age-discrimination protections didn’t apply in Mr. Miller’s case. State argued for an exemption because Mr. Miller was hired in France under a contract that followed the French practice of mandating retirement at 65.

The appeals court decision reverses a lower court that had accepted the department’s argument and dismissed the case.

Mr. Miller is a U.S. citizen who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Paris as a safety inspector. He was dismissed in 2007.


Obama announces $30M more in drought assistance

President Obama is directing the Agriculture Department to authorize an additional $30 million to help crop and livestock producers in drought-stricken areas of the U.S. The spending does not require congressional approval, and the money already has been allocated to the department.

Mr. Obama held a meeting on the government’s drought response at the White House on Tuesday. He announced a series of additional steps to assist people and businesses hit by the drought, including a Transportation Department program to help commercial truck drivers deliver supplies to affected areas.

Mr. Obama also called on Congress to pass a farm bill languishing on Capitol Hill. He says passing the five-year, $500 billion farm bill would give farmers much-needed certainty.

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