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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown said on Thursday that he would seek re-election to another term as leader of the most populous U.S. state. Brown said in a statement, "At this stage of my life, I can say - without any hesitation - that I am prepared and excited to tackle these challenges and the many others that lay before us. In fact, there is nothing I would rather do. So today, I have taken out the papers to run for re-election." Ukraine's new prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk accused the government of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych of stripping state coffers bare and said $37 billion of credit it received had disappeared. Speaking to parliament in Kiev on Thursday, before he was appointed head of a national unity government, Yatseniuk said that in the past three years "the sum of $70 billion was paid out of Ukraine's financial system into off-shore accounts. Yatseniuk added the situation was so grave that there was no other alternative but to take "extraordinarily unpopular measures." Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken officially filed Thursday to run for Congress in North Carolina, saying that he wants to help end the gridlock in Washington and that no single political party has all the answers. The performer, a Democrat, turned in his paperwork at the State Board of Elections to seek the 2nd District seat currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers. Aiken, who lives in the Raleigh-Durham area, announced his bid three weeks ago and must first try to win the Democratic primary in less than 10 weeks. Ben Affleck traveled to Washington DC on Wednesday to speak at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on behalf of his charity, Eastern Congo Initiative. The actor was at the hearing to testify about the Democratic Republic of Congo , a cause that is close to his heart. Ben said that he was cautiously optimistic about the current state of affairs in the Congo, and joked that the Republicans--including Sen. John McCain, whose wife Cindy sat with Ben during the hearing--were doing more to help Africa than "his party," the Democrats.

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