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AP Top Political News At 3:11 a.m. EDT

Obama jokes with Letterman about post-retirement life
NEW YORK (AP) -- President Barack Obama is envisioning a future of playing dominoes with retiree David Letterman....

In Arkansas, Huckabee poised to launch 2nd White House bid
HOPE, Ark. (AP) -- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is preparing another bid for the Republican presidential nomination, eight years after his first efforts to expand on the support of evangelical Christians helped him win eight states in the 2008 primaries....

APNewsBreak: Marine general chosen Joint Chiefs chairman
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is choosing a widely respected, combat-hardened commander who led the Afghanistan war coalition during a key transitional period during 2013-14 as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff....

Top NY lawmaker's arrest sends session, Senate into disarray
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- For the second time this year, criminal charges against a top New York lawmaker have thrown one of America's most powerful state capitals into turmoil....

GOP field grows: Longshots Fiorina, Carson launch their bids
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former technology executive Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson joined the rapidly expanding 2016 Republican presidential class on Monday, casting themselves as political outsiders in underdog campaigns, eager to challenge the elite of both parties....

Obama on protests: 'There are consequences to indifference'
NEW YORK (AP) -- In a deeply personal response to outbreaks of racially motivated protests, President Barack Obama on Monday blamed a lack of opportunity in minority communities and harsher treatment of black and Hispanic men by police for fueling a sense of "unfairness and powerlessness."...

Senate slated to vote on GOP budget compromise
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is poised to approve a compromise Republican budget that makes deep cuts in spending while boosting Pentagon accounts by an additional $38 billion next year....

Republicans working to get Iran legislation moving again
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans labored Monday to salvage bipartisan legislation granting lawmakers the right to review or even reject any agreement the Obama administration makes to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for concessions on nuclear research and development....

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces White House campaign
DETROIT (AP) -- Retired surgeon Ben Carson declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, resting his longshot bid on his vision of the nation as "a place of dreams" where people can thrive when freed from an overbearing government....

Former CIA leader defends drone strikes, torture
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama ordered a barrage of CIA drone strikes in Yemen in 2013 that killed the al-Qaida operatives behind the most serious plotting against American interests in years, a former CIA leader says in a new memoir that broadly defends the targeted killing of terrorists....

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APNewsBreak: Marine general chosen Joint Chiefs chairman

Obama on protests: 'There are consequences to indifference'

Senate slated to vote on GOP budget compromise

Oregon bill passes expanding background checks for gun sales

Conservative Nebraska looks at abolishing death penalty

Republican state Sen. Parson running for Missouri governor

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