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AP Top Political News At 4:14 a.m. EDT

Defense chief's criticism of Iraqis raises policy questions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Islamic State group's takeover of the Iraqi provincial capital Ramadi has prompted criticism from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and raised new questions about the Obama administration's strategy to defeat the extremist group....

Perry seeks to win over Iowa with frequent visits
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) -- Rick Perry's early, hands-on approach in Iowa contrasts with the 2016 presidential prospect's failed bid four years ago, when he entered the race relatively late and stumbled in the debates....

Skimpy insurance seen by Democrats as next health care issue
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A different health care issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party's pitch to workers and middle-class voters ahead of next year's elections....

Congress' familiar path: short-term solutions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Long is the list of problems Congress has addressed with short-term answers....

NSA winds down once-secret phone-records collection program
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month....

Sliver of Clinton emails hint at lingering political trouble
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server....

Obama includes Vice President Biden in regular golf game
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- A surprise player has joined President Barack Obama's regular weekend golf game: Vice President Joe Biden....

Pence passes up presidential bid, but future still cloudy
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision not to fulfill the political buzz and chase White House dreams in 2016 doesn't necessarily clear up questions about his future....

Another patch put in place for highway and transit funding
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states for another two months and prevent shutdown of summer construction projects....

Archives show Hillary Clinton OK'd tax breaks for nonprofits
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- In the Clinton administration's final months, then-first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton took an active role in White House efforts to give tax breaks to private foundations and wealthy charity donors at the same time that the William J. Clinton Foundation was soliciting donations for her husband's presidential library, Clinton-era documents show....

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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Up to the Minute
Defense chief's criticism of Iraqis raises policy questions

Skimpy insurance seen by Democrats as next health care issue

Obama includes Vice President Biden in regular golf game

Nigerian cellphone provider needs fuel to prevent shut-down

UK's Labour Party says it won't try to block EU referendum

Ireland gives resounding 62.1 percent `yes' to gay marriage

GOP primary for governor remains undecided in Kentucky

Record number of Americans can register online, vote early

Christie: GOP pays VIP box costs out of abundance of caution

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