AP Top Political News At 3:50 p.m. EDT

Defense chief: Iraqis showed no will to fight at Ramadi
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Islamic State group's takeover of the provincial capital Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the "will to fight," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday. The harsh assessment raised new questions about the Obama administration's strategy to defeat the extremist group that has seized a strategically important swath of the Middle East....

Perry seeks to win over Iowa, a handshake at a time
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) -- Rick Perry is working his way through small-town Iowa one handshake, bear hug and backslap at a time....

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....

Democrats see skimpy insurance as the 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....

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