AP Top Political News at 3:25 a.m. EST

Federal gov't enters Ferguson court case in strong position
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department enters its court fight against the city of Ferguson with the apparent upper hand given a months-long investigation that found vast problems in the way police and courts treat poor people and minorities in the St. Louis suburb....

Jumbled GOP field hopes for survival in South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Hoping for survival in the South, a muddled field of Republican presidential contenders descended Wednesday on South Carolina, no closer to clarity about who can stand between Donald Trump and their party's nomination....

New Hampshire: Proof Trump's bravado is his best asset
WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- Donald Trump began his Republican presidential campaign by labeling Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals. He's since profanely promised to bomb Islamic State fighters. He's endorsed using torture on foreign prisoners....

All-male panel in Utah votes to keep sales tax on tampons
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Utah committee of all-male lawmakers has voted to keep the sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products despite an international push to remove it....

But is she honest? Caring? Clinton grapples with questions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Clinton's campaign has spent months fighting the perception that she has a shaky relationship with the truth and is disconnected from the problems facing Americans....

Kasich's NH showing could be tough to convert into more wins
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) -- Republican presidential contender John Kasich spent time and money winning over New Hampshire voters....

Next up for the GOP presidential candidates: South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Republican presidential nominating has moved into the South, where seven states - Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas - will anchor the Super Tuesday primaries on March 1....

House backs bill to require EPA notification in lead cases
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Wednesday approved legislation to clarify the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to notify the public about danger from lead in their drinking water - the first action by Congress to respond to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan....

Powerful California coastal panel ousts top executive
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The powerful agency that manages development on California's coastline fired its executive Wednesday after a lengthy and, at times, emotionally charged meeting that veered from accusations about the influence of developers and lobbyists to discussions on the mundane inner workings of government....

Senate passes bill to hit North Korea with harsher sanctions
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Seeking to derail North Korea's drive for nuclear weapons, Republican and Democratic senators set aside their partisan differences Wednesday to unanimously pass legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal....



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