AP Top Political News At 6:46 a.m. EDT

Analysis: Root of tattered US-Russia ties date back decades
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The stumbles, blunders, and policy chaos that have sent increasingly frosty U.S.-Russia relations into what many now call a new Cold War might have been inevitable....

Hispanic leaders say Republican Party must condemn Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party's presidential contenders do more to condemn Donald Trump, a businessman turned presidential candidate who's refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers....

Reelz rescues Miss USA pageant, dropped by NBC in Trump flap
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Miss USA pageant, left without a TV home following blowback against co-owner Donald Trump over his comments on Mexican immigrants, has been rescued by the Reelz channel....

AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg 'Liar's Poker'
SHANGHAI (AP) -- A complete bootlegged copy of Michael Lewis' bestselling book about Wall Street, "Liar's Poker," was hosted on the official website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the agency responsible for intellectual property protection in China, The Associated Press has found....

Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism
WASHINGTON (AP) -- At the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, it was a cause for celebration: Meticulous intelligence analysis backed by Hellfire missiles had paid off, once again....

With social media tease, Wisconsin's Walker jumps into 2016
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a preacher's son who withstood a recall election spawned by his fight with public employee unions, is joining the crowded Republican presidential race, aides said on Thursday....

Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clinton and other rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination....

How Obama reversed course on federal college ratings
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama dearly wanted to get the government in the business of rating colleges and universities based on value and affordability, promising a new system by 2015. Now that goal is shriveling under the weight of a concerted opposition from universities, lawmakers and bureaucrats in Obama's own administration....

Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state whose GOP governor was preparing to enter the vast 2016 presidential field....

Hollywood, hedge fund heavies giving to Clinton super PAC
WASHINGTON (AP) -- New York hedge fund billionaire George Soros and Hollywood director Steven Spielberg are among the biggest donors to a super PAC backing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential run, according to a super PAC official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss fundraising....

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Hispanic leaders say Republican Party must condemn Trump

How Obama reversed course on federal college ratings

White House Brief: Things to know about Jim Webb

Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism

Analysis: Root of tattered US-Russia ties date back decades

Report: No evidence IRS employees told to destroy info

Man who climbed over White House fence gets time served

US drone strike kills Islamic State leader

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Top Republican doubts Senate will confirm ambassador to Cuba


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