AP Top Political News At 5:48 p.m. EDT

Vacation plans collide with must-do agenda for Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With President Barack Obama's high-profile agenda at risk, the White House cajoled the Senate in public and private Thursday to pass trade legislation and prevent a lapse in the anti-terrorism Patriot Act before lawmakers rushed off for a weeklong vacation....

Clinton received sensitive info on private email account
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, according to documents released Friday, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server....

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....

US officials: Iran enters Iraqi fight for key oil refinery
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Iran has entered the fight to retake a major Iraqi oil refinery from Islamic State militants, contributing small numbers of troops - including some operating artillery and other heavy weapons - in support of advancing Iraqi ground forces, U.S. defense officials said Friday....

Senate tweaks health law to boost specialized care
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has passed a bill further expanding a law giving veterans easier access to federally paid medical care from private doctors....

VA must find millions to finish troubled Denver hospital
DENVER (AP) -- Construction crews are returning to work at the veterans hospital outside Denver after a last-minute deal with congressional leaders avoided a shutdown of the half-finished project....

Obama signs bill giving Congress a say on Iran nuclear deal
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Though he once vigorously opposed its involvement, President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that gives Congress the power to review and potentially reject a nuclear deal with Iran....

Senators sing blues over impasse; GOP hopefuls stuck in DC
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two senators have a plane to catch to Cuba, others were hoping to impress Republican presidential primary voters and then there's Sen. Lamar Alexander, who is slated to deliver a sunset piano performance of "Ol' Man River" on the banks of the Mississippi....

Bush, Christie rise in defense of Patriot Act
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Republican presidential contenders Jeb Bush and Chris Christie heartily endorsed the Patriot Act on Friday and mocked those who deride the intelligence overhaul passed after the Sept. 11 attacks as an encroachment on civil liberties....

What happens to collection of phone records if law expires?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate struggled to reach agreement Friday on how to change the way the National Security Agency handles American calling records, setting the stage for a halt to the collection program and two less-controversial surveillance programs designed to track spies and terrorists....

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