AP Top Political News At 3:49 p.m. EST

Obama takes foreign policy risk, but on his own terms
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has been criticized as cautious on foreign policy, but the secret negotiations on Cuba suggest a willingness for bold and risky action, if he can keep tight control and rely on a few close aides....

Congress finishes up, its members still grumbling
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The 113th Congress began its turbulent life two years ago battling over whether to help Superstorm Sandy victims. They did, eventually....

Obama's Cuba moves reflect Florida political shift
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- For decades, the politics of Cuba in Florida were simple: anything less than a hard line stance against Fidel Castro was a sure way to lose a race for office....

US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon said Saturday that four Afghans from the Guantanamo Bay detention center have been returned to their home country in what U.S. officials are citing as a sign of their confidence in new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani....

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Faced with one of its biggest challenges in years - repairing a troubled nuclear missile corps - the Air Force has taken an important first step by admitting, after years of denial, that its problems run deep and wide....

5 things to know about year-end tax breaks
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In an almost annual ritual, Congress has passed a last-minute package of temporary tax breaks, sparing millions of businesses and individuals from unwanted tax increases just weeks before start of filing season....

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing executive emails....

State Dept. warns US travelers to be extra careful
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The State Department is warning Americans traveling abroad to be extra cautious over the holidays....

2016 hopeful Ben Carson pledges support for Israel
JERUSALEM (AP) -- In his first visit to Israel, prospective Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he is in awe of the Jewish state, inspired by its ancient holy sites, impressed by the resilience of people living in a perpetual conflict zone - and deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama....

Bush officials did little oversight of CIA program
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In July 2004, despite growing internal concerns about the CIA's brutal interrogation methods, senior members of George W. Bush's national security team gave the agency permission to employ the harsh tactics against an al-Qaida facilitator the agency suspected was linked to a plot to disrupt the upcoming presidential election....

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US sends 4 Afghans back home from Guantanamo

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Congress finishes up, its members still grumbling

Air Force admits nuke flaws, but will fixes work?

Obama takes foreign policy risk, but on his own terms

Bush officials did little oversight of CIA program

5 things to know about year-end tax breaks

Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

Obama calls on women only at news conference

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