AP Top Political News At 11 p.m. EDT

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....

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....

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....

Perry: Republicans are ones offering hope for black families
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Thursday urged his party to fight for the African-American vote and said black families should hold Democrats accountable for what he called decades of unsuccessful anti-poverty programs....

Report: No evidence IRS employees told to destroy info
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investigators found no evidence that IRS employees were told to destroy or hide information from Congress, the Justice Department or an inspector general in the probe of erased emails related to the tax agency's tea party scandal, according to an internal report released late Thursday....

John Whitman, husband of former New Jersey governor, dies
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) -- John Whitman, the husband of former Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and the state's first-ever first gentleman, died Thursday. He was 71....

White House Brief: Things to know about Jim Webb
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A look at former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who announced Thursday he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination....

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Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism

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