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AP Top Political News at 9:21 a.m. EST

Supreme Court weighs lawyers' actions in 2 death row cases
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Seven years before Thomas Sims defended Sammie Stokes in a South Carolina death-penalty trial, he had prosecuted Stokes for assaulting his ex-wife....

As 114th Congress limped to a close, uncertainty is ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The 114th Congress has limped to a close, two years of partisan acrimony punctuated by the occasional burst of bipartisan deal-making in the waning days of Barack Obama's presidency....

Adding 200 more troops to Syria, US deepens involvement
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) -- Drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syria conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Saturday he is sending 200 more troops to accelerate the push on the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa....

The Latest: Trump says CNN reporting 'rediculous' fake news
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Latest developments related to President-elect Donald Trump (all times local):...

What the 114th Congress did and didn't do
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress wrapped up the 114th session early Saturday, a tumultuous two years marked by the resignation of a House speaker, a fight over a Supreme Court vacancy, bipartisan bills on health care and education and inaction on immigration and criminal justice. The new Congress will be sworn-in Jan. 3....

Recounts bring Stein publicity that eluded her on the trail
Long before presidential recounts crossed her mind, trash dumping and mercury contamination pushed Jill Stein into politics....

Trump deepens Goldman ties as he builds out economic team
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank....

The Latest: Senate backs water bill, sends to Obama
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on the final days of the congressional session (all times local):...

Congress approves bill on Calif. drought, Flint water
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has approved a wide-ranging bill to authorize water projects across the country, including $170 million to address lead in Flint, Michigan's drinking water and $558 million to provide relief to drought-stricken California....

Shutdown averted, Senate backs stop-gap spending bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners and promised a renewed fight for the working class next year....