Obama honoring Streisand, Spielberg, Yogi Berra and more
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Obama honoring Streisand, Spielberg, Yogi Berra and more

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama recognized 17 Americans with the nation’s highest civilian award on Tuesday, including the first African-American woman elected to Congress, one of the greatest catchers in baseball history and a “Funny Girl.” “Today we celebrate some extraordinary people: innovators, artists and leaders who contribute to America’s strength as a nation,” … Continue reading

Criminal justice issues showing up in 2016 presidential race
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Criminal justice issues showing up in 2016 presidential race

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the campaign trail, among candidates of both parties, the idea of locking up drug criminals for life is a lot less popular than it was a generation ago. The 2016 presidential race has accelerated an evolution away from the traditional tough-on-crime candidate. A Republican Party that’s long taken a law-and-order stance … Continue reading

President’s oldest daughter among those scoping out colleges
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President’s oldest daughter among those scoping out colleges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama’s message for high school seniors fretting about their college prospects is simple. Do your research. Visit college campuses. Sit in on classes. Talk to professors, graduates and students. In the end, picking a college “is a very individual decision.” The first lady could just as well have been talking to … Continue reading

Carson visiting Syrian refugees in Jordan
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Carson visiting Syrian refugees in Jordan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is in the Middle East this weekend to meet with Syrian refugees. The retired neurosurgeon has been facing questions about his command of foreign policy. Carson planned to tour one of Jordan’s major refugee camps Friday and Saturday, campaign manager Barry Bennett said. Bennett declined to release … Continue reading

After Paris, US political shift on privacy vs. security
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After Paris, US political shift on privacy vs. security

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Paris attacks have renewed debate on the U.S. government’s post-Sept. 11 domestic surveillance laws, leading to efforts to revive the issue on Capitol Hill and handing Marco Rubio an opening against Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential race. The two senators were on opposite sides earlier this year when Congress eliminated … Continue reading

Postal workers’ union endorses Bernie Sanders for president
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Postal workers’ union endorses Bernie Sanders for president

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders secured the endorsement of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union on Thursday, marking the largest labor union to back his Democratic presidential campaign. The union’s decision gives Sanders more organizational strength and a boost heading into the second Democratic debate in Iowa on Saturday. It comes as the … Continue reading

Kasich says GOP needs more pragmatism, less extremism
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Kasich says GOP needs more pragmatism, less extremism

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich directly took on Donald Trump’s stance on deporting millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally, telling South Carolina voters Wednesday that more pragmatism is needed to win the general election in 2016. “I’d like to win an election in the fall,” Kasich said … Continue reading

Pentagon spending divides GOP deficit, defense hawks
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Pentagon spending divides GOP deficit, defense hawks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidates agree that Islamic extremists are running rampant, the Mideast is on fire and Russia, China and Iran are flexing their muscles, yet they are far from reaching consensus on how much is enough when it comes to spending on defense. It’s a political divide that has dogged the GOP … Continue reading

Rubio’s low-budget campaign looks to ramp up as voting nears
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Rubio’s low-budget campaign looks to ramp up as voting nears

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — For months, Marco Rubio’s campaign team in South Carolina operated out of a staffer’s garage, plotting strategy for the first-in-the-South primary from freshly painted yard sale furniture and tiny classroom desks. The shoestring budget setup was a point of pride for the Republican presidential candidate’s team. Now, with Rubio enjoying a … Continue reading

Sugar program draws Cruz’s ire, remains popular in Congress
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Sugar program draws Cruz’s ire, remains popular in Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz says he wants to do away with government support for the sugar industry — a veiled dig at rival Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who has long supported sugar growers. Some conservatives like Cruz want to get rid of the program, which supports prices and protects growers … Continue reading

Trump-hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ draws 9.3 million viewers
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Trump-hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ draws 9.3 million viewers

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump couldn’t beat the team of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. Last Saturday’s Trump-hosted “Saturday Night Live” averaged 9.3 million viewers, according to final Nielsen figures released Thursday. NBC says it’s the most-watched edition of “SNL” since December 2013, when Fallon guest-hosted, joined by musical guest Timberlake. That broadcast drew … Continue reading

Ben Carson says border with Mexico can be secure in 1 year
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Ben Carson says border with Mexico can be secure in 1 year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Carson has called for harsh criminal penalties for health care fraud, but the Republican presidential candidate and his wife also have kept millions invested with a close friend who admitted defrauding insurance companies, according to an Associated Press review. Pittsburgh dentist Alfonso A. Costa pleaded guilty to a felony count of … Continue reading

Obama puts White House light on diversity in American music
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Obama puts White House light on diversity in American music

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whether belting out lyrics to Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” leading a mournful congregation through “Amazing Grace,” or tweeting his Spotify music playlist that includes Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone, President Barack Obama has shown that he’s a pretty soulful guy. The president and his wife, Michelle, also have prominently showcased such … Continue reading

Trump, down in polls, begs Iowa voters for support
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Trump, down in polls, begs Iowa voters for support

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Unseated as the front-runner in Iowa polls, a kinder, humbler Donald Trump emerged Tuesday evening at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, where the billionaire businessman practically begged voters for support. “Iowa, will you get your numbers up, please?” Trump urged the crowd of nearly 2,400. “I promise you I … Continue reading

In Colorado, GOP presidential hopefuls have promising path
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In Colorado, GOP presidential hopefuls have promising path

DENVER (AP) — Colorado, host of the third Republican presidential debate, is almost perfectly divided among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. The state is both an example of how well the GOP can do when it avoids clashes between party factions and a warning of how those conflicts can put the party at risk. A … Continue reading

After dismal debate, Bush seeks ways to steady campaign
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After dismal debate, Bush seeks ways to steady campaign

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Jeb Bush emerged from the third Republican debate as a candidate in crisis, with supporters struggling to understand why he keeps underperforming and advisers promising a turnaround before it’s too late. Campaigning in New Hampshire Thursday, Bush insisted his White House bid was “not on life support.” Still, advisers concede November … Continue reading

CNBC reaches 14 million viewers with GOP debate
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CNBC reaches 14 million viewers with GOP debate

NEW YORK (AP) — CNBC reached its biggest audience ever with the third Republican presidential debate, but paid a price in criticism of how its moderators handled the opportunity to question the candidates. The Nielsen company said 14 million viewers watched the debate Wednesday night, down from the 24 million who saw the first contest … Continue reading

Rubio downplays Bush rivalry, aims at Clinton after debate
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Rubio downplays Bush rivalry, aims at Clinton after debate

MIAMI (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio refused to criticize his rival Jeb Bush during a flurry of television interviews Thursday following a strong performance in the third GOP debate. Rubio instead tried to focus attention on his criticisms of Hillary Rodham Clinton. In a testy exchange that was a debate highlight, Rubio seemed … Continue reading

Cruz faults Senate rivals for skipping pressing debate
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Cruz faults Senate rivals for skipping pressing debate

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Monday tried to distinguish himself as a leader among the party’s more conservative voters by indirectly chiding presidential rivals such as Marco Rubio for skipping recent high-profile votes in the Senate. Without mentioning Rubio by name, Cruz said he had been “proud to lead” … Continue reading

Panama condo owners tell Trump he’s fired
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Panama condo owners tell Trump he’s fired

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The directors of a massive Trump-branded luxury condominium development in Panama fired Donald Trump’s company over the summer over allegations of mismanagement, overspending and undisclosed bonuses executives paid themselves, according to an Associated Press examination. The coup at Central America’s largest building, Panama City Trump Ocean Club, offers a glimpse into … Continue reading