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AP Top Political News At 5 p.m. EST

Going it alone, Obama rocked the boat in 2014
HONOLULU (AP) -- President Barack Obama rang in 2014 by declaring a "year of action," vowing to strengthen the nation by focusing on fairness, competitiveness and the power of American diplomacy. Since Congress seemed unwilling to help, the president said he'd act alone....

Late at night, Christie doing 2016 foreign policy homework
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- It's after 9 p.m. on a Sunday night in late November and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is deep into a conference call, talking about nuclear weapons and Iran....

Judge seems skeptical of challenge to Obama immigration plan
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Monday appeared deeply skeptical of an Arizona sheriff's lawsuit seeking to halt President Barack Obama's plan to spare nearly 5 million people from deportation....

FAA, industry launch drone safety campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alarmed by increasing encounters between small drones and manned aircraft, drone industry officials said Monday they are teaming up with the government and model aircraft hobbyists to launch a safety campaign....

AP-GfK Poll: Cards, gifts cross religious lines
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Christmastime is here and a new poll reveals the cards and gifts that are part of celebrating the holiday are ubiquitous, even among those who don't share the Christian beliefs behind the story of the Magi who gave the first Christmas gifts....

Obama says US can influence new generation in Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama said his plan to normalize relations with Cuba gives the U.S. a chance to influence events at an important moment of change for the communist nation, and he brushed off critics who accuse him of kowtowing to dictators....

Republicans in charge of Senate _ but 2016 awaits
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans have the Senate majority now and are set to challenge President Barack Obama and the Democrats on Capitol Hill this January. But a much tougher election map two years from now could force the GOP back into the minority....

President Obama's Hawaii vacation: Day 3
KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) -- How President Barack Obama spent the third day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Monday:...

DOJ seeks benefits for families of slain officers
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Eric Holder is directing Justice Department to expedite death benefits to the families of two New York police officers who were fatally shot inside their patrol car, the Justice Department said Monday....

US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list
HONOLULU (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company....

AP Photo
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room in Washington, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Obama rang in 2014 by declaring a “year of action,” vowing to strengthen the nation by focusing on fairness, competitiveness and the power of American diplomacy. Since Congress seemed unwilling to help, the president said he’d act alone. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Up to the Minute
Republicans in charge of Senate _ but 2016 awaits

First Bush, then Cuba: Rubio rides political wave

Paul: Trade with Cuba 'probably a good idea'

Effort to draft Warren into '16 race lands in Iowa

Republican wins Arizona House seat after recount

Secretive groups ran $25M in ads for state races

Why Jeb Bush is _ and isn't _ the GOP front-runner

Ex-NY Gov. Pataki mulling White House run

Branstad seeks to end Iowa GOP straw poll

Obama, Warren emerge as potential political foils