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AP Top Political News At 9:05 p.m. EDT

Pugnacious Reid retiring, wants Schumer as Senate Dem leader
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a pugnacious and glamour-averse tactician who united Democrats to help deliver tough victories for President Barack Obama, said Friday he's retiring next year. He immediately endorsed brash New York Sen. Chuck Schumer to succeed him as leader of a party desperate to regain the Senate majority....

GOP celebrates good week on Hill, but sees challenges ahead
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are looking like they've finally figured out how to govern....

Gowdy: Clinton wiped email server clean, deleted all emails
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton wiped her email server "clean," permanently deleting all emails from it, the Republican chairman of a House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks said Friday....

Obama urges expansion of 'take child to work' day
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the White House will open next month's annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day to children whose parents don't work in the building....

Ethics panel steps up inquiry of Kentucky Rep. Whitfield
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House Ethics Committee said Friday it is forming an investigative panel to determine whether Republican Rep. Ed Whitfield violated congressional rules by allowing his wife to lobby staff members on issues related to her work....

Are the early primary states a big deal anymore?
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) -- Few states have shaped presidential politics like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina....

Gov. Walker in Texas, out of sight during immigration flap
WESLACO, Texas (AP) -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker left a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border without addressing questions being raised about his stance on immigration....

White House: Chemical safety board head resigns
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Chemical Safety Board is operating without a permanent leader. Its chairman has been forced to resign, following accusations of mismanagement....

Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate early Friday, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his health care law....

AP EXPLAINS: Japan's long wait to address US Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Washington honors America's closest friends by inviting their leaders to address a joint meeting of Congress. But until Thursday, when House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner invited Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, no Japanese leaders had been invited. That's striking considering the tight U.S.-Japan alliance in the 70 years since World War II ended. British, South Korean and German leaders have been invited multiple times. So have two Liberian presidents and a Latvian one - more than 100 invitations overall since the war. So why not Japan? The answers have to do with underlying friction that has been a part of U.S.-Japanese relations and, more recently, frequent changes of Japanese leaders....

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