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AP Top Political News At 4:23 a.m. EDT

Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'
TOKYO (AP) -- Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" - even as he acknowledged those penalties may do little to influence Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis in Ukraine....

Obama: US would defend Japan in islands dispute
TOKYO (AP) -- Showing solidarity with Japan, President Barack Obama affirmed Thursday that the U.S. would be obligated to defend Tokyo in a confrontation with Beijing over a set of disputed islands, but urged all sides to resolve the long-running dispute peacefully....

Obama: New sanctions against Russia are 'teed up'
TOKYO (AP) -- Warning Russia that new economic sanctions are "teed up," President Barack Obama accused Moscow of failing to live up to an agreement last week to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine....

Taliban ready to deal on captive US soldier?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The captors of an American soldier held for nearly five years in Afghanistan have signaled a willingness to release him but are unclear which U.S. government officials have the authority to make a deal, according to two individuals in the military working for his release. Critics of the release effort blame disorganization and poor communication among the numerous federal agencies involved....

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release - and expecting thousands to take up the offer. It's an effort to deal with high costs and overcrowding in prisons, and also a matter of fairness, the government says....

Spy plane outlasts Cold War, but not defense cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U-2 spy plane outlasted the Cold War, outlived its successor and proved crucial a half-century ago when two superpowers were on the brink of nuclear war....

High court nixes $3.4M award to child porn victim
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should change the law to benefit victims....

Rail safety effort marred by squabbling
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, a push by government and industry to make safer tank cars used for shipping crude oil and ethanol has bogged down in squabbling and finger-pointing over whether they're needed and if so, who should pay....

Hillary Clinton calls for more sanctions on Russia
STORRS, Conn. (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she believes the outcome of the standoff in Ukraine will be a bad one for Russia....

Conservative group drops image of Obama from ad
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Parents whose children were killed in a Colorado theater shooting on Wednesday demanded a conservative group stop running ads featuring an image of Democratic Sen. Mark Udall visiting a hospital where other victims were recovering....

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Up to the Minute
Taliban ready to deal on captive US soldier?

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

Rail safety effort marred by squabbling

Complaint: Ex-Blue Angels head led lewd workplace

NTSB head: Action needed now on oil train safety

US Sen. Boozman recovering from heart surgery

New Jersey panel orders testimony on traffic jams

Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospects

DNC raises $10.3M in March, has $14M in debt


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