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AP Top Political News At 3:15 a.m. EDT

Clinton says she takes a 'backseat to no one' among liberals
HANOVER, N.H. (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she takes a "backseat to no one" on championing liberal causes, presenting herself as a standard-bearer for Democrats as primary challenger Bernie Sanders generates large, energetic crowds....

Hispanic leaders want GOP field to condemn Trump's 'idiocy'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hispanic leaders are bristling at the largely tepid response by Republican presidential candidates to Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers....

Who's John Jay? Scholars urge new look at forgotten founder
KATONAH, N.Y. (AP) -- The inner circle of founders has been set for as long as anyone can remember - Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Madison....

Reelz rescues Miss USA pageant, dropped by NBC in Trump flap
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Miss USA pageant, left without a TV home following blowback against co-owner Donald Trump over his comments on Mexican immigrants, has been rescued by the Reelz channel....

Government faces burden in proving airlines worked together
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other....

Chafee's campaign leaves some NH Democrats a bit puzzled
LACONIA, N.H. (AP) -- Presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee stands before a few dozen people at a meeting of New Hampshire's Belknap County Democrats. The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat gets nods of approval when he tells them he was the only Republican senator to vote against authorizing the war in Iraq....

Analysis: Root of tattered US-Russia ties date back decades
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The stumbles, blunders, and policy chaos that have sent increasingly frosty U.S.-Russia relations into what many now call a new Cold War might have been inevitable....

Rubio, Christie planning sleepover with the Romneys
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney will be hosting two rival Republican presidential contenders at a holiday sleepover Friday evening....

How Obama reversed course on federal college ratings
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama dearly wanted to get the government in the business of rating colleges and universities based on value and affordability, promising a new system by 2015. Now that goal is shriveling under the weight of a concerted opposition from universities, lawmakers and bureaucrats in Obama's own administration....

AP Exclusive: China Ministry posted bootleg 'Liar's Poker'
SHANGHAI (AP) -- A complete bootlegged copy of Michael Lewis' bestselling book about Wall Street, "Liar's Poker," was hosted on the official website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, the agency responsible for intellectual property protection in China, The Associated Press has found....

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Government faces burden in proving airlines worked together

Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism

Report: No evidence IRS employees told to destroy info

Backlash over Wisconsin GOP plan to tighten open records law

Who's John Jay? Scholars urge new look at forgotten founder

How Obama reversed course on federal college ratings

Political opposition groups gain money for 2016 race

Religious liberty is rallying cry after gay marriage ruling

Allegation that LePage pressured school shocks lawmakers