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AP Top Political News At 5:40 p.m. EDT

House leaders abandon border bill
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Short on votes, House Republicans abruptly abandoned a bill Thursday to address the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border after last-minute maneuvering failed to lock down conservative support. An hour later, they called an urgent meeting to plot their next moves....

US, UN announce deal on Gaza cease-fire
NEW DELHI (AP) -- The United States and United Nations are announcing that Israel and Hamas have agreed to a humanitarian cease-fire to start Friday morning for 72 hours....

Report: CIA officers read Senate emails
WASHINGTON (AP) -- CIA officers improperly accessed Senate computers, read the emails of Senate staff, and exhibited a "lack of candor" when interviewed by agency investigators, according to a declassified CIA inspector general's report....

Congress races to finish VA, highway bills
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress ran full-tilt into election-year gridlock over immigration Thursday and staggered toward a five-week summer break with no agreement in sight on legislation to cope with the influx of young immigrants flocking illegally to the United States....

Driving high questioned on busy day in Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid rancorous debate over other weighty issues Thursday on Capitol Hill, lawmakers wondered aloud whether driving cars after smoking marijuana is dangerous. Among the unanswered questions: Would drivers who are "high" travel too fast or too slow for safety?...

Welcome aboard: Obama lavishes praise on Castro
WASHINGTON (AP) -- There were all the trappings of a campaign endorsement rally: the cheering crowds, the American flags, and the sitting president heaping praise on a fellow Democrat. All that was missing was the campaign....

USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year....

More than 3,300 US inmates have sought clemency
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than 3,300 federal inmates have applied to have their prison sentences cut short in the months since the Justice Department rolled out a new clemency initiative, according to data provided to The Associated Press....

White House: UN school shelling 'indefensible'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House said Thursday there's little doubt Israeli artillery hit a United Nations school in Gaza, a deadly incident that a spokesman called "totally unacceptable and totally indefensible."...

Ginsburg: High court won't 'duck' gay marriage
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says the Supreme Court won't duck the issue of same-sex marriage the next time a case comes to the court....

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Welcome aboard: Obama lavishes praise on Castro

More than 3,300 US inmates have sought clemency

Report: CIA officers read Senate emails

Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

GOP chairman: Party competing for black votes

Immigration overload: The debate in governor races