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AP Top Political News At 4:25 a.m. EDT

Wins, setbacks mark the path to nationwide same-sex marriage
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to allow same-sex couples to marry, President George W. Bush declared support for a constitutional amendment "to protect the institution of marriage." Voters in 13 states changed their constitutions to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In most of those states, the vote wasn't even close....

Head of POW-MIA office favors closer links to private groups
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the Pentagon's new agency in charge of recovering and identifying remains of U.S. war dead said he will push for more partnering with private groups that have resources and interest to help reinvigorate a troubled POW-MIA accounting mission....

On 9th day, Kerry says Iran nuke talks could go either way
VIENNA (AP) -- Nine days into marathon nuclear talks, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said the diplomatic efforts "could go either way," cutting off all potential pathways for an Iranian atomic bomb or ending without an agreement that American officials have sometimes described as the only alternative to war....

Congress heads back to work with looming funding deadline
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Members of Congress return Tuesday from July Fourth fireworks and parades facing a daunting summer workload and an impending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the fall....

Clinton unveiling 2016 policy ideas on families, economy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Earlier this year, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign lost count of its experts....

Blacks torn between anger, mercy for Charleston shooter
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Under an outdoor tent a few blocks from Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharon Simmons paused while cleaning up from the previous night's revival to ponder the idea of forgiving the white man accused of killing nine of the historic black church's members, including the pastor....

Clinton offers reassurance to gay youth in web posting
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Boosting her social media outreach to younger voters, Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking to offer reassurance to gay youths in a posting that is drawing wide online attention....

Farm use of drones to take off as feds loosen restrictions
CORDOVA, Md. (AP) -- Mike Geske wants a drone....

Cruz, Huckabee competing for evangelical votes
MILNER, Ga. (AP) -- Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee went head-to-head for evangelical votes this weekend, telling a megachurch congregation in Georgia that God favors the United States but warning that the nation is on a perilous spiritual path because of actions like the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states....

Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign says its raised more than $14M
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ted Cruz's presidential campaign has raised more than $14 million since the Texas senator launched his bid for the Republican presidential nomination just over three months ago, his campaign said Sunday....

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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Up to the Minute
Head of POW-MIA office favors closer links to private groups

Obama: Freedom is paid for by men and women of US military

Government faces burden in proving airlines worked together

Congress heads back to work with looming funding deadline

Blacks torn between anger, mercy for Charleston shooter

Piano-playing senator's latest tune: New education policy

Political opposition groups gain money for 2016 race

Religious liberty is rallying cry after gay marriage ruling

Allegation that LePage pressured school shocks lawmakers

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