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AP Top Political News At 12:50 a.m. EDT

Defense Secretary Ash Carter: US can help defeat IS, but only Iraqis can sustain the victory
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Islamic State group's takeover of the provincial capital Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the "will to fight," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday. The harsh assessment raised new questions about the Obama administration's strategy to defeat the extremist group that has seized a strategically important swath of the Middle East....

After flopping in 2012, ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry seeks to win over Iowa, a handshake at a time
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) -- Rick Perry is working his way through small-town Iowa one handshake, bear hug and backslap at a time....

Barring 11th hour deal, once-secret phone records program, other spy tools to expire May 31
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month....

With millions more covered, Democrats see high deductibles, copays as next health care issue
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A different health care issue has emerged for Democrats, in sync with the party's pitch to workers and middle-class voters ahead of next year's elections....

Deadlocked over long list of problems, Congress picks familiar path and goes short-term
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Long is the list of problems Congress has addressed with short-term answers....

Barring 11th hour deal, once-secret phone records program, other spy tools to expire May 31
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month....

Releases of sliver of Hillary Clinton's State Dept emails hint at lingering political trouble
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server....

Surprise partner joins Obama's regular weekend golf game _ Vice President Joe Biden
POTOMAC, Md. (AP) -- A surprise player has joined President Barack Obama's regular weekend golf game: Vice President Joe Biden....

Indiana's Pence passes up presidential bid, future cloudy in wake of religious objections law
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's decision not to fulfill the political buzz and chase White House dreams in 2016 doesn't necessarily clear up questions about his future....

Patching up funding for 2 months, Congress keeps money flowing for highway, transit projects
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress has sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states for another two months and prevent shutdown of summer construction projects....

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter: US can help defeat IS, but only Iraqis can sustain the victory

Surprise partner joins Obama's regular weekend golf game _ Vice President Joe Biden

Justice Department says domestic use of unmanned drones must not violate privacy, civil rights

Nigeria's leading cellphone provider urgently needs diesel to prevent countrywide shut-down

UK's Labour Party says it won't try to block referendum on whether Britain should stay in EU

Official results: Ireland gives resounding 62.1 percent `yes' to gay marriage in referendum

GOP primary for governor remains undecided in Kentucky, delaying efforts to unify party

In 2016, record number of Americans will have option to register online, vote early

Christie: GOP took over costs of VIP box entertaining to avoid any appearance of impropriety