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AP Top Political News at 4:33 a.m. EDT

As Clinton campaigns, complications with her old boss arise
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama seemed to call Hillary Rodham Clinton's idea of a no-fly zone in Syria "half-baked." Clinton described the president's immigration strategy as "harsh and aggressive." And as Obama tries to rally Democrats around the chief economic proposal of his second term, the party's presidential front-runner stayed conspicuously silent....

Did US strike on Afghan clinic exceed combat authority?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The deadly U.S. attack on a hospital in Afghanistan, which U.S. officials have called a "mistake," leaves open the possibility that the decision to open fire exceeded the authority under which American forces have operated since their combat mission ended nearly a year ago, officials say....

Carter sounds nearly ready to open combat jobs to women
ROME (AP) -- Defense Secretary Ash Carter sounded like he's nearly made up his mind about opening all combat jobs to women, as he told U.S. troops in Sicily on Tuesday that limiting his search for qualified military candidates to just half the population would be "crazy."...

Biden backing Asia trade pact despite union opposition
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Labor groups have a warning for Vice President Joe Biden as he lobbies for a major trade pact with Asia: We won't forget this if you run for president....

US experts warn plutonium stocks could soar in East Asia
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Experts warn that Northeast Asia could see a dangerous growth in stocks of weapons-usable plutonium - and U.S. lawmakers say Obama administration policies could be making matters worse....

VW, with limited DC lobbying footprint, braces for Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) -- When Volkswagen's top American executive heads to Capitol Hill this week, he probably won't be able to count on longtime allies among the lawmakers investigating the company's emissions cheating scandal....

McCarthy's pledge to conservatives: 'I'm not John Boehner'
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is promising conservative GOP lawmakers "I'm not John Boehner" as he seeks their support to replace Boehner as speaker....

APNewsBreak: Senate panel probing VW's use of tax credits
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate Finance Committee opened a probe Tuesday into Volkswagen's use of a federal tax credit intended for fuel-efficient cars as the company's emissions-rigging scandal widened....

Thousands of drug inmates approved for early prison release
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Drug criminals once described by prosecutors as unrepentant repeat offenders are among those poised to benefit from new sentencing guidelines that are shrinking punishments for thousands of federal prisoners, according to an Associated Press review of court records....

Chicago gun laws not as strict as they once were
CHICAGO (AP) -- The mass shooting at an Oregon community college last week thrust the debate over the nation's gun laws to the center of the presidential race. At least some of the Republicans who are running have pointed to Chicago as proof that gun control does not work....