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Editorial Results (free)

1. US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama abruptly announced the U.S. is re-establishing long-broken diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, declaring an end to America's "outdated approach" to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.

2. Common Core spawns widespread political fights -

NASHVILLE (AP) - More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans.

3. Congress skeptical about plan to shrink military -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's push for a smaller, nimbler military must now face the scrutiny of a Congress that has spent years battling the Pentagon's vision for a new security strategy.

4. Governors: 'Obamacare' here to stay -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America's governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is here to stay.

5. Widest earnings gap for college grads in 48 years -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The earnings gap between young adults with and without bachelor's degrees has stretched to its widest level in nearly half a century. It's a sign of the growing value of a college education despite rising tuition costs, according to an analysis of census data released Tuesday.

6. FACT CHECK: Anti-Obamacare chorus is off key -

EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story

WASHINGTON (AP) — New estimates that President Barack Obama's health care law will encourage millions of Americans to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours have touched off an I-told-you-so chorus from Republicans, who've claimed all along that the law will kill jobs. But some aren't telling it straight.

7. Paul Ryan: Immigration legislation unlikely in '14 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after House Republicans unveiled a roadmap for an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system, one of its backers said legislation is unlikely to pass during this election year.

8. Republicans blame Obama for stalling immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are starting to lay the blame on President Barack Obama if an overhaul of the nation's broken immigration system fails to become law.

The GOP's emerging plan on immigration is to criticize Obama as an untrustworthy leader and his administration as an unreliable enforcer of any laws that might be passed. Perhaps realizing the odds of finding a consensus on immigration are long, the Republicans have started telling voters that if the GOP-led House doesn't take action this election year, it is Obama's fault.

9. State of the Union analysis: A narrow path for Obama's ambitions -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's year of action could amount to a lot of running in place.

The constitutional constraints on his authority and lack of cooperation in Congress are a recipe for low-yield initiatives with limited reach. But limited executive actions, such as the ones he announced Tuesday night, might be all government can bear to do in an election year when Congress' balance of power is on the line.

10. Wealth gap: A guide to what it is, why it matters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — From the White House to the Vatican to the business elite in Davos, Switzerland, one issue keeps seizing the agenda: the growing gap between the very wealthy and everyone else.

It's "the defining challenge of our time," says President Barack Obama, who will spotlight the issue in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. A Gallup poll finds two-thirds of Americans are unhappy with the nation's distribution of wealth. Experts say it may be slowing the economy.

11. Bipartisan budget agreement clears Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation Wednesday scaling back across-the-board cuts on programs ranging from the Pentagon to the national park system, adding a late dusting of bipartisanship to a year more likely to be remembered for a partial government shutdown and near-perpetual gridlock.

12. House Republicans get behind budget agreement -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner sharply criticized outside conservative groups opposed to year-end budget legislation on Thursday and said the measure "takes great steps in the right direction."

13. House Republicans signal support for budget deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans signaled support Wednesday for a budget deal worked out a day earlier, a plan narrowly drawn but promoted as a way to stabilize Congress' erratic fiscal efforts, avert another government shutdown and mute some of the partisan rancor that has damaged Americans' attitudes about their lawmakers.

14. Lawmakers look to sanctions if Iran deal falters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are making contingency plans for what happens if — or when — the nuclear accord with Iran falls apart.

Congress is out of town through the end of the month, but lawmakers are already weighing their options for how to address the deal with Iran, in which Tehran agrees to a six-month pause in its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions worth $7 billion. Lawmakers from both parties are skeptical the agreement will prod Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions and say they will be waiting with even harsher punishment if Iran proves an untrustworthy partner.

15. Senate moves ahead on gay rights bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward on the first major bill barring workplace discrimination against gays in nearly two decades as Americans' shifting views about homosexuality have significantly changed the political dynamic.

16. Rubio offers bill to delay health care law penalty -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll introduce legislation to delay the penalty that can be assessed on individuals who don't buy insurance under the government's new health care law.

17. Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over to meet what they considered last-minute requests for changes from the government or other contractors.

18. Analysis: Republicans in a risky fight with Obama -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under relentless pressure from their right wing, Republicans are in the midst of a risky fight with President Barack Obama they know they will lose, little more than a year before an election that history says they should win.

19. Obama draws contrasts between House, Senate GOP -

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a new cadence to President Barack Obama's musings about Congress: Why can't House Republicans be more like their mates in the Senate?

As Obama presses his economic agenda across the country, he's playing one chamber against the other, hoping Americans will hear his calls for compromise and conclude it's not his fault almost nothing is getting done in Washington.

20. Tricky obstacles ahead to averting shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — There hasn't been a government shutdown in nearly two decades, but top lawmakers on Capitol Hill are finding trickier-than-usual obstacles in their path as they try to come up with must-do legislation to keep federal agencies running after Sept. 30.

21. Dems pin immigration hopes on GOP's Ryan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats doggedly pursuing a far-reaching immigration bill are counting on help from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate last year and an unlikely candidate for delivering the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.

22. Millions more immigrants under the Senate bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Landmark immigration legislation passed by the Senate would remake America's workforce from the highest rungs to the lowest and bring many more immigrants into the economy, from elite technology companies to restaurant kitchens and rural fields.

23. Senate immigration bill would remake economy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Landmark immigration legislation passed by the Senate would remake America's workforce from the highest rungs to the lowest, bringing more immigrants into numerous sectors of the economy, from elite technology companies to restaurant kitchens and rural fields.

24. Boehner dances between GOP, Dems on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The immigration protesters advanced on the news conference, poking signs that read "Do Not Reward Criminals" and "No Amnesty!" over the heads of Republicans who had just finished speaking about finding a civilized tone in the year's most difficult debate.

25. Immigration bill could decide 2016, senator says -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans' hopes to reclaim the White House in the 2016 elections hinge on whether they support — or sabotage — the immigration overhaul being debated in the Senate, two lawmakers who helped write the proposal warn.

26. Attention turns to vote-counting on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Backers of far-reaching immigration legislation are turning their attention to courting support and counting votes after the Senate pushed the contentious bill over early procedural hurdles.

27. Bipartisan bill would remake immigration system -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. immigration system would undergo dramatic changes under a bipartisan Senate bill that puts a new focus on prospective immigrants' merit and employment potential, while seeking to end illegal immigration once and for all by creating legal avenues for workers to come here.

28. Lawmakers ready to unveil immigration deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of senators is almost ready to share with colleagues and voters an immigration overhaul crafted over several months.

The so-called Gang of Eight is finishing up the final details and is planning to unveil the proposed legislation on Tuesday. Even before the measure gets its first public airing, its authors were defending the program that would provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million individuals in this country who came illegally or overstayed their visit.

29. AP source: Immigration bill could exclude many -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan immigration bill soon to be introduced in the Senate could exclude hundreds of thousands of immigrants here illegally from ever becoming U.S. citizens, according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the proposals.

30. Tentative farm workers deal in immigration talks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A tentative deal has been reached between agriculture workers and growers, a key senator said Tuesday, smoothing the way for a landmark immigration bill to be released within a week.

31. Senators to add high-tech visas, dispute details -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators finalizing a massive immigration bill are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers, Senate aides and industry officials say, with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas.

32. Immigration bill envisions new farm worker program -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sweeping immigration legislation taking shape in the Senate will aim to overhaul the nation's agriculture worker program to create a steady supply of labor for farmers and growers, who rely more than any other industry on workers who have come to the country illegally.

33. Immigration deal at hand, focus turns to details -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Big business and big labor have settled on a political framework for an immigration overhaul. Now, the lawmakers writing bipartisan legislation need to resolve the nitty-gritty — and keep their parties' political flanks mollified.

34. Big spending cuts mark tea party success, and risk -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pending $85 billion in federal spending cuts would seem like a tea partyer's dream. Why, then, are tea party activists and other conservatives so wary on the eve of the big reductions, which Congress and the White House seem unable or unwilling to stop?

35. Government downsizes amid GOP demands for more cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they've already gotten much of both.

36. Labor, business agree to principles on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business and labor groups announced agreement Thursday on the principles of a key priority for a comprehensive immigration bill: a new system to bring lower-skilled workers to the U.S.

37. Obama offering immigration plan as backup -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is downplaying its draft immigration proposal as merely a backup plan if lawmakers don't come up with an overhaul of their own. It won't be necessary, Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are telling the Obama administration.

38. Obama, business groups differ on minimum wage plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour and tying future increases to inflation will boost the incomes of millions living in poverty and spur job growth by pouring more money into the economy. But business groups are not so sure.

39. FACT CHECK: Overreaching in State of Union speech -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama did some cherry-picking Tuesday night in defense of his record on jobs and laid out a conditional path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that may be less onerous than he made it sound.

40. Obama proposals face quick opposition in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama set up high-stakes clashes over guns, immigration, taxes and climate change in a State of the Union address that showcased a newly re-elected president determined to mark his legacy, facing off against a deeply divided Congress with Republicans eager to rein him in.

41. Business, unions negotiating guest worker program -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business leaders and labor union officials are delving into high-stakes negotiations over a particularly contentious element of immigration reform — a guest worker program to ensure future immigrants come here legally.

42. Republicans face a balancing act on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans face a delicate balancing act as they embrace an unprecedented shift in their views on immigration reform — and no one better exemplifies the potential risks and rewards than Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

43. Senators reach agreement on immigration reform -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of leading senators has reached agreement on the principles for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's immigration laws, including a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.

44. US Chamber makes immigration overhaul top priority -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Thursday that the "door to the American dream must always remain open" as he announced a broad coalition of business, labor, faith organizations, law enforcement and ethnic groups intent on overhauling the nation's immigration system.

45. Faces of the new Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Politically, the 213th Congress that was sworn in Thursday won't be much of a change from the less-than-stellar 212th Congress it replaces: Democrats picked up a few seats in the House and Senate, but the balance of power is unchanged, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats holding a majority in the Senate.

46. House re-elects Boehner speaker -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House and Senate ushered in a new Congress Thursday, re-electing embattled Republican John Boehner as speaker and hailing one of their own who returned a year after being felled by a stroke.

47. 2016 politics on display as Congress ends term -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential candidate, voted for the "fiscal cliff" compromise that raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul voted against it. And Vice President Joe Biden helped broker the deal with GOP leaders in the Senate.

48. Romney demurs on VP search with Rubio at his side -

ASTON, Pa. (AP) — Mitt Romney declined Monday declined to endorse an immigration proposal from potential running mate Marco Rubio. Romney said he's considering the freshman Florida senator's plan to help some young people stay in the country legally while denying them an opportunity to become citizens.

49. Jeb Bush says he'd consider vice presidency -

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he'd consider running as vice president with Mitt Romney, but doubts he'll ever be asked.

Bush tells the conservative website Newsmax that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is "probably the best" choice to share the ticket with Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Bush said he hopes the freshman senator is offered the No. 2 slot and accepts it.

50. GOP's McCain to Santorum: Time for 'graceful exit' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain says Rick Santorum should recognize "it's time for a graceful exit" from the Republican presidential campaign in the wake of Mitt Romney's sweep of primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

51. Is big GOP money finally flowing to Mitt Romney? -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an indication the GOP establishment may be starting to coalesce behind him, major contributors to a key Republican political organization founded by political strategist Karl Rove have boosted their financial support for front-runner Mitt Romney.

52. Obama wants small business tax, investment breaks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fleshing out a year-old initiative, the Obama administration wants Congress to enact or expand tax breaks for small businesses and remove barriers to startups, seizing on some existing bipartisan proposals that could win support even in the polarized climate of an election year.

53. Rubio: Immigration not only issue for Hispanics -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Hispanic-American U.S. senator from Florida who's considered a rising star in the Republican Party says too much is being made of the significance of immigration to his community.