The latest headlines from The Associated Press

Obama: Spy released by Cuba provided key info

President Barack Obama says the U.S. spy Cuba is releasing is one of the most important intelligence agents the U.S. has ever had in Cuba.

US global aid chief to resign; oversaw secret Cuba programs

The head of the nation's global development agency said Wednesday he will step down from his post in February, following an announcement by the U.S. government that it would start talks toward restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Alcohol calorie counts to be on menus by next year

Don't want to be confronted with the number of calories in that margarita or craft beer? Then avoid the menu and order at the bar.

Key elements of US policy shift toward Cuba

The U.S. and Cuba soon will begin talks to restore full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades. Key elements of changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba that President Barack Obama was to announce Wednesday afternoon:

Fed pondering change in rate hike signals

The U.S. economy is finally doing better, and the Federal Reserve may be ready to acknowledge that fact.

Rubio denounces US moves toward normalizing relations with Cuba

The U.S. move toward normalizing relations with Cuba isn't sitting well with some American foes of the Cuban regime.

Obama offers help to Australia post-hostage crisis

President Barack Obama is offering U.S. assistance to Australia after the Sydney hostage crisis.

Secretive groups ran $25M in ads for state races

Shadowy outside groups broadcast an estimated $25 million worth of political ads on local TV stations with a goal of shaping state-level elections this year, and their full roster of donors is unlikely to ever be known, according to an analysis released Wednesday.

Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she's proud to have been part of an administration that "banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations" and said the U.S. should never be involved in torture anywhere in the world.

Why Jeb Bush is _ and isn't _ the GOP front-runner

in the minds of many Republican donors and other party leaders -- an early front-runner for the GOP's next presidential nomination.

No doubt now: Jeb Bush eyeing 2016 race

It's suddenly become crystal clear that Jeb Bush has his eye on the presidency.

Senate OKs nominees and tax bill as term ends

The Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed the last batch of President Barack Obama's judicial appointees and sent the White House legislation extending tax breaks for working-class millions and special interests alike late Tuesday as Congress ended a tumultuous two-year run.

SC GOP senator thinking about presidential run

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a conservative with a maverick streak and a folksy manner, said Tuesday that he is thinking about seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law

With little fanfare to mark a rare bipartisan achievement, President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the government operating over the next nine months.

GOP Sen. Coburn blocks terrorism insurance measure

A Republican senator Tuesday blocked a bill that would have renewed a government program credited with reviving the market for insurance against terrorist strikes after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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