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House Speaker John Boehner. (YouTube)

John Boehner previews ‘new American Congress’ in Christmas poem

- The Washington Times

The office of Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, released a video Thursday of Mr. Boehner reciting a slightly modified version of ” ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” to preview the 114th Congress, which will be sworn in next month and will feature a new Republican majority in the U.S. Senate and a swelling of Mr. Boehner’s GOP ranks in the House:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell (AP Photo/Eric Reichbaum) ** FILE **

Colin Powell on Cuba: Time now to turn that ‘page of history’

- The Washington Times

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday that it’s “time now to turn” the “page of history” on U.S.-Cuba relations, but that pressure on the Castro brothers will remain going into the future in the wake of the announcement that the U.S. will begin to normalize relations with the communist island country.

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State lawmakers to face bill banning gift-taking

- Associated Press

Pennsylvania lawmakers' willingness to stop taking gifts from lobbyists, state contractors and other people who want to influence state government is about to be tested.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has a laugh in Boston in this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Hillary Clinton supports Obama on Cuba

- The Washington Times

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham offered praise for President Obama's announcement of a shift in the United States' relationship with Cuba after a half-century freeze on diplomatic and economic ties.

FILE-This Jan.9, 2013 file photo shows Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaking with the media in Phoenix. Arpaio known for arresting hundreds of immigrants in the country illegally on charges of finding work using fake or stolen identities is planning to close the controversial squad that investigates such cases. Arpaio's decision to disband the criminal employment squad will end his last major foothold in immigration enforcement after the courts and federal government have gradually reined in his powers in recent years. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin,File)

Sheriff to halt squad targeting immigrant ID theft

- Associated Press

An Arizona sheriff known for arresting hundreds of immigrants on charges of finding work using fake or stolen identities is planning to close the controversial squad that investigates such cases.

Director of religious school group named UW-Madison lobbyist

- Associated Press

The director of a group that advocates for religious and private schools was named Thursday as the new lobbyist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison at a salary 14 percent higher than his predecessor's.

Labor activist faces sentencing in fraud case

Associated Press

A Detroit-area labor activist known for repeatedly suing Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit officials to stop the use of emergency managers faces sentencing in a federal fraud case.