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GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations and aid groups launched an appeal for $274 million Wednesday to help people fleeing the conflict in the Central African Republic, warning that the dire needs of hundreds of thousands can't be met with existing funds.

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PHOENIX (AP) — A federal magistrate on Tuesday ordered a Phoenix woman to remain jailed until she is returned to Las Vegas to face federal charges alleging she threw a shoe at Hillary Rodham Clinton during a speech.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year as uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine spooked investors into pulling money out of the country, a government minister said Wednesday.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says it's too early to be thinking about 2016 and that he's working right now to make sure his party regains control of the Senate this year.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep-pocketed donors are turning over multimillion-dollar checks to influence November's elections, and the sums raised by the national parties and their super PAC allies are already approaching the $1 billion mark, according to financial reports still being filed Tuesday evening.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Donors gave more than $10 million in March to the committee tasked with electing House Democrats and helped it amass a $40 million fund to fight skepticism that Republicans can be ousted from their majority in November.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is joining the growing list of popular Republican governors -- many with presidential ambitions -- plagued by scandal in their administrations.

On Monday a state district judge named 12 jurors and two alternates to consider possible criminal charges against Perry. A day earlier Perry hired a high profile Austin-based defense lawyer to represent him. At the center of all this is an ongoing investigation over Perry vetoing funding for the Travis County District Attorney's office. The investigation has been called "Bridgegate West" by the Dallas Morning News, a reference to an investigation of corruption in New Jersey.

But Perry isn't alone among governors facing legal probes these days:

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As I argued in a December 2013 column here at TPM Cafe, a lot of the intra-Republican battles described as representing a “civil war” between “constitutional conservatives” or Tea Party members or “the base” on the one hand, and “Republican Establishment” chieftains or “pragmatists” or “moderates” on the other, are really arguments over strategy, tactics and rhetoric rather than ideology or principle.

And indeed, the less ideological Republicans, having lost the high moral ground to their more ferocious colleagues, rarely challenge conservative orthodoxy as normative for their party, generally offering prudential reasons for downplaying The True Faith as a matter of legislative gamesmanship or superior electability.

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