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The AP reports:

Israeli and Hamas have reached a deal to free a captured Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, officials from both sides said Tuesday, capping five years of painful negotiations that have repeatedly collapsed in fingerpointing and violence.

Perry Campaign Communications Director Ray Sullivan emails the following to reporters:

“Gov. Perry has the utmost respect for Gov. Christie and looks forward to his help unseating President Obama next year. Until then, Gov. Perry will continue traveling the country talking about job creation and getting America working again. Rick Perry is the only candidate with a proven record of job creation, restraining spending, and lowering taxes to encourage strong economic growth and opportunity."

Rick Perry’s campaign has responded to news that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is endorsing Mitt Romney for president.

“Northeast Republicans are sticking together in this case,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Communications Director Ray Sullivan said on Fox News, CNN reports.

Think "biofuels," and corn and sugarcane-based ethanol probably comes to mind. Switchgrass, miscanthus gigantus, and other non-edible plants might ring a bell as prime candidates for making biofuel that doesn't jack up food prices, otherwise known as "cellulosic biofuel."

And then there's algae.

Yes, algae--the viscous, greenish stuff that turns unkempt pools and other stagnant bodies of water into non-swimming zones. Algae may look uninviting, but because certain strains of the stuff are filled with natural oil that can be efficiently processed into fuel for cars, trucks, and airplanes, algae is tantalizing for scientists and entrepreneurs in the alternative fuel business.

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In the wake of Christie’s announcement, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani tells Politico he’s not running either. “If it’s too late for Chris Christie, it’s too late for me,” he said.

Read the full report here.

Hank Williams Jr. just can't quit President Obama. After the country music star compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler on Fox and Friends, which led to ESPN booting him from Monday Night Football, Williams apologized. His analogy was "extreme," he said, "but it was to make a point."

But Bocephus can't leave well enough alone, releasing a song, "Keep the Change" that really encapsulates the singer's outrage.

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Mitt Romney may deny any connection to President Obama's health care law, but among the aides he used to craft his own reforms in Massachusetts it's a different story. Three of his top health care experts met with the White House a dozen times to discuss the Affordable Care Act, according to records obtained by NBC News.

One of Mitt Romney's go-to lines when asked about the similarities between his Massachusetts health care law and Obama's is to demand why he wasn't consulted on the latter.

"He does me the great favor of saying that I was the inspiration of his plan," Romney said in April. "If that's the case, why didn't you call me? ...Why didn't you ask what was wrong? Why didn't you ask if this was an experiment, what worked and what didn't. ... I would have told him, 'What you're doing, Mr. President, is going to bankrupt us.'"

But the extensive involvement of the very same people behind his own law undercuts that argument and highlights the similarities between the two plans, which both feature a mandate requiring people to purchase health care and subsidies to help them afford coverage.

"The White House wanted to lean a lot on what we'd done in Massachusetts," MIT economic professor Jon Gruber, a Romney aide who met with the president in 2009 to discuss health care, told. "They really wanted to know how we can take that same approach we used in Massachusetts and turn that into a national model."

Gruber was the most closely involved in the White House effort, securing a $380,000 contract to work with Congress on designing the Affordable Care Act. Another Romney aide who met repeatedly with the White House was Jon Kingsdale, who in Massachusetts was appointed to serve as executive director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, which implemented Romney's law. John McDonough was not a part of the Romney administration, but worked closely with Romney as an advocate for expanded health care in designing and promoting the governor's plan.