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Cruz is sorry and other headlines

Morning headlines: secret money in the 2014 elections, next Congress's to-do list, Sydney hostage's story.

Secretive nonprofits flourished--and succeeded--in 2014 state elections. (Center for Public Integrity)

First on GOP's 2015 to-do list: Keystone XL pipeline. (Wall Street Journal)

Pres. Obama won't allow oil and gas drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay. (Time)

Congress passed sweeping legislation to help Americans with disabilities. (Time)

Carolinas politicians McCrory and Sanford take unusual stock payouts. (AP)

One of the Sydney hostages tells how he escaped. (AP)

What are you reading this morning? Let us know in the comments, please.