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How Democrats came around on gay rights

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PHILADELPHIA -- No issue has elicited greater cheers from inside the convention hall this week than gay rights.

But it hasn't always been that way.

The party only officially embraced same-sex marriage in its platform four years ago, and this year's nominees, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, came around on the issue after that.

This year, though...Read more

Retired Marine General on Clinton: 'We trust her judgment'

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A retired Marine Corps general who led NATO forces in Afghanistan endorsed Hillary Clinton on Thursday night, saying his decision was based on her judgment and record as America's top diplomat.

John Allen worked closely with Clinton during President Barack Obama's first term when the general was commanding U.S. and NATO military forces in ...Read more

More Flint water criminal charges to be announced, state attorney general says

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LANSING, Mich. -- More criminal charges will be announced Friday in the Flint drinking water investigation, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's office announced late Thursday.

Schuette and Todd Flood, the Royal Oak attorney heading the AG's investigation, have called a news conference to take place at the University of Michigan-Flint.

In...Read more

American women reflect on the meaning of the first female major-party presidential nominee

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Whatever you may think of Hillary Clinton -- and few are neutral -- her accomplishment this week cannot be denied. Just as Barack Obama's election held deeper meaning for black voters, Clinton's nomination as the first female presidential candidate of a major party has a special resonance for women. That "highest, hardest glass ceiling" she ...Read more

Cosby withdraws breach-of-contract lawsuit against accuser

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PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby dropped his legal bid Thursday to force Andrea Constand to return the money he paid her in a confidential settlement a decade ago.

Lawyers for the 79-year-old entertainer filed a motion to withdraw the breach-of-contract suit in federal court in Philadelphia.

It came a week after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno ...Read more

Islamic State claims second church attacker appears in video

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PARIS -- Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean, the man identified Thursday as the second assailant in this week's attack on a French church the left an octogenarian priest dead, is purported to appear in an Islamic State video calling for more violence.

In the video, distributed by the group's propaganda arm, the Aamaq News Agency, the man purported to ...Read more

Here's where Clinton's 'several thousand' emails went

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WASHINGTON -- Memo to Moscow: We don't need your help finding Hillary Clinton's mystery emails.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in a jab he claimed Thursday was meant as a sarcastic joke, had called on Russian hackers a day earlier to locate thousands of emails his general election foe, former Secretary of State Clinton, had sent ...Read more

Nation and world news briefs

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Man shot by Miami officer gets 'big hug' from autistic client he tried to protect

MIAMI -- The last time they were together, Charles Kinsey struck a pose that captured the nation's attention: Supine in the middle of the road with his hands in the air while begging the man he cared for to do the same.

Moments later, Kinsey was shot by North ...Read more

Some Sanders voters will vote Green rather than for Clinton

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PHILADELPHIA -- As die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters shunned Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday, some appeared to be shifting instead to Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who was at 3 percent in the polls when the week began.

"I'm not voting for Donald Trump. I'm not voting for Hillary Clinton," said Pam Keeley...Read more

Trump says Russia comment was all in jest, others say damage already done

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PHILADELPHIA -- Hey, just kidding.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday that he was merely being sarcastic when he said that Russia should look into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

But presidential and political scholars say Trump's remarks are no laughing matter and yet another ...Read more

2016: When even plagiarism became partisan

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WASHINGTON -- There's not much debate on whether it's OK to plagiarize. (Hint: It's not.) Students across the country learn that in school, and politicians have plenty of examples to look at that should scare them off.

But in a political year where anything seems possible, even this basic principle is up for debate.

To recap: Melania Trump, ...Read more

The hug that will go down in history

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On Tuesday night, former President Bill Clinton spent more than 40 minutes, and covered four decades, attempting to humanize his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

A day later, President Barack Obama did it in three seconds, with a hug that will go down in history.

Addressing the Democratic National Convention in ...Read more

Prosecutors drop charges against man in Chandra Levy case

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WASHINGTON -- In a stunning move, federal prosecutors on Thursday abruptly announced they were dropping murder charges against the man previously convicted of killing former intern Chandra Levy.

The unexpected decision follows several years of questions about the prosecutors' chief witness in the first trial of Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar ...Read more

Angela Merkel's call for calm in Germany echoes US presidential campaign

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Three words, no coincidence: "We'll manage it."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her first substantive response to a string of violent episodes over the last 10 days, on Thursday repeated the same utterance she made famous last year as the nation opened its borders to an enormous flood of refugees and migrants.

Merkel's calm insistence that...Read more

FDA to South Florida blood banks: Stop collecting until donations tested for Zika

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MIAMI -- With the nation's first suspected local outbreak of Zika infection under investigation in South Florida, the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday requested that all blood banks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties stop collecting immediately until donations can be tested for the virus.

Blood banks in the two counties said they would...Read more

Man shot by Miami officer gets 'big hug' from autistic client he tried to protect

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MIAMI -- The last time they were together, Charles Kinsey struck a pose that captured the nation's attention: Supine in the middle of the road with his hands in the air while begging the man he cared for to do the same.

Video shows the scene before and after caretaker Charles Kinsey is shot. He is shown lying in the street with a 23-year-old ...Read more

9/11 families at Guantanamo: Enough about the torture

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- Survivors of people killed in New York City on 9/11 on Thursday criticized the current focus of pretrial proceedings on the torture of the five men accused of the worst terrorist attack on the homeland in U.S. history.

"Torture is living a life without your loved one," said Terry Strada, whose husband Thomas ...Read more

Does Latin America represent danger for US, or opportunity?

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WASHINGTON -- When it comes to Cuba, Venezuela and the rest of Latin America, the Democrats see Hillary Clinton mostly continuing the policies of engagement pushed forward by President Barack Obama, but not much else.

Republicans, on the other hand, largely want to wall off Mexico, as Donald Trump has proposed, but also cut off other parts of ...Read more

Hillary Clinton to accept Democratic nomination on climactic final night of convention

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PHILADELPHIA -- Hillary Clinton takes the stage Thursday night for the final and most anticipated act of the Democratic National Convention, during which she will try to build on a week of potent testimonials from the party's biggest stars by reintroducing herself to voters as the first female presidential nominee from a major party and ...Read more

Political news briefs

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Donald Trump says he was being 'sarcastic' about Russia hacking Clinton's emails

Donald Trump said Thursday morning that he was being "sarcastic" about asking Russians to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails from her tenure as secretary of state.

He also said that he didn't know who had hacked into the Democratic National Committee's emails. ...Read more