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What Obama says scares him about Trump

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PHILADELPHIA -- President Barack Obama says it isn't just the idea of Donald Trump's finger on the nuclear button that he finds scary.

"I set aside the nuclear codes," he said in an interview broadcast on NBC's Today Show on Wednesday. "What I think is scary is a president who doesn't know their stuff and doesn't seem to have an interest in ...Read more

Death toll rises to 55 in attack on Syrian town near Turkish border

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DAMASCUS, Syria -- The death toll from an attack Wednesday on the Kurdish-held western section of Qamishli town in northeastern Syria has risen to 55, with many victims still buried under the rubble, a hospital official told dpa.

"The number keeps increasing as lots of victims are still buried under the debris. Many of the injured are listed in...Read more

Freddie Gray case: Charges against three remaining officers dropped

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BALTIMORE -- Prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against three Baltimore police officers accused in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in a downtown courtroom on Wednesday morning, concluding one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Baltimore history.

The startling move was an apparent acknowledgement of the unlikelihood of a ...Read more

This year, it's the Zika virus. But what about next year?

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MILWAUKEE -- Epidemics start in mundane ways.

A child might play with a pet. An air-conditioning unit might break down. A pool of water might collect in an empty flowerpot.

Any one of those actions is all it takes for a virus to find a host and infect its first case.

From there, the virus can spread exponentially -- across cities, regions, ...Read more

Party affiliation, not her gender, gives Hillary Clinton an edge

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WASHINGTON -- There are those who believe that women will propel Hillary Clinton to the presidency in November, seizing the opportunity to put the first of their kind in the White House. After all, that's what black voters helped to do for Barack Obama in 2008.

Clinton herself hopes this is true. In declaring victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie ...Read more

Illinois colleges besieged by cuts as budget fight trickles down

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CHICAGO -- For Illinois's colleges and universities, the end of a record-long political fight over the budget isn't bringing the financial consequences to a close.

Southern Illinois University, with about 17,000 students, is eliminating a quarter of its graduate teaching assistant jobs when classes resume next month and is letting 50 faculty ...Read more

Are the Obamas DC's next secret weapon?

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PHILADELPHIA -- Advocates for the District of Columbia are hoping that when Barack and Michelle Obama leave the White House in January to take up residence in Kalorama, it will mark a turning point in the city's long fight for voting rights and budget autonomy in the nation's capital.

"From the most powerful man in America to the least ...Read more

Why Hillary Clinton needs and wants Obama's help

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PHILADELPHIA -- Barack Obama sweeps into the Democratic National Convention Wednesday with an opportunity no president has had in nearly three decades: to help his chosen successor.

And make no mistake about it, Hillary Clinton needs his help.

She struggles with getting voters to like her, recent polls show she's vulnerable against Republican ...Read more

Hillary Clinton makes history as first woman to head the ticket of a major political party

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PHILADELPHIA -- Hillary Clinton on Tuesday became the first woman nominated for the U.S. presidency by a major political party, her moment in history sealed by thunderous cheers from exuberant Democrats gathered in Philadelphia.

The vote by delegates came on the second day of a Democratic National Convention that threatened to again become a ...Read more

Analysis: In a campaign that pits fear against facts, Hillary Clinton has a tough opponent in Trump

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PHILADELPHIA -- The presidential contest has become a battle between feelings and facts.

Donald Trump aims at the fears of a segment of Americans that the country is spiraling toward an abyss, using visceral images that are powerful, if often inaccurate.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has utilized an endless supply of figures and proposals to ...Read more

Black Lives Matter playing a prominent role at Democratic convention

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PHILADELPHIA -- A night Hillary Clinton's campaign designed to showcase her many years of involvement in social justice causes hit an emotional high point Tuesday with an appearance by a group of women whose sons or daughters were victims of gun violence or encounters with law enforcement.

The Mothers of the Movement, as the eight women call ...Read more

Bill Clinton puts a human face on his wife and new Democratic presidential nominee

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PHILADELPHIA -- In 2012, Bill Clinton arguably helped put President Barack Obama on a path to re-election with a convention speech testifying to his stewardship of the nation out of recession, and on a path to economic recovery.

On Tuesday, the former president did away with the wonky-yet-folksy analysis that earned him the moniker "secretary ...Read more

Mothers of the Movement recall slain children at DNC

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PHILADELPHIA -- When the lights came up revealing nine African-American women standing in a circle, as if in prayer, delegates and guests at the Democratic National Convention broke into a chant:

"Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!"

Then the crowd quieted to listen to the Mothers of the Movement, women whose children ...Read more

Hillary Clinton addresses convention for first time to close second night

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PHILADELPHIA -- After a rousing speech from her husband and a musical flourish from Alicia Keys, along came the nominee.

Hillary Clinton appeared Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention via video stream, figuratively breaking through a montage of all 44 male presidents.

"I can't believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling...Read more

Clinton relies on array of star power

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PHILADELPHIA -- The first woman to be a major-party nominee has Republicans outmanned.

Hillary Clinton is tapping a baseball lineup's worth of Democratic luminaries to flood swing states, drawing crowds and providing staging grounds for get-out-the-vote efforts to counter Donald Trump's dominance on cable news and social media. They began to ...Read more

As Barack Obama comes to Philadelphia, a look at his legacy

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PHILADELPHIA -- The White House photograph has become an icon: President Barack Obama bending low in front of his desk in the Oval Office so a 5-year-old African-American boy could touch his hair.

"I want to know if my hair is just like yours," Jacob Philadelphia asked in 2009, as he and his family gathered for a picture with the president.

"...Read more

Howard Dean reprises the 'Dean Scream'

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Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean reprised his infamous "Dean Scream" at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday.

His guttural outburst after losing the Iowa caucus in 2004 is now the stuff of campaign lore.

Sleeves rolled up, holding a microphone, Dean stood on stage and listed off states in the upcoming primary race ...Read more

Suddenly, President Obama says it is 'possible' Donald Trump could win

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PHILADELPHIA -- As President Barack Obama prepares to address the Democratic National Convention, he seems to be putting the party on notice: Donald Trump can win.

"Anything is possible," Obama told NBC's Savannah Guthrie in an interview to air Wednesday. "It is the nature of democracy that until those votes are cast and the American people -- ...Read more

Home invasion killer Komisarjevsky resentenced to life without release

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- In a brief court hearing Tuesday that stood in sharp contrast to his emotionally charged 2012 death sentencing, Cheshire home invasion killer Joshua Komisarjevsky was sentenced to life in prison for the 2007 killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela.

As his three trial attorneys looked on ...Read more

At LGBT Caucus, Barney Frank criticizes Sanders loyalists who refuse to back Clinton

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PHILADELPHIA -- Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank gave a scathing speech at the Democratic National Convention's LGBT Caucus on Tuesday afternoon, aimed at "Bernie or Bust"-ers who vowed to not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Frank, who was one of the first openly gay people in Congress, said he believed it was his and other Democrats' "...Read more