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Sessions staying as attorney general despite Trump rebuke
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday he has no immediate plans to resign after President Donald Trump excoriated the nation's top prosecutor for recusing himself from the probe of suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. political campaign. "We love this job, we love this department and I plan to continue to do so as long as that is appropriate," Sessions said. A former senator from Alabama, Sessions was one of Trump's earliest and ardent supporters and became attorney general in February. A month later, he took himself out of a Justice Department-led inquiry into the election following revelations he'd failed to disclose his own meetings with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.


McCain says 'I'll be back soon' as he battles brain cancer
WASHINGTON (AP) - Battling brain cancer, Sen. John McCain on Thursday promised to return to work, making a good-natured dig at his Republican and Democratic colleagues who were jolted by news of the six-term lawmaker's diagnosis. "I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support - unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!" McCain said in a tweet. The 80-year-old McCain, the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, who had removed a blood clot above his left eye last Friday.


McConnell prods senators on health care bill, amid dim odds
WASHINGTON (AP) - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spurred Republican senators Thursday to resolve internal disputes that have pushed their marquee health care bill to the brink of oblivion. Yet the GOP's reeling effort to dismantle much of President Barack Obama's health care law may face even longer odds because of Sen. John McCain's jarring diagnosis of brain cancer. ``Dealing with this issue is what's right for the country,'' McConnell, R-Ky., said. He added, ``It was certainly never going to be easy, but we've come a long way and I look forward to continuing our work together to finally bring relief.'' Nursing a slender 52-48 majority, McConnell has been unable to muster the 50 votes he'd need to approve his party's health care overhaul.


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OJ Simpson making case for his freedom on live TV
LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) - Former football star and convicted felon O.J. Simpson will command the world's attention once again Thursday when he pleads for his freedom on live TV. Simpson was convicted in 2008 of an armed robbery involving two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. The 70-year-old will ask four parole board members to release him in October after serving the minimum nine years of a 33-year sentence. An aging Simpson will appear as inmate No. 1027820, dressed in blue jeans and a blue button-down shirt, in a stark hearing room in a remote Nevada prison. Lovelock Correctional Center Warden Renee Baker said Wednesday she couldn't say how Simpson's parole hearing might turn out.


2 missing Burundi teens entered Canada; no foul play seen
WASHINGTON (AP) - Police have received reports that two of the Burundi teenagers gone missing after an international robotics competition were seen crossing the border into Canada. The search for all the teens is ongoing, but police have no indication of foul play in their disappearance, Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Aquita Brown said. The teens seen crossing into Canada were 16-year-old Don Ingabire and 17-year-old Audrey Mwamikazi, Brown said. There was no official indication Thursday that any of the teens were trying to avoid returning to their homes in Africa, but a leader in the Burundian community in the U.S. suggested that they may be intending to seek asylum.


Girl says her mom asked for forgiveness before stabbing her
ATLANTA (AP) - Everyone was asleep when Isabel Martinez began stabbing her children and then fatally stabbed her husband as he tried seek help, her daughter told a child welfare caseworker. Diana Romero, 9, said her mother told her she loved her and asked for forgiveness before cutting her. Martinez told the girl she was "going to the sky to see Jesus," and the girl cried and told her mother she didn't want to go see Jesus. A report from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, includes a caseworker's notes from a July 10 interview with Diana Romero, as well as notes from a jailhouse interview earlier that day with Martinez, who faces charges including murder and aggravated assault in the July 6 deaths of her husband and four of her children.


Venezuela's Maduro, foes head into crucial showdown
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Large swaths of Venezuela's capital were shuttered and silent Thursday as opponents of President Nicolas Maduro called the first major national strike since a 2002 stoppage that failed to topple Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez. A public transport strike appeared to have halted nearly all bus traffic and thousands of private businesses defied government demands to stay open. State-run firms were open, though many were short on staff after employees failed to appear. Improvised roadblocks closed many streets. The 24-hour strike was meant as an expression of national disapproval of Maduro's plan to convene a constitutional assembly that would reshape the Venezuelan system to consolidate the ruling party's power over the few institutions that remain outside its control.


Something old: Historic bank's beauty lures brides-to-be
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Second Bank of the United States might not be Philadelphia's top tourist draw, having to compete with neighbors like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, but its regal architecture is luring a whole different type of visitor: wedding photographers and soon-to-be brides and grooms. The Greek Revival-style bank is one of the most popular places for wedding photos in the city, so much so that the National Park Service set up a permit office to accommodate wedding photo shoot requests. Kaitlyn Daly, 25, of Vineland, New Jersey, thought the spot was perfect for her February wedding photos.


Researchers in Cambodia find nest of rare riverine bird
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Wildlife researchers in Cambodia have found a breeding location for the masked finfoot bird, one of the world's most endangered, raising hopes of its continuing survival, the researchers announced Thursday. The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said its scientists, along with conservationists from Cambodia's Environment Ministry and residents along the Memay river in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, discovered the only confirmed breeding location in Cambodia for the very rare species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has placed the bird on its red list of globally endangered species because its worldwide population of less than 1,000 is declining at an alarming rate.


Ryan Seacrest back as host of 'Idol' when it returns on ABC
NEW YORK (AP) - Seacrest in! Ryan Seacrest will be back hosting "American Idol" when it returns for its first season on ABC. Kelly Ripa made the announcement on Thursday's "Live with Kelly and Ryan," which she has co-hosted with Seacrest since he joined her in May. "I am happy to confirm ... that Ryan Seacrest is returning as the host of 'American Idol,'" said Ripa as the studio audience whooped. Seacrest said he was excited to be doing it again. "I don't know if you've ever been in a 15-year relationship and then, for a reason that you really don't know, you break up," he said.