AP Top News at 4:44 p.m. EDT

The Juice will be loose: O.J. Simpson granted parole
LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) - O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel-room heist, successfully making his case for freedom in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star. Simpson, 70, could be released as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year armed-robbery sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia and other mementos he claimed had been stolen from him. All four parole commissioners who conducted the hearing voted for his release after about a half-hour of deliberations.

The Latest: Florida to accept OJ Simpson if request clears
Florida corrections officials say they must accept Nevada's request to supervise O.J. Simpson if it meets all needed criteria. Michelle Glady of the Florida Department of Corrections says Simpson would be assigned a Florida probation officer and supervised under the conditions of his parole. Simpson told a Nevada parole board that will allow him to be released in October that he wanted to live with family in Florida. Simpson has spent more than eight years behind bars for armed robbery and assault with a weapon after trying to take back sports memorabilia in a budget hotel room in Las Vegas.

Publicly assailed by Trump, Sessions says he's staying on
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for stepping clear of the Russia-Trump investigations, declared Thursday he still loves his job and plans to stay on. Yet Donald Trump's airing of his long-simmering frustrations with Sessions raised significant new questions about the future of the nation's top prosecutor. The White House was quick to insist that the president "has confidence" in Sessions. However, the episode underscored how the attorney general's crime-fighting agenda is being overshadowed by his fractured relationship with Trump and the continuing investigations into allegations of Russian ties to the Republican candidate's presidential campaign.

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Despite cancer diagnosis, McCain says, 'I'll be back soon'
WASHINGTON (AP) - Battling brain cancer, John McCain on Thursday vowed to return to the Senate, leveling fresh criticism at the Trump administration and aiming a good-natured dig at Republican and Democratic colleagues shaken by news of his 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. Showing no signs of stepping back from political and national security battles, he issued a statement slamming the Trump administration over its Syria policy. The 80-year-old McCain, the GOP's presidential nominee in 2008 and six-term Arizona lawmaker, 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.

Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington dies in LA at 41
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner said. He was 41. Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details are available. Band co-founder and producer Mike Shinoda said on Twitter he was "shocked and saddened." "Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul.

Budget office: GOP health bill adds 22 million uninsured
WASHINGTON (AP) - A revised Republican health care bill would drive up the number of uninsured Americans by 22 million by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday in a report unlikely to help GOP leaders persuade their party's senators to back the reeling legislation in an upcoming showdown vote. An earlier projection by Congress' nonpartisan budget analysts on the initial version of the GOP legislation projected the same number of people losing coverage. That figure has already proven to be enough to make some Republican senators unwilling to support the legislation. In another blow to Republicans, the report estimates that single people buying a typical individual plan would face an annual deductible - out-of-pocket expenditures before benefits kick in - of $13,000 in 2026.

Trump comments about Sessions show penchant for humiliation
WASHINGTON (AP) - The art of humiliation appears to be a key operating principle for President Donald Trump. Trump blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an interview Wednesday with The New York Times. Trump sharply criticized the former U.S. senator over his decision to recuse himself from the FBI investigation into possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Sessions has a lot of company in the administration to compare notes with. Everyone from former FBI director James Comey to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) to chief strategist Steve Bannon has been publicly shamed by the boss.

Trump's envoy picks hesitate on question of Russian meddling
WASHINGTON (AP) - Several of President Donald Trump's nominees for key ambassador posts declined Thursday to say unequivocally whether Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Their unwillingness to say definitively that Moscow meddled troubled a few members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who said America's envoys need to firmly and plainly back U.S. objectives in their overseas posts. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia pried, they said, and Congress is on the verge of passing a Russia sanctions bill aimed at punishing Moscow's meddling and its military aggression. "We need to have our ambassadors abroad making clear, unequivocal advocacy in the countries in which they are assigned to, to join us in our multilateral sanctions effort," said Sen.

Palestinians clash with Israel police at Jerusalem holy site
JERUSALEM (AP) - Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces near a contested Jerusalem shrine after Muslim worshippers massed outside for evening prayers on Thursday as tensions over the holy site escalated further. Israel police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Palestinians hurled stones and glass bottles at officers after the prayers outside the site, referred to by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Red Crescent said it treated at least 22 people for injuries. Police said no officers were injured; they had no information about injured protesters. The Palestinians were protesting Israel's placement of metal detectors at the entrance to the holy site after a deadly attack there last week in which three Israeli Arab gunmen killed two Israeli police officers before they were shot and killed at the entrance to the site.

The Latest: Official: NFL arena has panels like London tower
Cleveland's chief building official says panels used on a city-owned NFL stadium are "similar if not identical" to those used at a London apartment tower that burned. However, Thomas Vanover also says he's confident the Cleveland Browns' stadium is safe. A spokesman for Cleveland's mayor initially said questions about the stadium would have to wait until after the investigation into the London fire, which killed at least 80 people. But Vanover held a news conference Thursday after The Associated Press reported on concerns about several U.S. buildings, including the stadium. Vanover says the panels were installed on the stadium in a different way than in London's Grenfell Tower, and that the venue's overall cladding system was different.

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