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AP Top News at 9:58 p.m. EDT

The Latest: Militant website shows photos of alleged victims
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - The Latest on the attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka (all times local): 7:20 a.m. A news agency affiliated with the Islamic Group has posted photos purportedly showing the bodies of hostages lying in pools of blood in the Dhaka restaurant where militants were holding about 35 people. The authenticity of the pictures, carried by the Amaq news agency and monitored by the SITE Intelligence Group, could not be independently confirmed. The same report says 24 people have been killed and 40 wounded, including foreigners. That figure could not be confirmed either.


Militants take hostages at Bangladesh restaurant; 2 dead
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Heavily armed militants struck at the heart of Bangladesh's diplomatic zone on Friday night, taking dozens of hostages at a restaurant popular with foreigners. Two police officers were killed and at least 26 people wounded in a gunbattle as security forces cordoned off the area and sought to end the standoff. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka's Gulshan area, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadis activity online. At least 35 people, including about 20 foreigners, were still trapped inside the restaurant, said kitchen staffer Sumon Reza, who was among more than 10 people who managed to run to the rooftop and escape.


In VP search, Trump and Clinton eye different priorities
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump wants a running mate who has what he lacks - political experience. Hillary Clinton is putting a premium on diversity as she searches for a No. 2. Yet the presidential rivals are running strikingly similar processes for tapping their vice presidential picks: relying on prominent Washington lawyers to comb through the background of top contenders, seeking guidance from a small circle of trusted advisers and family members, and weighing their personal chemistry with prospects. Trump, a wealthy businessman who has never held public office, is mulling a small number of political veterans. He's seriously considering former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov.


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Attorney general wishes she hadn't met with Bill Clinton
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch is expressing regret that she sat down with Bill Clinton while his wife is under federal criminal investigation, a chance encounter she acknowledges "cast a shadow" on the public's perception of a case bound to influence the presidential campaign. "I certainly wouldn't do it again," Lynch said of the meeting. For Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, the episode raised the risk that voters will see her anew as half of a power couple that makes its own rules. Lynch hastened to add that she intended to follow the recommendations of career prosecutors on whether to file criminal charges at the close of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, indicating that she would accept whatever decision is presented to her.


Bill Clinton and his loose-cannon episodes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Long regarded as having one of the shrewdest political minds among recent presidents, Bill Clinton has at times angered and alienated Democrats and Republicans alike while campaigning for his wife, Hillary Clinton. His apparently spur-of-the moment decision to chat this week with Attorney General Loretta Lynch even as her agency is overseeing a sensitive investigation of his wife's use of a private email server as secretary of state was only the latest in a series of loose-cannon episodes. In 2008: -In remarks that struck some as racial politics, Bill Clinton equated Barack Obama's win in the South Carolina Democratic primary in January 2008 with Jesse Jackson's victories in the state in 1984 and 1988.


Attention in Istanbul bombing focused on Chechen extremist
ISTANBUL (AP) - Attention focused Friday on whether a Chechen extremist known to be a top lieutenant in the Islamic State group was involved in the suicide attacks that killed 44 people at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told CNN that Akhmed Chatayev directed Tuesday night's attack at one of the world's busiest airports. The CIA and White House declined to comment on McCaul's assertion and officials said the investigation of the bombing is still ongoing. McCaul could not be reached for further comment. Turkish officials also were not able to confirm Chatayev's role.


Australians head to the polls in tight election contest
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - After years of political turmoil, Australians headed to the polls on Saturday with leaders of the nation's major parties each promising to bring stability to a government that has long been mired in chaos. The election, which pits the conservative coalition government against the center-left Labor Party, caps off an extraordinarily volatile period in the nation's politics. Australian political parties can change their leaders under certain conditions and have done so in recent years with unprecedented frequency. Should Labor win, its leader, Bill Shorten, will become Australia's fifth prime minister in three years. The so-called revolving-door prime ministership, coupled with global instability wrought by Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union, prompted promises by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that sticking with the status quo was the safer choice.


US says up to 116 civilians killed in counterterror strikes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Peeling back some of the secrecy of America's drone strikes on suspected terrorists, the Obama administration on Friday said it has killed up to 116 civilians in counterterror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where the U.S. is not engaged in active, on-the-ground warfare. The first-ever public assessment is a response to mounting pressure for more information about lethal U.S. operations overseas. Human rights and other groups quickly complained that the administration undercounted civilian casualties and called on the White House to release far more information. The report by National Intelligence Director James Clapper said the U.S.


Tesla driver killed while using Autopilot loved fast cars
CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Joshua Brown, the first U.S. fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode, had an adventurous streak with a "need for speed" but also was a brilliant innovator and beloved neighbor, say those who knew the Navy veteran. Brown was "like a little kid" when he brought home his Tesla Model S sedan late last summer and always willing to take anyone for a ride, said Richard Tichenor, a neighbor. The 40-year-old single man lived in Canton where he ran a wireless technology company. He bought his modest home four years ago for $40,000 - a little more than half the sticker price of a new Tesla Model S.


Are we overusing the tribute of flying flag at half-staff?
NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly every day, somewhere in the country, the Stars and Stripes was lowered to half-staff last year in one of the most significant official gestures of mourning and respect, an Associated Press analysis found. The centuries-old practice can be a visible, public answer to extraordinary loss, as when more than four dozen people were killed last month at a gay nightclub in Florida. But as the nation marks Independence Day on Monday, flag buffs have noted that the honor has been extended more widely over time, including to celebrities and police dogs. And some have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering of the flag.