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AP Top News at 7:54 a.m. EDT

The Latest: Labour member pens personal rebuke to Corbyn
Former British shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander's resignation letter reads as a personal rebuke to Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. The letter released Sunday marks the start of an open revolt against Corbyn's leadership role following Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Senior party figures are trying to pressure him to resign. Alexander writes: "I do not believe you have the capacity to shape the answers our country is demanding and I believe that if we are to form the next government, a change of leadership is essential." She says Britain needs an "effective opposition" at a time of unprecedented challenges.


Labour Party revolts against leader over EU vote result
LONDON (AP) - Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing an open revolt as political turmoil continues to grip Britain after the country voted to leave the European Union. The main opposition party was in turmoil Sunday with two members of the shadow cabinet leaving their posts in a direct challenge to Corbyn. Corbyn first fired shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn after Benn told Corbyn he had lost confidence in Corbyn's ability to lead the party. "There is no confidence that we will be able to win a general election as long as Jeremy remains the leader," Benn told the BBC's flagship breakfast show.


Obama OKs federal aid for West Virginia; at least 24 dead
CLENDENIN, W.Va. (AP) - Offering his condolences, President Barack Obama approved federal aid for the West Virginia communities devastated by floods that have killed at least 24 people and rendered many more homeless. Obama's signature Saturday on the federal disaster declaration lets residents in three counties get aid for temporary housing and home repairs, receive low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and qualify for other assistance for individuals and business owners. Federal money to help the state and local governments is also available on a cost-sharing basis. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration still believes there are people missing in Greenbrier County, and the death toll there rose by one Saturday, said Tomblin chief of staff Chris Stadelman.


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Iraqi commander: Fallujah 'fully liberated' from IS
BAGHDAD (AP) - A senior Iraqi commander declared that the city of Fallujah was "fully liberated" from Islamic State group militants on Sunday, after a more than monthlong military operation. Iraqi troops have entered the northwestern al-Julan neighborhood, the last area of Fallujah to remain under IS control, the head of the counterterrorism forces in the operation, Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, told The Associated Press. Al-Saadi said the operation, which began in late May, "is done and the city is fully liberated." The Iraqi army was backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops, mostly Shiite militias. "From the center of al-Julan neighborhood, we congratulate the Iraqi people and the commander in chief...and declare that the Fallujah fight is over," he told Iraqi state TV, flanked by military officers and soldiers.


Germany's Merkel at center stage as EU faces Brexit fallout
BERLIN (AP) - Britain's decision to leave the European Union puts German Chancellor Angela Merkel at center stage as the bloc seeks to preserve its unity and win back skeptical voters across the continent. Merkel stressed that "Germany has a special interest and a special responsibility in European unity succeeding" as she voiced regret Friday at Britain's departure, citing Europe's 20th century history of wars. She signaled that she was taking the initiative, inviting her counterparts from France and Italy - the two other largest remaining members - to meet her Monday in Berlin as well as EU President Donald Tusk.


Owners of AR-style firearms defend their weapon of choice
ATLANTA (AP) - Karen Butler still remembers the first time she picked up an AR-15-style rifle a decade ago. "Quite honestly, I was scared of it," she recalls. But as soon as she fired it, she became a fan. "You know some of these people that are fearful, it's just because they don't have knowledge," she said. "We call it furniture - it's got all the accessories on it that make it look a little intimidating. But once you shoot it you realize it's so much fun." Butler, of Huntsville, Alabama, started Shoot Like a Girl, an outfit that seeks to introduce and inspire women to participate in shooting sports.


Kerry to visit Brussels, London for talks on UK's EU exit
ROME (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will rush to Brussels and London on Monday to meet the top British and European Union diplomats, as the world grapples with the implications of Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union. Kerry will bring messages of support. Less likely: Answers or even suggestions for how to deal with a crisis that has spooked economists and forced countries in Europe and beyond to contemplate the possibility of unity across the continent crumbling. The trip began Sunday in Rome, where Kerry has scheduled talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will also meet Italian government officials.


Vatican denies pope has 'Crusades' mentality over genocide
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) - The Vatican on Sunday strongly dismissed Turkish claims that Pope Francis has adopted a "Crusades" mentality by recognizing the Ottoman-era genocide of Armenians, insisting that Francis's three-day visit to the Orthodox country was one of peace and reconciliation. Francis wrapped up his trip with calls for closer ties with Armenia's Oriental Orthodox church, a visit to its closed western border with Turkey and a joint declaration with the Apostolic Church leader. But it was his recognition on the first day that the Ottoman-era slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians constituted planned "genocide" that continued to reverberate.


Panama Canal opens $5B locks, bullish despite shipping woes
PANAMA CITY (AP) - Authorities are hosting a big bash Sunday to inaugurate newly expanded locks that will double the Panama Canal's capacity in a multibillion-dollar bet on a bright economic future despite tough times for international shipping. Nearly two years late due to construction delays and labor strife, the $5.25 billion project formally launches with the transit of a 158-foot-wide (48.2 meters), 984-foot-long (300 meters), Chinese-owned container ship, one of the modern class of mega-vessels that will now be able to use the canal. With 30,000 people and eight foreign heads of state expected to attend the festivities, officials are bullish.


Spain votes again in attempt to break government stalemate
MADRID (AP) - Spaniards were heading to the polls Sunday for an unprecedented repeat election that aims to break six months of political deadlock after a December ballot left the country without an elected government. Opinion polls in recent weeks have unanimously predicted the new ballot will also fail to deliver enough votes for any one party to take power alone. That would likely consign Spain to another period of protracted political negotiations - and, possibly, another election if there is no breakthrough. Polls are prohibited in the last week of campaigning, but the most recent ones suggested the conservative Popular Party would win most votes but would again fall short of the parliamentary majority it had from 2011 to 2015.