AP Top News at 12:49 a.m. EDT

Kelly seeks to restore White House order ahead of key fights
WASHINGTON (AP) - In his first month on the job, White House chief of staff John Kelly has made significant progress toward imposing discipline on a chaotic operation, even as it's clear he still struggles to have the same effect on the president himself. The White House is a less contentious place and decision-making is becoming more orderly under Kelly's thumb, according to more than a dozen people interviewed by The Associated Press, including White House officials, outside advisers and others who work regularly with the administration. They say a group of more experienced advisers - including a trio of generals - is increasingly holding sway.


Within 24 hours, a pair of wildly different Trump speeches
RENO, Nev. (AP) - It was a tale of two Trumps in the desert Southwest. Within a 24-hour span, President Donald Trump delivered one speech in which he tore into the media and members of his own party, and a second in which he called for national unity and love. The about-face seemed to reflect the president's real-time internal debate between calls for moderation and his inclination to let loose. On Wednesday, the president spoke in measured tones and stuck to his prepared remarks as he praised veterans at an American Legion conference in Nevada as examples for a nation yearning to set aside its differences.


Wrapped: Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Workers in Charlottesville draped giant black covers over two statues of Confederate generals on Wednesday to symbolize the city's mourning for a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally. The work began around 1 p.m. in Emancipation Park, where a towering monument of Gen. Robert E. Lee on horseback stands. Workers gathered around the monument with a large black drape. Some stood in cherry-pickers and others used ropes and poles to cover the statue as onlookers took photos and video. Some of the crowd cheered as the cover was put in place. "It's great. It's a good start," said Jamie Dyer, who spoke a short time later from nearby Justice Park, where workers covered a statue of Gen.


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Lucky numbers for $700M Powerball jackpot drawn
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lottery players across the U.S. scooped up $2 Powerball tickets in hopes of beating the odds and winning a massive $700 million jackpot in Wednesday night's drawing. Some details about the game and the giant prize: WINNING NUMBERS The lucky numbers from Wednesday night's drawing are 6, 7, 16, 23 and 26, and the Powerball number is 4. --- WHAT IS POWERBALL AND HOW DOES THE GAME WORK? Powerball is played in 44 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, all of which collectively oversee the game. Drawings are held twice a week.


12 dead as strong typhoon floods Macau, southern China
BEIJING (AP) - The most powerful typhoon to hit the southern Chinese region in more than half a century has left at least 12 dead as a sudden deluge swamped the gambling hub of Macau, submerging streets and stranding residents. Eight people were killed in Macau, including two men found overnight in a parking garage. Another 153 were injured amid extensive flooding, power outages, and the smashing of doors and windows by the high winds and driving rain. Xinhua News Agency says four more people were killed in the neighboring province of Guangdong and one is missing. Hato roared with winds of up to 160 kilometers (99 miles) per hour.


Federal judge again tosses out Texas voter ID law
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge who has compared Texas' voter ID requirements to a "poll tax" on minorities once again blocked the law Wednesday, rejecting a weakened version backed by the Trump administration and dealing Texas Republicans another court defeat over voting rights. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos rejected changes signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott this summer as not only lacking but also potentially chilling to voters because of new criminal penalties. The new version didn't expand the list of acceptable photo identifications - meaning gun licenses remained sufficient proof to vote, but not college student IDs.


Sandbags, plywood, generators: Texas coast braces for Harvey
HOUSTON (AP) - Former Tropical Storm Harvey drifted erratically toward the Texas Gulf Coast late Wednesday amid forecasts it could become a hurricane by landfall later this week, dumping heavy rain and raising the threat of flooding. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the tropical depression was expected to intensify over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before reaching the Texas coast sometime late Friday. Emergency officials geared up as forecasters predicted heavy rains in parts of eastern Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi that could continue for days. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level, making state resources available for possible rescue and recovery actions.


Supporters want Colin Kaepernick signed by NFL season start
NEW YORK (AP) - Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside National Football League headquarters on Wednesday, demanding that he be signed by the start of the regular season next month. More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices. Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned.


Former CIA agent wants to buy Twitter to kick Trump off
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is looking to crowdfund enough money to buy Twitter so President Donald Trump can't use it. Wilson launched the fundraiser last week, tweeting: "If @Twitter executives won't shut down Trump's violence and hate, then it's up to us. #BuyTwitter #BanTrump." The GoFundMe page for the fundraiser says Trump's tweets "damage the country and put people in harm's way." As of Wednesday morning, she had raised less than $6,000 of her $1 billion goal. In an emailed statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the low total shows that the American people like the Republican president's use of Twitter.


Hill loses no-hit try on HR in 10th, Pirates top Dodgers 1-0
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Rich Hill's first 98 pitches left the Pittsburgh Pirates confounded, occasionally fuming and absolutely hitless. His 99th turned a potentially historic night by the Los Angeles Dodgers lefty into something else entirely: A loss. After Hill's bid for a perfect game was spoiled by a leadoff error in the ninth inning, Josh Harrison started the 10th by connecting on an 88 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and sending a drive into the first row of seats in left field. It wrecked Hill's improbable - and improbably lengthy - try at a no-hitter and lifted the Pirates to a stunning 1-0 win on Wednesday.