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AP Top News at 2:28 p.m. EDT

The family of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, along with Marlins players and personnel, are set to attend a private funeral Mass
MIAMI (AP) - A day after fans said goodbye, family members and friends of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez gathered for a private funeral Mass on Thursday afternoon. Fernandez and two friends were killed in a boat crash off South Beach early Sunday. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, manager Don Mattingly, hitting coach Barry Bonds and the players including Marcel Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton wore white T-shirts emblazoned with Fernandez's image and the letters "RIP" as they slowly walked the hearse away from Marlins Park in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood on Wednesday. Many in the crowd of about 1,000 chanted "Jose! Jose!" and some waved Cuban flags in honor of the popular Cuban-American player.


A commuter train has crashed through a barrier at a busy New Jersey rail station during rush hour and lurched across the waiting area, killing one woman and sending about 75 other people to hospitals
HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) - A speeding rush-hour commuter train crashed through a barrier at the busy Hoboken station and lurched across the waiting area Thursday morning, killing one person and injuring more than 100 others in a tangle of broken concrete, twisted metal and dangling cables, authorities said. People pulled concrete off bleeding victims and passengers kicked out windows and crawled out amid crying and screaming after the arriving New Jersey Transit train ran off the end of its track. It apparently knocked out pillars as it ground to a halt in a covered waiting area, collapsing a section of the roof onto the first car.


With roughly a month until Election Day, Hillary Clinton is still struggling to convince young voters who twice helped elect Barack Obama that she deserves their support.
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - John Morales was interning for Bernie Sanders' campaign when the longshot Democratic candidate's hopes started to fade in the spring. That's when Libertarian Gary Johnson caught his interest. In many ways Johnson and Sanders are ideological opposites. The Vermont senator is an opponent of foreign trade deals and won over many younger voters in the primaries by calling for enormous government spending to guarantee universal health care and free college tuition. Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, supports smaller government and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But he shares Sanders' outsider, tell-it-like-it-is style, social liberalism and skepticism about military intervention overseas - attributes that have won over enough Sanders supporters to worry Democrats he could jeopardize Hillary Clinton's chances in November.


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Hillary Clinton is kicking off early voting in Iowa on Thursday with a major effort to boost support in the battleground state
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With early voting poised to play a bigger role in this year's election, Hillary Clinton was urging voters in Iowa to start casting ballots on Thursday, more than five weeks before Election Day. Clinton's 10-city tour of Iowa brought the Democratic presidential nominee back to a state where she eked out a win in the caucuses over Bernie Sanders. With her focus now on defeating Donald Trump, Clinton was hoping that putting an emphasis on early voting could help her replicate President Barack Obama's successful strategy in the battleground state four years ago. In Des Moines, Clinton planned a speech focused on childcare challenges faced by middle-class families.


August was the deadliest month for Chicago homicides in two decades, and an analysis of the toll shows more clearly than ever that the blame lies with surging violence in a handful of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods
CHICAGO (AP) - Fourteen-year-old Malik Causey loved the way gangs took what they wanted from people on the street, the way members fought for each other, the way they could turn drugs into cash and cash into $400 jeans. His mother tried to stop him. She yanked him out of houses where he didn't belong. She cooked up a story about Malik punching her so the police would lock him up to keep him safe for a while. Then on Aug. 21, Monique Causey woke to discover that her son had sneaked out of the house. Before she could find him, someone ended his life with a bullet to the back of his head a few blocks away.


Amid the widening U.S.-Russian spat over Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a strongly-worded statement accusing the Pentagon of nurturing an aggressive nuclear strategy threatening Russia
MOSCOW (AP) - Amid the widening U.S.-Russian spat over Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday issued a strongly-worded statement accusing the Pentagon of nurturing an aggressive nuclear strategy threatening Russia. The ministry cast a recent speech by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter as a veiled threat to back a hypothetical attack on Russia by its allies in Europe with U.S. nuclear weapons. The angry statement reflects a growing degree of mistrust and tensions between Moscow and Washington after the collapse of a U.S.-Russian cease-fire deal in Syria. On Monday, Carter accused Russia of "nuclear saber-rattling" and argued that even though the Cold War is long over, nuclear weapons are still needed to deter Russia and other potential aggressors from thinking they could get away with a nuclear attack.


Russian officials have accused the U.S. of siding with 'terrorists' in Syria, in a sign of escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington amid the battle for Aleppo
MOSCOW (AP) - Russian officials accused the U.S. on Thursday of siding with "terrorists" in Syria, in a sign of escalating tensions between Moscow and Washington amid the battle for the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby's warning that the collapse of U.S.-Russian cooperation in Syria could lead to a rise in extremism and potential attacks against Russia drew Moscow's anger. The Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries both cast it as U.S. encouragement of terror attacks on Russia. "We can't assess those statements as anything else but a call, a directive for action," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.


When two firefighters rolled up to an elementary school shooting, they said they found only a wrecked black pickup truck at the playground
TOWNVILLE, S.C. (AP) - When two firefighters rolled up to an elementary school shooting, they said they found only a wrecked black pickup truck at the playground. There was no gunman, and no one inside the truck. Within minutes, though, they performed actions that led to them being hailed as heroes: One went inside to help treat the wounded and the other searched for the shooter. "This was more than just another call to us. This incident occurred in the school where our children and the children of the community attend," Townville Fire Chief Billy McAdams said Thursday during a news conference, pausing to collect himself and he recalled the harrowing events of the day before.


Thousands of Israelis flock to parliament to view the casket of Shimon Peres, paying final respects to the former president and prime minister whose life story mirrored that of his country
JERUSALEM (AP) - Thousands of Israelis flocked to parliament Thursday to view the casket of Shimon Peres, paying final respects to the former president and prime minister whose life story mirrored that of his country. Dignitaries began arriving for a funeral that is expected to be Israel's largest since that of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Peres' partner in peace who was slain by a Jewish nationalist in 1995. Peres' office said more than 90 delegations from 70 countries have confirmed their participation, including U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, Prince Charles of Britain and King Felipe VI of Spain.


The investigative arm of Congress says the Obama administration failed to follow the president's health care law in a $5 billion dispute over compensating insurers for high costs from seriously ill patients
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration failed to follow the president's health care law in a $5 billion dispute over compensating insurers for high costs from seriously ill patients, Congress' investigative arm said Thursday. The opinion from the Government Accountability Office is a setback for the White House and bolsters Republican complaints that administration officials bent the law as problems arose carrying out its complex provisions. The finding may complicate efforts to stabilize premiums in the law's insurance marketplaces, where about 11 million people get coverage. At issue is how the administration has handled a little-known, but important program called "transitional reinsurance." Working in the background of the law's coverage expansion, the three-year program collects fees from employer and other private health insurance plans and channels the money to health plans that face large claims for treating patients with catastrophic medical problems.

 

 

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