Associated Press

AP Top News at 10:43 p.m. EDT

McCain making dramatic Senate return for crucial health vote
WASHINGTON (AP) - John McCain will make a dramatic return to the Senate for a make-or-break vote on Republican health care legislation Tuesday just days after getting diagnosed with brain cancer, giving an emotional and arithmetical boost to his party's reeling effort to repeal Obamacare. The decision by the 80-year-old senator to travel to Washington from his Arizona home was announced by his office in a brief press release late Monday night. It comes with the GOP bill to erase and replace President Barack Obama's law on the brink as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushes toward a pivotal vote Tuesday, prodded by an impatient and frustrated President Donald Trump.


Immigrants wept, pleaded for water and pounded on the truck
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The tractor-trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio. It wasn't long before the passengers, sweating profusely in the rising oven-like heat, started crying and pleading for water. Children whimpered. People took turns breathing through a single hole in the wall. They pounded on the sides of the truck and yelled to try to get the driver's attention. Then they began passing out. By the time police showed up at a Walmart in San Antonio around 12:30 a.m.


10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday: 1. WHAT KUSHNER TELLS SENATE INVESTIGATORS President Trump's son-in-law and adviser appears before a Senate panel, saying that in four meetings with Russians, he never proposed any secret forms of communication and has "nothing to hide." 2. MCCONNELL PLANS INITIAL VOTE ON HEALTH CARE BILL But the Senate majority leader did not describe precisely what version of the GOP legislation senators would be voting on, which has caused some confusion and frustration. 3. 'I HEARD CRYING - PEOPLE CRYING AND ASKING FOR WATER' Survivor Adan Lara Vega, a 27-year-old Mexican laborer, describes being inside a sweltering, pitch-dark tractor-trailer compartment during a botched smuggling attempt in which 10 immigrants died.


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Tractor-trailer survivor says people cried, asked for water
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Adan Lara Vega said he was told the $5,500 he was being charged to be smuggled into the United States would include an air-conditioned truck ride. Instead, the 27-year-old Mexican laborer climbed with his friends into a pitch-black, metal tractor-trailer compartment that lacked ventilation - a deadly oven that would claim 10 lives. "After an hour I heard ... people crying and asking for water. I, too, was sweating and people were despairing," Lara Vega told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Monday from his bed in a San Antonio hospital. "That's when I lost consciousness." By the time he regained it Sunday, he was in the hospital, where his ID bracelet identified him by the last name Lalravega.


Israel removes metal detectors from holy site entrance
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel began removing metal detectors from entrances to a major Jerusalem shrine early Tuesday morning to defuse a crisis over the site that angered the Muslim world and triggered some of the worst Israeli-Palestinian clashes in years. The Israeli security Cabinet had met for a second straight day Monday to find an alternative to the metal detectors, which were installed following a deadly Palestinian attack at the holy site. Associated Press photos showed a worker dismantling one of the devices at Lions Gate before 2:00 a.m. "The Security Cabinet accepted the recommendation of all of the security bodies to incorporate security measures based on advanced technologies ("smart checks") and other measures instead of metal detectors," Israel announced Tuesday morning.


No Russia collusion, 'nothing to hide,' Kushner tells Senate
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner answered questions from Senate investigators for hours behind closed doors Monday, acknowledging four meetings with Russians during and after Trump's victorious White House bid and insisting he had "nothing to hide." He emerged smiling to publicly declare, "All of my actions were proper." Kushner, a quiet insider who generally avoids the spotlight, was the first top Trump lieutenant to be quizzed by the congressional investigators probing Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The wealthy developer-turned-presidential adviser spoke privately with staff members of the Senate intelligence committee and will return to talk to the House intelligence panel Tuesday.


Promising 'A Better Deal,' Democrats try to rebrand party
BERRYVILLE, Va. (AP) - Promising "A Better Deal" for American workers, Democratic Party leaders rolled out a new agenda with a populist pitch on Monday aimed at winning back the working-class voters they lost to President Donald Trump in November. Democratic congressional leaders left the Beltway for small-town Berryville, Virginia, to stake a claim to competing in rural and Republican-leaning areas. Acknowledging they failed to offer a compelling economic message during the 2016 election cycle, Democrats unveiled proposals on jobs, prescription drug prices and more that they hope will resonate in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. "Too many Americans don't know what we stand for," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.


Evangelical leaders rally around Kushner amid Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) - Evangelical leaders are rallying around White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner as he meets with congressional leaders investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. A host of Christian leaders, from South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns to Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., have been taking to Twitter and releasing statements voicing their support for Kushner as he spends two days speaking with congressional investigators on Capitol Hill. "I've known Jared for many years. He's a man of integrity, character, and a great, personal friend," wrote Paula White, a gospel preacher and Trump friend who prayed at Trump's inaugural.


AP sources: Trump speaks to advisers about firing Sessions
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation. The president's anger again bubbled into public view Monday as he referred to Sessions in a tweet as "beleaguered." Privately, Trump has speculated aloud to allies in recent days about the potential consequences of firing Sessions, according to three people who have recently spoken to the president. They demanded anonymity to discuss private conversations. Trump often talks about making staff changes without following through, so those who have spoken with the president cautioned that a change may not be imminent or happen at all.


Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio park, SeaWorld said. Veterinarians were treating 3-month-old Kyara for an infection last weekend, but her health continued to decline, the Orlando-based company said in a news release. "Kyara had a tremendous impact on the entire zoological team, not to mention all of the guests that had the chance to see her," San Antonio trainer Julie Sigman said in a statement. "The heart and support that has gone into caring for her throughout Takara's pregnancy until today has been amazing.