AP Top News at 2:52 p.m. EDT

Scaramucci lobs grenades in already chaotic White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci went after chief of staff Reince Priebus on Thursday as a suspected "leaker" inside the West Wing in a pull-no-punches interview that laid bare the personality clashes and internal turmoil of Donald Trump's presidency. "The fish stinks from the head down," Scaramucci said after calling in to CNN for an interview that he said was authorized by Trump, the only person to whom Scaramucci reports. A say-anything New Yorker like his boss, Scaramucci challenged Priebus to come forward and say publicly that he's not a leaker. In the clearest sign yet that the president and his new communications director are cut from the same cloth, Scaramucci has spent the past 24 hours publicly complaining about the "leak" of a public document, speculating on Twitter and calling in to television shows.


GOP seeks support for narrow version of "Obamacare" repeal
WASHINGTON (AP) - Battered by repeated failures to repeal or replace "Obamacare," Senate GOP leaders retreated to a narrow approach Thursday that would undo just a few of the most unpopular elements of Barack Obama's law. Democrats vowed opposition as the Senate prepared for a bizarre Capitol Hill ritual, a "vote-a-rama" on amendments that promised to last into the wee hours of Friday morning. The so-called "skinny repeal" was being touted as a way for Republicans to get something, anything, out of the Senate after frittering away the first six months of Donald Trump's presidency trying unsuccessfully to get rid of the current law.


Senators prepare bill to block firing of special counsel
WASHINGTON (AP) - Warning of "holy hell" to pay if the president fires Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a top Senate Republican is working to prevent the potential end result, the dismissal of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is working on legislation that would block the firing of special counsels without judicial review. Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said Thursday they are among the senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are working with Graham on the effort. Despite a drumbeat of criticism from President Donald Trump, congressional Republicans have expressed strong support for former FBI Director Mueller, who was appointed earlier this year to investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S.


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Clashes erupt at Jerusalem shrine as Muslims return to pray
JERUSALEM (AP) - Clashes erupted Thursday at a sacred shrine in Jerusalem as thousands of Muslims rushed to pray at the site for the first time in nearly two weeks following Israel's removal of security devices installed there after a deadly attack. Israeli police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as Palestinians threw stones in the walled compound that is holy to both Muslims and Jews. The Palestinian Red Crescent said 37 Palestinians were wounded, including some by rubber bullets and beatings. It said several people suffered broken bones. The new violence in Jerusalem's Old City came shortly after worshippers rushed to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque that was reopened following an 11-day Muslim prayer boycott over the Israeli security measures.


In US first, scientists edit genes of human embryos
For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. The experiment was just an exercise in science - the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news. Officials at Oregon Health & Science University confirmed Thursday that the work took place there and said results would be published in a journal soon. It is thought to be the first such work in the U.S.; previous experiments like this have been reported from China.


Thrill ride OK'd hours before deadly state fair accident
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Inspectors repeatedly looked over a thrill ride while it was assembled at the Ohio State Fair and signed off on it hours before it flew apart in a deadly accident that flung passengers through the air, according to authorities and records released Thursday. Investigators on Thursday worked to find what caused the opening-day wreck that killed a high school student who had just enlisted in the Marines and injured seven other people, including four teenagers. Gov. John Kasich shut down all rides at the fair and ordered them inspected again. He said it was too early to say whether inspectors missed something that led to the tragedy Wednesday night.


FBI: Man says he killed wife on cruise over her laughing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A Utah man killed his wife aboard an Alaska cruise and told an acquaintance who later walked into the blood-splattered cabin that he did it because she would not stop laughing at him, the FBI said in documents released Thursday. Kenneth Manzanares was found in the couple's room on the Princess Cruises ship Tuesday night with blood on his hands and clothes and blood spread throughout the cabin, according to a criminal complaint by FBI Special Agent Michael L. Watson. The agency said the 39-year-old woman, identified only as K.M., had a severe head wound but didn't reveal any other details about her death.


Brazil church rejects abuse claims detailed in AP stories
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - One of Word of Faith Fellowship's two churches in Brazil has rejected claims made by former members that they were subjected to physical and verbal abuse at the hands of ministers and that young congregants were sent to the mother church in North Carolina and forced to work without pay. The allegations were detailed in investigative stories published by The Associated Press this week. In a statement released late Wednesday, pastors of the Ministerio Evangelico Comunidade Rhema church in Franco da Rocha, Brazil, called the former members' accusations "many lies and distorted facts." The statement, published in the Folha de S.


Marine dog with cancer gets tear-filled farewell
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) - Hundreds of people in Michigan came together to salute and say a tear-filled final goodbye to a cancer-stricken dog who served three tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines. Cena the black lab received a hero's farewell Wednesday before being euthanized at a museum ship in Muskegon and carried off in a flag-draped coffin. Cena was a bomb-sniffer for the Marines until his retirement in 2014. He then became a service dog for Lance Cpl. Jeff DeYoung, Cena's first wartime partner. Cena was recently diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. DeYoung organized the celebration for the dog. He says he wanted to take his dog on one last ride in a topless Jeep before Cena was put down.


Fox spends bucks to poke fun at The New York Times
NEW YORK (AP) - Fox News Channel gave The New York Times more than $100,000 to poke fun at the newspaper. Fox ran a full-page advertisement in Times on Thursday, blurbing a recent review that called the "Fox & Friends" morning show "the most powerful TV show in America." Television critic James Poniewozik's review wasn't exactly complimentary, as it traced the show's close relationship with the nation's tweeter-in-chief, President Donald Trump. Fox ran full-page ads Thursday in the Times, the Washington Post and New York Post. The network wouldn't say how much it spent. The Times' ad rates say a full-page ad with color generally runs around $130,000.