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The Associated Press
AP Top News at 10:41 a.m. EDT

Obama passes baton to Clinton, imploring nation to elect her
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hours of testimonials, urgent pleas and persuasion have led to this. Now, it's time to hear from Hillary Clinton. The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state on Thursday will step out of the shadows of presidents past and present for her moment to convince Americans that she is the best choice to helm a nation looking for a new era of leadership. President Barack Obama anointed her the inheritor of his legacy Wednesday night at the Democratic convention. Delivering a passionate case for his one-time rival, Obama declared Clinton not only can defeat the "deeply pessimistic vision" of Republican Donald Trump but also realize the "promise of this great nation." "She's been there for us, even if we haven't always noticed," he said.


Trump: Comments about Russia, Clinton emails were sarcastic
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump says he was using sarcasm when he prodded Russia to unearth Hillary Clinton's missing emails. But Democrats aren't likely to let the Republican presidential nominee's extraordinary comments simply fade away. "Of course I'm being sarcastic," Trump said Thursday on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," a day after his remarks at a news conference ignited fierce debate over hacking and his urging of a global adversary to meddle in American politics. Trump's invitation to Russia to find and reveal emails by his rival for the White House came on the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.


AP FACT CHECK: Many claims, some warped
WASHINGTON (AP) - It's hot out there, politically speaking, with Hillary Clinton's convention going full steam and Donald Trump refusing to stay quiet while Democrats put on their big show. Reality is sometimes getting warped in the process. A look at some claims Wednesday and how they compare with the facts, on a day packed with a lengthy news conference by Trump and evening convention speeches by high-powered Democrats, capped by President Barack Obama: OBAMA: "After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody." THE FACTS: Obama's health care overhaul does guarantee that people with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied health insurance, but it also made coverage an obligation for everybody.


Merkel: Germany 'will manage' challenge after attacks
BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged Thursday to do "everything humanly possible" to keep Germany safe following a string of attacks - including two carried out by asylum-seekers and claimed by the Islamic State group that she said mocked the country that took in the assailants. The attacks brought Merkel fresh criticism for her decision last year to welcome refugees. More than 1 million asylum-seekers were registered in Germany in 2015, although the influx has since slowed dramatically. Merkel said at a news conference that Germany will "stick to our principles" and give shelter to those who deserve it. "We will manage this," she said, repeating a mantra she coined last August.


N. Korea: US has crossed red line, relations on war footing
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - North Korea's top diplomat for U.S. affairs told The Associated Press on Thursday that Washington "crossed the red line" and effectively declared war by putting leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals, and said a vicious showdown could erupt if the U.S. and South Korea hold annual war games as planned next month. Han Song Ryol, director-general of the U.S. affairs department at the North's Foreign Ministry, said in an interview that recent U.S. actions have put the situation on the Korean Peninsula on a war footing. The United States and South Korea regularly conduct joint military exercises south of the Demilitarized Zone, and Pyongyang typically responds to them with tough talk and threats of retaliation.


French ID 2nd church attacker; police had warning about him
PARIS (AP) - French officials on Thursday identified the second man who attacked a Normandy church during morning Mass, saying he's a 19-year-old from eastern France who was spotted last month in Turkey as he supposedly headed to Syria - but who returned to France instead. The prosecutor's office identified him as Abdel-Malik Nabil Petitjean following DNA tests on his corpse. A security official confirmed that he was the unidentified man pictured on a photo distributed to French police on July 22 with a warning that he could be planning an attack. Four days later, Petitjean and another 19-year-old local man, Adel Kermiche, stormed the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass on Tuesday.


Pope Francis misses step, falls down before Mass in Poland
CZESTOCHOWA, Poland (AP) - Pope Francis missed a step and fell to the ground Thursday as he walked on an open-air platform to celebrate Mass at Poland's holiest shrine of Jasna Gora. In a dramatic moment, the 79-year-old Francis, walking in his long robe with an incense holder in his hand, did not notice a step down from the platform and fell to the ground before the altar. Francis braced his fall with his left hand and priests around him rushed to help, with Mons. Guido Marini, an aide, helping him back to his feet. The Mass proceeded as planned and the pope delivered a long homily before tens of thousands of faithful gathered at the foot of the Jasna Gora monastery in Poland's southern city of Czestochowa.


Individuals, agencies dodge blame as Freddie Gray case ends
BALTIMORE (AP) - Fourteen months after the death of a black man whose neck was broken in a police van prompted massive protests, spawned rioting and toppled the careers of Baltimore's police commissioner and a Democratic mayor poised for re-election, authorities abandoned efforts to punish the officers involved. The city's top prosecutor was righteous in her rage Wednesday as she made official what was already clear after four failed attempts to prosecute: no one will go to jail for Freddie Gray's death. Earlier in the day, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby had dropped the cases against the rest of the six police officers charged in Gray's death after prosecutors had suffered blow after crippling blow as a judge acquitted three others in rapid succession.


He's a skydiver working with a net _ but no parachute
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - He's made 18,000 parachute jumps, helped train some of the world's most elite skydivers, done some of the stunts for "Ironman 3." But the plunge Luke Aikins knows he'll be remembered for is the one he's making without a parachute. Or a wingsuit. Or anything, really, other than the clothes he'll be wearing when he jumps out of an airplane at 25,000 feet this weekend, attempting to become the first person to land safely on the ground in a net. The Fox network will broadcast the two-minute jump live at 8 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. PDT) Saturday as part of an hour-long TV special called "Heaven Sent." And, no, you don't have to tell Aikins it sounds crazy.


Warren Sapp bitten by shark during Florida Keys lobster trip
MARATHON, Fla. (AP) - Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp is OK after being bitten on the arm by a shark while catching lobster off the Florida Keys. A photo posted by a fishing charter boat's account on Instagram Wednesday appears to show Sapp's arm with a deep gash. Charter captain Jack Carlson tells The Tampa Bay Times Sapp was bit while reaching for a lobster the shark was also going after. He says Sapp is OK, but might need stitches. The captain says someone who saw the fish thought it might have been a nurse shark, about 4 feet long.