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AP Top U.S. News at 7:36 p.m. EDT

Venturing to Mexico, Trump defends right to build huge wall
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- On Mexican soil for the first time as the Republican presidential nominee, a firm but measured Donald Trump defended the right of the United States to build a massive border wall along its southern flank, standing up for the centerpiece of his immigration plan in a country where he is widely despised....

Troopers say no survivors in Alaska midair crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- All those on board two small planes died in a midair collision Wednesday in western Alaska, state troopers said....

Man freed after 1995 double-murder conviction tossed
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- A North Carolina man was freed from jail Wednesday after a judge tossed his conviction in a double-murder case tried 21 years ago by the prosecutor who was later disbarred for lying and misconduct in the Duke University lacrosse rape case....

AP Explains: National anthem is icon of patriotism, protest
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's recent decision to not stand during the national anthem as a way of protesting police killings of unarmed black men has drawn support and scorn far beyond sports. The Associated Press explains how "The Star-Spangled Banner" became a ritual of American public life, its complicated racial origins and how the song has been used as a form of political resistance....

Officials: Woman kidnapped by husband dead, man brain-dead
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A man accused of kidnapping his wife while he was under home confinement on charges he beat and abducted her two months ago has been declared brain dead following a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Wednesday....

NYPD might not say if officer in chokehold death is punished
NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City might never tell the public if the police officer at the center of the Eric Garner chokehold death case is disciplined, the mayor and police commissioner indicated this week after reaching a new interpretation of a 40-year-old state civil rights law....

FSU player eats lunch with autistic student sitting alone
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Thanks to a college football player's small gesture of kindness, it could be a long time before a mother will have to worry again about her autistic son eating lunch alone....

To quell uproar, Maine governor seeking 'spiritual guidance'
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- Republican Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday he intends to seek "spiritual guidance" in hopes of quieting a controversy he created when he left an obscene message on a Democratic lawmaker's voicemail and then said he wished he could challenge him to a duel and point a gun at him....

Hurricane warning downgraded for Hawaii's Big Island
HILO, Hawaii (AP) -- Forecasters on Wednesday downgraded a previously issued warning for Hawaii's Big Island, saying Hurricane Madeline would likely weaken to a tropical storm as it passes to the south of the island....

Indian-Americans, 'Horsetown USA' clash over building plans
NORCO, Calif. (AP) -- The Southern California city of Norco markets itself as "Horsetown USA," and it's not unusual for cowboy hat-wearing residents to head out for lunch or run errands on horseback in its Old West-styled downtown....

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US Video
Interactives
A year after the Gulf oil spill, problems remain
Local governments spent BP money with abandon
Civil War celebrations stir controversy
States' attempts to resist health care reform
A look at extremist attacks on the U.S. government
Gun law changes across the U.S.
A look inside the Statue of Liberty
A look around the Statue of Liberty
A look at Guantanamo's history
Up to the Minute
Evacuations lifted, California fire now 45 percent contained

Hurricane warning downgraded for Hawaii's Big Island

FBI seeks public's help in Indiana girl's 2005 killing

NYPD might not say if officer in chokehold death is punished

Uranium miner agrees to fix radioactive sludge leaks

Troopers say no survivors in Alaska midair crash

UN body says Sioux must have say in pipeline project

Woman whose feticide conviction overturned to be released

US high court refuses to reinstate North Carolina voter ID

Oil pipeline protesters disrupt construction sites