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AP Top U.S. News At 12:42 p.m. EDT

America welcomes July 4 with hot dogs, cool music, cold beer
The United States marks 239 years as an independent nation on Saturday as it celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks, food and music. Here are some highlights and lowlights of Independence Day celebrations across the globe:...

Forgiveness of Charleston church shooter prompts discussion
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Under an outdoor tent a few blocks from Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharon Simmons paused while cleaning up from the previous night's revival to ponder the idea of forgiving the white man accused of killing nine of the historic black church's members, including the pastor....

A year on, children caught on border struggle to stay, adapt
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- At 1-year-old, a wide-eyed, restless Joshua Tinoco faces the prospect of deportation to his native Honduras, one of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border last year....

Owners of former Vick dogfighting house clash with county
SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) -- The black two-story shed still stands out back at 1915 Moonlight Road - a haunting reminder of the brutal dog fights that took place upstairs when NFL quarterback Michael Vick owned the place....

Ohio community seeks clues, fights fear after 6 women vanish
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) -- The fate of six women - four of them dead, two missing for months - have people on edge in this small southern Ohio city as relatives seek clues, seemingly in vain, to whatever happened to their loved ones....

Texas wants its gold back inside the state's borders
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Forget Fort Knox or the Federal Reserve. Texas has decided to start keeping its gold holdings within in its own borders. But what makes sense politically in such a sovereignty-loving place is creating a logistical conundrum....

After year of Washington legal pot sales, taxes top $70M
SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington launched its second-in-the-nation legal marijuana market with just a handful of stores selling high-priced pot to long lines of customers. A year later, the state has about 160 shops open, tax revenues have soared past expectations and sales top $1.4 million per day....

Government faces burden in proving airlines worked together
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other....

66 riders safely evacuated after 400-foot Ferris wheel stops
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the largest Ferris wheel on East Coast, an incident that shut down the attraction that towers 400 feet over central Florida, authorities said....

New tune for piano-playing senator: Revised education policy
WASHINGTON (AP) -- How does a musician-senator fill the time during yet another partisan Senate stalemate?...

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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
Matt Stonie tops Joey Chestnut in hot dog eating contest

Ohio community seeks clues, fights fear after 6 women vanish

3-day Milwaukee County bus drivers' strike ends

America welcomes July 4 with hot dogs, cool music, cold beer

After year of Washington legal pot sales, taxes top $70M

Exhibit opens July 4 about black experience in WW2

A year on, children caught on border struggle to stay, adapt

Forgiveness of Charleston church shooter prompts discussion

66 riders safely evacuated after 400-foot Ferris wheel stops

Owners of former Vick dogfighting house clash with county