AP Top U.S. News at 7:06 p.m. EDT

Wrapped: Charlottesville covers Confederate statues in black
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Workers in Charlottesville draped giant black covers over two statues of Confederate generals on Wednesday to symbolize the city's mourning for a woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally....

Tribal coalition joins blitz to save national monument areas
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Conservation and tribal groups are airing TV ads, sending letters to President Donald Trump and creating parody websites in a last-minute blitz to stop Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from downsizing or eliminating national monument areas that cover large swaths of land and water from Maine to California....

Federal judge again tosses out Texas voter ID law
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A federal judge Wednesday again threw out Texas' voter ID requirements that she previously compared to a "poll tax" on minorities, dealing another court setback to state Republican leaders over voting rights....

Man pleads not guilty in wife's death during Alaska cruise
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- A Utah man charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife on a cruise to Alaska pleaded not guilty during a Wednesday hearing in which he appeared to become emotional at times....

Pence in Florida: US won't stand by as Venezuela crumbles
DORAL, Fla. (AP) -- Vice President Mike Pence addressed a sympathetic crowd of Venezuelans in South Florida and pledged the U.S. will use its economic and diplomatic power to push for free elections....

Parks Service issues permit for San Francisco rally
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Federal authorities on Wednesday issued a permit to a politically conservative group for a Saturday afternoon rally in San Francisco that local officials fear could turn violent....

Former officer injects new racial element in 2014 slaying
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A white former police officer is headed for a fourth trial in the killing of his daughter's black boyfriend, but Shannon Kepler has recently added another racial element to the case: He now says prosecutors can't try him because he's a member of an American Indian tribe....

Lawsuit: School created culture of abuse and excessive force
A Pittsburgh-area school with a history of racial tension created a culture of verbal abuse and excessive force that allowed resource officers to shock students with stun guns and body-slam them, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday....

California dad gets 25 to life in son's smothering death
ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) -- A California father who admitted killing his 5-year-old son amid a bitter divorce and custody battle was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison at a hearing where his sobbing estranged wife wished him eternal hell....

Violence in Charlottesville leads to soul-searching at ACLU
NEW YORK (AP) -- Faced with an angry backlash for defending white supremacists' right to march in Charlottesville, the American Civil Liberties Union is confronting a feeling among some of its members that was once considered heresy: Maybe some speech isn't worth defending....

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AP Photo/Steve Helber
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