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Obama passes baton to Clinton, imploring nation to elect her
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Hillary Clinton has the stage. Stepping out of the shadows of presidents past, the former first lady, senator and vanquished-candidate-turned-secretary-of-state appeared unannounced on the platform at her nominating convention, pointed a finger at President Barack Obama and gave him a hug. Clinton had just been anointed the inheritor of Obama's legacy with his vigorous endorsement speech, the candidate who could realize the "promise of this great nation." "She's been there for us, even if we haven't always noticed," Obama said Wednesday, imploring the country to elect the woman he defeated eight years ago. Summoning his most famous line from that campaign, Obama said: "If you're serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue.


Analysis: Obama hopes Clinton can fix what he could not
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Eight years ago, Barack Obama cast himself as the rare candidate who could transcend the polarizing "politics of the past" and bridge divides that had left Washington barely functioning for years. Ultimately, the gulf was too wide - if anything, the political climate in the United States worsened. So, standing before the last, biggest audience he has left, Obama on Wednesday found a successor to carry forward the hopes and aspirations that once rallied millions to his side. "It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know," Obama told an adoring audience as he extolled Hillary Clinton for president.


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.


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10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. OBAMA PASSES BATON TO CLINTON Hillary Clinton has the stage, after the president named her the inheritor of his legacy and the candidate who could realize the "promise of this great nation." 2. DEMOCRATIC DONORS, ALLIES OFFER REWARD FOR TRUMP TAX RETURNS The Republican nominee breaks decades of presidential campaign tradition by refusing to release his filings and some offer money for charity if the documents become public. 3. WHERE RUSSIA ANNOUNCES HUMANITARIAN OPERATION Moscow and the Syrian government will open corridors for civilians in Aleppo and offer a way out for rebels wanting to lay down their arms.


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 second church attacker; warning 4 days earlier
PARIS (AP) - Officials on Thursday identified the second man who attacked a Normandy church during a morning Mass this week, saying he is 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. A security official confirmed that he was the unidentified man pictured on a photo distributed to police four days earlier with a warning that he could be planning an attack. Petitjean and another 19-year-old, Adel Kermiche, were killed by police as they left the church Tuesday in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray after having fatally slashed the throat of the elderly priest.


Pope leads Mass celebrating Poland's deep Catholic roots
CZESTOCHOWA, Poland (AP) - Pope Francis, visiting a shrine cherished by Poles, praised native son St. John Paul II on Thursday as a "meek and powerful" herald of mercy, and honored the countless "ordinary yet remarkable people" in Poland who held firm to their Catholic faith throughout adversity in the former Communist nation. The Argentine pontiff, who had never had set foot in Eastern Europe before this week's five-day pilgrimage, gazed in awe for several minutes as he studied the Jasna Gora monastery shrine's iconic image of the so-called Black Madonna and Child. The faces in the images are blackened by centuries of varnish and candle soot since the artwork became the object of veneration, starting in the 14th century.


The Latest: UN envoy mulls working with Russia on Syria aid
The U.N. envoy for Syria says he wants to see how the United Nations could coordinate with Russia on its plan to help civilians and opposition fighters who lay down their weapons outside the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Staffan de Mistura says the city is "de facto" besieged after Russian-backed Syrian government forces and their allied troops closed in on Aleppo's main rebel enclave. De Mistura told reporters on Thursday that he understood Russian military experts "and perhaps (some) from the U.S." were headed to Geneva, "most likely in order to discuss the devils in the details" of the two powers' efforts to end the fighting in Syria.


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, no one will go to jail for the death. The city's top prosecutor was righteous in her rage Wednesday as she stood behind a lectern perched at the intersection where Freddie Gray was arrested in April 2015. 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.

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