AP Top News at 11:17 a.m. EDT

US congressman: Chechen extremist behind Istanbul attack
ISTANBUL (AP) - A Chechen extremist masterminded the triple suicide bombing at Istanbul's busiest airport that killed at least 44 people, a U.S. congressman said. U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told CNN that Akhmed Chatayev directed Tuesday night's attack at Ataturk Airport, one of the world's busiest, which also wounded more than 230. Turkish and Swedish media have also identified Chatayev as the organizer, although Turkish authorities have not confirmed his involvement. Sabah newspaper, which is close to the government, said police had launched a manhunt to catch him. McCaul said it is unclear where Chatayev is, but he is known to have served as a top lieutenant in the Islamic State group's war ministry.


Official: AG will accept prosecutors' call on Clinton case
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama's top lawyer won't overrule the findings of an FBI-led investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, a Justice Department official said Friday. The pledge by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which she's expected to discuss Friday at a summit in Aspen, Colorado, seems aimed at tamping down criticism that the investigation is politically tainted. Earlier this week, Lynch met privately with Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, aboard her plane on the tarmac at a Phoenix airport in what Lynch described as an impromptu social call. "The Attorney General expects to receive and accept the determinations and findings of the Department's career prosecutors and investigators, as well as the FBI Director," said the Justice Department official, who was not authorized to discuss internal decision-making in the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.


AP sources: Gingrich, Christie being vetted for Trump VP
WASHINGTON (AP) - Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has begun formally vetting prospective vice presidential picks. The New York billionaire is considering former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among what he previously described as a short list of possible running mates. Their inclusion was confirmed by people with direct knowledge of the vetting process who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly. Trump begins the vetting process with less than three weeks before the start of the Republican National Convention, when he said he would publicly unveil his pick.


Watch Top News Video




British PM hopeful Gove says no EU exit talks this year
LONDON (AP) - Justice Secretary Michael Gove argued Friday that he should be Britain's next leader because he is passionately committed to leaving the European Union - but said he would not trigger EU exit talks this year if he becomes prime minister. His comments are likely to upset and annoy EU leaders, who have put strong pressure on Britain to start talks soon on leaving the 28-nation bloc. Gove, one of the leaders of the victorious campaign to quit the bloc, is among five Conservatives running to replace Prime Minister David Cameron, who resigned after losing last week's referendum on EU membership.


AP sources: Obama to reveal civilian deaths from drones
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is expected to disclose as early as Friday the number of civilians killed in U.S. military and CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Africa since he took office and will issue an executive order that makes protecting civilians a more integral part of planning U.S. military operations, according to activists and other individuals familiar with the report. The White House is to disclose the casualties with a range of numbers indicating that an estimated 100 civilians have been inadvertently killed by 500 drone strikes since 2009. The estimate is said to cover drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia.


Tesla driver's death using car's 'Autopilot' probed by NHTSA
WASHINGTON (AP) - A driver so enamored of his Tesla Model S sedan that he nicknamed the car "Tessy" and praised the safety benefits of its sophisticated "Autopilot" system has become the first U.S. fatality in a wreck involving a car in self-driving mode. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the driver's death Thursday, and said it is investigating the design and performance of the Autopilot system. Joshua D. Brown of Canton, Ohio, the 40-year-old owner of a technology company, was killed May 7 in Williston, Florida, when his car's cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn't automatically activate its brakes, according to statements by the government and the automaker.


Are we overusing the tribute of flying flag at half-staff?
NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly every day, somewhere in the country, the Stars and Stripes was lowered to half-staff last year in one of the most significant official gestures of mourning and respect, an Associated Press analysis found. The centuries-old practice can be a visible, public answer to extraordinary loss, as when more than four dozen people were killed last month at a gay nightclub in Florida. But as the nation marks Independence Day on Monday, flag buffs have noted that the honor has been extended more widely over time, including to celebrities and police dogs. And some have questioned whether the country has lowered the bar on the lowering of the flag.


Behind famed hot dog contest, a whopper of a legend
NEW YORK (AP) - Nathan's Famous may be in the hot dog business, but for decades they've been peddling a whopper. Showmen behind Nathan's annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest have long claimed the tradition began in 1916 as a showdown between patriotic immigrants on the Coney Island boardwalk. That would make this Monday's contest a centennial, except for an inconvenient truth: The contest and its backstory were invented in the 1970s by PR men trying to get more attention for Nathan's, which had just become a publicly traded company. "Our objective was to take a photograph and get it in the New York newspaper," acknowledges Wayne Norbitz, who served as president of Nathan's for 26 years and still sits on the board of directors.


AP Interview: De Havilland breaks silence on sibling feud
PARIS (AP) - Celebrating her 100th birthday Friday, indomitable actress Olivia de Havilland is finally breaking her silence on Hollywood's most famous sibling rivalry. In a rare interview with The Associated Press, the bright-eyed two-time Oscar winner and last living remnant of Hollywood's Golden Age, has disclosed her true feelings about her late sister Joan Fontaine, revealing that she calls her "Dragon Lady." Posing on a chaise longue in a demure black dress in her Saint James Paris residence, the still-glamorous de Havilland quipped that only "the pearls are fake," before she agreed to answer more detailed questions via email - her preferred mode of communication because of her failing hearing and vision.