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AP Top News at 2:31 a.m. EDT

Obama ready to face historic, haunted ground of Hiroshima
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) - Convinced that the time for this moment is right at last, President Barack Obama on Friday will become the first American president to confront the historic and haunted ground of Hiroshima. Here, at this place of so much suffering, where U.S. forces dropped the atomic bomb that gave birth to the nuclear age, Obama will pay tribute to the 140,000 people who died from the attack seven decades ago. He will not apologize. He will not second-guess President Harry Truman's decision to unleash the awful power of nuclear weapons. He will not dissect Japanese aggression in World War II.


Obama's every gesture will be scrutinized in Hiroshima visit
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) - Every gesture. Every word uttered or avoided. Every person Barack Obama speaks with, listens to and stands beside in Hiroshima. All of it will help determine the success of a trip with huge potential political and diplomatic pitfalls, both in America and Asia. The leader of the United States is already one of the world's most watched people. But that daily scrutiny will be magnified exponentially when Obama makes the first presidential journey to the place where the first atomic bomb attack killed tens of thousands 71 years ago. Obama's mere presence among the nightmare images of death and destruction that linger in Hiroshima will be what most casual observers will remember.


Visitors to Hiroshima memorial reflect on Obama's visit
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) - Visitors to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on Friday had this to say ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit later in the day. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to come to Hiroshima, a city devastated by a U.S.-dropped atomic bomb at the end of World War II. --- KINUYO IKEGAMI, 82, who lit incense and chanted a prayer at stone memorial in the park "I could hear schoolchildren screaming, "Help me! Help me!' It was too pitiful, too horrible. Even now it fills me with emotion." --- TSUGUO YOSHIKAWA, 70, retired Hiroshima resident taking a walk in the park "I don't think most Japanese and Hiroshima citizens have much sense of grudge any longer.


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How Alibaba won _ and lost _ a friend in Washington
SHANGHAI (AP) - In 2011, a respected anti-counterfeiting coalition in Washington escalated its fight against the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, saying its websites served as a 24-hour market "for counterfeiters and pirates" and should be blacklisted. Fast forward to 2016. The same lobbying group, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, reversed its position. Alibaba had become "one of our strongest partners." The group welcomed Alibaba as a member and invited its celebrated founder, Jack Ma, to be the keynote speaker at its spring conference in Orlando, Florida. This is the tale of how one of China's corporate giants won - and ultimately lost - a friend in Washington, using legal methods long deployed by corporate America: money and influence.


West Bank outpost's impending evacuation a test for Israel
AMONA OUTPOST, West Bank (AP) - The fate of 50 white caravans perched atop a West Bank hill in the Amona settler outpost is emerging as a key test for Benjamin Netanyahu's newly-expanded hard-line government. Under a Supreme Court order, the government must tear down the outpost by the end of the year - a move expected to face staunch opposition from within the coalition and pit security forces against the wishes of leading members of the Cabinet. Amona is the largest of about 100 unauthorized outposts - built without permission but generally tolerated by the government - that dot the West Bank.


G7 leaders pledge collective action on sagging global growth
SHIMA, Japan (AP) - The leaders of the Group of Seven rich economies pledged Friday to "collectively tackle" major risks to global growth, including direct political threats to the international order from terrorist attacks, violent extremism and refugee flows. Meeting at a seaside resort with expansive views of a scenic bay and emerald-green islands, G-7 leaders wrapped up their annual summit Friday in central Japan claiming a "special responsibility" for leading international efforts to cope with those challenges. They also committed to a cooperative approach in beefing up policies to stimulate and sustain growth of their sluggish economies. "Weak demand and unaddressed structural problems are the key factors weighing on actual and potential growth," they said in a declaration.


Over the top: Trump sews up delegates to seal GOP nomination
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Triumphantly armed with a majority of his party's delegates, Republican Donald Trump unleashed a broadside attack Thursday on Hillary Clinton's prescriptions for energy, guns, the economy and international affairs, shifting abruptly toward the general election with his likely Democratic opponent locked in a divisive primary contest. The New York billionaire shrugged off signs of discord in his party hours after sewing up the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, a feat that completed an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign. "Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can't close the deal," Trump crowed during an appearance in North Dakota.


Trump agrees to debate Sanders but sets stiff price
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump has provisionally accepted Bernie Sanders' proposal to debate, but the billionaire is setting a high price for participating. His condition: The hosting TV network would have to put up millions of dollars for charity. Representatives for Fox News, ABC News and CBS News say the networks are interested in hosting such a showdown but would not comment on whether they'd be willing to put up the $10 million Trump is demanding for women's health causes. "We're always interested in more opportunities to hear from the candidates," said ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend. Trump said Thursday a host network would make millions from sky-high ratings and should agree to turn over at least $10 million to women's health causes.


Final vote on impeachment could come 3 days before Olympics
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The Rio de Janeiro Olympics have been upstaged by the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. And it could get worse. Brazil Sen. Antonio Anastasia has said the final vote on removing Rousseff should come on Aug. 2 - just three days before the Olympics officially open in Rio de Janeiro. Rousseff was suspended from office for 180 days by a Senate vote earlier this month, with Michel Temer taking over as acting president. The impeachment trial must take place within six months, and Temer wants it sooner rather than later. Rio's Olympics have been plagued with numerous problems: the Zika virus, deep budgets cuts, severe water pollution, slow ticket sales and rising fears around security.


Group escapes Kentucky cave through neck-deep water
HORSE CAVE, Ky. (AP) - Gary Russell was a mile deep in a Kentucky cave Thursday afternoon, leading a group of geology students on a five-hour tour, when he turned a corner and saw water rushing by where water wasn't supposed to be. He had no way to communicate with the outside world. He had no idea that a flash flood was pouring through the cave's passages toward them, or that dozens of rescuers were already gathering at the entrance to begin a perilous hourslong journey to rescue them. All he knew was that water wasn't supposed to be this deep in the cave, and that meant trouble.


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