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AP Top News at 8:31 p.m. EDT

Pollard to be freed; US analyst spied for Israel
WASHINGTON (AP) - Jonathan Pollard, the former Navy intelligence analyst whose conviction of spying for Israel stoked fierce international passions, has been granted parole and will be released from prison in November after nearly 30 years. The decision to free Pollard from his life sentence, announced Tuesday by his lawyers and then confirmed by the Justice Department, caps an extraordinary espionage case that spurred decades of legal and diplomatic wrangling. Critics have condemned the American as a traitor who betrayed his country for money and disclosed damaging secrets, while supporters have argued that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a U.S. ally.


Obama delivers frank words about Africa's problems
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) - President Barack Obama arrived in East Africa with no big American aid packages, no ramped up U.S. military resources for fighting terror groups and no new initiatives with billions in government backing. Instead, he brought a frank message on democracy, corruption and security that could perhaps be delivered only by a Western leader viewed in Africa as a local son.


Kerry implores Congress to back Iran nuclear deal
WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry warned skeptical lawmakers not to nix the contentious nuclear deal with Iran, insisting that it includes strict inspections and other safeguards to deter cheating by Tehran. "If Congress does not support the deal, we would see this deal die - with no other options," Kerry told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday as he testified for the second time in a week, part of the Obama administration's all-out campaign to sell the accord.


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Health care spending to accelerate, US report says
WASHINGTON (AP) - The nation's respite from accelerating health care costs appears to be over. Spending on health care will outpace the nation's overall economic growth over the next decade, the government forecast on Tuesday, underscoring a coming challenge for the next president, not to mention taxpayers, businesses and individual Americans.


Jail releases more footage of Sandra Bland before her death
HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) - Texas authorities on Tuesday released several hours of footage showing Sandra Bland during her three days in jail, saying they wanted to dispel rumors that she was dead before arriving there. Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said such conspiracy theories - including one that Bland's mug shot was taken after her death - have prompted death threats against county officials.


GOP leaders plan Senate vote on Planned Parenthood aid
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate will vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood, GOP leaders said Tuesday, as anti-abortion groups clamored for action by lawmakers. Democrats said they will strongly oppose what they called the latest Republican effort to weaken women's health care programs, but stopped short of flatly predicting its defeat. The positioning came as an anti-abortion group released a third covertly recorded video of Planned Parenthood officials discussing procedures for obtaining tissue from aborted fetuses for research and showing stark close-ups of what it said was fetal tissue in a Planned Parenthood lab. The unveiling of the videos has put Planned Parenthood and many Democrats on the defensive, though there is little sign that they won't be able to head off the GOP effort.


New York prison worker pleads guilty in escape of 2 killers
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (AP) - A prison worker who was "in over her head" with two inmates convicted of murder tearfully pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of aiding them by smuggling hacksaw blades and other tools to the pair, who broke out and spent three weeks on the run. Joyce Mitchell, an instructor in the tailor shop at the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, wore shackles and prison stripes as she entered the pleas in a barely audible voice.


Zimbabwe: American being sought for lion poaching
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwean police said Tuesday they are searching for an American who allegedly shot a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil with a crossbow in a killing that has outraged conservationists and others. Authorities on Tuesday said two Zimbabwean men will appear in court for allegedly helping lure the lion outside of its protected area to kill it. The American faces poaching charges, according to police spokeswoman Charity Charamba.


Boy who lost hands to infection gets double-hand transplant
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An 8-year-old boy who lost his hands and feet to a serious infection has become the youngest patient to receive a double-hand transplant, surgeons said Tuesday. Zion Harvey's forearms were heavily bandaged but his hands were visible as he flashed some big smiles Tuesday at a hospital news conference. He demonstrated his still-delicate grip and described waking up with new hands as "weird at first, but then good."


Roger Goodell upholds Tom Brady's 4-game suspension
NEW YORK (AP) - The commissioner pointed to concealed evidence. The team described it as a folly. And the agent added sham to the lexicon of "Deflategate." Then the players' union said it would take it all to court.


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