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AP Top News at 9:58 p.m. EDT

'Juice' will be loose: OJ Simpson granted parole in robbery
LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) - O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel-room heist, successfully making his case for freedom in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star. Simpson, 70, could be released as early as Oct. 1. By then, he will have served the minimum of his nine-to-33-year sentence for a bungled attempt to snatch sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him. During the more than hourlong hearing on live TV, Simpson was, by turns, remorseful, jovial and defensive, heatedly insisting the items taken in the armed robbery were "my stuff." At one point, the murder defendant in the 1995 "Trial of the Century" set off a storm of sarcasm and incredulity on social media when he said, "I've basically spent a conflict-free life, you know." All four parole commissioners who conducted the hearing voted for his release after a half-hour of deliberations.


Even with Trump warning, Mueller likely to probe finances
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's growing anxiety about the federal Russia probe has spilled into public view with his warning that special counsel Robert Mueller would be out of bounds if he dug into the Trump family's finances. But that's a line that Mueller seems sure to cross. Several of Trump's family members and close advisers have already become ensnared in the investigations, including son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. Probing the family's sprawling business ties would bring an investigation the president has called a partisan "witch hunt" even closer to the Oval Office.


10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday: 1. WHO IS FREE ON PAROLE A gray-haired, 70-year-old O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. He will walk free as soon as Oct. 1. 2. SESSIONS VOWS TO STAY ON Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for recusing himself from Trump campaign investigations, says he has no immediate plans to resign and will stay as the country's top prosecutor for "as long as that is appropriate." 3.


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The Latest: Greek officials say more than 100 hurt in quake
Greek officials say more than 100 people have been injured in a powerful earthquake that shook islands and Turkey's Aegean coast in the middle of the night. Giorgos Halkidios, a regional government official for the island of Kos, said an older building there collapsed, hurting people underneath it. He said more than 100 were injured. At least two deaths were reported on Kos, which appeared to be the worst-hit area and was nearest to the epicenter of the quake Greek officials measured at 6.5 magnitude. The quake about 1:30 a.m. Friday was centered between Bodrum, Turkey, and Kos and was followed by several aftershocks.


CIA director: Moscow loves to 'stick it to America'
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday that Russia is interested in staying in Syria, partly because they "love to stick it to America." Asked if Russia is America's friend or adversary, Pompeo replied: "It's complicated." He said he's happy to work with Moscow on counterterrorism issues, but that it's clear that Russians "find anyplace they can to make our lives more difficult." Pompeo spoke at the Aspen Security Forum, an annual gathering of intelligence and national security officials and experts in Aspen, Colorado. Pompeo also said that Iran's work to gain a foothold in Syria is only one example of its aim to become the "kingpin" of the Middle East.


Analysis: Trump's Sessions remarks show penchant for shaming
WASHINGTON (AP) - The art of humiliation appears to be a key operating principle for President Donald Trump, and his remarks about Attorney General Jeff Sessions are the latest example of the ease with which the president is willing to air grievances about members of his team. Trump took on Sessions in an interview Wednesday with The New York Times, criticizing the former U.S. senator and early Trump campaign supporter for recusing himself from the FBI investigation into possible ties between Trump's campaign and Russia. Trump called Sessions' decision to step aside "very unfair to the president" and added that he would have chosen someone else to lead the Justice Department if he'd had any inkling that Sessions would take such a step.


US says ban on laptops in airplane cabins has been lifted
DALLAS (AP) - The ban on laptops in the cabins of planes flying from the Middle East to the U.S. is over, as federal officials say that large airports in the region have taken other steps to increase security. Those measures include checking electronic devices to make sure they don't contain a bomb, and pulling more people out of airport lines for additional screening. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Thursday that all airlines and airports with flights departing for the U.S. had met the agency's first phase of new security measures, which were announced in late June but not described in any detail.


Cancer isn't silencing McCain in career's latest chapter
WASHINGTON (AP) - John McCain couldn't bring himself to vote for Donald Trump - so he talked about writing in his best friend's name for president. After the election, he's been the leading Senate Republican critic of Trump's posture toward Russia. And from his Arizona home, where he's battling brain cancer, the Arizona senator on Thursday lobbed a new attack at the White House over its Syria policy. The grave medical diagnosis hit the six-term senator just as he was settling into the latest notable role in his storied career. The ex-prisoner of war, former GOP presidential nominee and onetime standard-bearer of the political Straight Talk Express has emerged as a voice for what some Republicans feel is a party lost in the Trump era.


Publicly assailed by Trump, Sessions says he's staying on
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly skewered by his boss for stepping clear of the Russia-Trump investigations, declared Thursday he still loves his job and plans to stay on. Yet Donald Trump's airing of his long-simmering frustrations with Sessions raised significant new questions about the future of the nation's top prosecutor. The White House was quick to insist that the president "has confidence" in Sessions. However, the episode underscored how the attorney general's crime-fighting agenda is being overshadowed by his fractured relationship with Trump and the continuing investigations into allegations of Russian ties to the Republican candidate's presidential campaign.


GOP leaders plan Tuesday health vote, it's an uphill climb
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican leaders pushed toward a Senate vote next Tuesday on resurrecting their nearly flat-lined health care bill. Their uphill drive was further complicated by the ailing GOP Sen. John McCain's potential absence and a dreary report envisioning that the number of uninsured Americans would soar. The White House and GOP leaders fished Thursday for ways to win over recalcitrant senators, including an administration proposal to let states use Medicaid funds to help people buy their own private health insurance. But there were no indications they'd ensured the votes needed to even start debating the party's legislative keystone, a bill scuttling and supplanting President Barack Obama's health care law.

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