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AP Top News at 2:43 p.m. EDT

AP-GfK poll: Most Trump supporters doubt election legitimacy
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Donald Trump's dubious claims the presidential election is "rigged" have taken root among most of his supporters, who say they will have serious doubts about the legitimacy of the election's outcome if Hillary Clinton wins, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Just 35 percent of Trump's supporters say they will most likely accept the results of the election as legitimate if Clinton wins, while 64 percent say they're more likely to have serious doubts about the accuracy of the vote count if the Republican nominee is not the victor. "Of course I believe it's rigged, and of course I won't accept the results," said Mike Cannilla, 53, a Trump supporter from the New York borough of Staten Island.

Trump U staff included drug trafficker, child molester
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump says he hand-picked only the best to teach success at Trump University. But dozens of those hired by the company had checkered pasts - including serious financial problems and even convictions for cocaine trafficking or child molestation, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP identified 107 people listed as speakers and staff on more than 21,000 pages of customer-satisfaction surveys the Republican presidential nominee has released as part of his defense against three lawsuits. Trump and his attorneys have said repeatedly that the surveys show the overwhelming majority of participants were satisfied. However, the suits allege his namesake real-estate seminars were a massive fraud designed to "upsell" students into buying course packages costing as much as $35,000.

Majority of oil pipeline protesters retreat from police
CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) - Armed soldiers and law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear and driving trucks, military Humvees and buses moved in Thursday to force Dakota Access pipeline protesters off private land where they had camped to block construction. Sirens blared and officials told protesters over a loudspeaker to move out. Two helicopters and an airplane monitored the operation from the air. The majority of the protesters were retreating from the confrontation on a highway outside the camp but still not leaving the area on private land. Protesters tried to slow the authorities by parking cars on the highway near the camp in North Dakota and slashing vehicle tires.

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UN says school attack potential war crime
BEIRUT (AP) - The UN's children's agency on Thursday raised the death toll from a brutal attack the previous day on a school in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province to 28, including 22 children and six teachers, and suggested it may have been the deadliest attack on a school in the country's civil war. The airstrikes struck the village of Hass around midday Wednesday, hitting a residential compound that houses a school complex. The Syrian Civil Defense first responder team and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that the airstrikes killed at least 35 people, mostly children.

Twitter cuts staff, kills off Vine app amid pressure to grow
NEW YORK (AP) - Twitter, seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money, is cutting about 9 percent of its employees worldwide. It is also killing off Vine, a mobile video app where people share short video clips that play in a loop. While beloved by users and a pioneer in its own right, Vine, which launched in 2013, never took off with the masses and has lost its luster as of late. Twitter has failed to keep pace with rivals Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and in recent months, rumors abounded that it would be acquired. In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey quickly brushed aside what he called "recent market speculation." He said the company is committed to growing long-term shareholder value, and that he doesn't plan to comment "any further on this topic." Shares of Twitter, which have tumbled 27 percent in the past month as possible suitors have wandered away, rose 34 cents, or 2 percent, to $17.63 in afternoon trading on Thursday.

Italy quakes take out buildings standing after August jolt
CAMERINO, Italy (AP) - The red brick Amatrice city hall resisted the devastating Aug. 24 quake that collapsed buildings all around it, only to crumble under the one-two punch of lesser jolts Wednesday night. They also brought down a centuries-old church tower in Camerino that had withstood both a quake in 1997 and the one in August. The twin aftershocks Wednesday may have exacted a lesser human toll than the August quake that preceded them, with no one killed under rubble and no reports of serious injuries. But they revealed structural weakness in the mountainous quake-prone zone straddling the Marche and Umbria regions, and added more psychological stress to already traumatized inhabitants.

NYC firefighter stages dramatic rescue in fatal blaze
NEW YORK (AP) - As roaring flames consumed an apartment building in New York City early Thursday, a firefighter dangling from a rope plucked a trapped person from a window on the fifth floor and safely lowered him to the ground. Firefighter Jim Lee told reporters at the scene that the rope that colleagues had used to drop him from the roof burned through just 15 seconds after he touched the earth. "I told him to stay calm and when we got down, I said, 'I hope you enjoyed the ride,'" Lee said. "He sort of smiled and he was thankful." The overnight blaze at the building on Manhattan's Upper East Side killed one person, officials said.

Experts uncover hidden layers of Jesus' tomb site
JERUSALEM (AP) - In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where Jesus' body was laid. Many historians have long believed that the original cave, identified a few centuries after Jesus' death as his tomb, was obliterated ages ago. But an archaeologist accompanying the restoration team said ground penetrating radar tests determined that cave walls are in fact standing - at a height of six feet and connected to bedrock - behind the marbled panels of the chamber at the center of Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Modest gains, but US students still lag in science learning
WASHINGTON (AP) - The vast majority of U.S. students still lack a solid grasp of science despite some modest gains by fourth and eighth graders, especially girls and minorities. The problem is particularly acute among the nation's high school seniors. The 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation's Report Card, released Thursday shows only about a third of fourth and eighth graders demonstrated strong academic performance in the sciences. Among 12th graders, just one in five were proficient or above in science. "We still are not at a place as a country where we are preparing the future STEM workforce that we need," Education Secretary John B.

Wal-Mart, Target each take cue from the other for holidays
NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart and Target are each taking a cue from the other this holiday season. After years of emphasizing low prices, Wal-Mart wants to up the ante, but it also wants to be known for top customer service. Target, which has a better image in that regard, has stressed a focus on offering deals. The shift underscores how traditional retailers have to perfect every aspect of their operations as shoppers who could easily shop online instead become more demanding about price, selection and service. With online leader Amazon.com cementing customers with its juggernaut Amazon Prime shipping service, retailers like Target and Wal-Mart need to offer more exclusive merchandise.