Obama boosts Clinton: Carry her like you carried me PHILADELPHIA (AP) - His own legacy on the line, President Barack Obama implored Americans to elect Hillary Clinton to the White House, casting her as a candidate who believes in the optimism that drives the nation's democracy and warning against the "deeply pessimistic vision" of Republican Donald Trump. "America is already great. America is already strong," he declared to cheering delegates Wednesday night at the Democratic convention. "And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump." For Democrats, the night was steeped in symbolism, the passing of the baton from a barrier-breaking president to a candidate trying to make history herself.
The Latest: Obama has special Twitter fan back in Illinois That's her man. President Barack Obama's got a special Twitter admirer back in Illinois. The president's address to the Democratic National Convention had barely ended Wednesday night when a tweet popped up from first lady Michelle Obama. She watched the speech from her mother's home in Chicago. Her tweet: "That's my man! Your truth, dignity and grave reminds us what real leadership looks like. I am always proud of @POTUS. -mo"
AP FACT CHECK: Warped claims in political hothouse WASHINGTON (AP) - It's hot out there, politically speaking, with Hillary Clinton's convention going full steam and Donald Trump refusing to stay quiet while Democrats put on their big show. Reality is sometimes getting warped in the process. A look at some claims Wednesday and how they compare with the facts, on a day packed with a lengthy news conference by Trump and evening convention speeches by high-powered Democrats, capped by President Barack Obama: OBAMA: "After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody." THE FACTS: Obama's health care overhaul does guarantee that people with pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied health insurance, but it also made coverage an obligation for everybody.
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Trump to Russia: Uncover, release deleted Clinton emails WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump encouraged Russia on Wednesday to find and make public missing emails deleted by his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, setting off an instant debate over hacking and his urging of a foreign government to meddle in American politics. Shortly after Trump's extraordinary remarks, his Republican running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of "serious consequences" if Russia interfered in the election. Democrats - and some Republicans - quickly condemned the remarks by the Republican presidential standard-bearer. They came as the Democrats met on the third day of their national convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will accept the presidential nomination Thursday night to face Republican Trump in November.
For would-be Reagan assassin, freedom only days away WASHINGTON (AP) - For the past decade, the man who shot President Ronald Reagan has quietly spent a growing number of his days living with his 90-year-old mother in a gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia. On Wednesday, a judge finalized John Hinckley Jr.'s transition to freedom, ordering that Hinckley can permanently leave the psychiatric hospital where he was confined after the assassination attempt. The order, which cannot be appealed, has been in the works for years, despite opposition by prosecutors, who sought numerous restrictions on Hinckley's freedom, most of which were agreed to by Judge Paul Friedman. Hinckley could leave St. Elizabeths Hospital as early as Aug.
University of Louisville president's resignation accepted LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - University of Louisville trustees on Wednesday accepted the resignation of embattled President James Ramsey, whose long tenure was dogged by scandal. The action at a special meeting of the school's board signaled the end of an era. Ramsey, a former state budget director, has led the university for 14 years. After six hours of closed-door deliberations, the board announced late Wednesday that Ramsey will be paid $690,000 and will resign immediately, with an agreement not to sue the school. Ramsey was credited with raising academic standards and boosting the school from a commuter campus to a distinguished research institution.
Regulators propose huge overhaul of debt collection industry NEW YORK (AP) - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a massive overhaul of the multibillion dollar debt-collection industry on Thursday, which would restrict collectors from calling numerous times a day, require them to have more documentation on what's owed, and give people more ability to dispute their bills. It would be the biggest overhaul of the debt collection industry since Congress passed the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act nearly 40 years ago. Regulators estimate roughly 70 million Americans are contacted by debt collectors each year, and more Americans submit complaints to state and federal agencies about unfair or deceptive practices than any other part of the consumer financial system.
The Latest: People rally in Baltimore to protest violence About three dozen protesters gathered outside of City Hall during a weekly demonstration against police violence, this time just hours after Baltimore's top prosecutor dismissed the three remaining cases against officers charged in the death of a young, black man whose neck was broken in custody. Organizer Tawanda Jones said Wednesday evening that she wasn't surprised prosecutors dropped all of the charges against the three remaining officers in the Freddie Gray case. Jones says that given the previous acquittals in the cases against the officers' co-defendants, she would have made the same choice as State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Still, Jones says she's grateful that Mosby tried.
With Auschwitz visit, pope faces complex Polish-Jewish story WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Two Holocaust survivors took to a stage at the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto this week to perform lively prewar tunes - the 91-year-old played drums and the 88-year-old was on accordion, keyboard and vocals. In the audience several elderly Christian Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust swayed and tapped their feet to songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and Polish. Poland, a deeply Catholic nation, has a complex relationship with the Jews who flourished for centuries in the Eastern European land before perishing in the Holocaust. It is a deeply emotional story of both betrayal and salvation that Pope Francis will encounter during a somber visit Friday to the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where some 1.1 million people were murdered, most of them Jews.
Israeli settler-turned-diplomat to take new post in New York JERUSALEM (AP) - For years, Dani Dayan was the West Bank settler movement's face to the outside world. Next week, he'll become the face of Israel to much of North America. Dayan takes office Aug. 1 as Israel's new consul general in New York, overseeing his country's biggest diplomatic mission and serving as its representative to the world's financial and cultural capital. He will also be in charge of outreach to the largest Jewish community outside Israel at a time of disagreements over Mideast peace and Jewish pluralism. Dayan's appointment reflects the settler movement's strong influence in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.