AP Top News at 8:42 p.m. EDT

Episcopalians vote to allow gay marriage in churches
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Episcopalians overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to allow religious weddings for same-sex couples, solidifying the church's embrace of gay rights that began more than a decade ago with the pioneering election of the first openly gay bishop. The vote came in Salt Lake City at the Episcopal General Convention, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide. It passed in the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting. The House of Bishops had approved the resolution Tuesday by 129-26 with five abstaining.


US probing possible airline collusion that kept fares high
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. government is investigating possible collusion among major airlines to limit available seats, which keeps airfares high, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. The civil antitrust investigation by the Justice Department appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.


Overcoming hostilities, US and Cuba to open embassies
WASHINGTON (AP) - After more than a half-century of hostility, the United States and Cuba declared Wednesday they will reopen embassies in each other's capitals this month, marking a historic full restoration of diplomatic relations between the Cold War foes. For President Barack Obama, the opening of the U.S. Embassy in the heart of Havana is one of the most tangible demonstrations of his long-standing pledge to engage directly with U.S. adversaries. Heralding the embassy agreement, Obama declared: "This is what change looks like."


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Greece proceeds with vote plan as creditors rebuff overture
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - The Greek government vowed Wednesday to go ahead with plans to have the people decide whether they want more austerity measures in exchange for a rescue deal. Greece offered more concessions to its creditors, but was rebuffed - Eurozone finance ministers refused to negotiate any more aid until the referendum clears up what the country wants. The moves came on a fast-paced day of zigs-and-zags that saw the Greek prime minister back off his earlier refusal to consider creditors' belt-tightening demands, yet hold firm on putting the measures to a popular vote.


FACT CHECK: When Chris Christie tells it like it isn't
SANDOWN, N.H. (AP) - Chris Christie certainly tells it like he sees it. That's not to say he always tells it like it is. In a Republican presidential kickoff speech centered on a pledge to talk straight, the New Jersey governor sometimes exaggerated his record and skipped over more troublesome realities in a state with a struggling economy, a chronically underfunded state pension system and an increasingly gridlocked government.


Polygamous Montana trio applies for wedding license
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife. Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy - holding multiple marriage licenses - but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.


New warden, security measures after New York prison escape
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A range of new security measures is being put in place at a maximum-security prison to close gaps exploited by two inmates who escaped last month. The state correction department said Wednesday that includes stepped-up searches of inmates' cells, staffing changes to ensure bed checks are more effective and installation of security gates in the facility's tunnels.


Boy chained up with dead chicken around neck tells his story
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Handcuffed and shackled to a block of steel, the young boy would brace himself when he heard footsteps outside his bedroom door. He knew that once the grown-ups entered, the abuse would begin. For years, he was whipped with belts, his face was burned with electrical wires and his fingers were broken with pliers - all to "teach him a lesson." The abusers, who have since pleaded guilty, were his legal guardian - a supervisor with the Department of Social Services in Union County, North Carolina - and her longtime boyfriend, an emergency room nurse.


Dolphin leaps onto boat, injuring California woman
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A dolphin leaped onto a boat in Southern California, crashing into a woman and breaking both her ankles. Chrissie Frickman was boating with her husband and two children June 21 when a pod of dolphins swam alongside them. One of the animals jumped on the vessel, knocking Frickman over and landing on her legs, the Orange County Register reported (http://bit.ly/1R49Hui).


Pioneering 16-year-old breaking baseball barriers for women
PARIS (AP) - Simply by playing ball, Melissa Mayeux is busting through barriers. Becoming the first ever woman on Major League Baseball's international registration list, making her eligible to be signed by pro teams, is just the latest trail blazed by the 16-year-old shortstop from France. Previously, she successfully got a "no-girls-allowed" rule abolished so she could keep playing baseball with French boys.