AP Top News at 3:44 p.m. EDT

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.


US analyst who spied for Israel to be paroled after 30 years
WASHINGTON (AP) - Jonathan Pollard, a former Naval intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel and passing along a trove of classified documents, has been granted parole and will be released from prison in November after nearly 30 years, his lawyers said Tuesday. The decision to free Pollard caps an extraordinary espionage case that stoked public passions. Critics condemned the American as a traitor who betrayed his country for money. Supporters argued that he was punished excessively given that he spied for a U.S. ally.


Libya court sentences Gadhafi son to death for 2011 killings
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - Moammar Gadhafi's son and onetime heir apparent was convicted and sentenced to death on Tuesday by a court in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on charges of murder and inciting genocide during the country's 2011 uprising. But Seif al-Islam Gadhafi is unlikely to face the firing squad anytime soon. The sentence was handed down in absentia because he remains in the hands of a militia in western Libya that has refused to hand him over for the past four years - yet another sign of the country's bitter fragmentation since his father's fall from power.


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Sen. Paul: Senate will vote on fed aid to Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate will vote before its August recess on an effort to block federal aid to Planned Parenthood, presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday. Paul, R-Ky., said that win or lose, simply having the vote will be "a huge victory for conservatives" opposed to abortion. Planned Parenthood has been under fire since some of its officials have appeared in videos, secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group, discussing procedures for obtaining fetal tissue for research.


NY 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.


Authorities: California teen accused of killing 8-year-old
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) - A teenage boy lured an 8-year-old girl into his apartment and killed her before hiding her body in a recycling bin at the housing complex where they lived, authorities said Tuesday. Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel told reporters that Madyson Middleton was probably dead even before she was reported missing Sunday evening.


Teens missing on fishing trip strayed from agreed-upon route
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Two teens missing at sea had strayed from the agreed-upon boundaries for their fishing trip, the stepfather of one of the boys said Tuesday, as the Coast Guard continued a massive search off Florida's Atlantic coast. Nick Korniloff said his 14-year-old stepson Perry Cohen and the boy's friend Austin Stephanos were supposed to remain on the Loxahatchee River and the Intracoastal Waterway during their outing Friday. He said he didn't believe the boys were heading to the Bahamas, as some have speculated, but that they obviously ended up in the deep waters they were supposed to steer clear of.


`I am an American' says man who tried to join Islamic State
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man who wrote he was "ready for jihad" before buying a one-way ticket overseas to try joining the Islamic State group was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday after he sobbed to the judge, "I am an American." Leon Nathan Davis III of Augusta was sentenced to 15 years, the maximum punishment allowed. A pale, bearded man with a Southern accent, the 38-year-old Davis pleaded guilty in May to seeking to help a known terrorist organization.


Man accused in African lion death thought hunt was legal
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) - An avid Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe said Tuesday that he thought everything about his trip was legal and wasn't aware of the animal's status "until the end of the hunt." Walter Palmer, who has a felony record in the U.S. related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin, released his statement through a public relations firm after being identified by officials as the American involved in the hunt. Authorities in Zimbabwe say Palmer is being sought on poaching charges, but Palmer said he hasn't heard from U.S. or Zimbabwean authorities.


Remains of 4 early colonial leaders discovered at Jamestown
WASHINGTON (AP) - Archaeologists have uncovered human remains of four of the earliest leaders of the English colony that would become America, buried for more than 400 years near the altar of what was America's first Protestant church in Jamestown, Virginia. The four burial sites were uncovered in the earthen floor of what's left of Jamestown's historic Anglican church from 1608, a team of scientists and historians announced Tuesday. The site is the same church where Pocahontas famously married Englishman John Rolfe, leading to peace between the Powhatan Indians and colonists at the first permanent English settlement in America.