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AP Top News at 4:54 p.m. EDT

The Latest: Patriots' Ebner on leave for Olympic rugby
When the New England Patriots reported for training camp on Wednesday, Nate Ebner wasn't with them. The special teams player has taken a leave of absence to play for the U.S. Olympic rugby team. "It's a great opportunity for him to follow his passion, participate in the Olympic Games," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "We're pulling for him to bring back something around his neck." Ebner played rugby but not football in his first two years at Ohio State before walking onto the football team as a junior. He was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and has appeared in 57 NFL games, mostly on special teams.


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.


Obama boosts Clinton; Trump talks emails and Russia
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Their political fates now entwined, President Barack Obama will implore voters Wednesday to elect Hillary Clinton to the White House, appealing to the women, minorities and young people who powered his rise and are now crucial to hers. In addition to party loyalty, a big motivation for Obama's robust support is deep concern that Republican Donald Trump can win in November and unravel the president's eight years in office. "Anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing," Obama said ahead of his address at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. For several hours, Trump stole the show.


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Veteran protesters mix with newcomers outside convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - For some of the protesters outside the Democratic convention this week, the demonstrations in Philadelphia are the latest in a lifetime of political activism. For others, they're a first. The demonstrators have come from near and far, some driven by specific issues, some inspired by a candidate. Here are some of their stories. PAPIER-MACHE SEATMATE Sue Kirby needed a second seat on the bus from Boston for her traveling and protesting companion: a larger-than-life Bernie Sanders doll with a papier-mache head and foam body. Kirby, 65, built the doll about a year ago for Sanders rallies near home in Salem, Massachusetts.


Bloomberg to warn of Trump economic plans at Dem convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Michael Bloomberg, elected mayor of New York City as a Republican, will offer a forceful denunciation of fellow New York billionaire Donald Trump on Wednesday at the Democratic convention. Now a political independent, Bloomberg considered making a third-party run for president this year before opting against a campaign, expressing worry he would siphon away votes from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and inadvertently help elect Trump. Members of the former mayor's staff said Bloomberg, one of the nation's richest individuals, will lay out in his convention address why a Trump administration would be disastrous for the nation's economy. A three-term mayor who left office in 2013, Bloomberg has been sharply critical of Trump.


Prosecutors drop all remaining charges in Freddie Gray case
BALTIMORE (AP) - Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all remaining charges against the three Baltimore police officers who were still awaiting trial in Freddie Gray's death, blaming police for a biased investigation that failed to produce a single conviction. The decision means that no one will be held criminally responsible for the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015. A judge had already acquitted three other officers, including the van driver who prosecutors considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group.


Turkey, once touted as regional model, is mired in tension
ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey was riding high in 2010, casting its brand of Islamic piety, Western-style democracy and economic growth as a regional model amid popular upheavals in the Mideast and North Africa. Six years later, it is mired in tension with neighbors and allies, dominated by a president seeking to increase his constitutional powers and now enmeshed in a purge of large sectors of society after an uprising by renegade military officers. The changes that led to this turn in Turkey's fortunes include internal rifts - the collapse of a Kurdish peace process and the alleged erosion of democratic rights under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are among them - as well as the war in Syria and other regional chaos in which Turkey has taken sides.


Judge dismisses manslaughter charge against Florida deputy
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A judge on Wednesday dismissed a manslaughter charge against a Florida deputy who claimed self-defense in the 2013 fatal shooting of a 33-year-old black man carrying what turned out to be an air rifle. Circuit Judge Michael Usan ruled in favor of suspended Deputy Peter Peraza of the Broward Sheriff's Office under Florida's "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law that eliminates a requirement to retreat - for civilians and law enforcement officers, the judge said - when facing a dire threat. The now-dismissed manslaughter charge carries a potential 30-year prison sentence. Prosecutors immediately said the decision will be appealed.


Judge: Reagan shooter can leave hospital to live in Virginia
WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 35 years after he tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster, John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to leave a Washington mental hospital and live full time with his mother in Virginia, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Judge Paul Friedman wrote that Hinckley - who currently spends more than half his days at his mother's home - is ready to live full time in the community. Friedman granted Hinckley leave from the hospital starting no sooner than Aug. 5. Doctors have said for many years that Hinckley, 61, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting, is no longer plagued by the mental illness that drove him to shoot Reagan.


Democrats highlight diversity, but face gap with white men
ATLANTA (AP) - The Democratic National Convention speaker's lineup has highlighted an increasingly diverse country that could soon elect the first female president to succeed its first black chief executive. Yet the stream of women, African-Americans, Latinos, gay Americans - from U.S. senators and celebrities to activists, rank-and-file citizens and, Thursday, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton herself - also serves as a tacit reminder of Democrats' struggles to connect with a majority of heterosexual white men. "It's just sad," says Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, a Democratic strategist turned Donald Trump supporter who says his party "has abandoned" culturally conservative white men like himself.