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AP Top U.S. News At 7:14 p.m. EST

`It WAS him': Defense admits Tsarnaev bombed Boston Marathon
BOSTON (AP) -- The question, for all practical purposes, is no longer whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev took part in the Boston Marathon bombing. It's whether he deserves to die for it....

Latest on Boston bombing trial: Victim says she saw pal die
5:10 P.M....

A defiant Alabama regains ground against gay marriage
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama's stand against same-sex marriage regained ground Wednesday after the state's highest court ruled that its ban remains legal, despite federal court pressure to begin issuing licenses to gays and lesbians. But advocates said they're not giving up either - and that the justices in Montgomery will find themselves on history's losing side....

Q&A: In Alabama, state court vs. federal courts. Who wins?
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Alabama Supreme Court is in a showdown with a federal judge who ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. The state's justices say they remain the authority on state law, at least until the U.S. Supreme Court settles the question of whether the U.S. Constitution gives gay couples nationwide a fundamental right to marry....

Pakistani man guilty in al-Qaida plot to bomb NYC subway
NEW YORK (AP) -- A Pakistani man was found guilty Wednesday in a failed al-Qaida bomb plot after a New York trial that featured spies in disguise, evidence from the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and the defendant's questioning of an admitted co-conspirator....

Children in Southern California breathing easier, study says
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Smog-covered mountains, gritty sidewalks, smelly fumes from traffic-choked freeways. The Los Angeles area was a tough place to breathe several decades ago. Now a study shows how much that has changed, especially for the region's youngest residents....

US clears officer in Ferguson case, criticizes police force
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department cleared a white former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old on Wednesday, but also issued a scathing report calling for sweeping changes in city law enforcement practices it called discriminatory and unconstitutional....

Feds: Evidence backs Ferguson officer's account in shooting
A federal investigation that cleared a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer for killing Michael Brown concluded that the physical evidence and credible witnesses all bolster the officer's account that he feared for his life when he fatally shot the black 18-year-old....

Highlights of Justice Department report on Ferguson police
The Justice Department has released its investigation of the Ferguson Police Department, concluding that city law enforcement practices are discriminatory and unconstitutional and calling for sweeping changes. Here are some of the highlights of the report:...

Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio woman and her boyfriend have been sentenced to prison a year after one of her young daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and raped....

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Up to the Minute
Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

Failures by 3 governments preceded homeless man's death

Jury deliberations at Jodi Arias trial to resume Thursday

Ferguson employee fired, 2 others on leave over emails

State pulls teens from rural Nevada juvenile camp after riot

Vietnamese man pleads not guilty in US terrorism case

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Small plane crashes in botanical garden in Virginia; 3 dead

Judge: More time needed to seek higher Revel bids

Mormon church backs Utah LGBT anti-discrimination bill