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AP Top U.S. News At 2 a.m. EDT

$18.7B deal clears path for BP to close books on Gulf spill
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP agreed Thursday to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion....

Could insulin pills prevent diabetes? Big study seeks answer
CHICAGO (AP) -- For nearly a century, insulin has been a life-saving diabetes treatment. Now scientists are testing a tantalizing question: What if pills containing the same medicine patients inject every day could also prevent the disease?...

VA hospital that once treated Civil War veterans could close
HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (AP) -- Perched atop a bluff in the remote Black Hills, a veterans hospital built of thick blocks of pink sandstone and topped with red-tiled roofs in a Spanish mission style overlooks the tiny town of Hot Springs, South Dakota, and has provided recovering soldiers a bucolic haven for more than a century....

Thousands truckin' to Chicago for final Grateful Dead shows
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Grateful Dead is closing the lid on its storied half-century of concerts this weekend in Chicago, where a museum has captured the band's prankster heart by displaying its artifacts, skeletons-and-roses iconography included, in the shadow of a world-famous dinosaur....

Gimmicks and technology: California learns to save water
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (AP) -- Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess - a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation in drought-stricken California is turning things around, proving it's possible to get people to change their ways....

Body of prison escapee released to New York funeral home
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- The body of a convicted murderer who broke out of prison and was fatally shot after three weeks on the run was released to a funeral home Thursday as his fellow escapee continued his recovery at a hospital under heavy guard....

Authorities: Suspect high on meth during Arizona killings
FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) -- A missing Phoenix-area couple were killed and buried in the yard of a man who told investigators he was high on methamphetamine when he shot the husband and wife, authorities said Thursday....

Woman randomly shot to death at popular San Francisco pier
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A young woman was shot to death, apparently at random, while walking with her father and a friend along a popular pedestrian pier on the San Francisco waterfront....

Smoke subsides after hazardous rail spill in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire in the middle of the night in eastern Tennessee, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and sending dozens to the hospital with respiratory issues and nausea....

Church fires not usually arson; weather found as cause in SC
GREELEYVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- As social media buzzed about church fires in the South, investigators announced Thursday that weather caused a destructive blaze at a predominantly black church in South Carolina....

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AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
US Video
Interactives
A year after the Gulf oil spill, problems remain
Local governments spent BP money with abandon
Civil War celebrations stir controversy
States' attempts to resist health care reform
A look at extremist attacks on the U.S. government
Gun law changes across the U.S.
A look inside the Statue of Liberty
A look around the Statue of Liberty
A look at Guantanamo's history
Up to the Minute
2 killed, 1 wounded in Northern California shooting

VA hospital that once treated Civil War veterans could close

Sheriff: Oregon man, suspected in parents' death, kills self

Military recruits still not using American-made sneakers

Meth in toaster among many drug parcels sent to Hawaii

Fireworks-filled van explodes on California freeway

Honeymoon is over for Greek couple who went penniless in NYC

Oklahoma court to look at blocking Tulsa grand jury probe

Smoke subsides after hazardous rail spill in Tennessee

Police detain man found in NC mall with rifle, ammunition