AP Top U.S. News at 11:44 p.m. EDT

The Latest: Balloons drop, mark end of Clinton's convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Latest on the Democratic National Convention and 2016 presidential campaign. (all times EDT):...

Police and protesters credited with restraint at convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Bernie Sanders' devoted followers were careful to pick up after themselves and wore hats embroidered with a dove to remind everyone to remain peaceful. And the police, instead of hauling demonstrators off to jail, issued them $50 tickets for disorderly conduct and released them with a complimentary bottle of water....

At vigil, Biden tries to comfort relatives of slain officers
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- The gunman's bullets that killed three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge also targeted the country and "touched the soul of an entire nation," Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday at a memorial service for the fallen officers....

Murder suspect's mom charged in deaths of 2 witnesses
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged a St. Louis woman with arranging the deaths of two 16-year-old boys who were potential witnesses in a murder case against her teenage son - a case that initially fell apart because other witnesses refused to testify....

2 hikers found after overnight in South Dakota Badlands park
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- Emergency crews on Thursday found two hikers who spent the night lost in the rugged terrain of South Dakota's Badlands National Park, officials said....

California coastline wildfire is big and getting bigger
BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) -- Firefighters struggled Thursday to get the upper hand on a massive wildfire burning along California's picturesque Big Sur coastline, where anxious residents driven from their homes awaited word on their properties and popular parks and trails closed at the height of tourist season....

Suspect in college student's killing had hidden room in barn
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Investigators found a hidden room outfitted with restraints inside a barn belonging to a man accused of abducting and killing an Ohio college student, and they were looking into whether it was used to hold other victims, according to search warrants released Thursday....

Police rally as mayor says Black Lives Matter banner stays
SOMERVILLE, Mass. (AP) -- About 50 police officers and their supporters upset about a Black Lives Matter banner that has been hanging outside City Hall for a year rallied on Thursday to try to pressure the mayor to remove it....

Elephant sedative emerges as new threat in overdose battle
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A drug used to sedate elephants and other large animals, 100 times as potent as the fentanyl already escalating the country's heroin troubles, is suspected in spates of overdoses in several states, where authorities say they've found it mixed with or passed off as heroin....

Testing confirms new, rarely seen whale in Pacific Ocean
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Genetic tests confirm that a mysterious, unnamed species of beaked whale only rarely seen alive by Japanese fishermen roams the northern Pacific Ocean, according to research published this week....

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The Latest: Hikers found safe in South Dakota identified