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AP Top U.S. News At 12:31 a.m. EDT

America ushers in July 4 with hot dogs, hot music, cool beer
As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country:...

Eager eaters weigh-in ahead of NYC July 4 hot dog contest
NEW YORK (AP) -- Contestants have hit the scales ahead of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous....

Who's John Jay? Scholars urge new look at forgotten founder
KATONAH, N.Y. (AP) -- The inner circle of founders has been set for as long as anyone can remember - Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Madison....

400-foot Ferris wheel stops: All 66 riders safely taken off
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the Ferris wheel that towers 400 feet over central Florida after the attraction shut down Friday afternoon, authorities said....

Hundreds of Arizona inmates to be moved following riot
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- About 700 inmates at an Arizona prison were being moved to new locations Friday after disturbances on consecutive days left their housing units uninhabitable....

Bubba Watson to remove Confederate flag from 'General Lee'
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. (AP) -- Bubba Watson says he's painting over the Confederate flag on his car made popular in "The Dukes of Hazzard" television series....

Solar plane lands in Hawaii after record-breaking flight
KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) -- A plane powered by the sun's rays landed in Hawaii Friday after a record-breaking five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan....

Military recruits still not using American-made sneakers
BOSTON (AP) -- New Balance thinks the U.S. military is dragging its feet....

Jefferson's iconic U.Va. Rotunda amid $58 million face-lift
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda at the University of Virginia is ensnared in a spider's web of scaffolding these days, the focus of a $58.3 million renovation of the World Heritage Site....

BP to pay record $18.7 billion to states affected by spill
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches, coated seabirds in thick goo and threatened delicate marshes, BP has agreed to pay a record settlement to affected states in hopes of bringing an end to a legal drama that has cost the company billions....

AP Photo
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
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
America ushers in July 4 with hot dogs, hot music, cool beer

San Francisco: No 'legal basis' to hold shooting suspect

Medical helicopter crashes in Frisco; 3 escape

Prosecutors: Man in wheelchair arrested for robbing NYC bank

400-foot Ferris wheel stops: All 66 riders safely taken off

Hundreds of Arizona inmates to be moved following riot

Coast Guard suspends Alaska search for overboard crew member

Minnesota burn survivor leaves hospital after 264 days

Another 1700s Massachusetts home hit by vehicle

Former sheriff who helped shape modern Las Vegas dies at 88