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Republicans divided ahead of big Trump speech

CLEVELAND — A defiant Ted Cruz said on Thursday he refused to be Donald Trump’s “servile puppy dog,” further exposing Republican rifts just as Trump seeks to unite the party and rally Americans behind his unconventional White House bid.

Shooting of unarmed black man heightens calls for police review

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. — The shooting by police of an unarmed black man as he lay on the ground with his hands in the air in North Miami, Florida, raised calls on Thursday for U.S. police to review their training programs and policies.

U.S. clears ‘Guantanamo Diary’ author for release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Mauritanian prisoner who wrote a best-selling memoir about his long ordeal at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo has been cleared for release, his lawyers and a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Parents of drowned boy will not sue Disney resort

ORLANDO — The parents of a two-year-old boy drowned by an alligator at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida last month “are broken” but will not sue over the incident, the couple said in a statement on Wednesday.

Republicans formally nominate Trump

CLEVELAND — After vanquishing 16 party rivals, warring with much of the Republican establishment and provoking controversy at the party convention, Donald Trump on Tuesday secured the party’s 2016 nomination for the White House.

Top court nominee still out in cold as election heats up

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Merrick Garland hit an unwanted milestone on Tuesday as the federal appeals court judge’s nomination to the Supreme Court reached its 125th day with no Senate action, tying for the longest pending nomination ever to the high court.

Police shootings make mark on recruitment, contract talks

NEW YORK — Even before the July 6 police shooting in St. Paul, Minnesota of a black man during a traffic stop, the city’s police union said there was difficulty with recruitment and retention of officers.

Three states sue VW, say execs hid diesel cheating

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senior executives at Volkswagen AG covered up evidence that the German automaker had cheated on U.S. diesel emissions tests for years, three states charged on Tuesday in civil lawsuits against the company.

U.S. approves bomb sale to ally against Islamic State

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $785 million in bombs to the United Arab Emirates for the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

ACLU sues Kansas over dual voter registration system

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A civil rights group on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging a Kansas voter registration system that prevents people from participating in state and local elections unless they show proof of U.S. citizenship.

Police lieutenant acquitted in Freddie Gray case

BALTIMORE, Md. — Baltimore prosecutors on Monday failed for the fourth time to secure a conviction against a city police officer for the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, as a lieutenant was cleared of all charges.

Louisiana gunman targeted and ambushed cops, police say

BATON ROUGE, La. — The black U.S. Marine Corps veteran who shot dead three police officers in Louisiana's capital specifically targeted them, authorities said on Monday, as the United States reeled from the latest deadly violence involving police and African-Americans.

Zika mystery widens as caregiver contracts virus

CHICAGO, Ill. — U.S. health officials are investigating the mysterious case of a person in Utah who contracted Zika while caring for an elderly man infected with the virus who died last month.

First day of GOP convention turns chaotic

CLEVELAND — The Republican National Convention briefly erupted in chaos on Monday when some opponents of presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump stormed out of the room and others chanted in protest at their failure to win a symbolic vote opposing his candidacy.

Regulators say 2025 fuel standards can be met

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. regulators said in a draft technical assessment report released Monday that automakers can meet aggressive mandates to dramatically hike fuel efficiency standards by 2025, but say fleet-wide fuel efficiency will not be as high as initially forecast.

A kiss is not just a kiss on Cleveland convention billboards

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In an age of social media and sound bites, advocacy groups in Cleveland have turned to the old-fashioned medium of billboards to display messages during the Republican National Convention, from the serious to the ridiculous and shocking.

Black Lives Matter’ protesters don’t oppose police, Obama says

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama engaged in a verbal tussle with the Texas lieutenant governor, defended Black Lives Matter and held an impromptu meeting with the daughter of a Staten Island man killed by police as he spent another day grappling with racial tension roiling the U.S.

Bridgegate’ figure had role in airline bribe

NEWARK, N.J. — A close confidant of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pleaded guilty Thursday to his role in a bribery scheme involving United Airlines, in a case that emerged from the federal investigation into the “Bridgegate” scandal.

Columbia University to pay $9.5 million in civil fraud case

NEW YORK — Columbia University will pay $9.5 million to resolve claims by the U.S. government that it improperly sought excessive cost recovery in connection with federal research grants, authorities announced on Thursday.

Soda tied to risk for some rare cancers

People who drink lots of soda or other sugary beverages may have a higher risk of developing rare cancers in the gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver, a Swedish study suggests.