Thursday, July 28
Clinton to accept historic nomination tonight
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Hillary Clinton's campaign says she will lean heavily on her campaign theme of "stronger together" when she makes what is likely to be the most important speech of her career tonight at the Democratic National Convention.
She will refer back to her 1996 book "It Takes a Village," and will continue to reach out to moderate Republicans.
Last night, President Barack Obama declared there's never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to be president. Obama cast Clinton as a candidate who believes in the optimism that drives the nation's democracy. And he warned against what he called the "deeply pessimistic vision" of Donald Trump.
Clinton appeared onstage to greet Obama with a long embrace.
Reid: Trump should get 'fake' security briefings
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says the CIA should give Donald Trump "fake intelligence briefings" because he can't be trusted.
The Nevada Democrat tells reporters in Philadelphia that "they shouldn't give him anything that means anything because you can't trust him."
Reid was responding to Trump's call for Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails.
He says he's sure the agency is aware of his suggestion.
He also says Trump may have violated the Logan Act that bars unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.
Trump says he was being 'sarcastic'
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump says he was just being "sarcastic" when he said he wanted Russia to find the thousands of emails Hillary Clinton deleted from the account she used as secretary of state.
He offers that explanation to Fox News, saying, "Of course I'm being sarcastic."
Trump sparked the controversy yesterday when he said, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing." And shortly after his remarks yesterday, he tweeted that Russia should share the emails with the FBI.
Democrats are accusing Trump of encouraging another country to carry out cyber-espionage against the United States. The Clinton campaign called Trump's statement the "first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent."
NEW: Storm threat on Day 4 of Democratic convention
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia city officials are warning Democratic National Convention visitors and protesters of a possible repeat of Monday's thunderstorms and heavy rain.
They say there could be flash flooding on area roads Thursday afternoon through Friday.
No marches are planned by protesters Thursday. But a daylong demonstration is set to be held near City Hall, 4 miles from the convention site. Organizers were still setting up shortly before noon.
On Monday night, a torrential rainstorm forced demonstrators near the convention site to seek cover under a highway overpass and at a subway stop nearly a mile away. Some used signs as umbrellas.
NEW: Reid: 'Absolute fraud' Grayson should drop Fla. Senate bid
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says fellow Democrat Alan Grayson should drop his bid for Senate in Florida following reports he physically abused his ex-wife.
Reid says Grayson is an "absolute fraud" and says: "Now having whacked his ex-wife around a few times ... I don't know who supports him other than himself."
Reid has tangled in the past with Congressman Grayson, an unpredictable firebrand who is defying Democratic leaders' wishes by challenging their favored candidate, Rep. Patrick Murphy, in the Aug. 30 Florida primary.
The new reports of abuse, first published by Politico this week, have increased pressure on Grayson, who has lost endorsements from two progressive groups.
Grayson's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Incumbent GOP Sen. Marco Rubio is running for re-election.
Al-Qaida urges Syria branch to continue jihad
UNDATED (AP) — Al-Qaida's deputy leader is urging the network's Syria branch to do what it takes to preserve jihad in the war-torn country, an apparent endorsement of the Nusra Front's plans to split from the parent organization.
Senior Nusra Front figures have been discussing plans to dissociate from al-Qaida. The discussions come amid calls from Russia to target the group, which collaborates with other rebel groups, including those backed by the U.S.
In a six-minute recording Thursday, Ahmed Hassan Abu el-Kheir — currently Ayman al-Zawahri's deputy— says al-Qaida instructs "the leadership of the Nusra Front to go ahead with what protects the interests of Islam and Muslims and what protects jihad" in Syria.
He also urged the Nusra Front to unite with other factions against "Crusaders" and form a good "Islamic government."
NEW: US general says 5 US troops wounded in Afghan fighting
WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says five American soldiers have been wounded in clashes with Islamic State fighters.
Gen. John Nicholson commands U.S. and NATO forces. Nicholson says none of the wounds are life-threatening; three of the soldiers have been evacuated from the area, and two have been returned to duty. He said the casualties occurred "in the last few days" but was not more precise. He says they were hit by small arms fire and shrapnel.
Nicholson says the Americans were partnering in combat with Afghan special forces who are retaking territory previously controlled by the Islamic State in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Nicolson was speaking to reporters at the Pentagon from his headquarters in Kabul.
Oracle buying NetSuite in deal valued at about $9.3 billion
NEW YORK (AP) — Oracle is buying cloud company NetSuite in a deal valued at about $9.3 billion.
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said in a statement on Thursday that the two company's cloud applications are complementary.
"We intend to invest heavily in both products - engineering and distribution," he said.
NetSuite Inc. stockholders will receive $109 per share, a 62 percent premium to the company's Wednesday closing price of $67.42.
The transaction is expected to close this year.
US homeownership rate of 62.9 percent matches a 51-year low
WASHINGTON (AP) — The proportion of U.S. households that own homes has matched its lowest level in 51 years — evidence that rising property prices, high rents and stagnant pay have made it hard for many to buy.
The Census Bureau says just 62.9 percent of households owned a home in the April-June quarter this year. That equaled the homeownership rate in 1965, when the census began tracking the data.
The trend appears most pronounced among millennial households, ages 18 to 34, many of whom are straining under the weight of rising apartment rents and heavy student debt. Their homeownership rate fell 0.7 percentage point over the past year to 34.1 percent. That decline may reflect, in part, more young adults leaving their parents' homes for rental apartments.
Northern California wildfire grows over night
BIG SUR, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire near California's Big Sur grew overnight and has now charred more than 42 square miles (108 sq. kilometers) and destroyed 34 homes.
The fire is just 10 percent contained.
Crews are bracing Thursday for a spike in daytime temperatures and a drop in humidity. However the more than 3,500 firefighters could get a break if winds remain light in Monterey County.
A bulldozer driver was killed Tuesday when the piece of heavy equipment overturned. No other injuries have been reported.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
To the south, officials say the huge blaze in northern Los Angeles County is now 65 percent surrounded.
The fire command said Thursday that crews have stopped the spread of the nearly 60-square-mile blaze in forest land east of Santa Clarita. Firefighters are aided by light winds but will contend with another day of triple-digit temperatures.
Metrolink commuter rail service is running again after being closed for days in the burn area.
NEW: Russia's depleted Olympic team heads for Rio
MOSCOW (AP) — A depleted Russian team departed for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, missing dozens of athletes who were excluded amid the country's doping scandal.
Team members left on a charter flight from Moscow's Sheremetevo airport to Brazil, a day after an emotional farewell ceremony with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.
More than 100 athletes from what was originally a 387-strong team have been barred from competing in Rio by international sports federations under sanctions which most Russian athletes consider unfair.
"We're after medals, that's it," handball player Anna Sen said as she prepared to board the flight. "We need to fight for those athletes who were disqualified."
Lottery say $536M Mega Millions jackpot claimed in Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Lottery officials in Indiana say someone has come forward with the winning ticket from a $536 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing earlier this month.
The Hoosier Lottery said Thursday that it would hold a news conference Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway about the jackpot. No information about the winner was released, and a lottery spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.
The winning ticket for the July 8 drawing was sold at a Speedway gas station along Interstate 70 in Cambridge City, a town of about 2,000 residents 50 miles east of Indianapolis. The winner had 180 days from the drawing to claim the jackpot.
Lottery officials have said that whoever bought the ticket may not be from Indiana because the gas station is along a busy highway.