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Here is the latest news from The Associated Press at 12:40 p.m. EDT

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:55am

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will remain in office, a day after President Donald Trump rebuked him for recusing himself from the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Sessions said Thursday he will stay in office "as long as that is appropriate.'

Venezuela's Maduro, foes head into crucial showdown

Michael Weissenstein and Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:42am

Large swaths of Venezuela's capital were shuttered and silent Thursday as opponents of President Nicolas Maduro called the first major national strike since a 2002 stoppage that failed to topple Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez.

Poland OKs law that puts top court under political control

Monika Scislowska, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:42am

Polish lawmakers voted Thursday to approve a contentious law that gives control of the nation's Supreme Court to the president instead of to judges, sparking new protests outside parliament in Warsaw.

The Latest: EU's Tusk urges Poland's president to meet

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:32am

The Latest on Poland's parliamentary vote (all times local):

The Latest: Turkey says it would reciprocate German threats

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:22am

The Latest on relations between Turkey and Germany (all times local):

UK's Liberal Democrats make Vince Cable party leader

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:02am

Former British Business Secretary Vince Cable has become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats in Britain.

Qatar suggests cyberattack emanated from Gulf

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 10:02am

Qatari officials investigating a cyberattack that sparked a diplomatic crisis with neighboring Gulf states and Egypt say their findings confirm that the beneficiary of the attack is the United Arab Emirates.

Germany raises pressure on Turkey after activist jailed

Geir Moulson, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:52am

The German government increased pressure on Turkey Thursday after the jailing of a human rights activist, telling all citizens traveling there to exercise caution and threatening to withhold backing for German investments in Turkey.

Kuwait shuts Iran cultural mission, expels some diplomats

Hussain Al-Qatari, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:52am

Kuwait said on Thursday it is shutting the Iranian cultural mission and calling for a reduction in the number of Iranian diplomats stationed in the country, deepening a rift between the Gulf Arab states and Tehran.

Turkey arrests man with 'hero' T-shirt during coup trial

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:46am

Turkey's official news agency says a man has been arrested on suspicion of terror propaganda for wearing a T-shirt with the word "hero" on it while attending a relative's court hearing linked to last year's failed coup.

Germany indicts 5 suspects in IS recruitment ring

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:37am

German prosecutors filed terrorism charges Thursday against a suspected representative of the Islamic State group in Germany and four fellow suspects who are accused of running a recruitment network.

Power-sharing deal between former foes taking shape in Gaza

Fares Akram and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:21am

More than 2,000 supporters of former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan have staged a march in Gaza, raising banners with large photos of him.

Angola's president returns from Spain amid health concerns

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 9:11am

Angolan media say President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has returned to the country from Spain, where he has received medical treatment this year.

Russian president pays visit to one of his fiercest critics

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 8:41am

President Vladimir Putin has paid a rare visit to a Russian human rights icon to congratulate her on her 90th birthday.

Bus falls into gorge in north Indian hill state, killing 28

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 8:21am

An inter-city bus plunged into a deep gorge in a northern Indian hill state on Thursday, killing 28 people and injuring 10 others, officials said.

Fidget spinners as campaign goodies? Russia probes claims

The Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 8:01am

Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters.

Duterte flies to besieged city, warns of other attacks

Jim Gomez, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 8:01am

The Philippine president flew for the first time Thursday to a besieged southern city to cheer troops who have been trying to quell a nearly two-month uprising by Islamic State group-linked militants, who he warned were plotting to attack other cities.

Parents of US reporter missing in Syria believe he is alive

Bassem Mroue, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 7:21am

The parents of an American journalist who has been missing in Syria for the past five years said on Thursday that they believe he is still alive — and that the U.S. and Syrian governments have assured them they are doing all they can to secure his safe release.

Lawyer: Russian programmer sought by US is political victim

Aritz Parra, Associated Press  |  Posted   Jul 20th - 7:21am

The lawyer defending a Russian computer programmer arrested in Spain says flaws in the extradition request by the United States signal a political motivation behind the prosecution.