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  • Actor John Heard, best known for playing the dad in the “Home Alone” movies, has died, TMZ reported. US Weekly confirmed the report. Heard was found dead in a California hotel Friday, according to TMZ. He was 72. >> Read more trending news The cause of death is unknown, but TMZ reports that Heard had minor surgery on Wednesday, and was staying at the hotel while recovering. Heard’s acting career included film, television and stage credits. While best known for playing father Peter McCallister in “Home Alone,” other film credits include “Big” and 'Beaches,' while television credits include “The Sopranos” and “Prison Break.” This is a breaking news story, return for updates.
  • The Latest on the probe into allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election (all times local): 9:10 a.m. President Donald Trump says that while he has the power to grant pardons, the only crime so far has been leaks against his administration. Trump tweeted Saturday: 'While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.' The Washington Post recently reported that Trump has inquired about his authority to pardon aides, relatives or even himself in connection with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has long criticized leaks about the investigation and has urged authorities to prosecute leakers. Next week, Trump's eldest son, his son-in-law and White House adviser, and a former campaign chairman are to appear before Senate committees investigating Russian meddling. ___ 6:55 a.m. President Donald Trump is complaining about a Washington Post report that the Russian ambassador to the U.S. said he discussed election-related issues with U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions when the men met during the 2016 presidential race. Trump tweeted on Saturday morning: 'A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!' The Post on Friday cited anonymous U.S. officials who described U.S. intelligence intercepts of Ambassador Sergey Kislyak's descriptions of his meetings with Sessions, who was a Trump foreign policy adviser and now serves as attorney general. The Department of Justice says Sessions stands by his previous assertion he never had conversations with Russian officials about any type of interference with the election. ____ 3:15 a.m. Congressional lawmakers say President Donald Trump's eldest son and his former campaign chairman won't testify publicly next week as part of the Russia election meddling investigation. Donald Trump Jr. and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are discussing undergoing a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee's chairman, Chuck Grassley, and its top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, also say they are negotiating with Trump Jr. and Manafort about possibly turning over documents. Both men face questions about attending a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 that was described to Trump Jr. in emails as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign. Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had damaging information that could be used against Democrat Hillary Clinton. ___ This story has been corrected to change characterization of Trump's tweet about pardons.
  • A 95-year-old great-great-grandmother got the thrill of a lifetime when two firefighters came for a visit to her Georgia home.Irene Grundy, who is bedbound and receiving hospice care, had been wanting to see the two firemen to thank them since they helped her to safety during a tornado scare in April. But, she didn't know their names or how to contact them.Her daughter, Victoria Glance, reached out to Wish of a Lifetime, a national nonprofit dedicated to fulfilling life-enriching wishes for seniors to combat isolation, for help in finding the two men and arranging a special visit for her mother.The organization found the firefighters, Julius Holinek and Andy Poteet, at Alpharetta Fire Station 81, and quickly planned their visit with Grundy.'Look at my handsome firemen!' Grundy exclaimed when they came through the door. TRENDING STORIES: FREE things to do this week: Ice cream festival, hiking & movies Unsecure handcuffs, toothbrush aided in prisoners' deadly escape, authorities say 10-year-old walks in, finds mom shot to death The two brought bouquets donated by a local florist, posed for photos, and visited with Grundy and her family.Irene proudly showed off intricate feathered hats she used to make for her church friends in the 1950s, and kept the firemen laughing with jokes that produced belly laughs. '(This experience) boosted her morale,' said her daughter. 'It was a miracle. It changed her whole attitude (and) brightened up her life.'Grundy's daughter, Victoria, was moved by how the community came together to celebrate her mother during a difficult time for their family.'It seemed like a family gathering, and we all hugged at the end,' she said.'Even the guy who delivered food gave her a kiss on the cheek and wished her well.'Grundy spent her life caring for others. She raised four children, has 15 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.She is now receiving all the care she deserves with this outpouring of love from her family and the community of Alpharetta, her daughter said.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to Virginia to commission an aircraft carrier (all times local): 10:15 a.m. President Donald Trump has arrived in Virginia to help commission the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.9 billion warship that will officially be turned over to the Navy. Trump will preside over Saturday's ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, during which the USS Ford will formally join the fleet. The vessel is the first member of the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and is named after the country's 38th president. Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy blames the delays and budget overruns on the ship's state-of-the-art systems. The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea. ___ 3:20 a.m. President Donald Trump will help commission the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.9 billion warship that will officially be turned over to the Navy. The nation's commander in chief is traveling to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on Saturday to preside over a ceremony during which the USS Ford will formally join the fleet. The vessel is the first member of the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and is named after the country's 38th president. Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy blames the delays and budget overruns on the ship's state-of-the-art systems. The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea.
  • He wasn't old enough to understand the 'trial of the century,' but his parents and the older black people in his community made their position clear: They were cheering for Simpson, and were convinced the former NFL star was an innocent dupe in a racial conspiracy. For them, Simpson was a symbol of racial tension and uneven justice. But Zimmerman, now 30 and living in Washington, D.C., grew up amid the hashtags that have come to symbolize the killings of unarmed black men by police. On his Facebook page on Thursday — after Simpson was granted parole from armed robbery and assault convictions — Zimmerman posted: 'Let 1994 go guys.' 'The most relevant thing that came out of O.J. since the trial was the Kardashians for millennials,' said Zimmerman, referring to Simpson's close friendship with the reality-TV clan that was highlighted in a recent television series about the case. 'We don't have an O.J. For me, that was Trayvon Martin. He was me. That resonates more to me ... It wasn't like (Simpson) was at the forefront of any movement.' While millions watched Simpson's parole hearing last week, audiences were hardly as emotionally invested as they were a generation ago watching his murder trial. Simpson's 1995 acquittal in the deaths of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman bitterly polarized Americans around race. But interest has waned, attitudes have changed and black Americans are wrestling with more familiar injustices. Today, Simpson's racial symbolism is largely seen as a relic. 'We just have bigger concerns that are much more directly impacting our specific lives,' said University of Pennsylvania sociologist Camille Z. Charles. 'We now have symbols that reflect what actually happens to most black people. Most black people don't get fancy lawyers that get them off. They don't have jurors that will be sympathetic because of celebrity. The tide has shifted.' On Oct. 3, 1995, an estimated 150 million people — more than half the country at the time — tuned in to hear the jury's verdict in Simpson's trial for the Brown-Goldman murders. The strategy for Simpson's defense team — which included legendary black litigator Johnnie Cochran — was to frame the case around race. They argued that Simpson had been framed by a corrupt and racist Los Angeles Police Department. Simpson spent much of his life distancing himself from the black community. He lived in the wealthy enclave of Brentwood in Los Angeles and traded his black college sweetheart for a blonde, white woman. And he once said, 'I'm not black. I'm OJ.' Still, many African-Americans saw the former running back and actor as a pioneer and cultural icon. Even before he became a criminal defendant, Simpson stood for something bigger. Charles McKinney, who is black, was at work on June 17, 1994, when a friend called and told him to turn on the television. In his office with his white co-worker, the two saw the infamous Bronco chase as Simpson tried to elude police on a California highway. 'My co-worker was like, 'I think we should both go home and watch this,'' recalled McKinney, now 49, and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. 'I knew it was a simultaneously fascinating and toxic mix of race, reality television and celebrity, to see how quickly the nation just split itself along racial lines and how black folks tried to navigate this moment.' At the time, many blacks were less concerned with Simpson's guilt or innocence. For them, Simpson's wealth balanced the scales of justice in a way that was impossible for most black defendants: He could afford to buy his freedom. 'That sort of euphoria around somebody black working the criminal justice system and having it come out the way that it comes out for white folks all the time was kind of a big deal,' Charles said. 'We knew 'not guilty' didn't mean 'innocent.'' Time has sobered the view of many blacks since the verdict. Recent polls show that a majority of blacks now say they believe Simpson was guilty — a view shared by only about 20 percent of blacks at the time of the trial. Simpson found new relevance with millennials and sparked nostalgia with Generation Xers last year with a wildly popular docuseries and documentary about the murder case. And rapper Jay-Z's new album, '4:44,' includes a song titled 'Story of OJ.' When Simpson was convicted in Nevada for a hotel-room heist in 2008 and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison, blacks and whites perceived the harsh sentence as a proxy justice for his earlier acquittal. Still, McKinney wasn't glued to his television for Thursday's hearing. His initial reaction: Who cares? 'It's older white people or people who were around in 1994,' McKinney said. 'You get them mad about the case again. For folks in my generation, nobody was running home to watch this. He's a symbol, but we have lots of symbols now of people who embody these tensions.' Simpson's hearing on Thursday also didn't resonate with Shane Walk, 23, of Albuquerque, a white man who was an infant when the verdict came down. 'I didn't live through the trial, so he doesn't represent to me, at least, to be a racial, polarizing figure as he did with previous generations,' said Walk, adding that he felt the hearing was just another passing fad for the media and that people his age should focus on the current divisions in our country. For Zimmerman, that focus belongs more on the modern-day issues around race and policing that Simpson's case once captured. 'I have no vested interest in O.J.,' Zimmerman said. 'I would like for our country to get over certain things that just really don't affect us. His freedom doesn't affect anybody. There's no systemic issue with O.J. being free.' ___ Associated Press writer Russell Contreras contributed to this story from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Contreras and Whack are members of AP's race and ethnicity team. Follow Errin Haines Whack on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emarvelous
  • A large cover of high pressure is sitting above metro Atlanta, and it should make things seem warmer than the forecast high Saturday. 'Factor in the humidity, it's going to feel like triple-digit heat around metro Atlanta,' Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said. [Download the free Severe Weather Team 2 app for alerts in your area] The expected high Saturday is 93, 1 degree below the average for this date. It should seem even hotter in southside areas. A heat index of 105 to 108 degrees is expected from noon to 6 p.m. in and south of Upson County. Lots of water, lots of breaks if you're going to be outside a lot today -- heat index near 100! @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/28G7ZZQUHQ-- Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) July 22, 2017 Rain? There's a 30 percent chance Saturday, creeping up to 40 percent Sunday. That should cool things off a bit Sunday, with the high forecast at 91.