AP Top News at 3:29 p.m. EDT

AP Top News at 3:29 p.m. EDT
Published June 24

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) As the U.S. piles sanction after sanction on Iran, it's the average person who feels it the most. From a subway performer's battered leather hat devoid of tips, to a bride-to-be's empty purse, the lack of cash from the economic pressure facing Iran's 80 million people can be seen everywhere. Many blame President Donald Trump and his maximalist policy on Iran, which has seen him pull out of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and levy punishing U.S. sanctions on the country. In recent weeks, Iran has threatened to break out of the deal unless European powers mitigate what it calls Trump's "economic warfare." Iran also appeared ready to push back against the buildup of U.S.MISSION, Texas (AP) Four people, including three children, found dead in South Texas near the border with Mexico most likely died of dehydration and heat exposure after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S., authorities said Monday. A law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press the four were overcome by the heat and foul play is not suspected. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person isn't authorized to speak publicly about the bodies found Sunday. Hidalgo County sheriff's Sgt. Frank Medrano said earlier that the bodies of a woman in her early 20s, a toddler and two infants were found in or near Anzalduas Park, which borders the river in the city of Mission.PEORIA, Ill. (AP) Jurors deliberated less than 90 minutes before returning a guilty verdict Monday at the federal death-penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student who killed a visiting scholar from China after abducting her at a bus stop as she headed to sign an off-campus apartment lease. The swift conviction was expected because Brendt Christensen's attorneys acknowledged from the start that he raped and stabbed Yingying Zhang in June 2017. Prosecutors say he beat her to death with a baseball bat and decapitated her. The judge has said there will be a break of a week or more before the penalty phase, a sort of mini-trial that could last several weeks.ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) A Florida woman's effort to protect herself from domestic violence has become a flashpoint in the debate over gun rights and victims' safety. Courtney Irby gave her estranged husband's guns to police after he was charged with domestic violence-aggravated battery, only to find herself arrested for theft. Now a Florida lawmaker and gun safety advocates are championing her cause, asking a state attorney on Monday drop the charges, while gun rights advocates want her prosecuted. Courtney Irby spent six days in jail on charges of armed burglary and grand theft after she retrieved the assault rifle and handgun from her husband's apartment and gave them to the Lakeland Police.BALTIMORE (AP) New evidence paints a "disturbing picture" that racial discrimination may be the motive behind the Trump administration's push to ask everyone in the country about citizenship status, a federal judge wrote in a Monday filing. Last week, U.S. District Judge George Hazel of Maryland ruled there's enough evidence to warrant reopening a case focused on whether a proposed 2020 census question violates minorities' rights. In his court filing Monday, Hazel reasoned that new evidence "potentially connects the dots between a discriminatory purpose" and a decision by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to add the citizenship question. "It is becoming difficult to avoid seeing that which is increasingly clear.WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court struck down a section of federal law Monday that prevented businesses from registering trademarks seen as scandalous or immoral, handing a victory to California fashion brand FUCT. The high court ruled that the century-old provision is an unconstitutional restriction on speech. Between 2005 and 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ultimately refused about 150 trademark applications a year as a result of the provision. Those who were turned away could still use the words they were seeking to register, but they didn't get the benefits that come with trademark registration. Going after counterfeiters was also difficult as a result.NEW YORK (AP) BBC executive Ann Sarnoff was named chief of Warner Bros. on Monday, making her the first woman to head the movie studio in its 96-year history. Her appointment follows the departure in March of Kevin Tsujihara, who stepped down after misconduct allegations. WarnerMedia chief executive John Stankey announced Sarnoff's hiring, concluding a three-month search for one of Hollywood's most prized posts. Many had expected WarnerMedia to turn to an experienced film executive like movie-division head Toby Emmerich, who was part of the interim committee running the studio after Tsujihara's departure, Disney veteran Anne Sweeney or former Fox chief Stacey Snider.KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) Sudan's military rulers refused to agree on Monday to the Ethiopian proposal for a power-sharing agreement with the country's pro-democracy movement, a top general said, in comments that could worsen a volatile standoff with the protesters. Ethiopia has led diplomatic efforts to bring the military and protest leaders back to the negotiating table, after a deadly crackdown by security forces killed at least 128 people across the country earlier this month, according to protest organizers. Sudanese authorities offered a lower toll of 61 deaths. Protest leaders, represented by the coalition Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, had accepted the Ethiopian initiative the day before.

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