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July 30, 2014

The navigator and last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, died Monday in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He was 93.

Born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania, Van Kirk became an Army Air Forces cadet in 1941. He flew 58 missions in Europe and North Africa, The New York Times reports, and went to Utah in 1944 for training. At the time, he didn't know he was preparing to drop an atomic bomb. In 2005, Van Kirk told Time that his colonel said to him, "'We're going to do something that I can't tell you about right now, but if it works, it will end or significantly shorten the war.' And I thought, 'Oh, yeah, buddy, I've heard that before.'"

During an interview with The New York Times, Van Kirk recalled flying over Hiroshima and the moment of impact. He said he felt "a sense of relief," and upon returning to the base was greeted by "more generals and admirals than I had ever seen in one place in my life."

He retired in 1946 as a major, and received the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. Van Kirk went back to school and earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Bucknell University, eventually becoming a marketing executive with DuPont. He never shied away from the role he played in ending World War II, saying, "We were fighting an enemy that had a reputation for never surrendering, never accepting defeat. Where was the morality in the bombing of Coventry, or the bombing of Dresden, or the Bataan Death March, or the Rape of Nanking, or the bombing of Pearl Harbor? I believe that when you're in a war, a nation must have the courage to do what it must to win the war with a minimum loss of lives." Catherine Garcia

9:18 p.m. ET

Two sheriff's deputies were killed in Abingdon, Maryland, on Wednesday, after approaching a suspect inside a Panera Bread during the lunch hour.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County sheriff's department said in a statement that the deputies were at the restaurant for an investigation, and the suspect shot one deputy and then ran to a nearby apartment complex. A second deputy then "attempted to make contact with the suspect," and was also shot. At that point, at least two other deputies fired at the suspect, and he died at the scene, Gahler said. No customers inside the Panera Bread were injured, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The suspect has been identified as 67-year-old David Brian Evans, a white male. He had two outstanding warrants — one in Florida for assaulting a police officer and fleeing, and another in Harford County for a reason not disclosed by Gahler, USA Today reports. The names of the deceased deputies have not yet been released, but Gahler said one was a 30-year veteran of the department who worked in the Court Services Division, and the other was a 16-year veteran who worked with the Community Services Division. "Today is a sad day for the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Harford County who we are sworn to serve," Gahler said. Catherine Garcia

8:48 p.m. ET
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

On Thursday, leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus will go to the Democratic National Committee to formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president through its political action committee.

The group plans to send African American lawmakers to targeted states, including South Carolina, where the Democratic primary will take place on Feb. 27. "It's one thing to endorse and do nothing," Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), chairman of the CBS PAC, told The Washington Post. "It's another thing to endorse and to go to work."

Meeks said that out of the 20 people on the PAC's board, 90 percent voted to endorse Clinton. None of the members voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), while some abstained because they have yet to endorse anyone. The lawmakers who will stump for Clinton are familiar with her, Meeks said, and "can actually testify [to] the work that Hillary Clinton has done." Catherine Garcia

7:56 p.m. ET
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Ben Carson didn't do very well in the New Hampshire primary — he came in second-to-last, beating just Jim Gilmore — but he said his backers aren't going to let him give up.

"I'm not getting any pressure from our millions of supporters" to exit the race, he told CNN Wednesday. "I'm getting a lot of pressure to make sure I stay in the race. They're reminding me that I'm here because I responded to their imploring me to get involved. And I respect that and I'm not just going to walk away from the millions of people who are supporting me."

Carson said he thinks he can win South Carolina, and will "be putting a lot of time, resources, and effort here." The campaign did not spent "nearly as much money in New Hampshire as many others," he added, because they "recognized there were certain things that were going to happen there. So you have to pick your battles very carefully. We're doing just fine, people will continue to support us, we will move forward." Catherine Garcia

7:35 p.m. ET
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

Riding high from his win in New Hampshire, Donald Trump told an audience in Pendleton, South Carolina, on Wednesday that it's true, he does "love money," but has decided now to "be greedy for the United States."

"We want to bring money to the United States," he said to cheers. "I really do. To hell with the business stuff, my kids will take the business, my executives. They'll run it." Trump claimed that he's been turning away friends offering him money, regularly rejecting donations of "$5 million, $10 million" in order to finance his own campaign. "People would give me anything," he said.

Trump briefly spoke of his rivals, noting that the number is dwindling and announcing "the last thing we need is another Bush." He brought up the "beautiful spirits" of his supporters, and shared how dedicated his team is to the cause. "Three of my people" were in car accidents on the way to an event in New Hampshire, he said, during a storm. "One walked over about a mile in a blizzard to be there, and it turned out he had close to a broken leg," he told the crowd. "I said, 'you're fired for ruining my car.' No, I'm only kidding." Catherine Garcia

6:48 p.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil rights lawsuit against Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, with Attorney General Loretta Lynch saying the city's residents have "suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights — the rights guaranteed to all Americans — for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer."

The suit cites a "pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States" and alleges officials in Ferguson use illegal practices in conducting stops, searches, and arrests; by using excessive force; and in discriminating against African Americans. The Justice Department is calling on the federal court to force Ferguson "to adopt and implement policies, procedures, and mechanisms that identify, correct, and prevent the unlawful conduct."

On Tuesday, the Ferguson City Council approved a revised version of a consent decree that was intended to fix problems in the police department and municipal court found during an investigation following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Michael Brown in August 2014, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The Justice Department says the revisions to the consent decree will likely be challenged. Catherine Garcia

4:02 p.m. ET

Much has been said about the lack of substantial roles for women in Hollywood films — female characters are disproportionately underrepresented and hypersexualized, a 2013 study found. The issue goes far beyond who is directing the movie, too: A character is, after all, first conceived in a script. That's where Ross Putnam comes in.

Putnam is a producer who has created a Twitter account to highlight the fact that women are written as sexual objects right from the start. "These are intros for female leads in actual scripts I read. Names changed to JANE, otherwise verbatim... Apologies if I quote your work," Putnam writes in his bio.

Here is a look at some of the most telling of the bunch. Jeva Lange

3:26 p.m. ET

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina suspended her bid for the Republican presidential nomination, she announced Wednesday.

"While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them," Fiorina said in a statement.

She fared poorly in both the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. It didn't take long for the Democratic Party to weigh in on Fiorina's announcement. Julie Kliegman

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