Washington’s Top News — Friday, August 29, 2014

Here’s a look at some of the day’s top stories from WTOP:

Closing arguments set in former Va. governor trial

Closing arguments are scheduled in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers will sum up the case for the jury Friday. The five-week trial featured the testimony of the former governor and the prosecution’s star witness, wealthy vitamin entrepreneur Jonnie Williams. Maureen McDonnell did not testify.

The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his company’s supposed cure-all, the tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory Anatabloc. They could face decades in prison if convicted.

Google building fleet of package-delivering drones

Google’s secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly.

The ambitious program announced Thursday escalates Google’s technological arms race with rival Amazon.com.

Google Inc. has dubbed its effort “Project Wing.” Although Google expects it to take several more years before its fleet of drones is fully operational, the company says test flights in Australia recently delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to two farmers.

Pilot was killed in Virginia F-15 crash

Military officials in Massachusetts say they’ve confirmed that the pilot of an F-15 jet that crashed in remote Virginia mountains was killed.

Col. James Keefe says his “thoughts and prayers are with the family” of the pilot, whose identity hasn’t been disclosed. The pilot and jet were with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.

Israel identifies body as missing American student

Israeli police say a recently found body has been identified after a forensic investigation as that of a New Jersey religious student who disappeared while hiking in Jerusalem last week.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says the body was confirmed early on Friday morning to be that of seminary student Aharon Sofer, 23. She says “there is no suspicion of foul play,” meaning Sofer’s death was not a militant attack or a criminal attack.

Russia’s Putin calls for release of Ukrainian POWs

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called on pro-Russian separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine to release Ukrainian soldiers they took prisoner and allow them to return home.

Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin’s web-site in the early hours on Friday that a lot of Ukrainian soldiers were fighting the insurgents “against them will” because they took an oath.

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