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Washington's Top News -- Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday - 8/29/2014, 6:13am  ET

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

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.

30 years of ‘Ghostbusters'

This is big. This is very big. It may be hard to believe, but it's been 30 years since Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson began busting ghosts and warning of the dangers of dogs and cats living together. On WTOP's Entertainment page, check out a gallery of some of the best moments from the film, as well as bits of trivia including some of the actors who were originally cast.

Who ya gonna call for all this knowledge? It's not the Stay-Puft Marshallow man; it's WTOP's film critic, Jason Fraley.

The NFL's problem with women

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Thursday that he is mandating stiffer penalties on players regarding instances of domestic violence. But, as Noah Frank points out, this comes on the heels of a much harsher suspension for Cleveland's Josh Gordon for marijuana use than for Baltimore's Ray Rice for videotaped abuse of his fiancée.

On WTOP's Sports page, Frank digs into Goodell's letter and asks: How much is really going to change? And is it enough, especially in a time when the league's female fan base is large and growing?

A spirited staycation: Visiting two area distilleries

Sticking around town this Labor Day weekend? Visit two of the area's distilleries -- one old-school; the other as modern as it gets.

At Mount Vernon, learn how America's first president made whiskey using corn from the grist mill, and get the heads up on when you can expect the estate's next batch of whiskey following his recipe to hit the shelves. At Catoctin Creek, you can attend a tasting and take a tour of a more modern distillery, seeing the process of fermentation, distillation, aging and bottling in action. Read how they work and see plenty of photos on WTOP's Living page.

eBay, state by state

What does each state buy most frequently on eBay? Especially in this area? The numbers have been collected, and you might be surprised. See what tops the eBay sales lists of the District, Maryland, Virginia and the rest of the country on WTOP's Tech page.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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