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1. Eric Cantor steps down as Majority Leader

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., will step down from his leadership post on Thursday after losing Virginia's Republican primary to Dave Brat, a little-known economics professor. The election was a stunning rebuke by Virginia voters of Cantor, who was considered to be on a path to becoming the next speaker of the House. Instead, he'll give up his leadership post to Majority Leader-elect Kevin McCarthy and serve out the rest of this House term on the GOP's back bench. House Republicans paid tribute to Cantor on Tuesday with a video marking his achievements.

2. Major League Baseball's trade deadline today

The countdown has begun. Welcome to the dwindling hours of Major League Baseball's trade deadline. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET to make their moves, and one of the biggest decisions they will have to make is whether to trade the most coveted commodity on the market: elite starting pitching.

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3. Americans are paying more, borrowing less for college

Americans are borrowing less and paying more out of pocket to cover college costs, student lender Sallie Mae reports Thursday. In a reversal of a recent trend toward taking loans, 42% of college costs in 2013-14 were covered by parents' or students' own money. In addition, families are borrowing just 22% of the costs — down by 5 percentage points from last year.

4. Justice Department to address care of children of arrested parents

The Justice Department and police officials across the nation are directing their agencies to deal with the children who are left behind following the arrests of their parents. As few law enforcement agencies have policies to address the estimated 1.7 million children who have at least one parent in prison, the department is crafting guidelines to address the needs of this population.

5. Preseason Amway Coaches Poll to be released

The first college football game may be four weeks away, but the 2014 season kicks off at noon ET Thursday with the unveiling of the Amway Coaches Poll preseason top 25. Where will the Auburn Tigers, bringing back most of their arsenal, be projected? Will the Seminoles be expected to repeat as champions with the return of Heisman winner Jameis Winston? And what about Nick Saban and SEC favorite Alabama?

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Bonus: Muhammad Ali's 'Fight of the Century' gloves reach auction

Float like a butterfly, buy like a bee. A pair of Ali's boxing gloves, which he wore in his 1971 match with Joe Frazier, will be auctioned off at Cleveland's National Sports Collector Convention on Thursday.

And, the essentials:

Weather: Wet weather will bring a lot of rain and thunderstorms across the country.

Stocks: U.S. stock futures were trading lower.

TV Tonight: Wondering what to watch tonight? TV critic Robert Bianco looks at Sleepy Hollow, The Quest, and The Honorable Woman.

If you missed Wednesday's news, we've got you covered here.

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