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KNOW IT ALL: Thursday’s Top 7 Stories at NBC News

Image: CUBA-US-DAILY LIFE

A bus with the Cuban and US flags is seen on a beach in Havana, on August 12, 2015. Cuba and the United States have restored full diplomatic relations last month after more than a half century of enmity. YAMIL LAGE / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:

1. Death Toll Climbs After Blasts Rock Chinese City

Massive explosions that rocked the port city of Tianjin were so strong that residents miles away thought they were experiencing an earthquake, witnesses said Thursday as the death toll rose to at least 50. Local officials said firefighting was suspended on orders of the central government so that a team of chemical experts could assess hazardous materials on site. Read more in NEWS.

Massive Explosion Rocks Chinese City of Tianjin 2:09

2. Former President Jimmy Carter Has Advanced Cancer

Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, announced Wednesday that his cancer has spread. Although it's not yet clear what kind he has, the 90-year-old said he had a mass removed from his liver on Aug. 3. Statements of support poured in, including from President Barack Obama. Read more in POLITICS.

3. Democratic Contender Bernie Sanders Gets Bump in Polls

The Democratic presidential hopeful says that he's getting a boost in the polls because "people are saying enough is enough" when it comes to America's political and economic systems. He also touted his burgeoning crowd sizes: Over 20,000 people attended each of his rallies in Los Angeles and Portland in recent days. Read more in POLITICS.

4. Havana Gears Up for U.S. Embassy Flag-Raising

There is a buzz around the the Cuban capital before Friday's historic events, when Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over the flag-raising ceremony. Reopening the U.S. Embassy in Havana follows Obama's call to normalize relations and economic ties between the two countries after decades of Cold War hostilities. Read more in LATINO.

5. U.S. Begins Manned Flights Against ISIS from Turkey

America launched its first manned anti-ISIS military flights from Turkey on Wednesday, adding to the unmanned drones that began bombing targets in Syria last month. The flights followed Turkey's decision to host American aircraft supporting Free Syrian Forces. Read more in NEWS.

6. Sweden Runs Out of Time to Charge Julian Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on Thursday they had dropped investigations into allegations of sexual assault made in 2010 against the WikiLeaks founder because they had run out of time to bring charges. Assange denies the accusations and has been holed up inside Ecuador's London Embassy since June 2012. Read more in NEWS.

7. Unauthorized Drone Reports Soaring Into Clouds: FAA

Pilots have reported seeing more than double the number of unmanned aircraft in the skies this year compared to the same period last year. That can be perilous for aircraft and helicopter pilots trying to maneuver safely, the FAA warns. Read more in TECH.

Nightly Spotlight

Researchers say kids are attracted to foods high in calories, and with sugar everywhere, many parents are struggling to help their kids make healthy choices.

Are Kids Biologically Hardwired to Like Sugar? 2:33