Nation marks 50 years after Apollo 11’s ‘giant leap’ on moon
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A moonstruck nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s “giant leap” by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin at parties, races, ball games and concerts Saturday, toasting with Tang and gobbling MoonPies.
At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Aldrin showed Vice President Mike Pence the launch pad where he flew to the moon in 1969. At the same time halfway around the world, an American and two other astronauts blasted into space on a Russian rocket. And in Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, nearly 2,000 runners competed in “Run to the Moon” races.
“Apollo 11 is the only event in the 20th century that stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century,” the vice president said.
Wapakoneta 10K runner Robert Rocco, 54, a retired Air Force officer from Centerville, Ohio, called the moon landing by Armstrong and Aldrin “perhaps the most historic event in my lifetime, maybe in anybody’s lifetime.”
At the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Gilda Warden sat on a bench and gazed in awe at the Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, on display. “It’s like entering the Sistine Chapel and seeing the ceiling. You want to just sit there and take it in,” said Warden, 63, a psychiatric nurse from Tacoma, Washington.
Big league ballparks broil as heat wave grips much of majors
At Wrigley Field, misters in the back of the bleachers tried to cool the crowd. At Yankee Stadium, only one player took batting practice on the field. In Cleveland, rules were relaxed on what fans could bring into the park.
Even for a sport that promotes high heat, Saturday was a scorcher across the majors. The National Weather Service said it was part of “a dangerous heat wave” gripping much of the country.
From the Northeast through the Midwest, no player, manager or umpire was spared as temperatures soared near triple digits in big league broilers.
Hours before Baltimore played Boston at sweltering Camden Yards, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde pulled aside starting catcher Chance Sisco and issued a stiff directive.
“I told Chance, ‘Do not go outside until the game starts,'” Hyde said.
Iran says its seizure of British ship a ‘reciprocal’ move
TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker was a response to Britain’s role in impounding an Iranian supertanker first, senior officials said Saturday, as newly released video of the incident showed Iranian commandos in black ski masks and fatigues rappelling from a helicopter onto the vessel in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The seizure prompted condemnation from the U.K. and its European allies as they continue to call for a de-escalation of tensions in the critical waterway.
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain’s response “will be considered but robust.”
In comments on Twitter on Saturday, he said he spoke with Iran’s foreign minister and expressed extreme disappointment that the Iranian diplomat had assured him Iran wanted to de-escalate the situation but “they have behaved in the opposite way.”
Speaking to reporters later Saturday after an emergency government meeting, Hunt said the “totally and utterly unacceptable” interception of the British-flagged Stena Impero “raises very serious questions about the security of British shipping and indeed international shipping” in the Strait of Hormuz.
ESPN reasserts political talk policy after attack on Trump
NEW YORK – ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to avoid talking about politics after radio talk show host Dan Le Batard criticized President Donald Trump and his recent racist comments and ESPN itself on the air this week.
The reminder went out Friday to all employees, including Le Batard, according to an ESPN employee who spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday because the person was not authorized to speak publicly about personnel matters.
ESPN has not spoken publicly about Le Batard’s comments, including whether he faces any disciplinary action.
Reached on Saturday, Le Batard also declined comment.
For ESPN, the episode raises comparisons to what happened following anti-Trump tweets by its former anchor Jemele Hill nearly two years ago. Following that case, and criticism among some conservatives about left-leaning remarks on ESPN’s air, network president Jimmy Pitaro decreed that its employees should avoid political talk unless they’re reporting on issues raised by sports figures.
British Airways, Lufthansa suspend Cairo flights
LONDON – British Airways and Lufthansa both said Saturday they were suspending flights to Cairo for unspecified reasons related to safety and security.
The British carrier said it was canceling flights to the Egyptian capital for a week. The German airline said normal operations would resume Sunday.
Both carriers delivered two-sentence statements via email.
British Airways attributed its cancellations to what it called its constant review of security arrangements at all airports, calling them “a precaution to allow for further assessment.”
Lufthansa said it was suspending its flights as a precaution, mentioning “safety” but not “security” as its concern.
American crocodiles thriving outside nuclear plant
MIAMI – American crocodiles, once headed toward extinction, are thriving at an unusual spot – the canals surrounding a South Florida nuclear plant.
Last week, 73 crocodile hatchlings were rescued by a team of specialists at Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point nuclear plant and dozens more are expected to emerge soon.
Turkey Point’s 168-mile (270 kilometers) of man-made canals serve as the home to several hundred crocodiles, where a team of specialists working for FPL monitors and protects them from hunting and climate change.
From January to April, Michael Lloret, an FPL wildlife biologist and crocodile specialist, helps create nests and ponds on berms for crocodiles to nest. Once the hatchlings are reared and left by the mother, the team captures them. They are measured and tagged with microchips to observe their development. Lloret then relocates them to increase survival rates.
“We entice crocodiles to come in to the habitats FPL created,” Lloret said. “We clear greenery on the berms so that the crocodiles can nest. Because of rising sea levels wasting nests along the coasts, Turkey Point is important for crocodiles to continue.”
Trump’s ‘go back’ remark: In workplace, it might be illegal
NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s suggestion that four activist Democratic congresswomen of color “go back” to countries “from which they came” has excited some in his political base. Yet in many of America’s workplaces and institutions, the same language would be unacceptable and possibly illegal.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal laws against workplace bias, explicitly cites comments like “go back to where you came from” as examples of “potentially unlawful conduct.”
Similar phrases routinely show up in lawsuits that the EEOC files against employers alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation based on race or national origin.
Apart from its legality in workplaces, Trump’s language has ignited impassioned responses across racial, ethnic and political divides.
“It wasn’t Racist!” tweeted Terrence Williams, a black comedian who supports Trump. “No matter what color you are YOU can go back home or move if you don’t like America.”
Russian capsule carrying 3 docks with space station
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan – A Russian space capsule with three astronauts aboard has docked with the International Space Station after a fast-track trip to the orbiting laboratory.
The Soyuz capsule docked at 22:48 GMT Saturday, just six hours and 20 minutes after blasting off from Russia’s launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The launch took place on the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.
The capsule is carrying Andrew Morgan of the United States on his first spaceflight, Russian Alexander Skvortsov on his third mission to the space station and Italian Luca Parmitano.
They will join Russian Alexey Ovchinin and Americans Nick Hague and Christina Koch have been aboard since March.
Trump’s bail offer for jailed rapper rings hollow in Sweden
BERLIN – U.S. President Donald Trump said he spoke with Sweden’s prime minister Saturday about jailed rapper A$AP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail,” a hollow offer in a criminal justice system that doesn’t include bail.
Trump tweeted that during “a very good call” with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, he also “assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk.” The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated artist has been in custody since early this month over an alleged fight.
While not an option in Sweden, bail is common in the United States. A defendant is allowed to post an amount of money set by the court to guarantee the defendant will appear for trial if he or she is freed pending those proceedings.
Urged on by the first lady and celebrities including Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, the president had said in a Friday tweet that he would intervene to try to free Rocky, whose real name is Rakim May.
“Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!” Trump wrote Saturday after speaking with Lofven.
Some asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico help each other
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico – A small group of asylum seekers sit under a canopy on the side of a road leading into the United States, chatting to pass the time as a blazing desert sun pushes the heat into triple digits and fumes roll in from dozens of cars lined up to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
Coming from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba and many other countries, they’re waiting in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, to seek asylum at the official border crossing just south of San Luis, Arizona.
Under the canopy, surrounded by little but fencing and some stores and restaurants, they look like old friends. They have banded together around their small fold-up table, where they spend hours waiting.
They assign people with children to early morning shifts when the heat isn’t as bad. A daily “colecta” – a collection of cash – pays for water and snacks for those guarding the table.
“Here, you have nobody but each other,” Julio Montenegro, a 33-year-old Guatemalan who has been waiting for several weeks, said on a hot afternoon in late June.