Bipartisan backlash for Trump, after questioning Khan family YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) - Donald Trump sparked bipartisan backlash, after the Republican attacked the bereaved parents of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who spoke at the Democratic convention last week. Critics from both parties on Saturday questioned whether Trump had the empathy and understanding to be president, particularly after he questioned why mourning mother Ghazala Khan stayed silent during her husband's Thursday night address. "He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule," Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine said after a campaign event in Pittsburgh. "It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don't have any more sense of empathy than that, then I'm not sure you can learn it." Former President Bill Clinton, who joined his wife and Kaine at the event, agreed: "I cannot conceive how you can say that about a Gold Star mother." Lawyer Khizr Khan gave a moving tribute to their son, Humayun, who received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004.
Trump says Clinton trying to rig debates with NFL conflicts WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says opponent Hillary Clinton and other Democrats "are trying to rig" the fall debates by scheduling two of the events opposite NFL games. The football league has complained to him about the debate schedule in a letter, the billionaire says. The NFL and the Commission on Presidential Debates on Saturday rejected both of Trump's assertions. A spokesman for the NFL said the football league didn't send such a letter to Trump. The independent, nonpartisan commission said that no political party or campaign was consulted when the dates were selected last year. Late Friday night, Trump posted a tweet: "As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games.
Texas hot air balloon crash leaves no apparent survivors LOCKHART, Texas (AP) - A hot air balloon carrying 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas, and it appeared no one survived, authorities said. Authorities would not confirm the exact number of deaths in Saturday's crash, but Lynn Lunsford with the Federal Aviation Administration said the balloon was carrying at least 16 people and the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that it didn't look like anyone survived. If 16 people were killed, it would be the one of the worst such disasters, possibly the worst in U.S. history. The deadliest such disaster happened in February 2013, when a balloon flying over Luxor, Egypt, caught fire and plunged 1,000 feet to the ground, crashing into a sugar cane field and killing at least 19 foreign tourists.
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FAA was warned of risk for high-fatality balloon crashes WASHINGTON (AP) - Warning about potential high-fatality accidents, safety investigators recommended two years ago that the Federal Aviation Administration impose greater oversight on commercial hot air balloon operators, government documents show. The FAA rejected those recommendations. A hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people crashed Saturday in Central Texas. Authorities say it's unlikely anyone survived. In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in April 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board urged the FAA to require tour companies to get agency permission to operate, and to make balloon operators subject to FAA safety inspections. "The potential for a high number of fatalities in a single air tour balloon accident is of particular concern if air tour balloon operators continue to conduct operations under less stringent regulations and oversight," then-NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman wrote.
Faithful fill meadow ahead of pope's last Mass in Poland BRZEGI, Poland (AP) - Young pilgrims have filled a massive meadow near Krakow in southern Poland for a Mass with Pope Francis, the last major event the pope will lead as he wraps up a five-day visit to Poland. Some of the young people even camped out overnight in the field after an evening with the pope there that drew a massive crowd, estimated at 1.6 million by the World Youth Day organizers. The Mass is taking place in the Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi, a village near Krakow. The pope has had a busy schedule since he arrived in Poland on Wednesday on his first trip ever to Eastern Europe, visiting Auschwitz, leading Masses and holding many meetings with the eager young people who have traveled from around the world to be with him.
China's nuclear power ambitions sailing into troubled waters BEIJING (AP) - China's ambitions to become a pioneer in nuclear energy are sailing into troubled waters. Two state-owned companies plan to develop floating nuclear reactors, a technology engineers have been considering since the 1970s for use by oil rigs or island communities. Beijing is racing Russia, which started developing its own in 2007, to get a unit into commercial operation. In China's case, the achievement would be tempered by concern its reactors might be sent into harm's way to support oil exploration in the South China Sea, where Beijing faces conflicting territorial claims by neighbors including Vietnam and the Philippines.
IOC sets up 3-person panel to rule on Russian entries RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - A three-person International Olympic Committee panel will make a final ruling on which individual Russian athletes are allowed to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Games. The IOC's ruling executive board, meeting Saturday for the final time before the opening of the games next Friday, said the panel will decide on the entry of Russian athletes whose names have been forwarded to compete by their international sports federations and approved by an independent arbitrator. "This panel will decide whether to accept or reject that final proposal," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said. "We want to make it absolutely clear that we are the ones making the final call." The move comes amid a doping scandal that has led to the exclusion of more than 100 Russian athletes connected to state-sponsored cheating.
Skydiver becomes first person to jump and land without chute LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 42-year-old skydiver with more than 18,000 jumps made history when he became the first person to leap without a parachute and land in a net instead. After a two-minute freefall, Luke Aikins landed dead center in the 100-by-100-foot net Saturday at the Big Sky movie ranch on the outskirts of Simi Valley. As cheers erupted, Aikins quickly climbed out, walked over and hugged his wife, Monica, who had been watching from the ground with their 4-year-old son, Logan, and other family members. "I'm almost levitating, it's incredible," the jubilant skydiver said, raising his hands over his head as his wife held their son, who dozed in her arms.
3rd Chicago cop relieved of powers over man shot in back CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Saturday relieved a third officer of his police powers in the death of a suspect after autopsy results showed the 18-year-old died of a gunshot wound to the back. Johnson's move came hours after the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Paul O'Neal's death a homicide. In a statement, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Superintendent Johnson spent hours reviewing video evidence with other officials following the release of the autopsy report. Although a formal investigation is still ongoing, "Johnson has pledged that CPD will conduct a thorough and fact based administrative review," Guglielmi said.