Clinton enters fall with key advantages in White House race
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two months from Election Day, Hillary Clinton has a clear edge over Donald Trump in nearly every measure traditionally used to gauge success in presidential races.
She’s raising huge sums of money and flooding airwaves with television advertisements. A sophisticated data team with a history of winning White House contests is meticulously tracking voters in key battleground states. Clinton also has multiple paths to the 270 electoral votes needed to win in November — so many that she could lose Ohio and Florida and still become America’s first female president.
But Trump’s campaign believes there are pockets of voters eager to be persuaded not to back Clinton. While Trump squandered a summer’s worth of opportunities to court those voters, his campaign heads into the fall suddenly confident in its ability to make up lost ground.
Trump aides were gleeful Friday over the release of FBI notes regarding Clinton’s controversial email practices while secretary of state. His campaign plans to come out of the Labor Day weekend wielding the report as a warning about the Democrat’s judgment.
Getting Trump to make that kind of consistent case against Clinton has been a herculean task for much of the campaign. But advisers say he’s more receptive to his new leadership team’s more scripted approach, mostly because it’s coincided with a tightening in the public polls he monitors obsessively.
Trump tells black churchgoers in Detroit visit is ‘to learn’
DETROIT (AP) — Donald Trump swayed to songs of worship, read scripture, and donned a Jewish prayer shawl Saturday during a visit to a predominantly black church in Detroit, where he called for a “civil rights agenda of our time” and vowed to fix the “many wrongs” facing African-Americans.
“I am here to listen to you,” Trump told the congregation at the Great Faith Ministries International. “I’m here today to learn.”
Trump has stepped up his outreach to minority voters in recent weeks as he tries to expand his appeal beyond his GOP base. The visit was Trump’s first to a black church — a rare appearance in front of a largely-minority audience for the candidate who typically attracts overwhelmingly white crowds.
Trump was introduced by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, who warned that he was in for something different. “This is the first African-American church he’s been in, y’all! Now it’s a little different from a Presbyterian church,” he said.
While protesters were a vocal presence outside, Trump made a pitch inside for support from an electorate strongly aligned with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Hermine kills 2, ruins beach weekends in northward march
The once-and-future Hurricane Hermine regained strength Saturday as it moved slowly up the Eastern Seaboard and made a mess of the holiday weekend.
Hermine (her-MEEN) already caused two deaths, damaged properties and left hundreds of thousands without electricity from Florida to Virginia. It spawned a tornado in North Carolina and closed beaches as far north as New York.
“This is not a beach weekend for anyone in the Mid-Atlantic to the northeast,” said Eric Blake, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Hermine rose up over the Gulf of Mexico and hit Florida on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before weakening to a tropical storm across Georgia.
By 11 p.m. Saturday, Hermine’s top sustained winds remained at 70 mph (110 kph) as it moved east-northeast at 13 mph (19 kph). The storm, expected to turn northward on Sunday, was centered about 205 miles southeast of Ocean City, Maryland.
Record-tying Oklahoma earthquake felt as far away as Arizona
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A record-tying earthquake in the edge of Oklahoma’s key energy-producing areas rattled the Midwest from Illinois to the southwest part of Texas on Saturday, bringing fresh attention to the practice of disposing oil and gas field wastewater deep underground.
The United States Geological Survey said a 5.6 magnitude earthquake happened at 7:02 a.m. Saturday in north-central Oklahoma, on the fringe of an area where regulators had stepped in to limit wastewater disposal. That temblor matches a November 2011 quake in the same region.
An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which since 2013 has asked wastewater-well owners to reduce disposal volumes in parts of the state, is requiring 37 wells in a 514 square-mile area around the epicenter of the earthquake to shut down within seven to 10 days because of previous connections between the injection of wastewater and earthquakes.
“All of our actions have been based on the link that researchers have drawn between the Arbuckle disposal well operations and earthquakes in Oklahoma,” spokesman Matt Skinner said Saturday. “We’re trying to do this as quickly as possible, but we have to follow the recommendations of the seismologists, who tell us everything going off at once can cause an (earthquake).”
Bumpy start to Obama’s China trip, beginning with the stairs
HANGZHOU, China (AP) — If President Barack Obama was hoping for a graceful start to his final trip to Asia as commander in chief, this wasn’t it.
A confrontation between a White House aide and a Chinese official, and other diplomatic dust-ups were out in the open from the moment Air Force One landed in Hangzhou, site of an economic summit.
The first sign of trouble: There was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. Obama used an alternative exit.
On the tarmac, a quarrel broke out between a presidential aide and a Chinese official who demanded the journalists traveling with Obama be prohibited from getting anywhere near him. It was a breach of the tradition observed whenever the American president arrives in a foreign place.
When the White House official insisted the U.S. would set the rules for its own leader, her Chinese counterpart shot back.
Officials: Remains of Minnesota boy missing since 1989 found
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The remains of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-year-old boy kidnapped from a rural Minnesota road nearly 27 years ago, were identified Saturday, authorities said, providing long-awaited answers to a mystery that has captivated residents and sparked changes in sex offender laws.
A masked gunman abducted Jacob in October of 1989 near the boy’s home in St. Joseph, about 80 miles northwest of Minneapolis. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement that “Jacob Wetterling’s remains have been located” and that the Ramsey County medical examiner and a forensic odontologist identified them Saturday.
Additional DNA testing will be conducted and investigators are continuing to evaluate new evidence in the case, the sheriff’s office said, adding that authorities expect to be able to provide more details early next week.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press earlier Saturday that a person of interest in Jacob’s abduction took authorities to a field in central Minnesota last week. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case, said remains and other evidence were recovered and that the remains had been buried.
Jacob’s mother, Patty Wetterling, sent a text message to KARE-TV earlier Saturday, saying that Jacob “has been found and our hearts are broken.” She did not immediately respond to calls and text messages from The Associated Press.
Pope hails volunteers on eve of Mother Teresa sainthood
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday denounced what he called the modern-day sin of indifference to hunger, exploitation and other suffering, while commending the example of Mother Teresa on the eve of a sainthood ceremony for the nun who cared for India’s destitute.
Choosing “to not see hunger, disease, exploited persons, this is a grave sin. It’s also a modern sin, a sin of today,” Francis told thousands of lay volunteers in St. Peter’s Square at a special gathering to stress the need for more mercy and caring in the world.
Francis will lead a Sunday morning canonization ceremony in the square which is expected to draw huge crowds of faithful and other admirers of Mother Teresa, who founded an order of nuns devoted like her to giving tenderness and assistance to the poor who were sick and dying in the streets of Kolkata.
Cheering the pontiff in Saturday’s crowd were many nuns from her Missionaries of Charity order, each wearing the characteristic white sari trimmed in blue that makes them easily identifiable worldwide where they care for the needy. Francis greeted a group of these nuns as he was driven through the square in his popemobile, and one of the nuns put a blue-and-white garland around his neck.
“Tomorrow, we’ll have the joy of seeing Mother Teresa proclaimed a saint,” he said. “She deserves it!”
Los Angeles skyscraper tops out as tallest Western building
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A new skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles has become the tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Construction workers on Saturday placed a 10-ton spire atop the Wilshire Grand Tower. The spire adds 160 feet to the 73-story building. That makes it 1,099 feet high.
That’s 81 feet higher than nearby U.S. Bank Tower, which held the tallest building record since 1989.
The Wilshire Grand still has some construction work scheduled. The $1 billion hotel and office complex is scheduled to open next March.
Lena Dunham apologizes to NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lena Dunham is apologizing to New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for making “narcissistic assumptions” about his motivations in an article published Friday her Lenny Letter.
In a discussion with Amy Schumer about the most recent Met Gala, Dunham said she was seated near Beckham, who she claimed was looking at his cellphone instead of her because he found her sexually unappealing.
Dunham apologized Saturday on her social media accounts, saying she projected her personal insecurities onto the football star and presented them as facts. She said she and Beckham have never met and, “after listening to a lot of valid criticism” understands that it is wrong to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to a stranger.
Beckham has not acknowledged Dunham’s original comments or apology on his social media accounts.
Wisconsin shocks No. 5 LSU, 16-14
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Rafael Gaglianone booted the 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Wisconsin’s defense backed up their strong-legged kicker with a late-game interception.
Then LSU offensive lineman Josh Boutte delivered a devastating hit.
The Badgers staved off the fifth-ranked Tigers’ desperate last-ditch drive for a 16-14 victory Saturday in a game that dealt an early blow to LSU’s national title hopes.
LSU’s frustration was on full display at the end of the game, when Boutte was ejected for a flagrant foul after the vicious blind-side hit on Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon. The safety had sealed the win with an interception with 57 seconds left.
“It was honestly unbelievable when I turned around and saw that D’Cota had the ball in his hands,” Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt said. “A little scuffle broke out from the LSU team. In the end that’s the way they play football and we have our ways to play football.”