MOON LANDING-ANNIVERSARY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Pence marks Apollo 11 anniversary at launch site
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is marking the 50th anniversary of humanity’s first moon landing at the Apollo 11 launch site.
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin accompanied Pence to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday and showed him the pad where he began that momentous journey 50 years ago. Aldrin later got a standing ovation during a speech by Pence.
Mission commander Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon on July 20, 1969, died seven years ago. Command module pilot Michael Collins did not attend the Florida celebration.
Pence says Apollo 11 is the only event of the 20th century that “stands a chance of being widely remembered in the 30th century.” The vice president reiterated the Trump administration’s push to put Americans back on the moon by 2024.
PERSIAN GULF-TENSIONS-THE LATEST
The Latest: UK rejects Iran’s ‘tit for tat’ view of tanker
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The U.K.’s foreign secretary says the seizing of a British-flagged tanker by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard “raises very serious questions about the security of British shipping and indeed international shipping” in the Strait of Hormuz.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke to reporters Saturday evening after an emergency government meeting about the “totally and utterly unacceptable” interception of the Stena Impero and “measures that we are going to take” to guarantee British vessels safe passage.
Hunt said that while speaking with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Saturday, he again rejected Iran’s assertion that Friday’s incident reciprocated for Royal Marines taking part in the July 4 seizure of an Iranian tanker.
He said the Iranian tanker violated European Union sanctions by carrying oil to Syria, making its detention in the waters of a British territory legal.
Hunt said Iranian officials “see this as a tit-for-tat situation, following Grace1 being detained in Gibraltar. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
He continued: “We need to see the illegal seizing of a British-flagged vessel reversed, we need that ship released, and we continue to be very concerned about the safety and welfare of the 23 crew members.”
ESPN reasserts policy on political talk after attack
NEW YORK (AP) — ESPN is reminding employees of the network’s policy to avoid talking politics after radio show host Dan Le Batard criticized President Donald Trump and the network itself on air.
An ESPN employee who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak on personnel matters said Saturday that the reminder went out Friday to all employees, including Le Batard.
ESPN is not commenting publicly.
It’s a reminder of former network anchor Jemele Hill, whose tweets about Trump got her in hot water with her bosses less than two years ago. She has since left ESPN.
Le Batard called Trump’s comment that Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and three other Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to the “places from which they came” deeply offensive and un-American.
American crocodiles thriving outside nuclear plant
MIAMI (AP) — 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, FPL 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. They are then relocated to increase survival rates.
Russian, US astronauts blast off on moon landing anniversary
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — A Russian space capsule with three astronauts aboard has blasted off for a fast-track trip to the International Space Station.
Saturday’s launch took place on the 50th anniversary of the day U.S. astronauts landed on the moon.
The capsule entered orbit nine minutes after liftoff from Russia’s launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
It 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.
The capsule is expected to dock with the International Space Station after four obits at 2251 GMT. Russian Alexey Ovchinin and Americans Nick Hague and Christina Koch have been aboard since March.
The crew patch for the expedition echoes the one from Apollo 11’s 1969 lunar mission.
This story has been corrected to show the last name of the Russian cosmonaut in space since March is Ovchinin, not Ovechkin.
Swedish PM to Trump: A$AP Rocky won’t get special treatment
BERLIN (AP) — Sweden’s prime minister says he would be glad to speak with U.S. President Donald Trump about rapper A$AP Rocky’s detention but he “cannot and will not attempt to influence prosecutors or courts.”
Trump tweeted Friday that he would call Prime Minister Stefan Lofven “to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky.”
Rocky has been held in Sweden for weeks as police investigate his alleged involvement in a fight.
First lady Melania Trump and celebrities including Kanye West urged Trump to intervene.
The Swedish leader said Saturday he was aware Trump “has a personal interest in the case.”
Lofven called Trump’s desire for a conversation “certainly positive” and said: “I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent. In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”
In border city, asylum seekers forced to wait band together
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico (AP) — Thousands of asylum seekers are waiting for months in Mexico before they can start seeking protections in the United States.
In San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, south of San Luis, Arizona, over 950 people are on a waitlist to claim asylum. They’ve banded together to ensure everyone has a fair shot.
They take shifts monitoring a table along the border. They collect money to pay for water and snacks for those on watch and pass the day chatting.
A Trump administration policy forcing people to wait in Mexico means they don’t get an interview with an asylum officer for months.
Their fate is uncertain after the administration this week said it was banning migrants from seeking asylum if they pass through another country first.
Hot weather intensifying hold on much of East, Central US
NEW YORK (AP) — The heat is on.
The National Weather Service is warning a large swath of the U.S. of hot weather this weekend, including dangerously high temperatures across the East and Midwest that can threaten the elderly and young children.
Temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s and high humidity are expected in many places Saturday and Sunday. Experts are urging people to limit their time outside and drink lots of water.
Cities in Vermont and New Hampshire are opening shelters where people can cool off.
Some power outages have been reported in Philadelphia and after storms in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
The heat didn’t stop Jeffrey Glickman from going for a run Saturday in Washington. He called the weather “brutal” and says he’s not going as far as usual but “tried to get out early before it gets too hot.”
Mueller’s testimony poses risk for Trump, but also Democrats
WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress will depend not so much on what he says, but that he’s even saying it at all.
The special counsel’s appearance Wednesday creates a moment many have waited for: Mueller finally speaking out, piercing the public consciousness about President Donald Trump’s response to the Russia investigation and whether anything should be done about it.
The political stakes are high for the president, but also for congressional Democrats.
Democrats are counting on Americans hearing what most have not likely read in Mueller’s 448-page report. Yet there’s a real possibility Mueller not bring clarity.
As the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee ready to gavel in Wednesday, the buttoned-down prosecutor who was once envisioned as a trusted last word may leave more questions than answers.
Iran’s poking at West heightens risks of military missteps
WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran doesn’t seem to want to tangle with a stronger U.S. military. Instead, Iran is poking and prodding its Western antagonists in ways apparently designed to avoid triggering war.
Still, that approach holds the prospect of heightening the risk of missteps that could lead to an armed conflict with global consequences.
The pace of provocation has picked up with Iran reporting it’s seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. That came after the U.S. said it destroyed an Iranian drone that had flown within threatening range of an American warship in the Strait of Hormuz.
In June the Iranians shot down a U.S. drone in the same area, prompting President Donald Trump to authorize a military strike against Iran, only to call it off at the last moment.
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