Biles, Phelps power their way to more gold in Rio
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Michael Phelps and Simone Biles powered their way to more gold medals with rousing routs at the Rio Games on Thursday.
Sauntering to the sounds of Latin music befitting the beaches and boulevards of Rio de Janeiro, Biles soared to the women’s all-around gymnastics title.
Hours later, Phelps blew away rival Ryan Lochte — and everyone else, for that matter — to win his fourth gold medal of the Rio Olympics and 22nd overall with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley.
This was touted as the last showdown between two of America’s greatest swimmers, though there’s never been any question about which one had the upper hand. Lochte didn’t even reach the podium this time, fading to fifth after leading at the midway point.
Simone Manuel of the United States and 16-year-old Penny Oleksiak of Canada tied for the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, upsetting world-record holder Cate Campbell. Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
What to watch at the Rio Games on Friday
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Day 7 of the Rio Games features medal action in swimming, track and field, track cycling, fencing, judo and more. Here are some things to watch (all times local):
Will Michael Phelps add even more gold to his Olympic career? We’ll see when the men’s 100 meter butterfly finals are held Friday at 10:12 p.m. Phelps has the world and Olympic (Beijing) records in the event and qualified in the semifinals Thursday night after winning the 200 individual medley final for a fourth consecutive Olympics and his fourth gold of 2016.
Speaking of golds, fellow American Katie Ledecky will be back in the pool — this time at 11:20 p.m. for the 800 freestyle, which she set a new Olympic record for on Thursday. She swam the 16-lap event in 8 minutes, 12.86 seconds Thursday, bettering the old mark of 8:14.10 set by Rebecca Adlington of Britain in 2008. Ledecky’s time was nearly seven seconds faster than anyone else. She’s seeking to complete a sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles for the first time since the 1968 Mexico City Games.
The superstar lineup Friday includes Katinka Hosszu of Hungary going in the 200 backstroke at 10:03 p.m. She qualified fastest Thursday and has already has won the 100 backstroke, along with the 200 and 400 individual medleys. Hilary Caldwell of Canada had the second quickest time of 2:07.40. Maya DiRado of the United States, who has won gold, silver and bronze at her first Olympics, was third fastest in 2:08.60.
Super Simone! Biles soars to Olympic all-around title
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Simone Biles and Aly Raisman stood side by side in Rio Olympic Arena, clutching each other while waiting for the inevitable coronation.
When the floor exercise judges validated what Raisman and every other gymnast has known for years — that Biles is the greatest of her generation and perhaps of all time — the U.S. Olympic team captain let her good friend go.
Suddenly Biles was alone in the spotlight, the normally giggly teenager fighting back tears as she waved to the family that raised her, the coaches that molded her and the sport she is redefining.
The secret is out. The pressure is gone. Biles belongs to the world now.
And history too.
10 Things to Know for Friday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
1. CLINTON KNOCKS ‘OUTLANDISH TRUMPIAN IDEAS’ IN POLICY SPEECH
She portrays her Republican rival as untrustworthy on economic issues and pushing policies that would only benefit the super-wealthy — himself included.
2. TRUMP STRAYS FROM TRADEMARK BRAVADO
He acknowledges that his presidential campaign is facing challenges and could ultimately fall short.
Clinton knocks ‘outlandish Trumpian ideas’ in policy speech
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Her political fortunes flourishing, Hillary Clinton attempted to undercut Donald Trump’s claim to working-class voters Thursday, portraying her Republican rival as untrustworthy on economic issues and pushing policies that would only benefit the super-wealthy — himself included.
The Democratic presidential nominee sought to seize momentum as Republicans — including Trump — struck an almost defeatist note about their Election Day chances. As Republican leaders sounded alarms about Trump’s unconventional approach, Clinton attacked what she dubbed “outlandish Trumpian ideas” that have been rejected by both parties.
“Based on what we know from the Trump campaign, he wants America to work for him and his friends, at the expense of everyone else,” she said after touring a Michigan manufacturing facility.
Appearing in a county known for so-called Reagan Democrats — working-class Democrats who voted Republican in the 1980s — Clinton tried to win back some of the blue-collar voters who have formed the base of her rival’s support, making the case that she offers a steadier roadmap for economic growth and prosperity.
“I can provide serious, steady leadership that can find common ground and build on it based on hard but respectful bargaining,” she said. “I just don’t think insults and bullying is how we’re going to get things done.”
AP FACT CHECK: Trump wrongly calls Obama ‘founder’ of IS
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says President Barack Obama is the “founder” of the Islamic State group. He’s not, of course.
According to the GOP presidential nominee, Obama’s decision to pull U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011 destabilized the Middle East and created a situation in which Islamic State militants could thrive. That’s debatable, at least.
But to state that “Barack Hussein Obama” — as Trump put it to highlight the president’s middle name given to him by his Kenyan-born father — actively worked to create the terrorist group is simply not accurate.
In fact, the United States is leading a coalition of some three dozen Western and Arab countries on a mission to destroy IS. Republicans argue his response has been tepid and incremental.
Trump made his allegation at a rally in Florida and repeated it Thursday. A look at his statements:
Shifting tone, Trump entertains the notion he could lose
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Straying from his trademark bravado, Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday that his presidential campaign is facing challenges and could ultimately fall short — a rare expression of humility by the Republican presidential nominee.
Trump’s most explicit concession came as he pleaded for support at a gathering of evangelical ministers, where Trump observed he was “having a tremendous problem in Utah.” The same day, the billionaire celebrity acknowledged that his lack of political correctness could cost him the election if Americans reject his blunt approach.
“We’re having a problem,” Trump told the ministers, adding that the next president could get to nominate up to five high court justices. “It could cost us the Supreme Court.”
After trouncing 16 challengers in the Republican primary, Trump is encountering worrying signs as his campaign moves into the general election. Democrat Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump in national polls has widened in recent days, while a growing number of fellow Republicans have declared they won’t support their own party’s nominee.
Trump’s exercise in self-awareness was a marked departure from his usual tenor on the campaign trail, where for months at rallies he would tick through poll numbers showing him winning as if they were sports scores of his favorite team.
Ecuador to set date for Assange to be questioned by Sweden
LONDON (AP) — Ecuador said Thursday it’s ready to set a date for Swedish prosecutors to question Julian Assange inside its London embassy — a potential breakthrough in the years-long international impasse over the WikiLeaks founder.
Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish police over a rape allegation stemming from his visit to the country in 2010. He has not been charged and denies the rape claim and other allegations made against him by two women. In June 2012, he sought shelter in Ecuador’s embassy in the British capital and has been holed up there ever since.
Ecuador announced last year that it had agreed to a Swedish proposal to interview Assange at the embassy, but no interview has taken place.
Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that a date for the questioning in the embassy would be set “in the coming weeks.”
Swedish Prosecution Authority spokeswoman Karin Rosander said Sweden handed over a formal request to interview Assange in January, and a reminder in June, and received Ecuador’s reply on Tuesday.
Russia strikes IS-held city in Syria amid Aleppo fight
BEIRUT (AP) — The Russian military sent long-range bombers to strike a series of Islamic State targets in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa on Thursday — a fresh round of airstrikes that Syrian activists said killed at least 20 civilians and came amid Turkish calls for greater cooperation with Moscow against the extremist group.
The offer by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to coordinate with Russia on operations against IS followed a meeting between the Russian and Turkish leaders earlier this week in which they agreed to mend ties.
Relations between the two nations, which back opposite sides in Syria’s civil war, soured after Turkish air force jets downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border in November. Russia retaliated by deploying long-range air defense missile systems to its base in Syria, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the border with Turkey and imposing an array of economic sanctions.
Cavusoglu also said Turkey would resume airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, months after they were suspended amid the row with Moscow. “On the issue of Daesh, we have made a call to Russia. We said we have a common enemy which we can struggle against together,” Cavusoglu said, using an Arabic-language acronym for IS.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, welcomed the Turkish initiative.
Terminally ill woman holds party before ending her life
SAN DIEGO (AP) — In early July, Betsy Davis emailed her closest friends and relatives to invite them to a two-day party, telling them: “These circumstances are unlike any party you have attended before, requiring emotional stamina, centeredness and openness.”
And just one rule: No crying in front of her.
The 41-year-old artist with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, held the gathering to say goodbye before becoming one of the first Californians to take a lethal dose of drugs under the state’s new doctor-assisted suicide law for the terminally ill.
“For me and everyone who was invited, it was very challenging to consider, but there was no question that we would be there for her,” said Niels Alpert, a cinematographer from New York City.
“The idea to go and spend a beautiful weekend that culminates in their suicide — that is not a normal thing, not a normal, everyday occurrence. In the background of the lovely fun, smiles and laughter that we had that weekend was the knowledge of what was coming.”