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    Hank Bachmeier's arm and poise carried No. 20 Boise State until Robert Mahone took over in the fourth quarter. And the Broncos' defense? It continued to stymie opponents in the second half, even if it finally gave up some points. 'The second half we just went out there and tried to put the game away,' Mahone said. 'It was a close game, but the second half we knew we had to finish and that's what we did.' Bachmeier threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns, Mahone rushed for a pair of scores in the fourth quarter, and Boise State pulled away in the second half for a 30-19 win over Air Force on Friday night. Bachmeier's arm made up for a Broncos' running game that was ineffective until the fourth quarter. He hit CT Thomas on a 36-yard touchdown pass in the first half while getting crunched by a defender, and added a 28-yard TD toss to tight end John Bates late in the third quarter to give the Broncos a 17-13 lead. Mahone added a pair of 10-yard TD runs in the fourth as the Broncos (4-0, 1-0 Mountain West) won their 20th straight conference opener. Bachmeier was 19 of 26 passing in another impressive performance by the freshman in just his fourth start. 'He came back in the second half even better. He's a strong kid back there in the pocket. He took a couple of licks, but he gets right back up,' Thomas said. Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III had an 8-yard touchdown run in the first half and threw a 31-yard TD to Geraud Sanders late in the fourth quarter. Taven Birdow led Air Force (2-1, 0-1) with 67 yards rushing, but the second-best rushing attack in the country was held to 242 yards, more than 100 yards under its season average. 'They've got a really, really good team,' Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. Bachmeier also got help from his receivers, who made terrific catches. Thomas, who had a career-high 119 yards receiving, made a diving 29-yard catch to set up Eric Sachse's 40-yard field goal in the first half. John Hightower made a juggling reception surrounded by two defenders on a key third-down in the fourth quarter, and Mahone scored on a 10-yard TD run on the next play to give the Broncos a 23-13 lead. 'We knew coming into the game Air Force does a great job being physical,' Thomas said. 'Our mindset was we had to compete for the ball, every ball that comes our way.' Tied 10-10 at halftime, Hammond spent the start of the second half in the injury tent while Isaiah Sanders took over at quarterback. Sanders led the Falcons to a 32-yard field goal by Jake Koehnke midway through the third. It was the first second-half points allowed this season by the Broncos. Bachmeier responded with his best drive of the night, taking the Broncos 77 yards in 11 plays, capped with the TD pass to Bates. The biggest play of the drive was Bachmeier's 13-yard strike to Akilian Bulter on fourth-and-10 at the Air Force 38. Two plays later, Bates was in the end zone and Boise State was ahead for good. Air Force was stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Boise State 48 on the next possession and the Broncos answered with the first of Mahone's TD runs. PROTECTING THE FRESHMAN Bachmeier had been hit a lot through the first three games, and continued to get battered in the first half. He was sacked only once in the first half, but took a handful of big hits as protection broke down. His willingness to take a hit, though, can lead to big plays, like the Broncos' first touchdown. Bachmeier allowed Thomas to develop his route and hit the speedy receiver on a 36-yard touchdown to give the Broncos a 10-7 lead. 'That's the sign of a good quarterback. ... When you play that position you're going to get hit differently, but you're going to get hit if you're going to stand and deliver it sometimes and those guys have to be able to do that and not flinch and he seems to be able to do that,' Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said. FINALLY Koehnke's field goal with 6:29 left in the third quarter was the first points scored against Boise State's defense in the second half this season. The Broncos held Florida State, Marshall and Portland State scoreless in the final 30 minutes of the first three games. Boise State went 98 minutes, 31 seconds of combined second-half action before allowing points. THE TAKEAWAY Air Force: The Falcons were unable to keep the momentum from last week's upset win at Colorado and still have not beaten a ranked team on the road since winning at California in 2002. Boise State: It's a result of facing a run-first team, but Boise State nose tackle Sonatane Lui set a career-high with 16 tackles. Lui had eight combined tackles through the first three games. ... Pass rusher Curtis Weaver didn't have a sack after having four last week against Portland State. UP NEXT Air Force: The Falcons return home to host San Jose State next Friday. Boise State: The Broncos have an open weekend and next play at UNLV on Oct. 5. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump. It was the latest revelation in an escalating controversy that has created a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration, which has refused to turn over the formal complaint by a national security official or even describe its contents. Trump defended himself Friday against the intelligence official's complaint, angrily declaring it came from a 'partisan whistleblower,' though he also said he didn't know who had made it. The complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a two people familiar with the matter. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name and were granted anonymity. Trump, in that call, urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential Democratic rival Biden's son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, according to one of the people, who was briefed on the call. Trump did not raise the issue of U.S. aid to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo, according to the person. Biden reacted strongly late Friday, saying that if the reports are true, 'then there is truly no bottom to President Trump's willingness to abuse his power and abase our country.' He said Trump should release the transcript of his July phone conversation with Zelenskiy 'so that the American people can judge for themselves.' The government's intelligence inspector general has described the whistleblower's Aug. 12 complaint as 'serious' and 'urgent.' But Trump dismissed it all Friday, insisting 'it's nothing.' He scolded reporters for asking about it and said it was 'just another political hack job.' 'I have conversations with many leaders. It's always appropriate. Always appropriate,' Trump said. 'At the highest level always appropriate. And anything I do, I fight for this country.' Trump, who took questions in the Oval Office alongside Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whom he was hosting for a state visit, was asked if he knew if the whistleblower's complaint centered on his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy. The president responded, 'I really don't know,' but he continued to insist any phone call he made with a head of state was 'perfectly fine and respectful.' Trump was asked Friday if he brought up Biden in the call with Zelenskiy, and he answered, 'It doesn't matter what I discussed.' But then he used the moment to urge the media 'to look into' Biden's background with Ukraine. There has yet to be any evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden or his son regarding Ukraine. Trump and Zelenskiy are to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations next week. The Wall Street Journal first reported that Trump pressed Zelenskiy about Biden. The standoff with Congress raises fresh questions about the extent to which Trump's appointees are protecting the Republican president from oversight and, specifically, whether his new acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, is working with the Justice Department to shield the president. Democrats say the administration is legally required to give Congress access to the whistleblower's complaint, and Rep. Adam Schiff of California has said he will go to court in an effort to get it if necessary. The intelligence community's inspector general said the matter involves the 'most significant' responsibilities of intelligence leadership. House Democrats also are fighting the administration for access to witnesses and documents in impeachment probes. In the whistleblower case, lawmakers are looking into whether Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani traveled to Ukraine to pressure the government to aid the president's reelection effort by investigating the activities of Biden's son. During a rambling interview Thursday on CNN, Giuliani was asked whether he had asked Ukraine to look into Biden. He initially said, 'No, actually I didn't,' but seconds later he said, 'Of course I did.' Giuliani has spent months trying to drum up potentially damaging evidence about Biden's ties to Ukraine. He told CNN that Trump was unaware of his actions. 'I did what I did on my own,' he said. 'I told him about it afterward. Still later, Giuliani tweeted, 'A President telling a Pres-elect of a well known corrupt country he better investigate corruption that affects US is doing his job.' Democrats have contended that Trump, in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, may have asked for foreign assistance in his upcoming reelection bid. Trump further stoked those concerns earlier this year in an interview when he suggested he would be open to receiving foreign help. The inspector general appeared before the House intelligence committee behind closed doors Thursday but declined, under administration orders, to reveal to members the substance of the complaint. Schiff, a California Democrat, said Trump's attack on the whistleblower was disturbing and raised concerns that it would have a chilling effect on other potential exposers of wrongdoing. He also said it was 'deeply disturbing' that the White House appeared to know more about the complaint than its intended recipient -- Congress. The information 'deserves a thorough investigation,' Schiff said. 'Come hell or high water, that's what we're going to do.' Among the materials Democrats have sought is a transcript of Trump's July 25 call with Zelenskiy. The call took place one day after Mueller's faltering testimony to Congress effectively ended the threat his probe posed to the White House. A readout of the call released from the Ukrainian government said Trump believed Kyiv could complete corruptions investigations that have hampered relations between the two nations but did not get into specifics. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who in May called for a probe of Giuliani's effort in Ukraine, said in an interview on Friday it's 'outrageous' the president has been sending his political operative to talk to Ukraine's new president. Murphy tweeted that during his own visit it was clear to him that Ukraine officials were 'worried about the consequences of ignoring Giuliani's demands.' The senator tweeted that he told Zelenskiy during their August visit it was 'best to ignore requests from Trump's campaign operatives. He agreed.' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump faces 'serious repercussions' if reports about the complaint are accurate. She said it raises 'grave, urgent concerns for our national security.' Letters to Congress from the inspector general make clear that Maguire consulted with the Justice Department in deciding not to transmit the complaint to Congress in a further departure from standard procedure. It's unclear whether the White House was also involved, Schiff said. Maguire has refused to discuss details of the whistleblower complaint, but he has been subpoenaed by the House panel and is expected to testify publicly next Thursday. Maguire and the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, also are expected next week at the Senate intelligence committee. Atkinson wrote in letters that Schiff released that he and Maguire had hit an 'impasse' over the acting director's decision not to share the complaint with Congress. Atkinson said he was told by the legal counsel for the intelligence director that the complaint did not actually meet the definition of an 'urgent concern.' And he said the Justice Department said it did not fall under the director's jurisdiction because it did not involve an intelligence professional. Atkinson said he disagreed with that Justice Department view. The complaint 'not only falls under DNI's jurisdiction,' Atkinson wrote, 'but relates to one of the most significant and important of DNI's responsibilities to the American people.' ___ Associated Press writers Deb Riechmann, Eric Tucker, Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
  • Matt Fink decided to stay at Southern California even after finishing third in the Trojans' four-man quarterback competition in training camp last month. A few weeks later, Fink found himself passing for 351 yards, leading a victory over No. 10 Utah at the roaring Coliseum, and sitting between Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart for a postgame interview on national television. Fink didn't give up on his USC dream, and the Trojans are grateful they had such a talented backup to their backup. Michael Pittman Jr. caught 10 passes for a career-high 232 yards and a touchdown from Fink in USC's 30-23 victory over the Utes on Friday night. Fink went 21 of 30 with three touchdown passes for USC (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12) after taking over when freshman Kedon Slovis left with a possible concussion on the second play of the game. Fink mostly looked sharp as the third quarterback to play important snaps in four games for the Trojans, who lost starter J.T. Daniels to a season-ending knee injury in their opener. 'I don't think this moment was too big for me,' Fink said. 'I've been in the era of Sam Darnold, and I've seen things that are much crazier. Getting in today and showing what I can do is what I really wanted to do by staying here.' After barely playing the past two seasons, Fink nearly went to Illinois as a graduate transfer last spring. The Los Angeles-area native instead decided to stay home and wait for a chance, however remote. 'In a world where everybody goes different places, this one stayed for his family, waiting for his moment, waiting for his memory,' USC coach Clay Helton said. 'And what a memory it was tonight. When his number was called, he made the most of it tonight.' Tyler Vaughns, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Pittman all caught TD passes from Fink, while Pittman had the fifth-biggest receiving yardage game in USC history. His remarkable 42-yard catch in the fourth quarter eventually led to a 4-yard TD run by Markese Stepp , who celebrated by handing the ball to Bush, the Trojans great attending the game as a broadcaster despite his NCAA-mandated disassociation from his school. Devontae Henry-Cole rushed for an early touchdown and Cole Fotheringham caught a TD pass for the Utes (3-1, 0-1), who struggled after star running back Zack Moss left in the first half with an apparent shoulder injury. Utah still has never won at the 96-year-old Coliseum. Tyler Huntley passed for 210 yards and ran for 60 more, but the Utes committed 16 penalties for 120 yards and struggled to get key defensive stops against a green Trojans quarterback and his stellar receivers. 'Mostly we had no answer for their receiving corps,' Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. 'Michael Pittman did a number on us. We just didn't do a good enough job on him. We've got to rethink some things coaching-wise.' With Bush and Urban Meyer watching at the Coliseum as part of Fox Sports' broadcast crew, USC's roller coaster season went on the upswing again after last week's embarrassing overtime loss at BYU. Slovis had played two encouraging games as the starter after replacing Daniels, but he couldn't continue after 335-pound Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu landed on him. Helton said Slovis 'got dinged,' and the USC medical staff held him out. Fink jumped into USC's Air Raid offense and completed eight of his first nine throws during two game-opening touchdown drives in which he relied heavily on his receivers' playmaking abilities. Pittman then scored on a brilliant 77-yard catch early in the third quarter, snatching a long pass away from defenders and fending them off on his run. UTES UPSET Utah's mistakes weren't limited to penalties. USC blocked a field goal attempt, and the Utes also fumbled near the USC goal line 16 seconds before halftime, when they trailed 14-10 despite racking up 284 yards and controlling the ball for more than 20 minutes. 'We were supposed to take advantage of our chances in the red zone,' said Huntley, who took his first two sacks of the season. 'We all know the plays were there. We just had to make them.' BIG D USC's defense came up big in the second half. Isaiah Pola-Mao's third-down sack from the USC 1 forced Utah to kick a field goal, and Trojans freshman sensation Drake Jackson then got hold of Huntley in the end zone and forced intentional grounding for a safety with 8:51 to play. REGGIE RETURNS Fans around the Fox Sports broadcast stage let loose several chants of 'Reggie! Reggie!' for Bush. The retired tailback is still formally disassociated from USC under terms of the NCAA ruling against the school in 2010, but he remains wildly popular among USC fans and current players whose first Trojans memories include Bush's feats. Meyer is on top of many USC fans' lists of coaches to replace Helton, but the embattled incumbent is off to a fairly strong start. THE TAKEAWAY Utah: Losing Moss is an enormous blow to any offense, and his long-term health could determine the Utes' chances for a run at a second straight Pac-12 title. Utah's inability to finish drives only gets worse with Moss sidelined, and while Huntley's valiant effort might win future games, it wasn't enough against the Trojans. USC: Another quarterback injury wasn't enough to slow down the Trojans, even against a solid Utah defense that essentially wiped out their running game. Fink did enough to win, and USC's defense made several big plays. USC is somehow 3-1 after four games of an extremely difficult six-game start to the season, with Helton finding yet another way to fend off the doubters for another week. UP NEXT Utah: A late-night visit from Washington State and its Air Raid offense next Saturday, Sept. 28. USC: The brutal early schedule continues at defending Pac-12 champion Washington next Saturday, Sept. 28. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday decried reports that President Donald Trump urged the president of Ukraine to look into his son's business dealings there. Biden said in a statement that if the reports are true, 'Then there is truly no bottom to President Trump's willingness to abuse his power and abase our country.' The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said Trump should release the transcript of his July phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy 'so that the American people can judge for themselves.' Biden released the statement after news organizations reported Trump had urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of Biden's son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company. The Democratic front-runner's campaign later sent out a fundraising letter urging potential donors, 'Don't let the President get away with this gross abuse of power.' Trump said there was nothing inappropriate in his contacts with foreign leaders. At least two of Biden's rivals called on fellow Democrats in the House to push forward on impeachment of Trump. Despite multiple congressional investigations into the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has resisted calls for impeachment from many members of her caucus, arguing such a step would be divisive and could backfire against the party in 2020. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that posture makes Congress complicit in Trump's outreach to Ukraine. 'A president is sitting in the Oval Office, right now, who continues to commit crimes,' Warren tweeted. 'He continues because he knows his Justice Department won't act and believes Congress won't either. Today's news confirmed he thinks he's above the law. If we do nothing, he'll be right.' Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, said Trump 'needs to be impeached. 'I love these House Democrats — my brother is one of them,' he added. 'But it's time for them to do something. It's time for them to act.' Castro's brother Joaquin represents Texas in the House. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker didn't call for impeachment but said the allegations were 'sobering and serious stuff' that should be 'rocking Washington right now.' He declined to call them treason. 'I want to see this investigated,' he said. 'What we know already, if it is true, constitutes at the very least serious misconduct.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that he let down his supporters — and all Canadians of color — by appearing years ago in brownface and blackface. Yet the scandal's fallout may be limited in a country without the harsh and still-divisive racial history of the neighboring United States. 'I hurt people who in many cases consider me an ally,' Trudeau told a news conference Friday. 'I let a lot of people down.' Trudeau, 47, is seeking a second term as prime minister in an Oct. 21 election. His leading opponent, Andrew Scheer of the Conservative Party, has assailed him as 'not fit to govern' because of the revelations. But key figures in the prime minister's Liberal Party have stuck by him, including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who would be a favorite to replace Trudeau as Liberal leader if he lost the election. Many minority Canadians, increasingly active in politics and government, seem ready to forgive Trudeau. 'As I have gotten to know Justin, I know these photos do not represent the person he is now, and I know how much he regrets it,' Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan, a Sikh, said on Twitter. Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, predicted Trudeau would easily weather the scandal. 'Indeed, I think he is drawing some sympathy,' Wiseman said. 'This affair is a media bombshell that is bombing with the public ... The international media love this story because it goes against type.' Wiseman also disputed the assertion that Trudeau is a hypocrite when it comes to race and diversity, noting that his cabinet is the most diverse in Canadian history in terms of gender and ethnic background. Trudeau's brownface controversy has drawn some comparisons with developments earlier this year in the U.S., where Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam withstood intense pressure to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook. Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Virginia's Christopher Newport University, said the revelations were 'a shock and disappointment' to supporters of both Trudeau and Northam, whom they viewed as compassionate politicians. However, Kidd sees big differences in how the two politicians handled the situation. 'Trudeau has expressed genuine contrition and willingness to accept what he did as racist,' Kidd said. 'We haven't seen that from Ralph Northam.' Kidd also cited the divergent racial histories of the two countries. 'Canada has its issues dealing with racial inequities, but nothing like the American South. There's no legacy of slavery, of Jim Crow or huge gaps in wealth and poverty,' he said. 'Northam has to carry the baggage of that history, whereas Trudeau doesn't have to carry similar baggage.' According to recent census figures, Canada's population is about 73% white, compared with 77% in the U.S. Many of the nonwhites in Canada are from Asia. Only about 3.5 percent of the population is black. In Trudeau's multiethnic parliamentary district in Montreal, some residents questioned about the scandal offered a collective shrug. 'It was no big deal, it was a long time ago,' said Zahid Nassar, an immigrant from Pakistan. 'When we're young, we all do stupid things.' Nassar said he voted for Trudeau in 2015 and will likely do the same next month. If he does not, he said, it will be because he's worried about safety in his neighborhood. The brownface controversy surfaced Wednesday when Time magazine published a photo from a yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher. It shows the then-29-year-old Trudeau at an 'Arabian Nights' party in 2001 wearing a turban and robe with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck. Trudeau said he was dressed as a character from 'Aladdin.' Trudeau said he also once darkened his face for a performance of a Harry Belafonte song during a talent show when he was in high school. In a third incident, a brief video surfaced of Trudeau in blackface. He said it was taken on a costume day while he was working as guide for a river rafting company. 'I have been forthright about the incidents that I remembered,' he said Friday. 'I did not realize at the time how much this hurt minority Canadians, racialized Canadians.' Sunny Khurana, who was photographed with Trudeau for the 2001 yearbook, said no one had a problem with Trudeau's get-up at the event. 'It was a costume party, Arabian nights, Aladdin,' said Khurana, a Sikh Indian who had two children at the school at the time. 'That's it. People dress up. It was a party. It was never meant to put down anybody.' In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump was asked by a reporter about the Trudeau controversy. 'I was hoping I wouldn't be asked that question,' Trump replied. 'I'm surprised. And I was more surprised when I saw the number of times.' Trudeau later asked if his standing internationally is damaged. 'My focus is Canadians who face discrimination every day,' he replied. 'I'm going to work very hard to demonstrate as an individual and as a leader I will continue to stand against intolerance and racism.' Trudeau said he would call the leader of the opposition New Democrat party, Jagmeet Singh, and apologize for wearing brownface. Singh is also a Sikh. As for Trudeau's main election rival, his denunciation of the prime minister was undercut by comments he made shortly before the brownface photo surfaced. Scheer said he would stand by other Conservative candidates who had made racist or anti-gay comments in the past, as long as they apologized and took responsibility for those remarks. 'I accept the fact that people make mistakes in the past and can own up to that and accept that,' Scheer said. 'I believe many Canadians, most Canadians, recognize that people can say things in the past, when they're younger, at a different time in their life, that they would not say today.' ___ Crary reported from New York.
  • A tour bus crashed on a highway running through the red-rock landscape of southern Utah, killing four people from China and injuring dozens more. On Friday, the bus from of Southern California rolled onto a guard rail, crushing its roof and ramming the rail's vertical posts into the cab, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said. Five passengers remained in critical condition Friday night, and the death toll could rise, he said. All 31 people on board were hurt. Twelve to 15 on board were considered to be in critical condition shortly after the crash, but several of them have since improved, Street said. Not everyone was wearing a seatbelt, as is common in tour buses, he said. The crash happened near a highway rest stop a few miles from southern Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park, an otherworldly landscape of narrow red-rock spires. Authorities believe the driver swerved on the way to the park on Friday morning, but when he yanked the steering wheel to put the bus back onto the road the momentum sent the bus into a rollover crash. The driver, an American citizen, survived and was talking with investigators, Street said. He didn't appear to be intoxicated, but authorities were still investigating his condition as well as any possible mechanical problems, he said. There was some wind, but it was not strong enough to cause problems, Street said. The crash left the top of a white bus smashed in and one side peeling away as the vehicle came to rest mostly off the side of the road against a sign for restrooms. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a team to investigate. The company listed on the bus was America Shengjia Inc. Utah business records indicate it is based in Monterey Park, California. A woman answering the phone there did not have immediate comment. Injured victims were sent to three hospitals. Intermountain Garfield Memorial Hospital said it received 17 patients, including three in critical condition and 11 in serious condition. Patients also were taken to Cedar City and St. George hospitals. Millions of people visit Utah's five national parks every year. Last year, about 87,000 people from China visited the state, making them the fastest-growing group of Utah tourists, according to state data. More than half of visitors from China travel on tour buses, said Vicki Varela, managing director of Utah Office of Tourism. The Chinese Embassy tweeted that it was saddened to hear about the crash and that it was sending staff to help the victims. Bryce Canyon, about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Salt Lake City, draws more than 2 million visitors a year. 'You have a group from China who have worked hard to come to the states, got the visa and everything they needed, excited about it, and for a tragedy like this to happen it just makes it all the more tragic,' Street said. ___ Associated Press writer Brady McCombs contributed to the report..
  • When Barack Obama marched into the 2007 Iowa steak fry flanked by 1,000 supporters, skeptical Iowans were put on notice that he could win the caucus. A dozen years later, a new generation of Democratic White House hopefuls are looking to pull off a repeat performance to turbocharge their campaigns. Saturday's steak fry is part parade, part organizing show of force — and quintessentially Iowa. It began as a fundraiser for Tom Harkin's first congressional bid, where the 53 attendees could buy a steak and a foil-wrapped baked potato for $2. Harkin is out of politics now, but the steak fry lives on as a fundraiser for the Polk County Democratic Party. This year, 11,000 people are expected to join in addition to 19 presidential candidates. Attendees can listen to bands, munch on 10,500 steaks or get food from food trucks, a vegan grill or a craft beer tent. There are even camping grounds, where supporters of former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke spent Friday night. The festival vibe has some Iowa activists calling the steak fry the 'Coachella of the Caucuses,' referring to the weekend-long music festival in California. Polk County Democratic Party Chair Sean Bagniewski said the event purposely has a 'modern twist.' 'That's the future of the party — it's gonna be more women in positions of leadership, it's gonna be more people of color, and it's going to be more young people,' he said. But what hasn't changed is the significance of the event for the presidential candidates. The steak fry comes as a number of candidates are reconfiguring their Iowa approach. California Sen. Kamala Harris this week announced she would focus more heavily on Iowa in hopes of finishing in the top three. Meanwhile flagging campaigns like that of O'Rourke and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar are campaigning beyond Iowa in an effort to broaden their national appeal. Bagniewski said that, like 2007, Democrats are looking for someone who can show they've got the organizational strength to win. 'Everyone wants to beat Donald Trump,' he said. 'Everyone has a top 5, but when you actually see that your candidate of choice has 1,000 people supporting them at the Steak Fry, it gives you more liberty to make that decision.' Over four decades, the event has seen plenty of rock-star moments. In 2014, the final year Harkin hosted the event, Hillary Clinton returned to Iowa for the first time since Obama beat her in the 2008 caucuses. She was welcome by a jubilant crowd chanting 'Hillary, Hillary,' as speculation about a second presidential campaign swirled. With a cheeky smile, she stretched her arms out to the audience of thousands, saying 'Well, hello Iowa. I'm back!' This year, a number of the candidates will kick off the festivities by hosting celebrations for their supporters beforehand, featuring everything from live bands to carnival-style games. Many are planning an Obama-esque march into the event — amping up the pressure on their teams to turn up big numbers to the event, as any flagging campaigns will be painfully obvious. Campaigns are bussing and flying supporters in from out of state to boost their numbers, and the Polk County Democratic Party says they've sold tickets to attendees from 48 states. Former Vice President Joe Biden is widely believed to have sold the most tickets to the event, with South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg not far behind him. The former Vice President will host what his team is calling 'Bidenfest' beforehand, featuring a bouncy castle, an ice cream truck and bands, and he'll be marching in with a fire truck and a marching band from a Waterloo-area Baptist church. California Sen. Kamala Harris will march into the event with striking McDonald's workers demanding a $15 an hour wage, as well as the Isiserettes, a local Des Moines drumline that appeared regularly at Obama events, including the 2007 steak fry and later his inauguration. But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren are skipping the march into the event. Warren has come under growing criticism from some of her rivals and her staff has said she's looking at the Steak Fry as more of an opportunity to connect with potential new supporters, rather than organize those she has already won.
  • A look at what's happening around the majors Saturday: TEXAS ONE-STEP The Astros can clinch a third straight AL West title with a win over the Angels or a loss by Oakland. Houston has won six straight games and is already assured a postseason spot, and it's getting shortstop Carlos Correa in the swing of things at just the right time. Correa homered twice Friday in his second game after missing nearly a month with a sore back, and he finally looks healthy after missing 80 games total with various injuries. 'We can feel it,' second baseman Jose Altuve said. 'We're excited. We all are anxious about things right now which is normal because we want to make it happen.' CENTRAL CONTROL The NL Central-leading Cardinals are sending another red-hot pitcher to the Wrigley Field mound with a chance to ensure a series victory in their crucial four-game set against the Cubs. Right-hander Dakota Hudson (16-7, 3.35) is 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last seven starts. That's bad news for slumping Chicago, which has totaled nine runs while losing four straight games. St. Louis won the first two games of the series, and its starters have given up two runs in 12 innings — including eight one-run innings from emerging ace Jack Flaherty on Thursday. The Cubs are two games behind Milwaukee for the second NL wild card and five back of St. Louis for the NL Central lead. They will start left-hander Jose Quintana (13-8, 3.35), pitching on an extra day of rest after Chicago shuffled its rotation to let veteran Cole Hamels rest his fatigued left shoulder. The Brewers again face Pittsburgh, with right-hander Zach Davies (10-7, 3.70) facing Pirates rookie righty James Marvel (0-2, 9.00). ON THE LINE Stephen Strasburg tries to strengthen his NL Cy Young Award case and help the Nationals regain their cushion in the wild-card standings with a start against Miami. Strasburg (17-6, 3.49) leads the NL in wins, and his 235 strikeouts trail only Mets ace Jacob deGrom (239), the reigning Cy Young winner who is also Strasburg's stiffest competitor this year, along with teammate Max Scherzer. Washington leads Milwaukee for the top NL wild card by a game, and it's now out of the running for the NL East after Atlanta clinched that title Friday night. LET'S GET WILD The A's remain two games ahead of the Rays and Indians for the top AL wild card and are set to continue a home series against Texas. Cleveland, which got a save from Carlos Carrasco on Friday night, is set to continue a series against Philadelphia, while Tampa Bay will face the Red Sox with right-hander Tyler Glasnow (6-1) making his third start since returning from a right forearm strain. NO CHILL Mets slugger Pete Alonso crushed his major league-leading 50th home run Friday night and is two big swings away from tying Aaron Judge's 2017 total for the rookie record. Alonso has nine games to catch Judge, and the Polar Bear could get there quick after homering in his past three games. He'll face Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (9-9, 3.93), who has allowed a team-high 28 homers this year. SEPTEMBER SCARE The Yankees are keeping an eye on Gleyber Torres after his right leg buckled while fielding a grounder Friday night. The Yankee Stadium crowd gasped when Torres went down, and the star second baseman was pulled a bit later in New York's 4-3 loss to Toronto. He said he felt some weakness in his lower legs, and Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he expects Torres to be OK but pulled him as a precaution. Torres leads the AL East champions with 38 homers and is hitting .284 with 94 RBIs and an .889 OPS. STRONG RETURN Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto has thrown 10 scoreless innings since returning from Tommy John surgery, and he may not see Atlanta's best lineup after the Braves clinched a second straight NL East title Friday night. Cueto returned with five innings of one-hit ball against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10, then shut down Miami for five innings on Sept. 15. The 33-year-old is under contract for two more seasons with San Francisco. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • A federal judge said Friday that he was struggling with a request to more narrowly define what behavior justifies separating children from their parents at the border after complaints that the Trump administration has abused discretionary powers to split families under limited circumstances, like criminal history or questions about whether the adult is really the parent. The American Civil Liberties Union argued the government has been separating families over dubious allegations and minor transgressions including traffic offenses. In a court filing, it reported one parent was separated for having damaged property valued at $5, and a 1-year-old was taken away after an official criticized her father for letting her sleep with a wet diaper. Justice Department attorney Scott Stewart acknowledged some mistakes but said the government has a good system in place. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw called it a 'thorny issue' and didn't rule immediately on the ACLU's request to intervene during a two-hour hearing, which is unusually long for him. He said a parent convicted of assault with a deadly weapon may be 'the most loving, protective parent' and present no danger to the child, but is probably unfit to be held in a family immigration detention center. 'It's a unique context,' he said. The administration separated 955 children from their parents from June 26, 2018, when Sabraw halted the practice except in limited circumstances, to July 20, 2019. The government noted that it accounted for a tiny percentage of the more than 500,000 arrests and detentions of people who crossed the Mexican border in families during that time, suggesting restraint. A two-page memo issued a day after Sabraw's 2018 order by Kevin McAleenan, then Customs and Border Protection commissioner and now acting Homeland Security secretary, describes criteria for separating families, including a parent being convicted of a felony or 'violent misdemeanors,' having a communicable disease or presenting 'a danger to the child.' The Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, separates families if a parent has been convicted of crimes including assault, battery, burglary, resisting arrest, hit-and-run and disorderly conduct, Lloyd Easterling, who oversees processing and prosecutions in the sector, said in a court filing last week. 'Simple thefts,' fraud, minor drug or traffic offenses and driving while intoxicated without an aggravating factor generally do not result in separation. Allegations of criminal histories or gang affiliations in another country are more challenging to prove, but biometric checks and photographic comparisons usually provide answers, Easterling said. The two sides argued over how widely to use rapid DNA tests on adults suspected of lying that they are parents of a child. The government says expanding use of the tests, which deliver results in about 90 minutes and have been tested along the Mexican border, would pose financial and logistical obstacles.
  • Carlos Correa returned to the dugout after hitting his second homer Friday night, beat his chest and twice repeated the words: 'I'm back.' Houston's star shortstop finally looks healthy after missing 80 games with various injuries this season, great news as the Astros inch closer to the playoffs. 'I feel great,' Correa said. 'It felt great to get the rhythm, timing and today was a positive day. Obviously it gives you a lot of confidence.' Correa homered twice and Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman also connected and the Astros dropped their magic number to clinch the AL West to one by beating the Los Angeles Angels 6-4. A win by the Astros or a loss by the Athletics on Saturday will give Houston a third consecutive division title. The Astros have won six straight games and already secured a playoff spot. 'We can feel it,' Altuve said. 'We're excited. We all are anxious about things right now which is normal because we want to make it happen.' Altuve sent Jaime Barria's fifth pitch into the left field seats to spark a five-run first inning, which also included Bregman's 38th homer and Correa's first connection after missing nearly a month with a sore back — this was his second game since returning. Aledmys Díaz followed Correa with a double and scored on Josh Reddick's single to make it 5-0. 'I couldn't really locate my slider,' Barria said through a translator. 'All of the runs I gave up were with my offspeed that I left up in the zone.' Zack Greinke (17-5) retired his first six batters before Kevan Smith hit his first pitch of the third inning into the bullpen in right-center to cut the lead to 5-1. Correa's second homer came with one out in the bottom of the inning to put Houston up 6-1. Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run single in the fourth and Smith scored him to pull Los Angeles within two. Greinke yielded seven hits and four runs in five innings to win his third straight decision. Greinke has won seven of eight decisions since a trade from Arizona on July 31. He didn't walk anyone for the fourth straight start, which is the longest streak of his career. Roberto Osuna allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for his 36th save. Barria (4-10) allowed eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings to drop his seventh straight decision. Altuve's home run was his 30th this season and gives the Astros four players with at least 30 for the first time. Along with Altuve and Bregman, George Springer (35) and Yuli Gurriel (30) have also reached the mark. Bregman's 38 homers are the most by an Astro since Lance Berkman hit 45 in 2006. TRAINER'S ROOM Angels: OF Mike Trout had surgery to remove a growth from his right foot Friday in California, and manager Brad Ausmus said he texted with him and that he was feeling good. Trout last played Sept. 7 and the team announced that his season would end early because of the problem with his foot. Astros: All-Star reliever Ryan Pressly was activated from the injured list Friday after missing a month after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Pressly struck out two in a scoreless seventh. ... Gurriel was out of the lineup on Friday because of a stomach ailment. LANGSTON HOSPITALIZED Angels radio broadcaster Mark Langston had a medical emergency Friday night and was taken to a hospital where he was alert and undergoing testing. The 59-year-old Langston pitched in the majors for 16 seasons, including eight for the Angels. THEY SAID IT Altuve on hitting 30 home runs for the first time in his career: 'I always wanted to hit 30 homers. I always said it before. A lot of people didn't think I could play in the big leagues. They kept telling me: 'No, no,' and then all of a sudden I hit 30 homers, so that's pretty good.' UP NEXT Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) will start for Los Angeles on Saturday night. Sandoval allowed two hits and one run in four innings but did not factor in the decision in a 6-4 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Astros: LHP Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71) is scheduled to start for Houston on Saturday. Miley yielded seven hits and two runs in six innings for a win against Kansas City in his last start. ___ More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports