Tokyo Olympics action, Western wildfires, Trump rally: 5 things to know this weekend

·5 min read

Tokyo Olympics kick off with the first medals being awarded

Now that the (long) opening ceremony has (finally) concluded, the Tokyo Olympics are officially off and running, as a total of 23 sports will be played in Japan on Saturday, and medals in more than a half-dozen sports will be awarded. Other action on the board includes the introduction of 3x3 basketball and the USWNT taking on New Zealand as they try to bounce back from their stunning opening game loss to Sweden. Earlier Saturday, the U.S. softball team moved to 3-0 with a win over Mexico and the U.S. women routed Japan in water polo, 25-4, in preliminary round action. One of Sunday's featured events is, after a rough exhibition run, the United States' men's basketball team beginning its quest to win its fourth consecutive gold medal at the Summer Games with a matchup against France (8 a.m. ET, Peacock).

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Search for bodies in Surfside ends day before tragedy's 1-month anniversary

Saturday marks one month since the Surfside, Florida, building collapse that killed a vertical neighborhood of people connected to each other, the state and beyond. On Friday, the search for bodies at the site of the lost structure came to an end, with firefighters and search crews recognized at a ceremony. The June 24 collapse killed 97 people. One person is missing and has still not been identified among the remains. When the walls of Champlain Towers South fell, they brought down 12 stories of building materials, and within them, many more stories of decent lives so indecently ended. Brilliant young college students eager to start their careers. Recent retirees eager to enjoy their golden years. And asleep behind every door, somebody’s cherished "abuela," parent, husband, wife, sister, brother, cousin, nephew, niece, godfather, grandchild or friend. Those left behind tell their stories.

Second 'megafire' burns in California

Wildfires are expected to continue ravaging the Western U.S. into the weekend. The Dixie Fire, burning in a remote area north of Sacramento, exploded to "megafire" status late Thursday, when it surpassed 100,000 acres. The 105,000-acre Sugar Fire, also in Northern California, reached the designation days ago. Meanwhile, crews in Oregon were making progress against the nation's largest blaze, the Bootleg Fire, as weaker winds helped reduce the spread of flames there. That fire has destroyed an area half the size of Rhode Island.

Trump rallies supporters in Arizona

Former President Donald Trump will visit Phoenix for a rally Saturday. His visit comes as the state Senate continues to pick over 2020 ballots from Maricopa County in a review that has dragged on for months and has provided fresh — and false — fuel for second-guessing results that showed President Joe Biden defeated him. Most of the Republicans competing in the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial and U.S. Senate primary races will take turns pitching their candidacy at the event. But many of the expected 5,000 in attendance most want to know whether Trump will mount a political comeback in 2024.

California Republican committee to meet about recall strategy

California's recall ballot is set, but the Republican Party still is determining its best strategy for winning the governor's office. Ahead of the Sept. 14 election, the GOP has no clear favorite and must decide whether to unite behind one candidate in the bid to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The state's Republican Party's executive committee will meet Saturday to discuss moving forward with an endorsement process. If a GOP candidate gets the endorsement the party would funnel resources to that campaign. But that move risks alienating supporters of other Republican hopefuls and depressing turnout. Anne Dunsmore of the pro-recall group Rescue California notes the party could make the wrong bet. "If they endorse, then it winds up being somebody who comes in fourth or fifth, it's not going to help them. It's going to look dumb," she said. As Democrats are united in their support of Newsom, he is maintaining a giant fundraising edge.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tokyo Olympics, Western wildfires: 5 things to know this weekend

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