Also in the news this Thursday: murder at an anime studio and one senator stops first responders funding, at least for now.
Air Force warns: Don't try to to 'storm Area 51'
The U.S. Air Force has warned people against participating in an internet joke suggesting a large crowd of people "storm Area 51," the top-secret Cold War test site in the Nevada desert.
A prank event on Facebook that's attracted more than 1 million interested people suggests that a mass of people attempt to run into the mysterious site at 3 a.m. on Sept. 20.
The site is part of the vast Nevada Test and Training Range and has become the center of UFO conspiracy theories.
The Facebook event jokes "they can't stop all of us" and "Let's see them aliens."
Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement that the Air Force is aware of the Facebook posting and says "any attempt to illegally access the area is highly discouraged."
The Air Force says it does not discuss its security measures and that the test and training range provides "flexible, realistic and multidimensional battlespace" for testing and "advanced training in support of U.S. national interests."
After decades of government officials refusing to acknowledge Area 51, the CIA released declassified documents in 2013 referring to the 8,000-square mile installation by name and locating it on a map near the dry Groom Lake bed.
The base has been a testing ground for a host of top-secret aircraft, including the U-2 in the 1950s and later the B-2 stealth bomber.
But secrecy surrounding the site has fueled conspiracy theories among UFO enthusiasts and sprouted a small, alien-themed tourist industry in surrounding desert communities, including alien-themed cafes, an alien-themed motel and an alien-themed brothel.
Wienermobile turns 'bed and breakfast' for a fortunate few
If you really love hot dogs, Oscar Mayer has a deal for you.
For the first time, Oscar Mayer is giving fans a chance to spend the night in a Wienermobile, renting it via AirBnb.
The Wienermobile is plopped in the heart of Chicago and can accommodate two guests.
So what does a one-night stay include? A mini-fridge filled with hot dogs, of course, as well as an outdoor space for grilling out.
Starting on July 24, fans can request a one-night stay between Aug. 1-3. And the rate is reasonable - just $136 per night.
Man screaming 'You die!' kills close to 30 at anime studio
A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, and set it on fire early Thursday, authorities said, killing 13 people and leaving more than 10 others presumed dead.
The blaze injured another 36 people, some of them critically, Japanese authorities said. Most were workers at Kyoto Animation, known for mega-hit stories featuring high school girls, with places featured in the stories even becoming "pilgrimage sites" for their fans.
The fire started in the three-story building in Japan's ancient capital after the suspect sprayed an unidentified liquid accelerant, Kyoto prefectural police and fire department officials said.
Thirteen were confirmed dead on the first and second floors, Kyoto fire department official Kazuhiro Hayashi said. On the third floor, more than 10 people were found unresponsive, he said. Some of them were found on the stairs, where they apparently collapsed while gasping for air and trying to go out to the roof.
Hayashi says firefighters were still searching inside the building in case anyone else was left behind.
Kyoto police said the suspect was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. They are investigating the man, who is 41 and not a company employee, on suspicion of arson, police said.
A witness who saw the suspect being approached by police told Japanese networks that the man admitted spreading gasoline and setting a fire with a lighter. She told NHK public television that the man had burns on his arms and legs and that he was angrily complaining that something of his had been "stolen," possibly by the company. NHK footage also showed sharp knives police had collected from the scene, though it was not clear if they belonged to the suspect.
Survivors who saw the attacker said he was not their colleague and that he was screaming "(You) die!" when he dumped the liquid and started the fire, according to Japanese media reports. They said some of the survivors got splashed with the liquid.
Kyoto Animation, better known as KyoAni, was founded in 1981 as an animation and comic book production studio, and its hits include "Lucky Star," ''K-On!" and "Haruhi Suzumiya." The company does not have a major presence outside Japan, though it was hired to provide secondary animation work on a 1998 "Pokemon" feature that appeared in U.S. theaters and a "Winnie the Pooh" video.
Footage on Japan's NHK television showed gray smoke billowing from the charred building. Other footage showed windows blown off.
"There was an explosion, then I heard people shouting, some asking for help," a female witness told TBS TV. "Black smoke was rising from windows on upper floors, then there was a man struggling to crawl out of the window."
Witnesses in the neighborhood said they heard bangs coming from the building, others said they saw people coming out blackened, bleeding, walking barefoot, Kyodo News reported.
Rescue officials set up an orange tent outside the studio building to provide first aid and sort out the injured.
Fire department officials said more than 70 people were in the building at the time of the fire and many of them ran outside.
With at least 23 killed or presumed dead, the fire was the worst mass killing in Japan since a man stabbed and killed 19 people at an assisted living facility in western Tokyo in 2016.
A fire in 2001 in Tokyo's congested Kabukicho entertainment district killed 44 people in its worst known case of arson in modern times. Police never announced an arrest for setting the blaze, though five people were convicted of negligence. In 2008, 16 people died in a blaze at a movie theater in Osaka, near Kyoto.
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
One senator blocks unanimous passage of 9/11 first responders bill
Republican Sen. Rand Paul objected Wednesday to an attempt to pass the bill funding 9/11 first responders' health care unanimously, arguing that passing such a long-term bill without offsetting the cost would contribute to the national debt.
The delay presents another hurdle in the dramatic fight to secure funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's continued reassurances that the fund would be fully funded. After comedian and fund advocate Jon Stewart gave emotional testimony last month accusing lawmakers of failing to support the bill, the measure was swiftly approved for to a floor vote in the House and passed the lower chamber last week on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 402-12 vote.
When presidential candidate and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York requested unanimous consent -- a procedural move that allows a bill to skip several steps to pass unanimously, without senators casting an individual vote -- on the bill on the Senate floor Wednesday so that it be accelerated to a vote without debate, Paul objected.
"It has long been my feeling that we need to address our massive debt in this country -- we have a $22 trillion debt, we're adding debt at about a trillion dollars a year," he said. "And therefore any new spending that we are approaching, any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70, 80 years, should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable."
"We need to at the very least have this debate. I will be offering up an amendment if this bill should come to the floor, but until then I will object," added Paul, who voted in favor of President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut. That tax cut is helping drive a deficit increase.
Paul was not the only senator who objected to the attempt to pass the bill by unanimous consent on Wednesday. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah "alerted the cloakroom that he objected to the bill passing without a vote," Lee's communications director Conn Carroll told CNN.
Speaking on the floor afterward, Gillibrand said that she was "deeply disappointed" in Paul's decision.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also slammed Paul's objection, saying on the floor that he would ask Paul to consider the American tradition that when people "volunteered in the armed services and risked their lives for our freedom, we came back and gave them health care."
Paul addressed his objection later Wednesday on Twitter, arguing that he was "not blocking the 9/11 bill - simply asking for a vote on an amendment to offset the cost."
Speaking to Fox News later Wednesday, Stewart slammed Paul's objection as "absolutely outrageous," accusing the senator of "fiscal responsibility virtue signaling" and blasting Paul's support for the deficit-raising tax cut.
"Rand Paul presented tissue paper avoidance of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit, and now he stands up at the last minute after 15 years of blood, sweat and tears from the 9/11 community to say that it's all over now, now we're going to balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community," Stewart said.
At rally, Trump replaces 'lock her up' with 'send her back'
Going after four Democratic congresswomen one by one, a combative President Donald Trump turned his campaign rally into an extended dissection of the liberal views of the women of color, deriding them for what he painted as extreme positions and suggesting they just get out.
"Tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down," Trump told the crowd in North Carolina, a swing state he won in 2016 and wants to claim again in 2020. "They never have anything good to say. That's why I say, 'Hey if you don't like it, let 'em leave, let 'em leave.'"
Eager to rile up his base with the some of the same kind of rhetoric he targeted at minorities and women in 2016, Trump declared Wednesday night, "I think in some cases they hate our country."
Trump's jabs were aimed at the self-described "squad" of four freshmen Democrats who have garnered attention since their arrival in January for their outspoken liberal views and distaste for Trump: Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia with her family.
Taking the legislators on one at a time, Trump ticked through a laundry list of what he deemed offensive comments by each woman, mangling and misconstruing many facts along the way.
Omar came under the harshest criticism as Trump played to voters' grievances, drawing a chant from the crowd of "Send her back! Send her back!"
Trump set off a firestorm Sunday when he tweeted that the four should "go back" to their home countries — though three were born in the United States. Trump has accused them of "spewing some of the most vile, hateful and disgusting things ever said by a politician."
He expanded on his criticisms in Greenville.
Among his complaints against Tlaib, Trump correctly reported that she had referred to the president by the "F-word," adding, "That's not nice, even for me." Trump himself had unloaded a vulgarity earlier in his speech, denouncing the Russia probe of his campaign and administration as "bulls---."
As for Ocasio-Cortez, Trump fumbled over her name and declared, "I don't have time to go with three different names." He then referred to her as just "Cortez" as he challenged her complaints about dire conditions at migrant detention centers at the border.
In a lighter moment, Trump wondered if Pressley was related to Elvis Presley, then pivoted to more serious points, claiming she thought people of color should "think the same."
As for Omar, Trump unfurled a whole list of complaints, including a false accusation that she voiced pride in al-Qaida.
Before he left Washington, Trump said he has no regrets about his ongoing spat with the four. Trump told reporters he thinks he's "winning the political argument" and "winning it by a lot."
Cast of anticipated 'It' sequel talks about fake blood, demonic clown
"It: Chapter Two" is not taking it easy on the grown losers' club if the new trailer is any indication, and the shoot itself doesn't sound much calmer than battling a demonic clown either.
A theater of fans got a sneak peek at the latest promo for the horror sequel at a Comic-Con event Wednesday night in San Diego before it's released to the world Thursday morning.
Cast including James McAvoy, Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain were also on hand to tease three chilling extended scenes that had the audience gasping, laughing and cheering. They described the intensity of the shoot with director Andy Muschietti, who wouldn't quit until he got the perfect shot.
Chastain recalled doing a scene with blood. She wasn't supposed to get any on her face, but she protested and said, "No, let's make it 'Carrie' on steroids." Later, "freezing and very uncomfortable" in a kiddie pool covered with the fake blood, she may have regretted her choice.
They laughed that throughout filming they used a "record" amount of fake blood — 4,500 gallons, Chastain said.
McAvoy also talked about filming a particularly hair-raising scene in a hall of mirrors that he said was "like a nightmare ... absolutely horrific. There was no fun in it."
And all marveled at Bill Skarsgård's ability to transform into Pennywise the clown.
"He's super imposing in the costume," Bill Hader said. "He's a super nice guy but then when they say 'Action,' it's like a whole other being."
McAvoy worried occasionally that Skarsgård was actually going to hurt himself in character. According to the cast, the "eye trick" Pennywise does where one eye is looking straight and the other goes off to the side is not computer-generated; it's just something Skarsgård is able to do.
"It's like he was born to play Pennywise," Hader said.
Comic-Con's main events begin Thursday morning at the San Diego Convention Center.