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AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

At least 15 dead after severe weather carves path of ruin across multiple states in the South VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) — Powerful storms killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds and left a wide trail of destruction Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and

At least 15 dead after severe weather carves path of ruin across multiple states in the South

VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) — Powerful storms killed at least 15 people, injured hundreds and left a wide trail of destruction Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S.

The storms inflicted their worst damage in a region spanning from north of Dallas to the northwest corner of Arkansas, and the system threatened to bring more violent weather to other parts of the Midwest later in the day. By Monday, forecasters said, the greatest risk would shift to the east, covering a broad swath of the country from Alabama to near New York City.

Seven deaths were reported in Cooke County, Texas, near the Oklahoma border, where a tornado Saturday night plowed through a rural area near a mobile home park, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Sunday. The dead included two children, ages 2 and 5. Three family members were found dead in one home, according to the county sheriff.

Storms also killed two people and destroyed houses in Oklahoma, where the injured included guests at an outdoor wedding, five people in Arkansas and one person in Kentucky. Tens of thousands of residents were without power across the region.

In Texas, about 100 people were injured and more than 200 homes and structures destroyed, said Abbott, sitting in front of a ravaged truck stop near the small agricultural community of Valley View. The area was among the hardest-hit, with winds reaching an estimated 135 mph (217 kph), officials said.


Palestinian medics say Israeli airstrikes kill 35 in Gaza's Rafah as displaced people are hit

DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian health workers said Israeli airstrikes killed at least 35 people Sunday and hit tents for displaced people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and “numerous” others were trapped in flaming debris. Gaza's Health Ministry said women and children made up most of the dead and dozens of wounded.

The attacks came two days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to end its military offensive in Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's 2.3 million population had sought shelter before Israel's incursion earlier this month. Tens of thousands of people remain in the area while many others have fled.

Footage from the scene of the largest airstrike showed heavy destruction. Israel’s army confirmed the strike and said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior Hamas militants. It said it was investigating reports that civilians were harmed. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was in Rafah on Sunday and was briefed on the “deepening of operations” there, his office said.

A spokesperson with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said the death toll was likely to rise as search and rescue efforts continued in Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood about two kilometers (1.2 miles) northwest of the city center.

The society asserted that the location had been designated by Israel as a “humanitarian area.” The neighborhood is not included in areas that Israel’s military ordered evacuated earlier this month.


Here's what every key witness said at Donald Trump’s hush money trial. Closing arguments are coming

NEW YORK (AP) — After 22 witnesses, including a porn actor, tabloid publisher and White House insiders, testimony is over at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York.

Prosecutors called 20 witnesses. The defense called just two. Trump decided not to testify on his own behalf.

The trial now shifts to closing arguments, scheduled for Tuesday.

After that, it will be up to 12 jurors to decide whether prosecutors have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump falsified his company’s business records as part of a broader effort to keep stories about marital infidelity from becoming public during his 2016 presidential campaign. He has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing.

A conviction could come down to how the jurors interpret the testimony and which witnesses they find credible. The jury must be unanimous. The records involved include 11 checks sent to Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, as well as invoices and company ledger entries related to those payments.


Australia plans to send aid to Papua New Guinea as rain raises safety fears at deadly landslide site

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia prepared on Monday to send aircraft and other equipment to help at the site of a deadly landslide in Papua New Guinea as overnight rains in the South Pacific nation’s mountainous interior raised fears that the tons of rubble that buried hundreds of villagers could become dangerously unstable.

Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said his officials have been talking with their Papua New Guinea counterparts since Friday, when a mountainside collapsed on Yambali village in Enga province, which the United Nations estimates killed 670 people. The remains of only six people had been recovered so far.

“The exact nature of the support that we do provide will play out over the coming days,” Marles told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

“We’ve got obviously airlift capacity to get people there. There may be other equipment that we can bring to bear in terms of the search and rescue and all of that we are talking through with PNG right now,” Marles added.

Papua New Guinea is Australia's nearest neighbor and the countries are developing closer defense ties as part of an Australian effort to counter China's growing influence in the region. Australia is also the most generous provider of foreign aid to its former colony, which became independent in 1975.


Cyclone floods coastal villages and cuts power in Bangladesh, where 800,000 had evacuated

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A cyclone flooded coastal villages and left hundreds of thousands of people without power Monday after making landfall overnight along India's West Bengal state and Bangladesh, where nearly 800,000 residents had evacuated.

Cyclone Remal started lashing Bangladesh’s southern coast late Sunday and was expected to take five to six hours to cross the vast coastal region, Bangladesh's Meteorological Department in Dhaka said early Monday.

TV stations reported that dozens of Bangladeshi coastal villages were flooded as many flood protection embankments were either washed away or damaged by the force of the storm surges. Authorities gave no casualty figures yet, but Dhaka-based Somoy TV reported that at least two people died.

Moderate to heavy rainfall had been forecast in coastal districts in India’s West Bengal state. A 1 meter (3.1 feet) storm surge was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas.

The India Meteorological Department expected Remal to reach maximum wind speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph), with gusts up to 135 kph (85 mph) in the area of West Bengal’s Sagar Island and Bangladesh’s Khepupara region on Sunday night.


North Korea informs Japan of satellite launch plan, a likely bid to put 2nd spy satellite into orbit

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has revealed plans to launch a satellite by early next week, Japan said Monday, an apparent effort to put the North's second military spy satellite into orbit in yet another violation of U.N. bans.

The launch notification came as leaders of South Korea, Japan and China gathered in Seoul for their first trilateral meeting Monday.

Japan’s coast guard said it was notified by North Korea about its planned launch of a “satellite rocket," with safety cautioning in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and China and east of the Philippine island of Luzon beginning Monday and running through midnight June 3.

North Korea gives Japan its launch information because Japan’s coast guard coordinates and distributes maritime safety information in East Asia.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed officials to cooperate with the United States, South Korea and other countries to strongly request North Korea not to go ahead with the launch and to take utmost measures in case of any contingency, his office said.


Nigeria is emerging as a critical mineral hub. The government is cracking down on illegal operations

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's government is cracking down on illegal mining, making dozens of arrests of unlicensed miners since April for allegedly stealing the country’s lithium, a critical mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones and power systems.

The recent arrests come as Nigeria seeks to regulate its mining operations of critical minerals, curb illegal activity and better benefit from its mineral resources. The clean energy transition, a shift away from coal, oil and gas and toward renewable energy and batteries has spiked global demand for lithium, tin and other minerals. Illegal mines are rife in the country's fledging industry as corruption among regulatory officials is common and the mineral deposits are located in remote areas with minimal government presence. Officials say profits from illicit mining practices has helped arm militia groups in the north of the county.

In the most recent arrests in mid-May, a joint team of soldiers and police conducted a raid on a remote market in Kishi, in the country’s southwestern Oyo State. Locals said the market, once known for selling farm produce, has become a center for illicit trade in lithium mined in hard-to-reach areas. The three-day operation resulted in the arrest of 32 individuals, including two Chinese nationals, local workers and mineral traders, according to the state government and locals. Loads of lithium were also seized.

Jimoh Bioku, a Kishi community leader, said there had been “clandestine searches” for the mineral at remote sites tucked away in the bush in the past years by Chinese nationals before “they engaged people to dig for them and turned the market into a transit point.” The community was “particularly worried about the insecurity that usually follows illegal mining and that was why we reported to the state government,” he said.

China is the dominant player in the global EV supply chain, including in Nigeria where China-owned companies employ mostly vulnerable people leaving Nigeria's far north — ravaged by conflicts and rapid desertification — to work in mining operations throughout the country. China's nationals and companies are frequently in the spotlight for environmentally damaging practices, exploitative labor and illicit mining. There have been at least three cases of illegal mining arrests involving Chinese nationals in two months.


In one North Carolina county, it's 'growth, growth, growth.' But will Biden reap the benefit?

SILER CITY, N.C. (AP) — At the epicenter of President Joe Biden’s promised economic boom, a slow tractor can still halt traffic.

Just 81,000 people live in rural Chatham County, North Carolina. There are 1,076 farms. The old mill now houses a dance studio, a grocer and a steakhouse. For work, many people have no choice but to commute to nearby Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh.

But after years of careful planning, Chatham County has started to change.

The new Wolfspeed factory — six football fields long — overlooks I-64 and will soon produce advanced wafers for computer chips. Automaker Vinfast is scheduled to open a factory as well. Both projects stem in large part from incentives that Biden signed into law.

Developers, including the Walt Disney Corp., plan to build several thousand new homes.


Newgarden goes back-to-back at Indy 500 to give Roger Penske record-extending 20th win

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josef Newgarden once again brought his victorious Team Penske car to a stop on the Yard of Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He found that same hole in the fence, climbed through, and was pummeled by fans celebrating his second consecutive Indianapolis 500 triumph.

Everything about his victory Sunday — right down to the last-lap duel, this time with Pato O’Ward — seemed just like last year.

The only difference was the circumstances.

A year ago, Newgarden was the hard-luck driver who had accomplished so much yet never won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” On Sunday, he was the superstar winning the race in the shadow of a cheating scandal that kept his race strategist from even being inside the speedway for the rain-delayed race.

Newgarden put the cheating scandal behind him to become the first back-to-back winner of the Indy 500 since Helio Castroneves 22 years ago and give Roger Penske a record-extending 20th win in the biggest race in the world.


Grayson Murray's parents say the two-time PGA Tour winner died of suicide

Grayson Murray's parents said Sunday their 30-year-old son took his own life, just one day after he withdrew from a PGA Tour event. The family asked for privacy and that people honor Murray by being kind to one another.

“If that becomes his legacy, we could ask for nothing else,” Eric and Terry Murray said in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

Murray, a two-time PGA Tour winner, spoke in January after winning the Sony Open in Honolulu about turning the corner in his life, his golf and battles with alcoholism and mental health. He died Saturday morning.


EDITOR’S NOTE — This story includes a discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, the national suicide and crisis lifeline in the U.S. is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at

The Associated Press