AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

The anti-abortion movement is making a big play to thwart citizen initiatives on reproductive rights

CHICAGO (AP) — Reeling from a string of defeats, anti-abortion groups and their Republican allies in state governments are using an array of strategies to counter proposed ballot initiatives intended to protect reproductive rights or prevent voters from having a say in the fall elections.

The tactics include attempts to get signatures removed from initiative petitions, legislative pushes for competing ballot measures that could confuse voters and monthslong delays caused by lawsuits over ballot initiative language. Abortion rights advocates say many of the strategies build off ones tested last year in Ohio, where voters eventually passed a constitutional amendment affirming reproductive rights.

The strategies are being used in one form or another in at least seven states where initiatives aimed at codifying abortion and reproductive rights are proposed for the November ballot. The fights over planned statewide ballot initiatives are the latest sign of the deep divisions created by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision two years ago to end a constitutional right to abortion.

This past week, the court issued a ruling in another major abortion case, unanimously upholding access to a drug used in the majority of U.S. abortions, although fights over mifepristone remain active in many states.

The stakes for the proposed ballot initiatives are high for both sides.


Israel's army says it will pause daytime fighting along a route in southern Gaza to help flow of aid

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's military announced on Sunday that it would pause fighting during daytime hours along a route in southern Gaza to free up a backlog of humanitarian aid deliveries for desperate Palestinians enduring a humanitarian crisis sparked by the war, now in its ninth month.

The “tactical pause," which applies to about 12 kilometers (7 1/2 miles) of road in the Rafah area, falls far short of a complete cease-fire in the territory that has been sought by the international community, including Israel's top ally, the United States. It could help address the overwhelming needs of Palestinians that have surged in recent weeks with Israel's incursion into Rafah.

The army said that the daily pause would begin at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and last until 7 p.m. (1600 GMT) and continue until further notice. It's aimed at allowing aid trucks to reach the nearby Israel-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing, the main entry point, and travel safely to the Salah a-Din highway, a main north-south road, the military said. The crossing has had a bottleneck since Israeli ground troops moved into Rafah in early May.

COGAT, the Israeli military body that oversees aid distribution in Gaza, said the route would increase the flow of aid to other parts of Gaza, including Khan Younis, the coastal area of Muwasi and central Gaza. Hard-hit northern Gaza, an early target in the war, is served by goods entering from the north.

The military said that the pause, which begins as Muslims start marking the Eid Al-Adha holiday, came after discussions with the United Nations and other aid agencies.


78 countries at Swiss conference agree Ukraine's territorial integrity must be basis of any peace

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland (AP) — Nearly 80 countries called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in. The way forward for diplomacy remains unclear.

The joint communique capped a two-day conference marked by the absence of Russia, which was not invited. Many attendees expressed hope that Russia might join in on a road map to peace in the future.

The all-out war since President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people, unsettled markets for goods like grain and fertilizer, driven millions from their homes and carved a wedge between the West — which has sanctioned Moscow — and Russia, China and some other countries.

About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries, attended the conference that was billed as a first step toward peace. They included presidents and prime ministers from France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Ecuador, Kenya and Somalia. The Holy See was also represented, and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke for the United States.

India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates — represented by foreign ministers or lower-level envoys — were among countries that did not sign the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners. Brazil, an “observer,” did not sign on but Turkey did. China did not attend.


2024 Tonys hand big awards to Daniel Radcliffe, Jeremy Strong, Danya Taymor and Shaina Taub

NEW YORK (AP) — Alicia Keys electrified the Tony Awards on Sunday, teaming up with superstar Jay-Z on their hit “Empire State of Mind,” while theater history was made for women as Broadway directors and score writers.

Danya Taymor — whose aunt is Julie Taymor, the first woman to win a Tony Award for directing a musical — became the 11th woman to win the award. She helmed “The Outsiders,” a gritty musical adaptation of the classic American young adult novel.

“Thank you to the great women who have lifted me up,” she said, naming producer Angelina Jolie among her list.

Then Shaina Taub, only the second woman in Broadway history to write, compose and star in a Broadway musical, won for best score, following such writers as Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori. Taub, the force behind “Suffs,” had already won for best book earlier in the night.

Her musical is about the heroic final years of the fight to allow women to vote, leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment. Taub told the crowd the score win was for all the loud girls out there: “Go for it,” she urged.


Severe, chaotic weather around US with high temperatures in Southwest and Midwest, snow in Rockies

PHOENIX (AP) — Extreme heat spread across Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Texas, Colorado and Kansas as severe weather swept across many parts of the U.S. on Sunday. There was unseasonable cold in the Pacific Northwest, snow headed to the northern Rocky Mountains and heavy rainfall forecast from the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest.

The National Weather Service estimated that more than 63 million people were under heat advisories on Sunday, stretching from the Southwest northward up through Denver and into Chicago.

Temperatures in Phoenix, which hit 112 degrees Fahrenheit (44.4 Celsius) on Saturday, eased slightly on Sunday to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celcius). Weather service forecasters say the first two weeks of June in Phoenix already have been an average of 5.6 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than normal, making it the hottest start to June on record.

“We have already seen some pretty significantly high temperatures in our area,” said Ted Whittock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “We are recommending that everyone reduce their time outdoors between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., stay hydrated and wear light, looser fitting clothing."

Whittock said the heat in metro Phoenix will ease a bit Monday through Wednesday, with the highs pushing back up as the week progresses, likely prompting another excessive heat warning.


Strong winds, steep terrain hamper crews battling Los Angeles area's first major fire of the year

GORMAN, Calif. (AP) — Strong winds pushed flames through dry brush in mountains along Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles on Sunday, and officials warned residents in the wildfire's path to be prepared to leave if it explodes in size again.

Los Angeles County's first major wildfire of the year swiftly grew to nearly 23 square miles (60 square kilometers), one day after it forced the evacuation of at least 1,200 campers, off-roaders and hikers from the Hungry Valley recreation area.

The blaze, dubbed the Post Fire, was just 2% contained Sunday evening. No injuries were reported. The cause was under investigation.

Firefighters working in sweltering conditions and steep terrain raced to douse spot fires that erupted as unpredictable winds blew embers ahead of the flames, said Kenichi Haskett, a section chief for the LA County Fire Department. The gusts also hampered efforts by aircraft crews to drop water and fire retardant, he said.

“When it’s windy, it just sprays the water everywhere we don’t need it. So that’s a challenge," Haskett said.


Trump allies hope his daughter Tiffany's father-in-law can help flip Arab American votes in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — One of Donald Trump’s emissaries to Arab Americans is a Lebanese-born businessman who moved to Texas as a teenager, speaks Arabic, English and French, and recently joined the Trump family when his son married the former president’s younger daughter.

Massad Boulos has taken on the challenge of trying to convince a politically influential community angry at President Joe Biden that Trump is a better option. But many Arab Americans also note Trump has positioned himself as more pro-Israel than Biden and has made a series of comments and policy announcements that critics blast as Islamophobic.

Trump has long put family members and their relatives in key roles in his campaigns and the White House. Boulos, whose son Michael married Tiffany Trump two years ago, is the latest relative to rise in Trump's political orbit as he uses long-standing connections in an effort to build support for the presumptive Republican nominee's 2024 campaign.

Some Trump allies think they can capitalize on dissension within Biden's Democratic base over his support for the Israeli offensive in Gaza, where more than 37,000 people have died since Hamas' Oct. 7, according to health officials in the Hamas-run territory who do not give the breakdown of civilians and fighters. Biden faced a significant protest vote during the Michigan primary February in areas with high numbers of Arab Americans, who are an important Democratic bloc.

“Obviously the No. 1 point that is of high priority within the Arab American community is the current war in the Middle East,” Boulos said in an interview. “And the question is, who can bring peace and who is bringing war? And they know the answer to that.”


Pilgrims commence the final rites of Hajj as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha

MINA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Masses of pilgrims on Sunday embarked on a symbolic stoning of the devil in Saudi Arabia under the soaring summer heat. The ritual marks the final days of the Hajj, or Islamic pilgrimage, and the start of the Eid al-Adha celebrations for Muslims around the world.

The stoning is among the final rites of the Hajj, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It came a day after more than 1.8 million pilgrims congregated at a sacred hill, known as Mount Arafat, outside the holy city of Mecca, which Muslim pilgrims visit to perform the annual five-day rituals of Hajj.

Fourteen Jordanian pilgrims have died from sunstroke during the Hajj, according to Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it has coordinated with Saudi authorities to bury the dead in Saudi Arabia, or transfer them to Jordan.

Mohammed Al-Abdulaali, spokesman for the Saudi Health Ministry, told reporters that more than 2,760 pilgrims suffered from sunstroke and heat stress on Sunday alone. He said the number was likely to increase and urged attendees to avoid the sun at peak times and drink water. “Heat stress is the greatest challenge," he said.

The pilgrims left Mount Arafat on Saturday evening to spend their night in a nearby site known as Muzdalifa, where they collected pebbles to use in the symbolic stoning of pillars representing the devil.


Clooney and Roberts help Biden raise $30 million-plus at a star-studded Hollywood gala

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some of Hollywood's brightest stars headlined a fundraiser for President Joe Biden that took in a record $30 million-plus for a Democratic candidate, according to his campaign, in hopes of energizing would-be supporters for a White House contest they said may rank among the most consequential in U.S. history.

George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who took the stage at the 7,100-seat Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed Biden and former President Barack Obama, who both stressed the need to defeat former President Donald Trump in a race that's expected to be exceedingly close.

During more than half an hour of discussion, Kimmel asked if the country was suffering from amnesia about the presumptive Republican nominee, to which Biden responded, “all we gotta do is remember what it was like" when Trump was in the White House.

Luminaries from the entertainment world have increasingly lined up to help Biden’s campaign, and just how important the event was to his reelection bid could be seen in Biden's decision to fly through the night across nine time zones, from the G7 summit in southern Italy to Southern California, to attend.

He also missed a summit in Switzerland about ways to end Russia's war in Ukraine, instead dispatching Vice President Kamala Harris who made a whirlwind trip of her own to represent the United States there, a stark reminder of the delicate balance between geopolitics and Biden's bid to win a second term.


Bryson DeChambeau wins another U.S. Open with a clutch finish to deny Rory McIlroy

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — Bryson DeChambeau climbed back into the most famous bunker at Pinehurst No. 2, this time with the U.S. Open trophy instead of his 55-degree sand wedge, filling the silver prize with grains of sand to commemorate the best shot of his life.

Rory McIlroy wanted to bury his head in the sand.

DeChambeau won his second U.S. Open title on Sunday by getting up-and-down from 55 yards in a bunker — one of the toughest shots in golf — to deliver another unforgettable finish at Pinehurst and a celebration just as raucous as when his hero, Payne Stewart, won with a big par putt in 1999.

“That’s Payne right there, baby!” DeChambeau screamed as he walked off the 18th green.

This was nothing like DeChambeau winning at Winged Foot in 2020, when there were no fans and no drama. This was high suspense that ultimately came down to a trio of short putts.

The Associated Press