AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.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 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.


In a north Texas county, dazed residents sift through homes mangled by a tornado

VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) — The dazed residents of a north Texas county sifted through their mangled homes on Sunday after seven people there were killed when a tornado ripped through the remote region near the tiny community of Valley View.

Cooke County Sheriff Ray Sappington said there's “just a trail of debris left” in the area bordering Oklahoma where the dead included two children, ages 2 and 5, in Valley View, a town where barely 800 people live. The bodies of three family members were found in one residence, the sheriff said.

The county bore the brunt of powerful weekend storms that left 15 people dead across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Tens of thousands of residents were without power across the three states.

Kevin Dorantes, 20, was in nearby Carrollton when he learned the tornado was bearing down on the Valley View neighborhood where he lived with his father and brother. He called and told them to take cover in the windowless bathroom, where the pair rode out the storm and survived without injury.

Some of Dorantes’ neighbors weren’t so lucky.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Over 670 people died in a massive Papua New Guinea landslide, UN estimates, as survivors seek safety

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The International Organization for Migration on Sunday increased its estimate of the death toll from a massive landslide in Papua New Guinea to more than 670 as emergency responders and traumatized relatives gave up hope that any survivors will now be found.

Serhan Aktoprak, the chief of the U.N. migration agency's mission in the South Pacific island nation, said the revised death toll was based on calculations by Yambali village and Enga provincial officials that more than 150 homes had been buried by Friday's landslide. The previous estimate had been 60 homes.

“They are estimating that more than 670 people (are) under the soil at the moment,” Aktoprak told The Associated Press.

Local officials had initially put the death toll on Friday at 100 or more. Only five bodies and a leg of a sixth victim had been recovered by Sunday, when an excavator donated by a local builder became the first piece of mechanical earth-moving equipment to join the recovery effort.

Relief crews were moving survivors to safer ground on Sunday as tons of unstable earth and tribal warfare, which is rife in the Papua New Guinea Highlands, threatened the rescue effort.


National Spelling Bee reflects the economic success and cultural impact of immigrants from India

When Balu Natarajan became the first Indian American champion of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 1985, a headline on an Associated Press article read, “Immigrants’ son wins National Spelling Bee,” with the first paragraph noting the champion “speaks his parents’ native Indian language at home.”

Those details would hardly be newsworthy today after a quarter-century of Indian American spelling champs, most of them the offspring of parents who arrived in the United States on student or work visas.

This year's bee is scheduled to begin Tuesday at a convention center outside Washington and, as usual, many of the expected contenders are Indian American, including Shradha Rachamreddy, Aryan Khedkar, Bruhat Soma and Ishika Varipilli.

Nearly 70% of Indian-born U.S. residents arrived after 2000, according to census data, and that dovetails with the surge in Indian American spelling bee champions. There were two Indian American Scripps winners before 1999. Of the 34 since, 28 have been Indian American, including three straight years of Indian American co-champions and one year (2019) when eight champions were declared, seven of Indian ancestry.

The experiences of first-generation Indian Americans and their spelling bee champion children illustrate the economic success and cultural impact of the nation's second-largest immigrant group.


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 988lifeline.org.

The Associated Press