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

Mug shot of Donald Trump shows scowling former president during speedy booking at Atlanta jail

ATLANTA (AP) — A scowling Donald Trump posed for a mug shot Thursday as he surrendered inside a jail in Atlanta on charges that he illegally schemed to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia, creating a historic and humbling visual underscoring the former president's escalating legal troubles.

The booking photo instantly becomes part of the former president's legacy as he confronts criminal charges in four American cities while seeking to reclaim the White House. His aides swiftly seized on the image, fundraising off the first mug shot in American history of a former president as representative of the persecution they contend Trump is encountering. His opponents, meanwhile, are likely to use it to remind voters of dangers in electing a president facing dozens of felony charges.

Trump was released on $200,000 bond and headed back to the airport for his return flight home to New Jersey, flashing a thumbs-up through the window of his sport utility vehicle as his motorcade left. Unrepentant but subdued after the brief jail visit, he again insisted that he "did nothing wrong" and called the case accusing him of subverting election results a “travesty of justice.”

“If you challenge an election, you should be able to challenge an election," he told reporters on the airport tarmac.

Trump’s surrender to law enforcement authorities, the fourth time this year, has by now become a familiar election-season routine in a way that belies the unprecedented spectacle of a former president, and current candidate, being booked on criminal charges. But his visit to Atlanta was notably different from the three past surrenders, unfolding at night and requiring him to visit a problem-plagued jail — rather than a courthouse.


US intelligence says an intentional explosion brought down Wagner chief Prigozhin’s plane

WASHINGTON (AP) — A preliminary U.S. intelligence assessment concluded that an intentional explosion caused the plane crash presumed to have killed a mercenary leader who was eulogized Thursday by Vladimir Putin, even as suspicions grew that the Russian president was the architect of the assassination.

One of the U.S. and Western officials who described the initial assessment said it determined that Yevgeny Prigozhin was “very likely” targeted and that the explosion falls in line with Putin’s “long history of trying to silence his critics.”

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment, did not offer any details about what caused the explosion, which was widely believed to be vengeance for the mutiny in June that posed the biggest challenge to the Russian leader’s 23-year rule. Several of Prigozhin's lieutenants were also presumed dead.

Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder said press reports that a surface-to-air missile took down the plane were inaccurate. He declined to say whether the U.S. suspected a bomb or believed the crash was an assassination.

Details of the intelligence assessment surfaced as Putin expressed his condolences to the families of those who were reported to be aboard the jet and referred to “serious mistakes" by Prigozhin.


CIA stairwell attack among flood of sexual misconduct complaints at spy agency

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — In a secluded stairwell at CIA headquarters last year, officer trainee Ashkan Bayatpour came up behind a colleague, wrapped a scarf around her neck and plainly spoke as he tried to kiss her on the mouth.

“There are many uses for this,” the woman recalls him saying. “This is what I want to do to you.”

Bayatpour was convicted Wednesday of a state misdemeanor charge of assault and battery in a case that was remarkable for breaking through the CIA’s veil of ultra-secrecy and playing out in a public courtroom where it has emboldened a sexual misconduct reckoning.

At least two-dozen women have come forward in recent months with their own complaints of abusive treatment within the CIA, telling authorities and Congress not only about sexual assaults, unwanted touching and coercion but of what they contend is a campaign by the spy agency to keep them from speaking out, with dire warnings it could wreck their careers and even endanger national security.

“There are harassers everywhere and bosses that try to cover them up,” said Kristin Alden, a Washington attorney who represents some of the women who have filed complaints. “But the whole nature of intelligence work — the culture of secrecy and people working under assumed names — really elevates the chilling effect of retaliation and isolation that victims feel.”


Maui County sues utility, alleging negligence over fires that ravaged Lahaina

HONOLULU (AP) — Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric Company on Thursday over the fires that devastated Lahaina, saying the utility negligently failed to shut off power despite exceptionally high winds and dry conditions.

Witness accounts and video indicated that sparks from power lines ignited fires as utility poles snapped in the winds, which were driven by a passing hurricane. The Aug. 8 fires killed at least 115 people and left an unknown number of others missing, making them the deadliest in the U.S. in more than a century.

Hawaii Electric said in a statement it is "very disappointed that Maui County chose this litigious path while the investigation is still unfolding.”

The lawsuit said the destruction could have been avoided and that the utility had a duty “to properly maintain and repair the electric transmission lines, and other equipment including utility poles associated with their transmission of electricity, and to keep vegetation properly trimmed and maintained so as to prevent contact with overhead power lines and other electric equipment.”

The utility knew that high winds “would topple power poles, knock down power lines, and ignite vegetation,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants also knew that if their overhead electrical equipment ignited a fire, it would spread at a critically rapid rate.”


Presidential debate shows how GOP candidates are struggling to address concerns about climate change

NEW YORK (AP) — The eight Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage were asked to raise their hands if they believed human behavior is causing climate change.

Not a single hand went up.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis shut down the question and attacked the “corporate media.” Echoing the words of former President Donald Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy called climate change “a hoax” and a “wet blanket on our economy.” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., insisted that more serious environmental threats are coming from China, India and Africa.

Just one Republican, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, said during Wednesday night's debate in Milwaukee that climate change “is real.”

A day later, frustrated leaders in the GOP's small but growing movement of environmental activists said their party must do better. In fact, some young conservatives confronted Ramaswamy at a gathering after the debate and told him his answer was particularly unhelpful.


Ramaswamy raises $450,000 in first hours after Republican debate as campaigns try to seize momentum

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The first Republican presidential debate provided an opportunity for candidates to make their cases directly to a national audience, and some of that attention is translating into fundraising boosts.

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has taken in $450,000 since Wednesday night's debate, with an average donation of $38, campaign spokeswoman Tricia McLaughlin told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Ramaswamy, a political newcomer who occupied center stage in the absence of current GOP front-runner Donald Trump, scored several memorable moments during the debate, criticizing some rivals as “super PAC puppets” who were using “ready-made, preprepared slogans” to attack him.

Ramaswamy, has largely been self-funding his campaign and raised more than $7.7 million in the second quarter, finishing with more than $9 million on hand.

At least one candidate, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, made a direct fundraising appeal onstage Milwaukee, asking viewers in his closing remarks to go to his campaign website “for more information or to make a contribution.”


Retired police sergeant who killed 3 at California bar shot his estranged wife first, officials say

TRABUCO CANYON, Calif. (AP) — The retired police sergeant who opened fire during a lively Wednesday evening at a popular Southern California biker bar had traveled from Ohio to confront his estranged wife, shooting her in the face before turning his gun on the crowd, authorities said.

John Snowling killed three people, including his wife's dining companion and a man who approached him as Snowling retrieved additional guns from his truck, and wounded six others, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said Thursday. He was fatally shot by deputies within minutes of the rampage.

The shooting unfolded as a cover band entertained guests during the bar's popular weekly spaghetti night. Snowling entered the bar, walked up to Marie Snowling and immediately shot her without saying a word, authorities said. Some patrons froze and others ran as bullets flew inside the bar before Snowling went out to the parking lot and continued to fire, witnesses and authorities said.

As the shooting began, M Street band keyboardist Mark Johnson hid behind a speaker with his wife, singer Debbie Johnson.

“Once he started shooting, it was very indiscriminate,” Mark Johnson said.


As research grows into how to stop gun violence, one city looks to science for help

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — “That’s where I got shot,” said Rashaad Woods, nodding toward a convenience store in Knoxville’s “gun zone.” There were bullet holes in a church’s walls. Nearby was a shuttered nightclub where some people were killed.

“There was a point in time I wasn't comfortable standing here,” said Kodi Mills, 45. "But that time is passing.”

The men work for Turn Up Knox, a year-old outreach program that mentors kids and defuses situations that could escalate into violence. It's a centerpiece of the Tennessee city's attempt to follow a science-based playbook in fighting a surge in shootings.

In recent years, research reviews have begun to conclude there's enough evidence to say which public health interventions prevent shootings, which do not, and which need more study. Knoxville is one of a growing number of cities teaming with researchers to develop an evidence-based plan to stop the bleeding.

Knoxville's program was in reaction to a dramatic rise in shooting deaths and includes policing changes and other efforts. However, it does not count on new gun restrictions. That was important, since Tennessee has repeatedly moved to loosen gun laws.


Ohtani to keep playing, his future and impending free agency murky after elbow ligament injury

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani already knew he had a career-altering tear in his elbow ligament when he roped a double to right in the fifth inning of the Angels' doubleheader nightcap on Wednesday.

After he hustled to second base, he was greeted by Elly De La Cruz. Cincinnati's 21-year-old rookie shortstop jokingly poked at the smiling Ohtani, essentially asking the two-way superstar, “Are you real?"

That's the question all of baseball has been asking about Ohtani for the past three seasons, ever since he returned from Tommy John surgery and redefined what's possible in this sport.

But the new injury to his ulnar collateral ligament is a merciless reminder that the 29-year-old Ohtani is, in fact, real — a baseball unicorn, but also an athlete challenging the limit of human potential and physiology.

Ohtani hit that limit earlier Wednesday when he abruptly left the mound after just 26 pitches in the doubleheader opener. Tests revealed a ligament tear that could require Ohtani to undergo a second Tommy John surgery, a circumstance that almost invariably worsens and shortens pitching careers.


Fran Drescher says actors strike she's leading is an 'inflection point' that goes beyond Hollywood

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fran Drescher believes that the walkouts that have shut down Hollywood are about something much bigger than the actors union she leads, or the writers striking alongside them, or the entertainment industry.

Drescher told The Associated Press the moment is about the entire world of work, and a larger stand against corporate leaders who value shareholders over the people who create their product.

“At some point you have to say no more,” Drescher, the former “Nanny” star who is now president of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said in an interview at the union's headquarters Wednesday. “I think that it’s taken on a bigger scope, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. I think it’s a conversation now about the culture of big business, and how it treats everybody up and down the ladder in the name of profit.”

Drescher, 65, has been president of the actors guild since September of 2021, when she defeated “Stranger Things” actor Matthew Modine in a union election.

But for many members and observers, the day she truly became president was July 13, when Drescher gave a rousing, fiery and for some inspiring speech at the news conference announcing that talks had broken off and a strike was about to begin.

The Associated Press