AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT (2023)

Drone explosion hits Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A small explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula, wounding six people and prompting the cancellation of ceremonies there honoring Russia's navy, authorities said.

Meanwhile, one of Ukraine's richest men, a grain merchant, was killed in what Ukrainian authorities said was a carefully targeted Russian missile strike on his home.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the drone explosion in a courtyard at the naval headquarters in the city of Sevastopol. But the seemingly improvised, small-scale nature of the attack raised the possibility that it was the work of Ukrainian insurgents trying to drive out Russian forces.

A Russian lawmaker from Crimea, Olga Kovitidi, told Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that the drone was launched from Sevastopol itself. She said the incident was being treated as a terrorist act, the news agency said.

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Crimean authorities raised the terrorism threat level for the region to “yellow,” the second-highest tier.

Infrastructure damage hampers flood recovery in Kentucky

HINDMAN, Ky. (AP) — Damage to critical infrastructure and the arrival of more heavy rains hampered efforts Sunday to help Kentucky residents hit by recent massive flooding, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

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

As residents in Appalachia tried to slowly piece their lives back together, flash flood warnings were issued for at least eight eastern Kentucky counties. The National Weather Service said radar indicated up to 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) of rain fell Sunday in some areas, with more rain possible.

Beshear said the death toll climbed to 28 on Sunday from last week's storms, a number he expected to rise significantly and that it could take weeks to find all the victims.

Thirty-seven people were unaccounted for as search and rescue operations continued early Sunday, according to a daily briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A dozen shelters were open for flood victims in Kentucky with 388 occupants.

Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the U.S. National Guard Bureau, told The Associated Press about 400 people have been rescued by National Guard helicopter. He estimated that the guard had rescued close to 20 by boat from hard-to-access areas.

Western flames spread, California sees its largest 2022 fire

YREKA, Calif. (AP) — Crews battling the largest wildfire so far this year in California braced for thunderstorms and hot, windy conditions that created the potential for additional fire growth Sunday as they sought to protect remote communities.

The McKinney Fire was burning out of control in Northern California’s Klamath National Forest, with expected thunderstorms a big concern Sunday just south of the Oregon state line, said U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Adrienne Freeman.

“The fuel beds are so dry and they can just erupt from that lightning," Freeman said. “These thunder cells come with gusty erratic winds that can blow fire in every direction.”

The blaze exploded in size to more than 80 square miles (207 square km) just two days after erupting in a largely unpopulated area of Siskiyou County, according to a Sunday incident report. The cause was under investigation.

The blaze torched trees along California Highway 96, and the scorched remains of a pickup truck sat in a lane of the highway. Thick smoke covered the area and flames burned through hillsides in sight of homes. The fire Sunday cast an eerie, orange-brown hue, in one neighborhood where a brick chimney stood surrounded by rubble and scorched vehicles.

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

Bill Russell, NBA star and civil rights pioneer, dies at 88

BOSTON (AP) — Bill Russell redefined how basketball is played, and then he changed the way sports are viewed in a racially divided country.

The most prolific winner in NBA history, Russell marched with Martin Luther King Jr., stood with Muhammad Ali and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. The centerpiece of the Boston Celtics dynasty that won 11 championships in 13 years, Russell earned his last two NBA titles as a player-coach — the first Black coach in any major U.S. sport.

Russell died Sunday at the age of 88, with his wife, Jeannine, at his side, his family said in a statement posted on social media. No cause of death was immediately available; Russell, who had been living in the Seattle area, was not well enough to present the NBA Finals MVP trophy in June due to a long illness.

“We hope each of us can find a new way to act or speak up with Bill’s uncompromising, dignified and always constructive commitment to principle,” the family said. “That would be one last, and lasting, win for our beloved #6.”

A Hall of Famer, five-time Most Valuable Player and 12-time All-Star, Russell in 1980 was voted the greatest player in the NBA history by basketball writers. He remains the sport’s most decorated champion — he also won two college titles and an Olympic gold medal — and an archetype of selflessness who won with defense and rebounding while others racked up gaudy scoring totals.

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ has died at 89

Nichelle Nichols, who broke barriers for Black women in Hollywood when she played communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” television series, has died at the age of 89.

Her son Kyle Johnson said Nichols died Saturday in Silver City, New Mexico.

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

“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration,” Johnson wrote on her official Facebook page Sunday. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all."

Her role in the 1966-69 series as Lt. Uhura earned Nichols a lifelong position of honor with the series’ rabid fans, known as Trekkers and Trekkies. It also earned her accolades for breaking stereotypes that had limited Black women to acting roles as servants and included an interracial onscreen kiss with co-star William Shatner that was unheard of at the time.

“I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89,” George Takei wrote on Twitter. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend."

Parkland trial a rare, curtailed look at mass shooting gore

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Few Americans outside law enforcement and government ever see the most graphic videos or photos from the nation's worst mass shootings — in most states, such evidence is only displayed at trial and most such killers die during or immediately after their attacks. They never make it to court.

That has made the penalty trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz for his 2018 murder of 17 people at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School unusual.

As the worst U.S. mass shooting to reach trial, the surveillance videos taken during his attack and the crime scene and autopsy photos that show its horrific aftermath are being seen by jurors on shielded video screens and, after each day's court session, shown to a small group of journalists. But they are not shown in the gallery, where parents and spouses sit, or to the general public watching on TV.

Some online believe that should change — that to have an informed debate on gun violence, the public should see the carnage mass shooters like Cruz cause, often with high-velocity bullets fired from AR-15 semiautomatic rifles and similar weapons.

Others disagree. They say the public display of such videos and photos would add to the harm the victims' families already endure and might entice some who are mentally disturbed to commit their own mass shooting. They believe such evidence should remain sealed.

Manchin demurs on Biden in 2024 and Dem majorities this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the Democrats' most conservative and contrarian members, declined on Sunday to endorse Joe Biden if the president seeks a second term in 2024 and refused to say whether he wants Democrats to retain control of Congress after the November elections.

In a round of appearances on five news shows, the West Virginia senator also expressed hope that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., will back a Democratic package of climate, health care and tax initiatives that he negotiated. She joined Manchin last year in forcing cuts and changes in larger versions of the plan, and support from every Democrat in the 50-50 Senate — plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote — is needed to overcome anticipated unanimous Republican opposition in votes expected this week. Sinema has declined to tell reporters her stance.

"I would like to think she would be favorable toward it," he said.

But beyond that, Manchin demurred when pressed about supporting his party or its nominee for president in upcoming elections.

“I’m not getting into 2022 or 2024,” he said, adding that “whoever is my president, that’s my president.”

Winning lottery jackpot is lucky for some, tragic for others

Dave and Erica Harrig stayed true to their values when they won a lottery jackpot of more than $61 million in 2013. It made all the difference.

The couple from Gretna, Nebraska, a community on the outskirts of Omaha where Dave Harrig now is a volunteer firefighter, allowed themselves to buy a new home, some vintage automobiles and a few ocean cruises after they both quit their jobs.

But nine years later, they still live much as they always did, remaining in their community, keeping up with church, family and friends, and teaching their children to work hard to make a living despite any financial windfall that might come their way.

Many other winners haven’t been as lucky, suffering personal setbacks and lawsuits or becoming the victims of scams. The latest winner of a big jackpot came Friday, when a single ticket sold in Illinois matched the numbers for a $1.337 billion Mega Millions prize. Illinois is among the states where winners of more than $250,000 can choose to not reveal their names.

Dave Harrig, an Air Force veteran who worked in aircraft maintenance, says keeping things simple probably saved him and his family from the kind of hassles and tragedies that have befallen other big winners.

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

AP sources: Decision in Watson discipline case coming Monday

A decision on discipline for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson following accusations of sexual misconduct is coming Monday.

Two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that retired judge Sue L. Robinson has informed the NFL and the NFL Players' Association she's ready to issue a ruling on Watson’s disciplinary hearing that concluded a month ago. They spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private.

Watson was accused of sexual harassment and assault by 24 massage therapists in Texas and has settled 20 of the civil lawsuits filed against him. Four lawsuits remain pending and the attorney representing the women has said he hopes to take them to trial sometime next spring.

Two separate Texas grand juries declined to indict Watson on criminal complaints stemming from the allegations.

Watson, who played for four seasons with Houston before being traded to Cleveland in March, has been practicing with the Browns while Robinson has spent weeks trying to determine whether the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy and whether to impose discipline.

England beats Germany in extra time to win Euro 2022

LONDON (AP) — Just when it seemed England might again be weighed down by expectations and history, Chloe Kelly made the breakthrough.

Kelly's goal in the second half of extra time — the first time she had ever scored in a competitive international game — propelled England to its first major women's soccer title on Sunday, beating Germany 2-1.

By the time Kelly scored, England looked to be tiring, even with the boost of the home crowd, and struggling to deal with Germany's fresh substitute players. The game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes at Wembley Stadium with Lina Magull for Germany canceling out Ella Toone's goal for England.

Then Kelly prodded in a loose ball at the second attempt in the 110th minute after Germany failed to clear a corner. Cue the celebrations, chants on Trafalgar Square, and congratulations from the queen.

“I always believed I’d be here, but to be here and score the winner, wow. These girls are amazing,” said Kelly, who returned from a serious knee injury in April. “This is amazing, I just want to celebrate now.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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