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AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT

Tornado devastates Texas Panhandle town, killing 3 and injuring dozens PERRYTON, Texas (AP) — A tornado tore through the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday, killing three people, injuring dozens more and causing widespread damage as another

Tornado devastates Texas Panhandle town, killing 3 and injuring dozens

PERRYTON, Texas (AP) — A tornado tore through the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday, killing three people, injuring dozens more and causing widespread damage as another series of fierce storms carved its way through Southern states.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo confirmed that a tornado hit the area shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday. Local officials said Thursday night that two people were missing.

Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher said three people were killed, including at least one person who died in a mobile home park that took a “direct hit” from a tornado. Dutcher said at least 30 trailers were damaged or destroyed.

First responders from surrounding towns and cities and from neighboring Oklahoma descended on the town, which is home to more than 8,000 people and about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Amarillo, just south of the Oklahoma line.

Mobile homes were ripped apart and pickup trucks with shattered windshield were slammed against mounds of rubble in residential areas.


Trump's promise of payback for prosecution follows years of attacking democratic traditions

As Donald Trump became the first former president to face federal charges, he and his supporters went through a familiar routine of mounting a victimhood defense in the face of unprecedented allegations of wrongdoing. But this time, the stakes are higher.

Trump upped the level of his claims and threats as he faces the potential of years in prison if convicted on 37 charges of obstruction, illegal retention of defense information and other violations. Hours after pleading not guilty, Trump claimed he is being targeted by the special prosecutor, who is nonpartisan, for political reasons and vowed to retaliate against President Joe Biden if he is elected president in 2024.

“There was an unwritten rule” to not prosecute former presidents and political rivals, Trump told supporters in a speech at his golf club in New Jersey. “I will appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of America, Joe Biden, and go after the Biden crime family.”

The vow is reminiscent of the “lock her up” chants against Democrat Hillary Clinton that Trump led during his 2016 campaign, but the new level of specificity alarmed many experts.

"If he did that, it’d be an authoritarian system, the end of a system of laws rather than of one man,” said Lindsay Chervinsky, a presidential historian.


US guided-missile submarine arrives in South Korea, a day after North Korea resumes missile tests

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States deployed a nuclear-powered submarine capable of carrying about 150 Tomahawk missiles to South Korea on Friday, a day after North Korea resumed missile tests in protest of the U.S.-South Korean live-fire drills.

The USS Michigan’s arrival in South Korea, the first of its kind in six years, is part of a recent bilateral agreement on enhancing “regular visibility” of U.S. strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula in response to North Korea's advancing nuclear program, according to South Korean officials.

With the deployment of the USS Michigan, the U.S. and South Korean navies are to conduct drills on boosting their special operation capabilities and joint ability to cope with growing North Korean nuclear threats, the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement.

It said the U.S. submarine arrived at the southeastern port city of Busan but didn’t say how long it would stay in South Korean waters.

The USS Michigan is one of the biggest submarines in the world. The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine can be armed with 150 Tomahawk missiles with a range of about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) and is capable of launching special forces missions, according to the South Korean statement.


African leaders set to meet with presidents of Ukraine, Russia in bid to end war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Ukraine on Friday as part of a delegation of African leaders and senior officials seeking ways to end Russia's war, though an air raid in Kyiv during their visit was a grim reminder of the challenge they face.

Ramaphosa’s press service said that he was met by a Ukrainian special envoy and South Africa’s ambassador at a rail station near Bucha, the Kyiv suburb where bodies of civilians lay scattered in the streets following Russian forces’ withdrawal last spring.

The Bucha visit was symbolically significant, as its name has come to stand for the barbarity of Moscow’s military since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The brutal Russian occupation of Bucha left hundreds of civilians dead in the streets and in mass graves.

The African delegation also includes senior officials from Zambia, Senegal, Uganda, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo and the Comoro Islands.

Shortly after they placed commemorative candles at a small memorial outside St. Andrew’s Church in Bucha, a town on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv, air raid sirens began to wail in the capital and Mayor Vitali Klitschko reported an explosion in the Podilskiy district, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods.


Teens with severe obesity are turning to surgery and new weight loss drugs, despite controversy

John Simon III was a hungry baby, a “chunky” toddler and a chubby little boy, his mother said. But by age 14, his weight had soared to 430 pounds and was a life-threatening medical condition.

Nine months after weight-loss surgery that removed a portion of his stomach, John has lost about 150 pounds, boosting his health — and his hopes for the future.

“It was like a whole new start,” said John, who will start high school in California this fall.

In Minnesota, Edward Kent was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. The 6-foot, 300-pound high school sophomore started using the obesity drug Wegovy in January — just a month after federal regulators approved it for children 12 and older — and has lost 40 pounds.

“It’s a huge deal and it will affect him for the rest of his life,” said his mother, Dr. Barbara Van Eeckhout, an obstetrician-gynecologist. “This is about his health.”


Final day of search for missing migrants in Greece; hundreds feared dead

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s coast guard launched its third and final day of a search Friday in the area where a large fishing boat crammed with migrants sank, with hundreds of passengers missing and feared dead.

The round-the-clock effort continued off the coast of southern Greece despite little hope of finding survivors or bodies after none have been found since Wednesday, when 78 bodies were recovered and 104 people were rescued.

Most of the survivors were being moved Friday to migrant shelters near Athens from a storage hangar at the southern port of Kalamata, where relatives also gathered to look for loved ones.

Nine people — all men from Egypt, ranging in age from 20 to 40 — have been arrested and detained on allegations of people smuggling and participating in a criminal enterprise. Twenty-seven of the survivors remain hospitalized, health officials said.

Coast guard spokesman Nikos Alexiou, citing survivors’ accounts, said that passengers in the hold of the fishing boat included woman and children but that the number of missing, believed to be in the hundreds, remains unclear.


Pope Francis leaves Rome hospital 9 days after operation; surgeon says 'he's better than before'

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Friday was discharged from the Rome hospital where he had abdominal surgery nine days earlier to repair a hernia and remove painful scarring, with his surgeon saying the pontiff is now “better than before” the hospitalization.

Francis, 86, left through Gemelli Polyclinic's main exit in a wheelchair, smiling and waving and saying “thanks” to a crowd of well-wishers, then stood up so he could get into the small Vatican car awaiting him. In the brief distance before he could reach the white Fiat 500, reporters thrust microphones practically at his face, and the pontiff seemed to bat them away, good-naturedly.

"Still alive,'' the pope quipped when a reporter asked how he was.

"The pope is well. He's better than before,'' Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who did the three-hour operation on June 7 told reporters after he said goodbye to Francis as the pontiff got into the car.

Following the surgery, Francis will be a "strong pope,'' said Alfieri, who was outside along with the surging crowd as the pontiff exited.


American arrested for pushing 2 US tourists into ravine at German castle, leaving one woman dead

BERLIN (AP) — An American man has been arrested over the death of one U.S. tourist and an assault on another near Neuschwanstein castle in southern Germany after he allegedly pushed the two women down a steep slope, authorities said Thursday.

The incident near the popular tourist attraction happened on Wednesday afternoon near the Marienbruecke, a bridge over a gorge close to the castle that offers a famous view of Neuschwanstein.

The 30-year-old man met the two female tourists, ages 21 and 22, on a hiking path and lured them onto a trail that leads to a viewpoint, police said in a statement.

“The younger of the two women was attacked by the suspect," said police spokesman Holger Stabik. “The older one tried to rush to her aid, was then choked by the suspect and subsequently pushed down a slope. ”

The assailant then appears to have attempted to sexually assault the 21-year-old before pushing her down the slope as well. She fell nearly 50 meters (165 feet), ending up close to her friend.


Mass of rock slides down mountainside above evacuated Swiss village, narrowly misses settlement

BERLIN (AP) — A large mass of rock slid down a mountainside above a Swiss village that was evacuated last month, stopping just short of the settlement, authorities said Friday.

Brienz, in the southeastern Graubuenden region of Switzerland, was evacuated on May 12 after geology experts warned that the Alpine rock looming over the village could break loose. In recent days, local officials said rock movements on the slope were accelerating.

Much of the rock mass tumbled toward Brienz between 11 p.m. and midnight on Thursday night, the local council said. It added that there was no evidence of damage to the village and the rockslide stopped just short of it, leaving a “meters-high deposit” in front of the school building.

It wasn't immediately clear how much of the 1.9 million cubic meters (67 million cubic feet) of rock that had been at risk of breaking away actually came loose, but the local council said it appeared to be a large part of the material.

Authorities stepped the alert level up another notch after the rockslide as a precaution, closing some local roads and a railway line and evacuating two houses in the neighboring village of Surava.


Conor McGregor is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at an NBA Finals game in Miami

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA and the Miami Heat are investigating an allegation that former UFC champion Conor McGregor sexually assaulted a woman inside an arena bathroom after Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

The woman's attorney, Ariel Mitchell, said her client has provided Miami police with the clothing she was wearing that night and that a report was filed. Miami police did not respond when asked Thursday evening whether they were investigating.

McGregor’s attorney said the fighter denied any wrongdoing. “Mr. McGregor will not be intimidated,” said the attorney, Barbara Llanes.

In letters sent to the NBA, the Heat and McGregor's representatives, Mitchell detailed her client's allegations and said the client would discuss "reasonable settlement offers" before June 12 or else proceed with litigation.

“We are aware of the allegations and are conducting a full investigation," read a statement from the Heat. "Pending the outcome of the investigation, we will withhold further comment.”

The Associated Press