Kentucky Death Toll Rises to 35 as Rescue Teams Scramble to Find Hundreds of Missing People. Disastrous flooding in Kentucky has left 35 people dead, including four children, as of Monday afternoon, and rescue teams continue to search for hundreds of missing people. On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear delivered the “tough” news that the death toll had risen to 35. “This is the most devastating and deadly flooding event in my lifetime,” Beshear said. As communities contend with the tremendous damage, some law enforcement agencies in Eastern Kentucky have imposed curfews, citing reports of looting. When asked Sunday about the role of climate change in the catastrophe, Beshear said he hadn’t spoken about it yet while there are still potentially thousands of people with “nothing at the moment.” “We are still finding bodies,” he said. “To talk to parents who have lost children about solar panels, they don’t want to talk about that right now. Right now our job is to find those that are missing, our job is to help families suffering, and we can have that larger conversation later.”
California Battles Its Worst Wildfire of 2022 Across 51K Acres. A wildfire in California grew to the largest the state has seen all year, raging across more than 50,000 acres on Sunday and setting the new record just a week after another fire claimed the title. The McKinney Fire began on Friday in Klamath National Forest, a state park in Northern California, less than 15 miles from Oregon’s southern border. Its cause was not immediately apparent, with an investigation ongoing. But in less than 48 hours, nearly 2,000 people have been placed under immediate evacuation orders. Goosed by dry timber and blustery thunderstorms, the fire was zero percent contained on Sunday morning, with officials worried about further thunderstorms forecast in the week ahead. On Saturday, first responders raced to scoop 63 hikers off a threatened area of the Pacific Coast Trail that cuts through Klamath. A second, smaller blaze nearby was set off by dry lightning on Saturday, threatening the small town of Seiad, according to a forest service spokesperson. The two fires jeopardize a combined 400 structures, the spokesperson added.
Two People Burned to Death While Trying to Flee California’s McKinney Fire. Victims are beginning to emerge as the McKinney Fire continues to ravage Northern California. On Sunday morning, officials found two bodies inside of a scorched vehicle. Fire personnel found the pair in a residential driveway just before 10 a.m., and a spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said that they were likely trying to evacuate. Police have not yet released the victims’ identities. Teams will begin to search for more victims on Monday, the spokeswoman said, provided that the area is cool enough to do so safely. The McKinney fire has torched around 52,000 acres so far, making it California’s largest wildfire this year and prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency.
Trump Sides With Russia on Prisoner Swap Plan and Calls Brittney Griner ‘Spoiled’. Former President Donald Trump has slammed plans to free WNBA player Brittney Griner from a Russian jail by calling the imprisoned star “spoiled.” Griner was detained in Moscow in February after being caught with cannabis oil in her luggage–she pleaded guilty to drug charges in July, saying she’d forgotten about the 0.7 grams of vape oil that she’d been recommended for by a doctor. Speaking on The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show on Sunday, Trump criticized Griner’s actions and a plan to secure her release by trading her for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is being held in a U.S. prison. Griner “knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it,” Trump said. Bout is “absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s gonna be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs,” he added. “Now we’re supposed to get her out—and she makes, you know, a lot of money. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world.”
Nancy Pelosi Set to Visit Taiwan Despite Warnings From Biden and China. Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan during her tour of Asia despite warnings from both the White House and the Chinese government, according to CNN. The outlet cited unnamed officials in both the Taiwanese and American governments in its report of the House speaker’s visit, which would be the first to the contested island in 25 years. The stop is not listed on Pelosi’s public itinerary and it’s not yet clear when she is planned to arrive in Taipei. The self-governing island—which China says is part of its territory—remains a key point of contention in the region. Last month, Joe Biden said the U.S. military opposed Pelosi visiting Taiwan, though the White House says it’s up to the speaker where she travels. Chinese government officials have also opposed the trip. “The embassy is making all our efforts to prevent the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the stability of China-U.S. relations being damaged by the potential visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan,” said Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the U.S. “We hope serious consequences could be avoided.”
MAGA Candidate Kari Lake’s Campaign Tries to Troll Dee Snider—and It Backfires Spectacularly. Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has roasted Arizona MAGA candidate Kari Lake after her campaign repeatedly used his song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at events. After seeing the song was used at an event, Snider tweeted Thursday that he could not “legally or morally” stop Lake—a gubernatorial candidate who pushed the Big Lie and who considers abortion the “ultimate sin”—from using the song. But the issue boiled over when Lake’s campaign tweeted out the lyrics of Snider’s song in a political ad on Sunday. “HEY IDIOTS!” Snider wrote in reply. “READ THE 1ST LINE: ‘We’ve got the right to CHOOSE!’ This is a PRO-CHOICE anthem you or co-opting. It was NEVER intended for you fascist morons!” He added that he denounced everything Lake stands for. “Remember when you were anti-establishment?” Lake’s campaign replied, sharing a picture of Snider testifying at a 1985 Parents Music Resource Center senate hearing in which he spoke against censorship in music. “Remember when you didn’t read my testimony?” Snider shot back. “I stand for what I have always stood for. Anti right wing, anti fascist, anti asshole. Pretty much your candidate in a nutshell.”
Arms Dealer’s Lawyer Is ‘Confident’ Russia Will Go for Prisoner Swap. Arms dealer Viktor Bout’s attorney told CNN on Monday morning that he believes Russia will accept the United States’ offer to swap him for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. “I do have information about the progress of how things are going,” Steve Zissou said. “But that information comes from the Russian side as opposed to the American side. I’m confident this is going to get done.” Zissou explained that Russia has wanted Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence, back for a number of years. Sources told CNN that Russian officials had asked that Vadim Krasikov, a convicted murder, be included in the offer, but such a request is complicated given that Krasikov is a German prisoner.
Emmett Till’s Wrongful Accuser Pictured for First Time in Almost 20 Years. The woman who accused Emmett Till of whistling at her in 1955, and whom many believe has evaded justice ever since, has been photographed for the first time in nearly two decades. The Daily Mail tracked Carolyn Bryant Donham, now 88, down at an apartment complex in Kentucky where she lives with her 71-year-old son. Donham has cancer, is legally blind, and receives hospice care; oxygen tubes can be seen in some of the pictures. When approached by reporters and asked to comment on the Till case, Donham stayed silent, with her son indicating that she did not want to speak. Till’s case received renewed attention last month when an unserved warrant for Donham’s arrest was found in a courthouse basement. Last month, protesters tried to storm a senior living facility in North Carolina, Donham’s last known place of residence until now.
Deshaun Watson Reportedly Suspended for Only Six Games After Dozens of Sex Misconduct Claims. Deshaun Watson, the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, will face a six-game suspension for violating NFL personal conduct rules after he was accused of sexual wrongdoing by two dozen women, according to a report. The 26-year-old athlete recently settled 23 of 24 lawsuits brought against him by massage therapists who alleged that Watson sexually harassed or assaulted them during appointments between 2020 and 2021. Citing two people familiar with the decision to suspend Watson on Monday, the Associated Press reports that the league had sought a suspension of at least one year and a $5 million fine for Watson during a three-day hearing in front of disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson in June. The NFL Players’ Association, however, argued he shouldn’t be punished by the league at all as Watson hadn’t been convicted of any crime.
Kayaking Tragedy Leaves One Dead and Another in Critical Condition. A kayaking accident on Sunday night left a 19-year-old man dead and a 54-year-old woman in critical condition, CBS Chicago reported. Shortly after 8 p.m., an eyewitness reportedly called the Indiana Department of Natural Resources about a tipped kayak on a small lake in Hobart, Indiana. The witness waded into the water to try and save the victims, both of whom had gone under the surface. With the help of a police officer, the witness managed to swim the woman back to shore as divers searched the lake for her companion. A diver eventually found the young man’s body around 9:10 pm. Both kayakers had flotation devices with them, but neither were wearing the life-saving gear when the boat capsized. As of Monday morning, the woman remained at the hospital in critical condition.
Atlanta Music Festival Reportedly Canned Over Georgia’s Lax Gun Laws. Atlanta’s long-running Music Midtown festival has been canceled, and insiders say Georgia’s gun laws are to blame. “Hey Midtown fans — due to circumstances beyond our control, Music Midtown will no longer be taking place this year,” the festival announced on its website Monday. Not much was said beyond that, but sources told Billboard and Rolling Stone that Georgia’s loose gun laws were the reason. The festival has been held at the city-owned Piedmont Park since 2011. A 2014 Georgia law allowed residents to carry guns on publicly owned land. That right was expanded by a Georgia Supreme Court ruling in 2019 that held that businesses with short-term leases on public land (e.g., festivals) can’t supersede the statewide right to carry. This is complicated because artists don’t usually want to perform at venues teeming with guns, said Atlanta-based journalist George Chidi. The festival was supposed to be held on Sept. 17 and 18.
TikTok Moderators in Africa Review Sickening Videos for Under $3 an Hour. TikTok content moderators based in Africa say they earn under $3 an hour and receive fewer breaks than their American equivalents while reviewing extremely graphic content, according to a report. Business Insider spoke with nine current and former moderators in Morocco who worked at Majorel, an outsourcing company, who say they experienced “severe psychological distress” while doing their jobs. One said they were just a few hours into their first shift when they watched a video of a man throwing a cat in the air and impaling it on a sword. Another said they were haunted by one video of an old man being attacked with an ax and another of a firearm suicide. All of the moderators said neither TikTok nor Majorel went to sufficient lengths to mitigate the effects of constantly viewing such content, all while imposing a grueling working environment of almost unobtainable performance targets. TikTok said it partners with its outsourcing companies to create a caring environment for staff.
Kremlin Set to Teach ‘Patriotic’ Lessons to Kids From Age 7 in Classrooms. In Vladimir Putin’s latest plan to bolster Russian nationalism, school kids heading back to classrooms this September will be given “patriotic” lessons about his government’s values. Sergei Novikov, head of Russia’s presidential directorate for social projects, told state media that schools across the nation will be dedicating hours to “conversations about important things” in line with the values set out in the Kremlin’s national-security strategy. Novikov’s job is to “strengthen the spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society” and nourish “young people’s patriotic education,” according to the Kremlin’s website. The Russian education minister, Sergei Kravtsov, previously announced history lessons for kids as young as 7 that would emphasize denials that Russia brutalized neighboring countries, including Belarus and Ukraine.
Visitors Banned From Hiking to World’s Tallest Tree After Wrecking Habitat. Visitors to the world’s tallest tree at California’s Redwood National Park were already facing fines of as much as $5,000 or six months in jail if they damaged its base and surroundings—but even that threat was apparently not enough. The National Park Service has now closed off the area for good, warning those wanting to see the tree, named Hyperion, that they must ask themselves: “Will you be part of the park’s preservation? Or part of the problem?” Despite the fact there is no direct trail leading to Hyperion, the tree has been a popular attraction since its “discovery” in 2006. It requires cutting through dense vegetation and “bushwhacking” in order to get there. “Despite the difficult journey, increased popularity due to bloggers, travel writers, and websites of this off-trail tree has resulted in the devastation of the habitat surrounding Hyperion,” the National Park Service said. Visitors have led to the degradation of Hyperion’s base and the area around it no longer has ferns due to trampling.
Food Influencer Investigated for Cooking and Eating Great White Shark. Chinese authorities are investigating a food blogger who shared a clip of herself cooking and eating a great white shark. The influencer known as Tizi, who has almost 8 million followers on Chinese streaming site Douyin, is seen in the video buying the two-meter predator—which is a protected species—at a seafood shop in the city of Nanchong. “It may look vicious, but its meat is truly super tender,” Tizi says in the clip, which was originally uploaded in July. A watermark on the video says the shark was bred in captivity, but social media users questioned the claim as great whites usually only mate in the wild and take decades to reach sexual maturity. In the video, Tizi slices the shark in half, boils its head in a spicy broth, and roasts its tail. She then shares the food with locals. Although Tizi claims the fish is a hooktooth shark, cops in Nanchong launched an investigation after determining that it is in fact a great white, which are considered endangered in China.
Peloton Hit With Yet Another Copyright Suit, This Time From Cypress Hill. It’s time to face the music, Peloton... again. After settling a massive copyright lawsuit two years ago, the bike manufacturer with a cult following has been hit with yet another legal headache. In a lawsuit filed in federal court last week, one of the original members of Cypress Hill, DJ Lawrence Muggerud, alleges that Peloton used multiple songs without paying for his share of the rights. The suit claims that Peloton’s use of the songs is “an outrageous, willful infringement because Peloton was sued by a group of music publishers in March of 2019 for doing the exact same thing.” A group of music publishers sued Peloton in 2019 for allegedly using more than 1,000 songs without the proper sync licenses. Peloton has faced a number of other setbacks in the past few months, from stock volatility to production issues.
10-Month-Old Baby Shot During a Family Spat in Philly. A verbal argument turned violent on Sunday morning, landing a 10-month-old baby in the hospital. Keylianis Isaac told CBS3 that her infant daughter was shot in the hand during a heated spat between her mother and new stepfather, who had married the day before. Though nobody has been arrested, Isaac maintains that it was her stepfather who fired. Philadelphia police would only confirm that the family knows the shooter, and that the assailant fired four shots before fleeing. “I just want justice for my baby girl,” Isaac said. “I need them to find him because I feel as though if they don’t, something else will happen.” Isaac says her daughter needs stitches and a metal plate in her hand.
Rapper Mystikal Arrested on Rape Charges—Again. New Orleans rapper Mystikal was arrested on sexual assault charges on Sunday—for the third time. According to arrest records, police in Louisiana arrested the 52-year-old, whose legal name is Michael Tyler, on several charges, including first-degree rape and domestic abuse battery. As WBRZ reported, Tyler has been accused of rape two other times in the past 20 years. In 2004, he spent six years in jail for sexually assaulting his hair stylist and had to register as a sex offender upon his release. Tyler was arrested again in 2017 over another alleged sexual assault, but the charges were dropped and he was released on a $3 million bond. As of Monday morning, no bond had been posted.
Space Junk Raining Down on Australia Likely Belongs to Musk’s SpaceX. Farmers in Australia might need to swap their akubras for hard hats after a third piece of massive space junk was found on a rural property. After a loud bang was heard in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales on July 9, sheep farmer Mick Miners told ABC Australia he found a 10-foot piece of debris speared into the ground. Miners called his neighbor, Jock Wallace, who also found debris on his property. Wallace said he called the country’s civil aviation authority, who told him to take it up with NASA. “I’m a farmer from Dalgety, what am I going to say to NASA?” he quipped. A third farmer in the region has since come forward to say they found debris too. Local police and astrophysicist Brad Tucker believe the debris came from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, specifically its Dragon spacecraft that made a fiery re-entry into earth’s atmosphere last year, but the company has not yet claimed responsibility or responded to requests for comment.
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