As Kentucky braces for more flooding, death toll rises to 26
Devastated communities in eastern Kentucky began began digging in earnest Sunday as the state’s death toll rose at 10 pm and another round of storms threatened to amplify the historic flooding. Dozens of people remained missing and some areas remained inaccessible to search and rescue teams. Spotty cell phone service added to the chaos. “We’re going to be finding bodies for weeks,” Beshear said. Excessive runoff from showers and thunderstorms on Sunday and Monday could lead to additional flooding of rivers, creeks and creeks across much of central and eastern Kentucky, the National Weather Service warned. Rain rates of up to 2 inches per hour could lead to flash flooding, especially in areas that see repeated rounds of thunderstorms.
Biden tests positive for COVID-19 for the second time
President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday after testing negative earlier this week in a “rebound” case that can happen in patients treated with Paxlovid, Biden’s doctor said. Biden has not had a resurgence of symptoms but has returned to isolation, as the CDC recommends people with rebound cases should do for an additional five days. Paxlovid is home antiviral therapy for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. They treated him given his old age. He has been vaccinated and reinforced against the virus.
Lucky Illinois ticket wins $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot, second largest in game history
A shopper at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines, Ill., got lucky Friday night. They won a whopping nearly $1.34 billion in Mega Millions jackpot, according to the lottery game website. The lucky ticket holder in Illinois won it all, beating odds of 1 in 303 million to win the game’s jackpot. Mega Millions did not identify the ticket holder by name until Saturday morning. The closely watched jackpot, which has increased by hundreds of millions in the last week alone, is the second largest in Mega Millions history. It also marks the third-highest lottery jackpot in the nation so far, across all games. The winning numbers for the $1.337 billion jackpot (with an estimated cash option of $780.5 million) were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.
New York declares state of emergency over monkeypox outbreak disaster
New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday night declared rapidly spreading monkeypox outbreak in New York a state disaster emergency as authorities scrambled to distribute vaccines to slow the spread of the virus. The move comes as New York’s monkeypox infection count approached nearly 1,400 cases, with the majority of infections in New York City, which is the epicenter of the US outbreak. The executive branch specifically expands the group of eligible individuals who can administer monkeypox vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives. It also allows physicians and certified nurse practitioners to issue non-patient-specific standing orders for immunizations, and requires providers to submit immunization data to the state Department of Health. As of Wednesday, the US currently has about 4,600 reported cases, USA TODAY reported.
NBA icon and Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell dies at 88
Bill Russell, the last NBA champion, one of basketball’s greatest players, an accomplished teammate, and a voice for social justice who was the lifeblood of the Boston Celtics dynasty of the 1950s and 1960s, died Sunday. He was 88 years old. On the basketball court, William Felton Russell cared about one thing: winning. And he did whatever it took to do it, from scoring to rebounding to passing to defending. Russell won better than anyone. He had 11 championships with the Celtics, including eight consecutive titles. There was no Finals MVP until 1969. Today, the Finals MVP award is named after him.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, begins a trip through Asia without including Taiwan in her itinerary
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began his journey to the Indo-Pacific region without mentioning a stopover in Taiwan. Pelosi’s office said Sunday that the congressional delegation she leads will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, with a “focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region.” A possible stopover in Taiwan has become a point of tension between Washington and Beijing. China has warned of “consequences” if the speaker visits. He sees Taiwan as part of his territory, while Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign country. The United States has long adopted a shady middle ground that seeks to support Taiwan without infuriating Beijing. If she makes a stop in Taiwan, she would be the highest-ranking U.S. elected official to visit the country since then-speaker Newt Gingrich did so in 1997.
This is a compilation of USA TODAY Network stories. Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Flooding in Kentucky, monkeypox in New York, death of Bill Russell: the biggest news of the weekend