AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT
California firefighters say they finally 'turned a corner'
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — With the winds dying down, fire officials said Sunday they have apparently "turned a corner" against the wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state over the past week, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home.
While the danger from the deadliest, most destructive cluster of blazes in California history was far from over, the smoky skies started to clear in some places.
"A week ago this started as a nightmare, and the day we dreamed of has arrived," Napa County Supervisor Belia Ramos said.
People were being allowed to go back home in areas no longer in harm's way, and the number of those under evacuation orders was down to 75,000 from nearly 100,000 the day before.
Fire crews were able to gain ground because the winds that had fanned the flames did not kick up overnight as much as feared.
Son believes his father was deep asleep when fires came
At least 40 people have died in the deadliest week of wildfires in California history. The victims include a couple who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, a 14-year-old boy whose parents and older sister were severely burned, and a woman born with a spinal defect who worked to help others despite her own troubles.
A look at some of those who were killed in the blazes:
A FATHER'S LOVE
Daniel Southard, 71, a retired fitness trainer and high school football coach, sent a text message to his son Derek a little after midnight to ask if he was having a good time at a wedding in Monterey.
The two were close — Derek's mother died when he was 2 years old, his father raised him on his own — and kept close tabs on each other.
10 Things to Know for Monday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
1. CREWS MAKE HEADWAY AGAINST WILDFIRES
With the winds dying down, fire officials say they are finally getting the upper hand against the fires that have devastated California's wine country.
2. BOMB BLAST KILLS MORE THAN 270 IN SOMALIA'S CAPITAL
Witnesses describe "unspeakable horrors" at hospitals after the deadliest single attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.
276 killed in deadliest single attack in Somalia's history
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia's capital killed 276 people with around 300 others injured, the country's information minister said early Monday, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll was expected to rise.
In a tweet, Abdirahman Osman called the attack "barbaric" and said countries including Turkey and Kenya had already offered to send medical aid. Hospitals were overwhelmed a day after a truck bomb targeted a crowded street near key government ministries, including foreign affairs.
As angry protesters gathered near the scene of the attack, Somalia's government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group for what it called a "national disaster." However, Africa's deadliest Islamic extremist group, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital, had yet to comment.
Al-Shabab earlier this year vowed to step up attacks after both the Trump administration and Somalia's recently elected president announced new military efforts against the group.
The Mogadishu bombing is one of the deadliest attacks in sub-Saharan Africa, larger than the Garissa University attack in Kenya in 2015 and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Iraqi forces enter territory disputed with Kurds
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi federal forces entered disputed territory held by Kurds early Monday, seeking to end a nearly month-old political fight over areas taken under control by Kurdish militias three years ago to defend the oil city of Kirkuk against the Islamic State group.
The Iraqi army and federal anti-terrorist and police units rolled into parts of the countryside outside the city without facing resistance from Kurdish peshmerga forces, Al-Iraqiya state TV said. However, some residents of the city and an Iraqi militia commander reported shelling.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi's office said in a statement carried on Al-Iraqiya that Iraq's leader ordered federal forces to "impose security in the city in cooperation with the inhabitants and the peshmerga," indicating he was willing to share administration of the city with the Kurdish autonomous region that neighbors Kirkuk province.
The move came three weeks after Kurds voted for independence in a controversial but symbolic referendum that Baghdad has so refused to acknowledge. It says the vote organized by the country's regional Kurdish authority was unconstitutional.
A commander of the local Kurdish police force said his forces remained in control of the province's disputed oil wells. "There's been no agreement to hand over the wells until now. As for the future, I don't know," said Bahja Ahmad Amin.
Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidy
WASHINGTON (AP) — A key moderate Republican urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to back a bipartisan Senate effort to shield consumers from rising premiums after his abrupt decision to halt federal payments to insurers. Sen. Susan Collins called the move "disruptive" and an immediate threat to access to health care.
"What the president is doing is affecting people's access and the cost of health care right now," said Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who has cast pivotal votes on health care in the narrowly divided Senate. "This is not a bailout of the insurers. What this money is used for is to help low-income people afford their deductibles and their co-pays."
"Congress needs to step in and I hope that the president will take a look at what we're doing," she added.
Her comments reflected an increasing focus Sunday on the bipartisan Senate effort led by Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., to at least temporarily reinstate the payments to avoid immediate turmoil in the insurance market, even as Trump signaled he wouldn't back a deal without getting something he wants in return.
The payments will be stopped beginning this week, with sign-up season for subsidized private insurance set to start Nov. 1.
'I'm intact,' Tillerson says, brushing off drama with Trump
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday ducked, danced and sidestepped the question of whether he truly called President Donald Trump a "moron," dismissing the brouhaha as the "petty stuff" of Washington. Though they keep coming, Tillerson insisted the persistent queries aren't hindering his mission as the nation's top diplomat.
Asked about a leading GOP senator's comment — "You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state" — Tillerson would have none of it. "I checked. I'm fully intact."
Again and again, Tillerson declined in a news show interview to attest to the accuracy of the report about his use of the word "moron" to describe the commander in chief.
Tillerson said he was "not dignifying the question with an answer," reprising his response from earlier this month, the morning the story broke, when he used an extraordinary televised statement to insist he had nothing but respect for Trump.
"I'm not making a game out of it," Tillerson said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." Asked once more, he replied: "I'm not playing."
Philippines: Last leaders of IS-tied siege killed in Marawi
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The two final surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines, including a top Asian terror suspect, were killed Monday in one of the final battles by thousands of troops to retake the last area in Marawi city held by pro-Islamic State group militants, security officials said.
Four military and police officials told The Associated Press that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gunbattle and their bodies were found Monday in Marawi.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to make a public announcement yet of the latest developments in Marawi, a mosque-studded center of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
"That is good news," military spokesman Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla said but added he could not yet publicly confirm the killings of the top militants.
Military leaders had said last month that three leaders of the militants who began the siege of the lakeside city on May 23 were killed in the months of fighting but the two still alive were leading a final stand.
French president moves to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honor
LONDON (AP) — British police are investigating three new allegations of sexual assault against film producer Harvey Weinstein, all made by the same woman.
In another blow to the Hollywood titan after he was ejected from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, France's president said Sunday he was working to rescind Weinstein's prestigious Legion of Honor award.
In the new British allegations, London's Metropolitan Police force said Sunday that the woman reported being assaulted in London in 2010, 2011 and 2015. The force said officers from its Child Abuse and Sexual Offenses Command are investigating.
The woman's name has not been made public. The force also did not name Weinstein, in keeping with its policy of not identifying suspects who have not been charged.
But it said the allegations involve a man against whom another accusation was made Wednesday. That alleged assault — reported to have taken place in west London during the late 1980s — also is being investigated.
Kaepernick files grievance against NFL, alleging collusion
NEW YORK (AP) — Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance against the NFL on Sunday, alleging that he remains unsigned as a result of collusion by owners following his protests during the national anthem.
Kaepernick started a national conversation about political activism by athletes last season when he decided to sit, and then kneel, during the anthem to bring attention to mistreatment of African-Americans by police. Other players have continued the protests this season, prompting an angry response from President Donald Trump, who said players should be fired for not standing during the anthem.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers at the end of last season and remains a free agent despite a rash of injuries and poor play at the quarterback position.
Mark Geragos, one of Kaepernick's attorneys, said in a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday that he filed the grievance "only after pursuing every possible avenue with all NFL teams and their executives."
"If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest — which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago — should not be punished," Geragos said in the statement, "and athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation."