News Wrap: More victims of deadly floods found in Kentucky, Appalachia

In our news wrap Saturday, catastrophic flash floods across eastern Kentucky and wider Appalachia have killed at least 25 people, President Biden tests positive for COVID again in a rare rebound case, protestors storm Iraq's parliament for the second time this week, Pope Francis contemplates early retirement due to physical ailments, and New York declares a state of emergency over monkeypox.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    Good evening. It's good to be with you. And we start tonight in Kentucky as catastrophic flash floods across the eastern part of the state and wider Appalachia have killed at least 25 people. Four of the dead are children, tragically all from a single family. And that's according to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. Heavy rains ease today allowing floodwaters to recede but there is more rain in the forecast tomorrow, adding urgency to the ongoing rescue efforts. Entire neighborhoods remain underwater, and officials say hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost. Governor Beshear says he expects the death toll to continue to rise and that the search for victims could take weeks.

    President Biden has returned to strict isolation after testing positive for COVID again. The White House physician said in the letter today, the President is not experiencing any symptoms. It said to be a rebound case for President Biden who tested negative every day since Tuesday, and who also held public events this past week.

    The White House doctor notes that rebound cases occur in a small percentage of patients treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid.

    Meantime, in Iraq today 1000s of protesters stormed parliament for the second time this week. Demonstrators used ropes and chains to pull down cement barricades before staging a sit in and refusing to move.

    Outside, Iraqi security forces fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. The protesters are followers of the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who vowed to cause unrest if Parliament tried to approve a government that wasn't in his view free of foreign influence and corruption. The protests have blocked efforts to nominate a new prime minister and future sessions of parliament have been suspended until further notice.

    Pope Francis says that physical ailments during his week-long trip to Canada are leading him to contemplate an early retirement. The Pope who is 85 years old, has knee problems and has difficulty walking unassisted. Francis spoke to reporters aboard the papal plane on the transatlantic flight back to Rome.

  • Pope Francis (through translator):

    I don't think I can continue doing trips with the same rhythm as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to save myself a bit in order to be able to serve the church or decide to step aside. This with all honesty is not strange. It's not a catastrophe, you can change the Pope.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Before his trip to Canada, the pope canceled a trip to Africa slated for July.

    And New York Governor Kathy Hochul declared an emergency in the state over the spread of monkeypox to increase official's ability to respond to the virus and distribute more vaccines. Over 1300 cases have been confirmed in New York that's one in four cases in the country. California is the second highest state with nearly 800 cases. On Thursday, the city of San Francisco also declared a state of emergency.

    And someone in Illinois woke up a billionaire this morning after a single ticket won the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, after 29 consecutive drawing since April with no matching numbers, the jackpot top $1.3 billion. The one and only winning ticket was purchased in a Chicago suburb. Now, after taxes taking the money all at once in cash is worth over $780 million. The odds of winning were 1,303 million. You have a better shot of being struck by lightning.

    And still to come on "PBS News Weekend," what help is needed for the millions living with long COVID. And what can be done to save the now endangered monarch butterfly.

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