Saturday, September 26, 2020

AP News Digest 2:10 p.m.

| February 10, 2020 11:35 AM

Here are the AP's latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP's coverage, visit Coverage Plan at

————-————— TOP STORIES ————-—————

ELECTION 2020 — Pete Buttigieg is on defense as his Democratic presidential rivals attacked him on everything from his struggle to connect with black voters to accepting campaign contributions from large donors in an effort to blunt any momentum heading into Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. By Thomas Beaumont. SENT 830 words, photos. With ELECTION 2020-TRUMP — President Trump holds a rally in New Hampshire, eager to get in on the conversation as Democrats try to select a candidate to oppose him in November. UPCOMING: 600 words by 9 p.m.

CHINESE-HACKERS-EQUIFAX — Four members of the Chinese military have been charged with breaking into the networks of the Equifax credit reporting agency and stealing the personal information of tens of millions of Americans, the Justice Department said, blaming Beijing for one of the largest hacks in history to target consumer data. By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo. SENT: 780 words, photo.

CHINA-OUTBREAK — More offices and stores in Beijing and other parts of China finally reopened after the Lunar New Year break was extended to discourage travel and contain the new coronavirus, but many workers and shoppers appeared to stay home. Public health authorities are watching closely to see whether the return to business worsens the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 40,000 people globally and killed over 900, with the vast majority of cases in China. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. With CHINA-OUTBREAK-AT A GLANCE, CHINA-OUTBREAK-EUROPE, CHINA-OUTBREAK-THE LATEST, CHINA-OUTBREAK-QUIET BEIJING-PHOTO PACKAGE (all sent).

CHINA OUTBREAK-BRITISH CARRIER — A middle-aged businessman from England who vacationed in the Alps illustrates how the ease of international travel is complicating global efforts to contain the new coronavirus that emerged in China. By Danica Kirka. UPCOMING: 860 words, photos, by 3 p.m.

SKOREA-OSCARS-REACTION — South Koreans reacted with rare collective joy after director Bong Joon Ho and his movie “Parasite” won Oscars for best picture and three other categories, good news that came as their country struggles to cope with a new virus from China and its economic fallout. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 620 words, photos.

————-———--—— WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ————-———--——

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT ARRESTED — University leader resigns after bust in prostitution sting. SENT: 300 words, photos.

BIG TIP — Massachusetts waitress surprised with $2,000 tip on $12 bill. SENT: 110 words.

AFRICA-LOCUST OUTBREAK — UN warns of 'major shock' as Africa locust outbreak spreads. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BRITAIN-BORIS JOHNSON'S BRIDGE — A bridge too far? UK looks at linking Scotland, N Ireland. SENT: 290 words, photo.

————-—————-- WASHINGTON/ POLITICS ————-—————--

NONCITIZEN VOTING — A mistake in Illinois’ automatic voter registration system could mean deportation, criminal charges or both for a handful of immigrants who cast ballots. Hundreds of people who acknowledged that they weren’t U.S. citizens were mistakenly registered. Sixteen of them voted. The fiasco has triggered a partisan battle, infuriated voter advocacy groups and forced immigrant rights activists to do damage control. By Sophia Tareen. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. This is the Tuesday spotlight.

ELECTION 2020-IOWA — Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign plans to ask for a “partial recanvass” of the results of last week's Iowa caucuses. By Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 820 words, photo. UPCOMING: Developing from 1 p.m. deadline, 820 words by 4 p.m., photos.

ELECTION 2020-GENERATIONAL CHANGE — New Hampshire voters are poised Tuesday to re-order the field of Democratic presidential candidates. But as important, they will also send a message about what kind of change they want their party to stand for to challenge President Donald Trump. By National Political Writer Steve Peoples. SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

TRUMP-BUDGET — President Trump unveiled a $4.8 trillion election year budget plan that recycles previously rejected cuts to domestic programs like food stamps and Medicaid to promise a balanced budget in 15 years — all while leaving Social Security and Medicare benefits untouched. SENT: 860 words, photos. With TRUMP-BUDGET-EPA — Trump's calls for slashing funding for the Superfund hazardous waste program, even as the backlog of clean-ups has grown around the country for lack of money. SENT: 320 words, photo.

TRUMP-TROPHY HUNTING — Facing significant legal challenges, the Trump administration has disbanded its advisory board created to help boost trophy hunting and relax federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos. By Michael Biesecker. SENT: 900 words, photo.

TRUMP-GUNS — Two years after the Parkland school shooting in Florida, President Trump meets with some of the families of the victims. By Aamer Madhani. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

MELANIA TRUMP — Melania Trump cites the influence of “Achy Breaky Heart” singer Billy Ray Cyrus as she asks spouses of the nation’s governors to address cyber assault in their states. UPCOMING: 250 words, photos by 5 p.m..

————-————— INTERNATIONAL ————-—————

THAILAND-SHOOTING — Authorities in northern Thailand began releasing bodies to relatives after security forces cornered and killed a soldier who carried out the country's worst mass shooting in an hourslong siege at a shopping mall. The soldier killed 29 people starting with his commanding officer in a stunning tragedy at an airport-themed mall in Nakhon Ratchasima. By Emily Schmall and Preeyapa T. Khunsong. SENT: 570 words, photos, video. With THAILAND-SHOOTING-SECURITY LAPSE — It's still unclear how a Thai soldier managed to steal heavy weapons from an army base which he then used to kill 29 people and hold off security forces for almost 16 hours while he was holed up in a popular shopping mall. SENT: 860 words, photos.

ISRAEL-TORTURE-ALLEGATIONS — Israel faces allegations of severely torturing three alleged Palestinian militants rounded up after a rare bombing in the occupied West Bank. The bombing killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl in August. SENT: 1,570 words, photos. With ISRAEL-POLITICS — A leading Israeli opposition figure says embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned a U.S. initiative for ending conflict with the Palestinians into a campaign “stunt” by pushing for the immediate annexation of West Bank settlements. SENT: 750 words, photos.

IRAN-BUSINESS OF FLAG-BURNING — Workers at a small Iranian factory diligently add all 50 stars and 13 bars to American flags, and carefully imprint the Star of David on the flag of Israel. They known that all their work is destined to go up in flames. This factory serves as a major producer for the American and Israeli flags constantly burned at pro-government rallies in the Islamic Republic. By Nasser Karimi and Mohammad Nasiri. SENT: 890 words, photos.

IRELAND-ELECTION — Ireland braced for weeks of political uncertainty after an earth-shaking election that saw the Irish Republican Army-linked party Sinn Fein — long shunned by its bigger rivals — take the largest share of votes. In a surge that upended Ireland’s traditional two-party system, the left-wing nationalist party beat both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, the centrist parties that have governed Ireland since it won independence from Britain a century ago. SENT: 970 words, photos.

GERMANY POLITICS — German Chancellor Angela Merkel's designated successor unexpectedly threw in the towel, plunging her conservative party into deeper crisis as it struggles to agree on its future political direction after losing votes to the far right. SENT: 410 words, photos.

SYRIA — Turkey said it has retaliated after "intense" shelling by Syrian forces killed five of its soldiers and wounded five others in Syria's northern Idlib province, a marked escalation a week after a similarly deadly clash between the two sides. SENT: 940 words, photos.

————-————— NATIONAL ————-—————

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-WEINSTEIN — In the strongest defense testimony yet, a Mexican model and actress denied a Harvey Weinstein accuser’s claim that she stood by and did nothing while the once-powerful movie mogul groped her in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2013. “Never happened," Claudia Salinas told jurors at Weinstein’s rape trial in New York City. SENT: 690 words, photos.

WALMART-SHOOTING-ARKANSAS — At least three people, including two police officers, were shot at a Walmart in eastern Arkansas, police said.. SENT: 440 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

REFUGEE BANS-SETTLEMENT — President Trump's administration has agreed to speed up the cases of some former interpreters for the U.S. military in Iraq and hundreds of other refugees whose efforts to move to the United States have been in limbo since he announced his travel bans three years ago. SENT: 520 words, photos.

FIRES-BLACK CHURCHES — The aspiring ‘black metal’ musician who was arrested in a series of fires set at African American churches in Louisiana last spring has pleaded guilty to four federal criminal counts. SENT: 300 words, photo.

TUBMAN-DOUGLASS-STATUES — At a time when states are debating the removal of Confederate monuments, Maryland is adding bronze statues of two of the state's famous black historical figures to the Maryland State House. The statues of abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass will be unveiled Monday night in the Old House Chamber. SENT: 600 words.

AMERICAN SAMOA-CITIZENSHIP — U.S. equality rights advocates applauded a recent federal court ruling giving United States citizenship to those born in American Samoa. But many in the U.S. territory are perfectly happy being U.S. nationals who can't vote for U.S. president, or run for office outside American Samoa. They fear the ruling would threaten "fa’a Samoa," the Samoan way of life, including communal land ownership. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

————-————— BUSINESS ————-—————

CLOTHING RENTAL — Renting clothes could be the future of fashion — or it could just be a fad. But traditional retailers can no longer afford to wait on the sidelines to find out. That's why a growing number of them are now offering customers the option to rent clothes for a monthly fee instead of buying them. By AP Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 990 words, photos.

————-————— SCIENCE ————-—————

MED-ALZHEIMER DRUGS — Two experimental drugs failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer's disease at a relatively young age because they inherited rare gene flaws. The results are another disappointment for the approach that scientists have focused on for years -- trying to remove a harmful protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia. SENT: 960 words, photo.

————-————— ENTERTAINMENT ————-—————

DOG SHOW-NOT JUST FOR SHOW — The Westminster Kennel Club's green carpet might spotlight manicured, pedigreed dogs, but the canine competitors aren't just for show. Some of them — or their relatives — also do specialized work as service or therapy dogs, animal actors, bomb-sniffers, search-and-rescue K9s and more. SENT: 970 words, photos.

—————————————- HOW TO REACH US —————————————-

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