Friday, August 14, 2020

AP News Digest 2 p.m.

| July 1, 2020 11:03 AM

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




RACIAL INJUSTICE-BLM CONVENTION -- Spurred by broad public support for the Black Lives Matter movement, thousands of Black activists from across the U.S. will hold a virtual convention in August to produce a new political agenda that seeks to build on the success of the protests that followed George Floyd’s death. The 2020 Black National Convention will take place Aug. 28 via a live broadcast. By Aaron Morrison. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

AP POLL-RACIAL INJUSTICE-WHITE POLITICS — As a national reckoning over racism and policing grips the nation, white Democrats are far more likely now than they were a few years ago to think police brutality is a serious issue — a dramatic shift in public opinion that some say could shape the November presidential election. By Kat Stafford and Hannah Fingerhut. SENT: 989 words, photos, graphics.




VIRUS OUTBREAK — New York City and a number of states that likewise seemed to have tamed their coronavirus outbreaks are hitting pause on some of their reopening plans as they watch from afar the alarming surge in reported infections across the Sun Belt. The run-up in cases — blamed in part on “knucklehead behavior” by Americans not wearing masks or obeying other social-distancing rules — has raised fears that many states could see the same phenomenon if they reopen too, or that people from the South and West could spread the virus to other regions.By Jake Coyle. SENT: 435 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA — The Trump administration defends its response to intelligence assessments that suggested Russia had offered bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, with the president’s national security adviser saying he had prepared a list of retaliatory options if the intelligence had been corroborated. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Matthew Lee. SENT: 990 words, photos.

TRUMP-ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump is asking Americans to let him keep his job. His critics are asking how much of that job he’s actually doing. Those questions have gotten louder in recent days following revelations that Trump didn’t read at least two written intelligence briefings detailing concerns that Russia was paying bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans in Afghanistan. By Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace. UPCOMING: 850 words by 5 p.m., photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-SEATTLE -- Seattle police showed up in force at the city’s “occupied” protest zone, tore down demonstrators’ tents and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks. Television images showed no signs of clashes between the police, many dressed in riot gear, and dozens of protesters at the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone that was set up near downtown following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. By Martha Bellisle and Lisa Baumann. SENT: 550 words, photos, developing.

RUSSIA-CONSTITUTIONAL VOTE — — A majority of Russians approved amendments to Russia’s constitution in a weeklong vote ending Wednesday, allowing President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036, although the balloting was tarnished by widespread reports of pressure on voters and other irregularities. By Vladimir Isachenko. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

MED--VIRUS OUTBREAK-PROTEST CASES -- Public health experts say there is little evidence that the protests that erupted after George Floyd’s death caused a significant increase in coronavirus infections. If the protests had driven an explosion in cases, experts say, the jumps would have started to become apparent within two weeks — and perhaps as early as five days. But that didn’t happen in many cities with the largest protests. The Associated Press reviewed trends in daily reported cases in 22 U.S. cities with protests. By Mike Stobbe and Nicky Forster. SENT: 730 words, photos.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-PUBLIC HEALTH — The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and it lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN finds that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and by 18% per capita for local health departments. SENT: 3,230 words, photos, interactives. Eds: An abridged version of 1,135 words is also available.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-DEATH CAFES -- So-called Death Cafes are part of a broader “death-positive” movement to encourage more open discussion of grief, trauma and loss. Popularized in 2011, the intimate meetups are held around the world. Many in nearly 100 countries haven’t migrated online in the pandemic, but some have at a time when death talk has never been more prevalent. The global virus toll and the social isolation it has extracted have opened old, unresolved wounds for some. Others attending virtual death cafes are coping with fresh losses from COVID-19. SENT: 999 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NURSING HOMES — A coming report from Senate Democrats finds that the Trump administration was slow to comprehend the scale of COVID-19′s impact on nursing homes and a disjointed federal response only compounded the devastating toll. The report finds a lack of coordination among government agencies that has had ongoing consequences, such as issues with access to coronavirus testing and protective equipment. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 740 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-AFRICA-VACCINE PROTEST — A protest against Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine trial is underway as experts note a worrying level of resistance and misinformation around testing on the continent. SENT: 870 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TIMBUKTU — COVID-19 has made its way to Timbuktu, whose name has long been synonymous with the ends of the Earth. SENT: 825 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-DIARY-PAPA IN EXILE -- Enjoying grandchildren is supposed to be one of the sweetest seasons of life. Enter the coronavirus pandemic, which separated one writer and his immunocompromised wife from the grandsons they’d just moved across state lines to live closer to. Both families quarantined specially so they could reunite fully for a weekend, and the hugs and horseplay brought a brief reprieve from a long and wrenching exile. But now the boys are back at day care, and that means a return to furtive drive-bys and waves from the sidewalk. SENT: 615 words, photos.

Find more coverage of the Virus Outbreak in AP Newsroom.

A separate wire advisory has moved detailing the AP's complete coronavirus coverage.




RACIAL INJUSTICE-MUGSHOTS -- San Francisco police say they will stop making public the mugshots of people who have been arrested unless they pose a threat to the public. Police Chief Bill Scott says the new policy starting is aimed at stopping spreading negative stereotypes of minorities. SENT: 510 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-POLICE TAKEDOWN — Body camera video shows Antonio Arnelo Smith handing his driver’s license to a Black police officer and answering questions cooperatively before a white officer walks up behind him, wraps him in a bear hug and slams him face-first to the ground. SENT: 740 words, photos, video.

RACIAL-INJUSTICE-NIGHTCLUB-BUDDHAS — America’s nightclubs are largely closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that isn’t stopping an interfaith coalition from launching a campaign to stop what organizers call the “disrespectful” use of sacred Buddhist and Hindu statues as decor. SENT: 620 words, photos.

Find more coverage of Racial Injustice in AP Newsroom.




MEDIA FOX HENRY — Fox News has fired news anchor Ed Henry after it received a complaint about workplace sexual misconduct by him. SENT: 280 words, photos.

PROTESTS-SHERIFF GUN OWNERS — A Florida sheriff says he will deputize every gun owner in his county to put down violent protests his deputies can’t handle alone. SENT: 285 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FORT BRAGG — The U.S. Army has quarantined 90 soldiers and instructors who tested positive for the coronavirus during a survival course at Fort Bragg. SENT: 175 words, photos.

DOGS-NEW BREED — American Kennel Club adds a breed, with dog shows in flux. SENT: 530 words, photo.




TRUMP-JULY 4 — President Trump’s Washington D.C. July 4th will feature one of the largest fireworks displays ever, and the giveaway of 300,000 face masks in a nod to the coronavirus pandemic. By Ellen Knickmeyer and Ashraf Khalil. SENT: 350 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photos.

CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE — After a series of failed efforts by the White House to push a plan to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, the Democratic-controlled House is poised to approve a $1.5 trillion plan to fund highway and transit programs, aviation, health care facilities, schools, public utilities and affordable housing. Republicans assail the bill for what they say is a Green New Deal-style focus on climate. By Matthew Daly and Andrew Taylor. UPCOMING: Late afternoon vote expected, 790 words by 5 p.m., photos.

FORCED LABOR-HUMAN HAIR — Federal authorities in New York seize a shipment of weaves and beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. By Martha Mendoza. SENT: 825 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020 -REPUBLICANS — Candidates supporting the far-right conspiracy group QAnon have gained traction in several Republican congressional primaries this summer, including an upset in Colorado on Tuesday. That’s putting Republican leaders in Washington in a tough bind. By Nicholas Riccardi and Alan Fram. UPCOMING: 800 words by 6 p.m., photos.

Find more coverage of the 2020 U.S. Elections in AP Newsroom.




HONG-KONG CHINA — Hong Kong police made the first arrests under a new national security law imposed by China’s central government, as thousands of people defied tear gas and pepper pellets to protest against the contentious move on the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule. By Zen Soo. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.

GERMANY-OBIT-GEORG RATZINGER -- The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who earned renown in his own right as a director of an acclaimed German boys’ choir, has died at 96. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

BELGIUM-COLONIAL PAST-LAWSUITS — Five women who were taken from their families as children in Belgian Congo and placed in a religious mission run by Catholic nuns have filed a lawsuit seeking reparations from Belgium. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.




JULY 4-ROBERT HEMINGS — Countless words have been written about the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson, but few about Robert Hemings, the slave who was on hand as Jefferson famously declared that “All men are created equal.” Like so many of his peers, Hemings’ life is a story of what we don’t know. Jefferson himself had little to say about Hemings at the time, rarely mentioning him in his private papers even as he attempted, unsuccessfully, to include a passage in the Declaration that condemned slavery. By Hillel Italie. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

PREGNANT WOMAN MURDERED-LAWSUIT -- A Pennsylvania man is suing a handful of retired state police investigators and officials alleging wrongful prosecution after he spent most of his childhood in prison for the shotgun killing of his father’s pregnant fiance before the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction. SENT: 900 words.

SUPREME COURT- SCHOOL CHOICE -- A U.S. Supreme Court decision that says states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education could breathe new life into efforts to force Maine and Vermont to help fund religious educations. A lawsuit by three families in Maine who want the state to pay for for religious school tuition is already pending in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. SENT: 610 words, photos.




SCI-SPACE STATION — Astronauts are performing their second spacewalk in under a week to replace old batteries outside the International Space Station. Commander Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken ventured to tackle the cumbersome job. NASA plans to send the astronauts out twice more in July to complete the battery swap-outs that began in 2017. SENT: 430 words, photos.

MED-VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE RACE — The first of four experimental COVID-19 vaccines being tested by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech showed encouraging results in very early testing of 45 people, the companies said. SENT: 275 words.




FINANCIAL-MARKETS —Stocks were higher on Wall Street, putting the market on track for its third gain in a row. SENT: 600 words, photos, developing.

ECONOMY-JOBS REPORT-5 THINGS TO WATCH FOR — With the viral outbreak worsening and unemployment still at Depression-era levels, the government on Thursday will issue what’s expected to be a second straight blockbuster monthly jobs report. Here are five things to watch for Thursday. By Christopher Rugaber. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.




FILM-THE TRUTH — “Shoplifters” director Hirokazu Kore-eda makes his English, and French, language debut with the familial drama “The Truth” starring legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve. Kore-eda and Deneuve discuss the collaboration at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m., photos.




BBO-BASEBALL RETURNS — Call it what you want -- summer camp, spring training 2.0 -- but the return of Major League Baseball players to workouts Wednesday is the first big step toward starting a 60-game sprint of a season fraught with uncertainty. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.

BKN-NBA RESTART-TEAMS RETURN — Most of the 22 remaining NBA teams were taking the court for the first mandatory workouts in nearly four months Wednesday, as the league continued prepping for the restart of the season at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida. Workouts are still individual in nature, but are no longer voluntary. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m.




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