Friday, November 27, 2020
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AP News Digest 6 p.m.

| October 24, 2020 3:06 PM

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 https://newsroom.ap.org.

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NEW & DEVELOPING

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Adds: FACEBOOK-TARGETED-AD-TOOL, VENEZUELA, VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHURCH CLOSING, MURDER HORNETS-NEST.

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ONLY ON AP

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ELECTION 2020-HARRY REID-FILIBUSTER — Former Senate leader Harry Reid says if Democrats win the presidency and the Senate, Joe Biden should take “no more than three weeks” to test bipartisanship before ending the filibuster so Democrats can overcome what they call Republican obstruction and pass bills. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 690 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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ELECTION 2020 — President Donald Trump says he voted “for a guy named Trump” and calls it an “honor” to cast his own ballot in his adopted home state of Florida. His rallies in three battleground states, where large crowds awaited even as coronavirus cases are surging to records in the country, drew criticism from Democrat Joe Biden at his drive-through events. ”We don’t want to become superspreaders,” he says. By Jill Colvin,will Weissert and Aamer Madhani. SENT: 850 words, photos. Will be updated from events scheduled past 8 p.m. EDT.

SUPREME COURT-BARRETT — Sen. Lisa Murkowski has announced she will vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, giving crucial support to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before the conservative judge faces a final vote expected Monday. The Alaska Republican had been a rare holdout on Barrett, decrying that her nomination had proceeded so close to a presidential election. By Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

COURT-PACKING-STATES — Republicans have criticized a push by some on the left to expand the number of seats on the U.S. Supreme Court if Democratic nominee Joe Biden wins the presidency and Democrats win full control of Congress. But Republicans have done just that in recent years with some state supreme courts. By Andrew DeMillo. SENT: 920 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK — College is a major milestone for many U.S. teens, the first time they’ve been on their own. But this fall, amid pandemic restrictions, many are struggling. They face social distancing requirements, mask mandates and daily temperature checks, as well as quarantine and isolation. By AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner. SENT: 1,350 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE — AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson announce U.S. regulators have given them the go-ahead to resume U.S. testing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

AFGHANISTAN — The death toll from the suicide attack in Afghanistan’s capital has risen to at least 18 people killed and 57 wounded, including students, the interior ministry said. The explosion struck outside an education center in a heavily Shiite neighborhood of western Kabul, Dasht-e-Barchi. By Tameem Akhgar. SENT: 380 words, photos.

MEDIA-THE NEEDLE — The one thing most likely to conjure nightmares of the 2016 election night for opponents of resident Donald Trump is the Needle. A graphic on The New York Times’ website, the Needle measured in real time the probability of victory for Trump or Hillary Clinton as votes were counted. Its steady movement triggered anxiety for Clinton supporters, who repeatedly refreshed the page, and elation for Trump fans. The Needle won’t be making a reappearance on Nov. 3, one change in the world of election probability gurus following the unexpected 2016 result. By Media Writer David Bauder. SENT: 860 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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OBIT-JERRY-JEFF-WALKER — Texas country singer and songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, who wrote the pop song “Mr. Bojangles,” has died at age 78 after battling throat cancer and other health issues, a family spokesman said. SENT: 300 words, photos.

FACEBOOK-TARGETED-AD-TOOL — Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform. SENT: 590 words, photos.

MURDER HORNETS-NEST — Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States. The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets. SENT: 200 words, photos.

GERMANY-MUSEUM-DAMAGE — Police say several teenagers sprayed graffiti on a famous piece of art outside one of Berlin’s most famous museums and that the vandalism was unrelated to the damaging of more than 60 other art works on the city’s Museum Island this month. SENT: 220 words, photos.

ASTEROID GRAB — Scientists say a NASA spacecraft grabbed more than enough rubble from the surface of an asteroid to bring back to Earth.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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POLAND PRESIDENT — Polish President Andrzej Duda says he feels well despite testing positive for the coronavirus, and he apologized to everyone who must quarantine because they had contact with him. Duda, 48, said he was experiencing no COVID-19 symptoms “but unfortunately, the test result is absolutely unambiguous.” SENT: 610 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ASIA — Authorities in Sri Lanka have closed at least two fishery harbors and many stalls after a surge of 609 cases linked to the country’s main fish market. The government also widened the curfew in parts of Colombo. At least 11 villages were isolated in densely populated Western province, which includes the capital. Health authorities on Wednesday temporarily closed the fish market on Colombo’s outskirts after 49 traders tested positive for the coronavirus. By Saturday, the number of cases went up to 609. SENT: 585 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SENATOR'S STAFF — Two staff members for Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia tested positive for the coronavirus, but a subsequent test of the senator came back negative, the senator’s office said. SENT: 210 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHURCH CLOSING — A North Carolina health official on Saturday ordered a large church to close its doors temporarily because of concerns it is helping spread the coronavirus by disregarding social distancing measures. SENT: 210 words.

Find more coverage on the Virus Outbreak on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

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WASHINGTON

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ELECTION 2020-VOTER INTIMIDATION — Voting rights advocates and state officials are on high alert over fears that U.S. polling stations could attract the same strain of partisan violence and civil unrest that erupted on American streets this year, fueled by a deadly pandemic, outrage over police brutality and one of the most contentious elections ever in American history. By Lisa Marie Pane and Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 960 words, photos.

ELECTION SECURITY-TRUMP — As President Trump sows doubts about the election, an obscure government agency he created is working behind the scenes to inspire confidence in the vote in the middle of a pandemic. Trump hasn’t made it easy by predicting that voting will be a “disaster,” insisting mail-in balloting is a recipe for fraud and dismissing reports of Russian interference. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency quietly offers a counternarrative on these issues and more, and its director projects optimism about the election. By Ben Fox. SENT: 960 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-INAUGURATION — Inauguration planning must go ahead, even in a pandemic and before the election winner is known. Visitors to the Capitol and the White House can see preparations underway for the Jan. 20 ceremony. Outwardly, much looks the same as in any election year. Work is taking place with the mindset that it is easier to scale down, if the coronavirus makes that necessary, than to scale up. By Kevin Freking. SENT: 630 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-UNFINISHED BUSINESS — President Trump swept into office nearly four years ago as an outsider who promised to get things done on behalf of the American people through force of will and unrivaled knowledge about the art of the deal. He’s certainly done some of the things on his to-do list, including an overhaul of the tax system, tilting the federal courts in a more conservative direction and slowing illegal immigration. His unfinished business includes repealing and replacing the Obama-era health law, brokering peace in the Middle East and rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure. And then there’s that matter of getting Mexico to pay for that border wall. By Aamer Madhani and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 1,280 words, photos.

FACT CHECK WEEK — The past week in U.S. politics featured the final debate of the presidential campaign, and an AP Fact Check examined the rhetoric and found a variety of falsehoods and flubs. President Donald Trump declared that the pandemic is winding down, in stark contrast to the rising infections, hospitalizations and deaths from the coronavirus. Democrat Joe Biden asserted that he never called for fracking to be banned. In fact he did, back during a primary debate when he misstated his actual position. By Hope Yen and Calvin Woodward. SENT: 1,910 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at https://apnews.com/APFactCheck

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INTERNATIONAL

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BELARUS-PROTESTS — Several hundred women have marched across the capital of Belarus in heavy rain to demand the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president, continuing more than 2 1/2 months of protests against his challenged reelection to a sixth term. SENT: 440 words, photos.

THAILAND-PROTESTS — Thailand’s government and the country’s pro-democracy movement appear no closer to resolving their differences, as the protesters’ deadline for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to step down came and went with no new action from either side, and no backing down. SENT: 720 words, photos.

VENEZUELA — Prominent opposition activist Leopoldo López has abandoned the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas and left Venezuela after years of frustrated efforts to oust the nation’s socialist president, his party said. SENT: 500 words, photos.

ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN — Rocket and artillery barrage hits residential areas in Nagorno-Karabakh hours after the United States hosted top diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks on settling their decades-long conflict over the region. SENT: 730 words, photos.

KYRGYZSTAN-PROTESTS — Authorities in Kyrgyzstan have called an early presidential election for January after the nation’s previous president was driven from power by protests triggered by a disputed vote. SENT: 380 words, photos.

NIGERIA-POLICE-PROTESTS — Nigeria’s president says 51 civilians have been killed in unrest following days of peaceful protests over police abuses. He blames “hooliganism” for the violence while asserting that security forces have used “extreme restraint.” SENT: 829 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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TREE-OF-LIFE-SYNAGOGUE — Two years ago, the three congregations sharing space at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue relocated after an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 worshippers. This year, the congregations dispersed from their new locations due to the coronavirus pandemic and switched to virtual services. On Tuesday, as they again mourn those killed on Oct. 27, 2018, they’ll also celebrate the resilience that has enabled them to persevere. By AP National Writer David Crary.

SENTENCING-REFORM-VIRGINIA — For the first time in more than 200 years, criminal defendants in Virginia will have the option to be sentenced by judges instead of juries. A bill recently passed by the legislature brings Virginia in line with the vast majority of other U.S. states. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign the measure soon. SENT: 680 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-WILDFIRES — Pacific Gas & Electric may cut power to over 1 million people on Sunday to prevent the chance of sparking wildfires as extreme fire weather returns to the region, the utility announced Friday. SENT: 680 words, photos.

POLICE-SHOOTING-ILLINOIS — A suburban Chicago police chief says an officer who shot a Black couple inside a vehicle has been fired after committing “multiple policy and procedure violations.” The shooting earlier this week in Waukegan, Illinois, killed 19-year-old Marcellis Stinnette and wounded his girlfriend, Tafara Williams. The officer’s firing was announced shortly after Lake County’s chief prosecutor said the FBI will join Illinois State Police in investigating the shooting. SENT: 370 words, photos.

PLANE-CRASH-ALABAMA — The U.S. Navy says the two crew members who died when a Navy training plane out of Florida crashed in an Alabama residential neighborhood were an instructor pilot and a student aviator. A Navy spokesman says the two-person crew were on a routine training flight. SENT: 180 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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ARNOLD-SCHWARZENEGGER — Arnold Schwarzenegger says he feels “fantastic” after his recent heart surgery. The 73-year-old “Terminator” actor and former California governor said on social media Friday that he had a new aortic valve implanted in his heart. He posted a photo of himself with a thumbs up from his hospital bed. Schwarzenegger also posted some photos of himself standing in front of a few monuments in Cleveland. Schwarzenegger underwent heart surgery in 2018 to replaced a pulmonary valve that was originally installed in 1997. SENT: 129 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BBO--WORLD SERIES — The Dodgers take a 2-1 lead over the Rays into Game 4 of the World Series. Julio Urias, 4-0 in this postseason, starts for Los Angeles, which hasn’t won a title since 1988. Tampa Bay goes with Ryan Yarbrough, who relieved in the opener. By Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:08 p.m.

FBC--T25-IOWA STATE-OKLAHOMA STATE — No. 6 Oklahoma State has a legitimate shot at a College Football Playoff berth, but the Cowboys could be knocked out of the picture with a loss to No. 17 Iowa State. The Cyclones have never reached the Big 12 title game. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game underway.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Rob Jagodzinski can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.