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AP News Digest 2 p.m.

| September 29, 2020 11:06 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 https://newsroom.ap.org.

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TOP STORIES

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ELECTION 2020-DEBATE — President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden barrel into their crucial first debate, a pivotal moment in a race that has remained stubbornly unchanged in the face of historic tumult. With the election just 35 days away, each will outline their starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises, including racial justice protests and a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs. By Jonathan Lemire. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., with updates from 9 p.m. debate, photos, video. WITH: ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-THE LATEST, ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-VIEWERS GUIDE. Also: ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-FACT CHECK — A look at the facts behind debate statements, and ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-TAKEAWAYS — Highlights of the debate, both developing.

ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-SCENE — The view from inside the hall for an anything-but-ordinary debate night in the midst of a pandemic. By Jill Colvin. UPCOMING: 350 words by 3 p.m., with updates from 9 p.m. debate, 600 words by 11 p.m., photos, video.

Find more coverage on the 2020 U.S. Elections featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

TRUMP TAX RETURNS-PAYBACK OPTIONS -- President Trump is facing a reported $421 million in loans due in the next four years, a sum that’s been portrayed as a tightening vise on his finances and an ethical minefield for his administration. But financial experts say Trump has plenty of options and assets to pay off that debt, starting with a portfolio that includes office towers, golf courses and branding deals that’s been valued at $3.6 billion. There’s the trickier route of refinancing, and some have even suggested he follow the path of other celebrities and sell “Trump Bonds" that allow investors to cash in on his name and future earning power. By Bernard Condon. UPCOMING 900 words, photos by 3 p.m.

SUPREME COURT-VACANCY — President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett, meets with pivotal Republican senators as part of her fast-track confirmation before the Nov. 3 election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s glad to welcome Barrett and “get the process started,” but declines to answer questions about whether the judge should recuse herself if challenges to the presidential election land at the high court. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 920 words. UPCOMING: Developing throughout the day, 950 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-BREONNA TAYLOR — Kentucky’s attorney general has acknowledged that he never asked the grand jury to consider homicide charges against police in the killing of Breonna Taylor. Amid outrage over the long-awaited charging decision, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he would agree with a judge’s order to make public a recording of the proceedings, and that he wouldn’t object if members of the panel want to speak publicly about their grand jury experience. By Dylan Lovan. SENT: 600 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-APPALACHIA -- Some Black Appalachians say their history and struggles are finally being recognized more widely in the wake of this year’s nationwide protests against institutional racism. Though the national reckoning on racism has raised awareness about the issue for many white Americans, that it is also echoing in the hills of Appalachia is particularly striking in a region that isn’t known for its diversity. Dayjha Hogg, who is biracial, saw how the message of the protests was resonating when she organized a rally in her home county of Letcher. She thought only a few people would show up, but roughly 200 did, most of them white. The experience helped transform Hogg’s own idea of her community. By Piper Hudspeth Blackburn. SENT: 920 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL — The Tennessee Titans suspended in-person activities through Friday after the NFL says three Titans players and five personnel tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first COVID-19 outbreak of the NFL season in Week 4. The outbreak threatened to jeopardize the Titans’ game this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and posed the first significant in-season test to the league’s coronavirus protocols. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 585 words, photos, developing.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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RAPPER CHARGED-SPEEDING — Georgia State Patrol arrested rapper Lil Yachty this month after he was allegedly caught driving more than 150 mph on an Atlanta highway. SENT: 165 words, photo.

OBIT-TUSKEGEE AIRMEN NURSE -- Irma “Pete” Cameron Dryden, a Black woman who served as a nurse to Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, has died. She was 100. SENT: 315 words.

FRANCE-WILD ANIMALS— France’s environment minister has announced a gradual ban on using wild animals in traveling circuses, on keeping dolphins and killer whales in captivity in marine parks and on raising mink on fur farms. SENT: 225 words, photos.

CAMBODIA-ANTIQUITIES — A man in Cambodia has been arrested for possessing almost 300 centuries-old earthenware jars that he is believed to have salvaged from a shipwreck. SENT: 275 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK — After preying heavily on the elderly in the spring, the coronavirus is infecting a rising number of American children in a trend authorities say appears driven by a combination of school reopenings and the resumption of sports, playdates and other activities. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, by 4 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MILESTONES — The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has eclipsed 1 million, nine months into a crisis that has devastated the global economy, tested world leaders’ resolve, pitted science against politics and forced multitudes to change the way they live, learn and work. SENT: 1,040 words, photos, video.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MILESTONES-THE-SPREAD — Nine months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, it took its millionth life. By National Writer Ted Anthony. SENT: 750 words, graphic.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NYC SCHOOLS — Hundreds of thousands of elementary school students are heading back to classrooms this week as New York City enters a high-stakes stage of resuming in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which is keeping students at home in many other big U.S. school systems. SENT: 750 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ASIA — One southern Philippine province and its war-battered capital will be placed under a mild lockdown next month and the rest of the country will be under more relaxed restrictions to boost the battered economy of the country counting the most coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia. SENT: 750 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ISRAEL — Hundreds of Israeli motorists protested in Jerusalem against a proposed measure to curtail public demonstrations during the current nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. SENT: 465 words.

NETHERLANDS-STUDENT HOUSE — The pandemic is hitting students hard in Leiden, the Netherlands’ oldest university city. SENT: 850 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRAL QUESTIONS-VACCINE STUDIES -- How can I volunteer for a COVID-19 vaccine study? Governments and companies are setting up websites where people can sign up. SENT: 405 words, photo.

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

A separate wire advisory has moved outlining our complete coronavirus coverage.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP RUSSIA-PROBE — A lawyer for former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn told a judge that she recently updated President Trump on the case and asked him not to issue a pardon for her client. SENT: 135 words, developing.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN SANDERS — Former staffers from Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign want to harness strong support for the Vermont senator among Hispanics to bolster Joe Biden in two battleground states that could prove critical in November’s election. SENT: 580 words, photo.

Find more coverage on the 2020 U.S. Elections featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

ELECTION 2020-GEORGIA SENATE — A pair of new high-profile endorsements are adding fuel to an already contentious special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia. Former Gov. Nathan Deal has endorsed Republican Rep. Doug Collins in his bid to unseat Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a fellow Republican. That puts Deal on opposing sides from current Gov. Brian Kemp, who appointed Loeffler to the seat and has become one of her best assets in the campaign. SENT: 485 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-IOWA — Is Iowa regaining swing state status? President Donald Trump has spent millions trying to secure the state’s six electoral votes, but several recent polls show a surprisingly close race with Democrat Joe Biden. Voters in the state where Trump won by 9.4 percentage points in 2016 have soured on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus and the overall direction of the country. SENT: 1,020 words, photo.

ELECTION-2020 VOTER PURGE LAWSUITS — Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general argued before the state Supreme Court in opposition to purging 130,000 people from voter rolls in the hotly contested presidential battleground. The attorney for a conservative group said state law requires it and the voters should have been removed months ago. SENT: 800 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-NEW YORK-ABSENTEE BALLOTS --Mail-in voting has gotten off to a rocky start in New York City, where election officials sent out a large number of absentee ballots with the wrong names and addresses on the return envelopes. SENT: 450 words.

ELECTION 2020-MINNESOTA HOUSE SPECIAL ELECTION — Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig is seeking a court order requiring that the November election in her congressional race be held as scheduled instead of being delayed until February under a Minnesota law that was triggered when a third-party candidate died. SENT: 535 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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POLL-CONFEDERATE STATUES — In a state where Confederate monuments have stood for more than a century and have recently become a flashpoint in the national debate over racial injustice, Virginians remain about evenly divided on whether the statues should stay or go, according to a new poll. SENT: 845 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES — Easing winds gave California firefighters a break as they battled a destructive wildfire that was driven by strong winds through wine country north of San Francisco and another rural blaze that killed three people. SENT: 775 words, photos. WITH: CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-PHOTO GALLERY — AP PHOTOS: Fueled by dry winds, fire rages in wine country. SENT: 185 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KUWAIT-OBIT-SHEIKH SABAH - Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, the ruler of Kuwait who drew on his decades as the oil-rich nation’s top diplomat to push for closer ties to Iraq after the 1990 Gulf War and solutions to other regional crises, died. He was 91. In a Middle East replete with elderly rulers, Sheikh Sabah stood out for his efforts at pushing for diplomacy to resolve a bitter dispute between Qatar and other Arab nations that continues to this day. SENT: 1,275 words, photos. WITH: KUWAIT-NEW EMIR -- Crown prince becomes oil-rich Kuwait’s new ruling emir. SENT: 575 words, photos.

U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY-WOMEN — This year’s U.N. General Assembly came as the world body prepared to commemorate a milestone in women’s rights: the 25th anniversary of the Beijing women’s conference that produced a global roadmap for gender equality. Women’s rights were a steady thread but hardly a top theme of leaders’ remarks at the assembly. Some leaders took time to recall the 1995 conference, detail domestic initiatives or lament that progress toward female equality is lagging. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN — Armenia said one of its warplanes was shot down by a fighter jet from Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey, killing the pilot, in fighting over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan denied it. SENT: 580 words, photos.

LEBANON-DARK DAYS-ANALYSIS — The past year has been nothing short of an earthquake for Lebanon, hit by an economic meltdown, mass protests, financial collapse, a virus outbreak and a cataclysmic explosion that virtually wiped out the country’s main port. Yet Lebanese fear even darker days are ahead. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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EMIRATES-MOON MISSION — The United Arab Emirates plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon in 2024, a top Emirati official said, the latest gamble in the stars by the oil-rich nation that could see it become only the fourth nation on Earth to accomplish that goal. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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AIRLINES-JOBS — The worries are growing for United Airlines flight attendant Jordy Comeaux. In a few days, he’ll be among roughly 40,000 airline workers whose jobs are likely to evaporate in an industry decimated by the coronavirus pandemic. Unless Congress acts to help for a second time, United will furlough Comeaux on Thursday, cutting off his income and health insurance. Unemployment and the money made by his husband, a home health nurse, won’t be enough to pay the bills including rent near Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. SENT: 1,205 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks drifted lower in afternoon trading, as the market cooled off from the rally the day before and as investors waited for the debate between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. SENT: 500 words, photos, developing

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ENTERTAINMENT

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MUSIC-LATIN GRAMMY NOMINATIONS — At last year’s Latin Grammy Awards, popular reggaeton and Latin trap musicians such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna were dismissed in the show’s top categories. This year, they dominate.. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 740 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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NBA-FINALS-PREVIEW — LeBron James and the Miami Heat teamed up for two championships. They’re now in each other’s way. It’s the Los Angeles Lakers vs. the Heat for the NBA title, with Game 1 on Wednesday night. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 p.m.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Courtney Dittmar (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (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.

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