AP News Digest 2 p.m.

| September 30, 2020 11:30 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.




ELECTION 2020 -- President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden continued their debate-stage clash from afar as they compete for working-class voters in the Midwest and elected officials in both parties — and the debate commission, too — try to deal with the most chaotic presidential faceoff in memory. By Steve Peoples, Will Weissert and Kevin Freking. SENT: 850 words, photos. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 p.m.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-RACE -- President Donald Trump’s refusal to outright condemn the Proud Boys is hardly the first time he has failed to directly denounce white supremacists or promoted racist ideas. The president, whose political career was launched on the back of birtherism, has declared majority Black nations “s---hole” countries, defended neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was slow to reject the endorsement of former KKK leader David Duke. By Jonathan Lemire. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 p.m.

ELECTION 2020-DEBATE-MEDIA -- The presidential debate commission says it will soon adopt changes to its format to avoid a repeat of the disjointed first meeting between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. By Media Writer David Bauder. SENT: 150 words, photos. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 4 p.m.

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

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE -- Republicans lawmakers confront former FBI Director James Comey about his oversight of the bureau’s Russia investigation during a politically charged hearing focusing on problems with an inquiry that has become a rallying cry for supporters of President Donald Trump. By Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 4 p.m.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-BREONNA TAYLOR —The release of secret grand jury proceedings in Breonna Taylor’s killing by police will be delayed until Friday, according to the Kentucky attorney general’s office. Daniel Cameron’s office filed a motion Wednesday asking a court in Louisville for a week’s delay to allow the names of witnesses and their personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, to be redacted. By Dylan Lovan and Piper Hudspeth Blackburn. SENT: 550 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-DEFUNDING THE POLICE — The racial justice protests following the death of George Floyd spurred calls to “defund the police” in cities across the country, a priority for activists that has now become a central point in the presidential contest. A review by The Associated Press finds that while local governments have trimmed police budgets over the past four months, the cuts have been mostly modest — and driven by shrinking government revenue as well as the calls to rethink public safety. By Geoff Mulvihill. UPCOMING: 1,080 words, photos by 4 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NFL —The Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday after a new positive coronavirus test result Wednesday among the Titans, the NFL announced Wednesday. The NFL said a new date and time would be announced as soon as possible and that the postponement would allow additional time for further testing. By Teresa M. Walker. SENT: 575 words, photos.




BRITAIN-SWEARY PARROTS -- A British zoo has had to separate five foul-mouthed parrots who keepers say were encouraging each other to swear. SENT: 150 words, photo.

FIRE IN THE SKY — An expert says a flash that lit up the skies over parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio in the wee hours was most likely a random meteor. SENT: 195 words, video.

FORD RECALL - Ford is recalling more than 700,000 vehicles in North America because the backup cameras can show distorted images or suddenly go dark. SENT: 115 words, photo.

DECAPITATION KILLING — A Kansas woman has been sentenced to life in prison for decapitating her ex-boyfriend’s mother with a pair of kitchen knives. SENT: 160 words, photo.




ELECTION LAWSUITS --Measuring the anxiety over the November election is as simple as tallying the hundreds of lawsuits filed in the months before it. The cases concern the fundamentals of the American voting process, including how ballots are cast and counted, during an election made unique by a pandemic and by a president who refuses to commit to accepting the results. They’re all the more important because President Donald Trump has raised the prospect of the election winding up before a Supreme Court that could have a decidedly Republican tilt if his latest nominee is confirmed. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos, glance by 4 p.m.

SUPREME COURT-VACANCY -- President Donald Trump’s stark expectation that the Supreme Court will be needed to intervene in what he calls a “rigged” election casts new questions on the Senate’s rush to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the vacant seat before Nov. 3. Lawmakers of both parties are bracing for the potential of a disputed presidential election. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-CLIMATE CHANGE -- Pressed in the debate, President Donald Trump gave one of his fullest accountings yet on his climate change views, acknowledging that humans are partly to blame but inaccurately minimizing their role. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.

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

SUPREME COURT-BARRETT FAITH — A Christian organization tied to Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has sought to erase all mentions and photos of her from its website before she meets with lawmakers and faces questions at her Senate confirmation hearings. UPCOMING: 1,150 words, photos by 4 p.m.

ELECTION 2020-FLORIDA-MAIL-IN BALLOTS -- Florida Democrats are building a substantial lead in mail-in ballot requests for November’s presidential election. The Florida secretary of state’s office shows that 2.4 million Democrats have requested a mail-in ballot, compared with 1.6 million Republicans. SENT: 875 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-MAIL VOTING-MONTANA — In the back-and-forth court battle over Montana mail ballot election deadlines, the Montana Supreme Court has said the current state law will be in force for the general election — mailed ballots must be received by county offices by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. SENT: 360 words.

ELECTION 2020-CALIFORNIA-APP BASED DRIVERS — Californians are being asked decide if Uber, Lyft and other app-based drivers should remain independent contractors or be eligible for the benefits that come with being company employees. SENT: 985 words, photos.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plan to meet at the Capitol in a last-ditch attempt to seal a tentative agreement on coronavirus aid. Even as those negotiations hit a critical phase, Democrats controlling the House are ready to overrun GOP opposition and pass a $2.2 trillion virus rescue bill as one of their final acts before leaving Washington to campaign. SENT: 520 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOLCATIONS - In RVs, rental homes and five-star resorts, families untethered by the constraints of physical classrooms for their kids have turned the new school year into an extended summer vacation, some lured by the ailing hotel industry catering to parents with remote learners through “roadschooling” amenities. By Leanne Italie. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RESTAURANTS — U.S. restaurants are moving warily into fall, hoping their slow recovery persists despite the new challenge of chilly weather and a pandemic that’s expected to claim even more lives. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-MILESTONES-ITALY’S-TOLL — As the world counts more than 1 million COVID-19 victims, the quiet of everyday life and hum of industry has returned to Italy’s Bergamo province, which along with the surrounding Lombardy region was the onetime epicenter of the outbreak in Europe. But the memory of those dark winter days, and the monumental toll of dead they left behind, has remained with those who survived only to see the rest of the world fall victim, too. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — British lawmakers have renewed the government’s sweeping powers to impose emergency restrictions to curb the coronavirus. But many criticized the way Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative administration has used the powers. House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said the government had treated lawmakers with “contempt,” with new laws being brought in without scrutiny and sometimes published just hours before coming into force. SENT: 575 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BRITAIN THEATRE CRISIS — As much of Britain’s economy emerged from coronavirus lockdown, its theaters stayed dark, with performers and staff unwillingly idled. So they made a song and dance about it. Scores of actors, technicians and theater staff marched through London’s West End to Parliament to the beat of showtunes, asking the government for a plan to bring theaters back to life. SENT: 755 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-NEPAL-NO-FESTIVALS — The old palace courtyard in Nepal which is typically packed with hundreds of thousands of people each year during the Indrajatra festival is deserted, the temples are locked and all public celebrations are banned by the government to curb the coronavirus. SENT: 730 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ISRAEL — Israel’s parliament passes a law that would allow the government to curtail public protests during the country’s nationwide coronavirus lockdown, a measure that drew fierce opposition a day earlier. SENT: 360 words, photo.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CUBAN-DOCTORS-FATHER-SON — Lives Lost: A father and son who left Cuba and became doctors in the U.S. have died of the coronavirus. SENT: 980 words, photos.

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.




CALIFORNIA DEPUTIES SHOT — Authorities say they have arrested a man in connection with the shooting of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies as they sat in their squad car. District Attorney Jackie Lacy says attempted murder charges have been filed against 36-year-old Deonte Lee Murray. He was arrested two weeks ago in connection with a separate carjacking. SENT: 150 words, photos, developing.

FRUITS OF LABOR BAN — An official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the agency will detain shipments of palm oil and its products from FGV Holdings Berhad in Malaysia after a wide range of labor abuse indicators were found, including physical and sexual violence and forced child labor. SENT: 340 words, photo.

SCHOOL CONTAMINATION-CHARGES — The former superintendent of a Pennsylvania school district and two other officials were charged with felony child endangerment over allegations they knew about lead and asbestos contamination in the schools but failed to do anything about it. SENT: 790 words.

SEVERE WEATHER-STRONG WINDS — Winds close to hurricane strength swept across parts of the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday morning, toppling trees, downing power lines and leaving tens of thousands of residents without power. SENT: 290 words, photo.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES — Flames are devouring swaths of brush and trees in Northern California amid unseasonably hot and dry weather. High winds that spread new fires this week in the Napa and Sonoma wine country and in far northern California have been reduced to breezes but vegetation is still ripe for burning in high temperatures amid very low humidity. SENT: 250 words, photos.




BRAZIL-PANTANAL WILDFIRES -- The government of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has said it mobilized hundreds of troops and federal agents to douse wildfires in the Pantanal — the world’s largest tropical wetlands and a biodiversity hot spot. However, dozens of local firefighters, tour guides, veterinarians and ranchers told The Associated Press there are few federal boots on the ground. What little concrete assistance has come mostly from hired planes dropping water from above, but that only happened after great delay and mainly targeted private ranches rather than protected areas. By Tatiana Pollastri and David Biller. SENT: 1,210 words, photos.

UN-GENERAL-ASSEMBLY-THE-MEETING-THAT-WASN’T -- The U.N. General Assembly’s 2020 edition was distant, remote and technology-driven. It was also an example of two things — how technology can bring people together, and how that illusion of togetherness can also keep them apart. The world’s leaders spent the past week talking of how technology can aid progress and help the United Nations in the pandemic era. One said that it was “obvious that technology is the future.” But as became clear, the constraints of this first attempt at a virtual United Nations meeting sometimes seemed just as towering as the opportunities. By Ted Anthony. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

REL-VATICAN SCANDAL — Cardinal George Pell, who left the Vatican in 2017 to face child sexual abuse charges in Australia, returned to Rome on Wednesday to find a Holy See mired in the type of corruption scandal he worked to expose and clean up. SENT: 630 words, photos.

BRITAIN-ASSANGE — Julian Assange’s conversations in the latter part of his 7-year stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London were systematically bugged, even in the toilet, a London court was told. SENT: 630 words, photo.

KUWAIT — Kuwait’s Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah was sworn in before parliament as the ruling emir of the tiny oil-rich country, propelled to power by the death of his half-brother after a long career in the security services. SENT: 930 words, photos.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-IMMUNITY — One of COVID-19′s scariest mysteries is why some people are mildly ill or have no symptoms and others rapidly die — and scientists are starting to unravel why. An international team of researchers found that in some people with severe COVID-19, the body goes rogue and attacks one of its own key immune defenses instead of fighting the coronavirus. Most were men, helping to explain why the virus is hitting men harder than women. SENT: 945 words, photo.

MED-OBIT-TIMOTHY-RAY-BROWN — Timothy Ray Brown, who made history as “the Berlin patient,” the first person known to be cured of HIV infection, has died. He was 54. Brown died Tuesday at his home in Palm Springs, California, according to a social media post by his partner, Tim Hoeffgen. The cause was a return of the cancer that originally prompted the unusual bone marrow and stem cell transplants Brown received in 2007 and 2008, which for years seemed to have eliminated both his leukemia and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. SENT: 475 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEANDERTHAL-LEGACY — Scientists say genes some people have inherited from Neanderthal ancestors may increase the likelihood of suffering severe forms of COVID-19. A study by European scientists published by the journal Nature identifies a cluster of genes that are linked to a higher risk of hospitalization and respiratory failure in patients who are infected with the new coronavirus. SENT: 260 words.




FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Wall Street is rallying with rising hope that Washington may break through its partisanship to deliver more aid for the economy. SENT: 790 words, photos, developing.

ECONOMY-GDP — The U.S. economy plunged at an unprecedented rate this spring and even with a record rebound expected in the just-ended third quarter, the U.S. economy will likely shrink this year, the first time that has happened since the Great Recession. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 580 words, photos.




FILM-THE GLORIAS — How do you capture a life of more than 80 years on film — particularly when the subject is an iconic leader like Gloria Steinem, who at 86 is still going strong? You hire not one but four different actors to play her, for one thing. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. SENT: 870 words, photos.




BKN-NBA FINALS — LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers take on Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Lakers are seeking their first title since 2010; the Heat, their first since 2014. Game begins 9:10 p.m. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 11:45 p.m.




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.