AP News Digest 2 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Sunday 09 April 2023 19:00 BST

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.




REL-VATICAN-EASTER VIGIL — Pope Francis has invoked prayers for both the Ukrainian and Russian people in his Easter message. Francis also praised nations that help refugees and appealed for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Tens of thousands of faithful joined the 86-year-old pope on Sunday to celebrate Christianity’s most joyful day at Mass in a flower-adorned St. Peter’s Square. Francis delivered a traditional speech about the world’s troubled places. By Frances D'Emilio. SENT: 755 words, photos, audio.

TENNESSEE-LAWMAKERS-EXPULSION — Two expelled Black Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee say they want to be reappointed, then elected back to their seats. The comments by former Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson follow their ouster by the Republican-led Legislature for a protest on the House floor urging passage of gun-control measures in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Nashville. SENT: 520 words, photos, audio.

IRAQ-SADDAM-ERA MONUMENTS — Iraqis and American Marines pulled down the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square in April 2003 in an iconic moment in the U.S.-led invasion. TV covered the event live as the Marines tied the statue to a vehicle to bring it down. It became a symbol of the end of Saddam’s quarter century rule. But the statue was a minor part of the huge number of monuments and palaces Saddam erected to show off his power. His statues and images are long gone 20 years later. But much of the hope that came in wiping away Saddam’s oppressive visual presence has also evaporated. By Kareem Chehayeb and Qassim Abdul-Zahra. SENT: 1,085 words, photos.

INDIA-TIGER-OPPOSITION — Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Sunday to much applause that the country’s tiger population has steadily grown to over 3,000 since its flagship conservation program began 50 years ago after concerns that numbers of the big cats were dwindling. But multiple Indigenous groups allege they are being driven out of their ancestral lands to save the big cats. By Sibi Arasu. SENT: 790 words, photos.

GLF-MASTERS — Brooks Koepka is one round away from his fifth major championship. Koepka held his own Sunday morning at the Masters to complete the rain-delayed third round with a 73. He still has a two-shot lead over Jon Rahm. Neither player made a birdie on the back nine in cold air and on wet turf. Koepka has won all three previous majors when he had at least a share of the 54-hole lead. Viktor Hovland was 10 shots behind at the turn and made five birdies in a row. He was only three shots behind after a 70. SENT: 810 words, photos. Developing. With: GLF-MASTERS-LIVE UPDATES (sent). Also see: GLF-MASTERS-WOODS-WITHDRAWS below.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — Ukrainian authorities say weekend shelling by Russian forces killed at least seven civilians. They reported the deaths on Sunday as Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby used their traditional Easter messages to highlight the war in Ukraine and other conflicts around the world. SENT: 775 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-PALM SUNDAY — Ukrainians have marked Palm Sunday in the country’s most revered Orthodox site that has been at the heart of a religious dispute playing out in parallel with the war against Russia. Dozens of worshippers filled the church inside the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastic complex days after an eviction order was implemented to expel monks with links to Russia. SENT: 440 words, photos.




FILM-BOX OFFICE — Audiences said let’s go to the movie theater for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” this weekend. The animated offering from Universal and Illumination powered up with $204.6 million in its first five days in North American theaters, including $146.4 million over the weekend. That is according to studio estimates on Sunday. SENT: 705 words, photos.

WISCONSIN-POLICE KILLED — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Sunday “our hearts are heavy” a day after two police officers were shot to death during a traffic stop. SENT: 420 words, photos.

BLUMENTHAL-SURGERY — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says he expects to undergo surgery to repair a broken leg he suffered Saturday during a victory parade for the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team. Blumenthal says in a tweet that a fellow parade goer tripped and fell on him during the event in Hartford, Connecticut. SENT: 180 words, photo.

CHINA-TESLA — Chinese state media say electric car maker Tesla Inc. plans to build a factory in Shanghai to produce power-storage devices for sale worldwide. SENT: 100 words, photo.

APOLOGETIC-BANK-ROBBER — A 78-year-old woman with two past bank robbery convictions faces new charges after authorities allege she handed a teller a note that said “I didn’t mean to scare you” during a recent Missouri heist. SENT: 200 words.




CONGRESS-ILHAN OMAR — As she settles into her third term in office, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is no longer defined by the “firsts” accompanying her election. Fellow Democrats praise her for giving voice to marginalized groups often forgotten on Capitol Hill. By Farnoush Amiri. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

ABORTION PILLS — The nation’s top health official says a court ruling threatening the availability of a main drug used in medication abortion was “not America” and he isn’t ruling out defying the judge’s order if necessary. “We want the courts to overturn this reckless decision,” Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s health secretary, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We want, yes, that women continue to have access to a drug that’s proven itself safe. Millions of women have used this drug around the world.”By Hope Yen. SENT: 480 words, photos.




CENSUS-WORKING FROM HOME — People working from home became younger, more diverse, better educated and more likely to move during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau released last week. The report says that, in many respects, the demographic makeup of people working from home from 2019 to 2021 became more like workers who were commuting. SENT: 500 words, photo.

MED-AMA-PRESIDENT — The first openly gay person to lead the American Medical Association takes the reins at a fractious time for U.S. health care. The rights of transgender patients and those seeking abortion care are under threat — as is the medical judgment of physicians who treat them. Disinformation challenging scientific evidence is rampant. And the pandemic isn’t over. Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld didn’t campaign as a member of the LGBTQ community, but says it’s a big deal for a group once known mainly as a conservative self-interested trade group. By Lindsey Tanner. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

ORLANDO-HOME SHOOTING — Police in Florida say four people including a child are dead after a suspect shot three victims and then was killed by police after opening fire on officers responding to a domestic violence report. SENT: 135 words.




SOUTH AFRICA-TANZANIA-FUGITIVE-ARRESTED — South African police say that a convicted murderer who faked his death to escape prison has been arrested in Tanzania following a two-week manhunt. South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said officials are going to Tanzania Sunday to begin to extradite Thabo Bester, 35. Bester was dubbed the “Facebook Rapist” as he used the social media platform to lure at least two women he was convicted of raping. He was also found guilty of killing one. SENT: 410 words, photo.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — The Israeli military says three more rockets have been launched from Syria toward Israel, raising to six the number of missiles fired within hours in a rare attack from Israel’s northeastern neighbor. Israel says it is retaliating with artillery fire and airstrikes on targets in Syria. SENT: 1,085 words, photos.

REL-CUBA-SANTERIA — While nearly 70% of Latin America’s 670 million people consider themselves Catholic, in Cuba, Santería is the name of the game. A fusion of African religions and Catholicism, Santería was one of the few religious practices to quietly endure through decades of prohibitions and stigma by the communist government. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

FRANCE-MARSEILLE-BUILDING-COLLAPSE — France’s interior minister says up to 10 people may be buried under the debris of a building that collapsed following an explosion in France’s port city of Marseille. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said officials determined that at least four people lived in the building, but a fire deep within the rubble hindered rescue efforts. SENT: 540 words, photos.

PAKISTAN — The Pakistani military says a roadside bomb killed two soldiers in the country’s northwest. Pakistan is witnessing increased attacks on security forces after a banned militant group ended a cease-fire with the government last November. SENT: 225 words, photo.

GERMANY-HAMBURG FIRE — Police have warned people in Hamburg, Germany, to close their windows early after a large fire that engulfed several warehouses sent black, chemical-laden smoke drifting over the city. German news agency dpa said the fire broke out around 4:30 a.m. Sunday in the eastern part of Germany’s second-largest city. SENT: 130 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — A regional official says Afghan special forces killed two Islamic State fighters and arrested a third during an operation in the country’s west. The raid on the hideout in Nimroz province Sunday sparked a clash lasting 30 minutes. SENT: 270 words.




GLF-MASTERS-WOODS-WITHDRAWS — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters before the resumption of the third round Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional. The tournament announced about 90 minutes before play was to begin that Woods had withdrawn with an injury. SENT: 710 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Elise Ryan 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 AP Newsroom. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 844-777-2006.

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