AP News Digest 3:30 am

Via AP news wire
Thursday 16 December 2021 06:18 GMT
APTOPIX Midwest Tornadoes
APTOPIX Midwest Tornadoes (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.




AWOL WEAPONS-BROTHERS’ BETRAYAL — An Associated Press investigation has shown how U.S. troops have stolen guns and explosives from the military — and the weapons of war ended up on America’s streets. One insider theft case involves two men who’d forged a deep bond on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Several years later, they were arrested in a scheme to plunder an armory at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After stealing the weapons, they tried to sell them at the Texas-Mexico border. Their story reveals another kind of threat: How determined insiders can take advantage of security weaknesses within the military to make fast money. By James LaPorta and Jason Dearen. SENT: 2,230 words, photos.

THE AP INTERVIEW-NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES — Following a year of professional milestones born of her work on America’s history of slavery, Pulitzer Prize-winning Black journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones said she is clear-eyed about her mission to force a reckoning around the nation’s self-image. Hannah-Jones spoke to The Associated Press about the ongoing controversy over The 1619 Project, a groundbreaking collection of essays on race that first appeared in a special issue of The New York Times Magazine in 2019. Now in book form, the project has become a touchstone for America’s reckoning over slavery and the reverberations for Black Americans. By Aaron Morrison. SENT: 990 words, photo, video.

AP POLL-GENERATIONAL CHANGE — A new poll from MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that millennials and Generation Z Americans say they are more likely to be optimistic about the future and their ability to create change than their older counterparts. By Farnoush Amiri. SENT: 820 words, photos.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK — The new omicron coronavirus mutant speeding around the world may bring another wave of chaos, as it threatens to further stretch hospital workers already struggling with a surge of delta cases and upend holiday plans for the second year in a row. Omicron, even if it proves milder on the whole, may disarm some of the life-saving tools available and put immune-compromised and elderly people at particular risk as it begins a rapid assault on the United States. Most likely, experts say, an omicron surge is already under way in the United States as its spread outpaces the nation’s ability to track it. By Laura Ungar and Carla K. Johnson. SENT: 950 words, photos.

MIDWEST TORNADOES-GRIEVING — Several tight-knit communities of the South and Midwest are turning to the somber task of burying their dead after tornadoes killed dozens of people across eight states. The fierce storms tore from Arkansas to Illinois and also through much of Kentucky and parts of Tennessee and other states. In western Kentucky, a funeral home is preparing to welcome mourners who lost loved ones while grieving losses too. By Sean Murphy and Bruce Schreiner. SENT: 800 words, photos, video. Also see KENTUCKY TORNADO-CHURCH below.

AFGHANISTAN-HEALTH CARE — Diesel to run the oxygen production system ran out more than three months ago. The hospital is out of dozens of essential medications. Doctors, nurses and cleaning staff still turn up for work every day despite being unpaid for months and struggling to make ends meet. This is Kabul’s Afghan-Japan hospital for communicable diseases, the only COVID-19 facility for the more than 5 million people living in the Afghan capital, and one now in need of life support itself. By Elena Becatoros. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

UKRAINE-BATTERED VILLAGE — The seven-year-old conflict in eastern Ukraine has all but emptied the village of Nevelske located near the line of contact between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces. Only five people still live in the village. That’s down from a population of 286 in 2014. Shelling last month has damaged or destroyed 16 of the 50 houses there. Small-arms fire frequently is heard during the day. And artillery often booms at night. A Russian troop buildup near Ukraine has stoked fears of renewed large-scale fighting. The situation has rattled the already nervous residents. By Inna Varenytsia and Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 730 words, photos.

CONGRESS-BUDGET — President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin are sharply divided over Democrats’ huge social and environment bill, with the holdout senator pushing to erase the measure’s improved child tax credit, a person familiar with the talks says as leaders’ hopes of passing the legislation before Christmas appear increasingly dim. By Alan Fram. SENT: 850 words, photos, video.

FEDERAL RESERVE — For months, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell responded to surging inflation by counseling patience and stressing that the Fed wanted to see unemployment return to near-pre-pandemic levels before it would raise interest rates. Powell is now suggesting that his patience has run out. By Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.




BLACKHAWKS-INVESTIGATION — Chicago Blackhawks settle lawsuit with Kyle Beach. SENT: 620 words, photo.

RAPPER KILLED-YOUNG DOLPH — Span of Memphis street renamed for slain rapper Young Dolph. SENT: 630 words, photos.

JILL BIDEN-WISCONSIN — First lady Jill Biden meets with families, victims of Wisconsin parade crash. SENT: 230 words, photos, video.

DOMINICAN REPUBLICAN-PLANE CRASH — Music producer, eight others killed in Dominican plane crash. SENT: 210 words.

AUSTRALIA-CASTLE TRAGEDY — Four children die in bouncy castle accident in Australia. SENT: 210 words, photo.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-BALKANS-FIRST JABS — In the battle between raging coronavirus variants, government distrust and vaccine disinformation, some former vaccine skeptics in Eastern Europe are shifting over to the other side. SENT: 930 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRAL QUESTIONS-ANIMALS — Health officials say pets and other animals can get the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but the risk of them spreading it to people is low. SENT: 290 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH KOREA — South Korea will prohibit private social gatherings of five or more people nationwide and force restaurants to close at 9 p.m., rolling out the country’s toughest coronavirus restrictions yet as hospitals grapple with the deadliest month of the pandemic. SENT: 560 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CALIFORNIA WORKPLACES — Workplace regulators are poised to extend California’s coronavirus pandemic regulations into next year with some revisions that business groups say could worsen the labor shortage. SENT: 790 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDONESIA — Indonesia has detected its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in a cleaning worker at a hospital in Jakarta, the country’s health minister says. SENT: 160 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-AUSTRALIA — Australia’s New South Wales state recorded 1,742 new cases of COVID-19, its highest daily total since the pandemic began. SENT: 220 words, photo.




DAUNTE WRIGHT-OFFICER TRIAL — Prosecutors were expected to wrap up their case against the Minnesota police officer charged in Daunte Wright’s death, setting the stage for a defense that at some point will have Kim Potter directly addressing the jury. SENT: 570 words, photos, videos. UPCOMING: Trial resumes at 10 a.m.

DEATH PENALTY-REPORT — States and the federal government carried out 11 executions this year, the fewest since 1988, according to an annual report on the death penalty. By Legal Affairs Writer Michael Tarm. SENT: 920 words, photo.

KENTUCKY TORNADO-CHURCH — After a pastor and his family survived a deadly tornado that hit Mayfield, Kentucky, he fielded a question from his daughter that he still doesn't know how to answer: “Why would God let this happen?” SENT: 900 words, photos.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN-MAXWELL TRIAL — Lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell are expected to make their case that the British socialite isn't the one to blame for a sex-abuse scheme devised by Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell. SENT: 270 words, photos.

MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY — One question hovers over Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as he enters his final weeks in office: Will a prosecutor known for his cautious treatment of powerful figures — and for sending Harvey Weinstein to prison — bring a criminal case against former President Donald Trump? SENT: 1,280 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL — A Houston-based oil company and two subsidiaries were indicted for a crude spill that fouled Southern California waters and beaches in October, an event prosecutors say was caused in part by failing to properly act when alarms repeatedly alerted workers to a pipeline rupture. SENT: 880 words, photos.

SEVERE WEATHER-MIDWEST — A powerful storm system swept across the Great Plains and Midwest, closing highways in western Kansas, spawning reported tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa and raising concerns about fires because of unusually high temperatures. SENT: 860 words, photos.




KASHMIR-GRAND MOSQUE — Indian authorities view the grand mosque of Srinagar as a trouble spot — a nerve center for protests and clashes that challenge India’s sovereignty over the disputed Kashmir region. SENT: 1,160 words, photos.

CHINA-ALIBABA-METOO — China’s #MeToo victims face abuse, payback for going public. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

ASIA-STORM — Tens of thousands of people were being evacuated to emergency shelters in the southern and central Philippines as a powerful typhoon approached. SENT: 480 words, photos.

NORTH KOREA-KIM-PHOTO GALLERY — Since assuming power 10 years ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ruled the isolated country with absolute power. Now he’s struggling to revive a dilapidated economy battered by the coronavirus, toughened U.N. sanctions and mismanagement. SENT: 490 words, photos.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks climbed in Asia, tracking Wall Street’s gains, after the Federal Reserve said it would accelerate its pullback of economic stimulus. By Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 630 words, photos.

THERANOS FOUNDER-FRAUD TRIAL — The trial of fallen Silicon Valley star Elizabeth Holmes moves into its final phase when federal prosecutors and defense attorneys will present their final arguments to the jury that will determine her fate. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. SENT: 480 words, photos.




JAGUARS-MEYER-FIRED — Urban Meyer's tumultuous NFL tenure ended after just 13 games — and two victories — when the Jacksonville Jaguars fired him because of an accumulation of missteps. By Pro Football Writer Mark Long. SENT: 1,110 words, photos.

NBA AT 75-1970s — If there was a decade when the NBA nearly disintegrated under the weight of its own problems, the 1970s was that decade. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 1,290 words, photos.




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