AP News Digest 3:40 am

Via AP news wire
Thursday 09 December 2021 07:24
Biden
Biden

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.

ONLY ON AP

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THE AP INTERVIEW-CDC DIRECTOR — More than 40 people in the U.S. have been found to be infected with the omicron variant so far, and more than three-quarters of them had been vaccinated, the chief of the CDC says. But Dr. Rochelle Walensky says nearly all of them were only mildly ill. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 900 words, photos, video.

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TOP STORIES

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BIDEN-DEMOCRACY SUMMIT — Biden is expected to urge participants at the first-ever White House “Summit for Democracy” to reverse an ongoing “democratic recession” amid a rising tide of authoritarianism around the globe and extraordinary strain on democratic institutions in the U.S. By Aamer Madhani and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1,200 words after 8 a.m. opening remarks.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-UKRAINE — President Joe Biden says the U.S. will take a more direct role in diplomacy to address Vladimir Putin’s concerns over Ukraine and Europe at large. But any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields all their own. By Ellen Knickmeyer, Matthew Lee and Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK — Vaccine makers are racing to update their COVID-19 shots against the newest coronavirus threat even before it’s clear a change is needed, just in case. Experts doubt today’s shots will become useless but say it’s critical to see how fast companies could produce a reformulated dose and prove it works — because whatever happens with omicron, this newest mutant won’t be the last. By Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard. SENT: 930 words, photos.

MIDEAST CLOSES RANKS-ANALYSIS — After years of looking abroad for answers, countries in the Middle East now appear to instead be talking to each other to find solutions following two decades of upheaval. Amid the American withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq, discussions between nations now aim to address long-running tensions. The familiar faces of autocracies past and present also have returned to the fore. By Jon Gambrell. SENT: 980 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN-RUNNING DRY — The worst drought in Afghanistan in decades is now entering its second year, exacerbated by climate change. In one small village, life is shriveling away as residents try to squeeze out what little water is left from their dwindling well. By Mstyslav Chernov. SENT: 810 words, photos.

CLIMATE-SUPER CORAL EVOLUTION — Scientists are trying to speed up coral’s evolutionary clock to build reefs that can better withstand the impacts of global warming. For the past five years, researchers in Hawaii and Australia have been conducting experiments to prove their Darwinian theories work. They say they do, and now they’re getting ready to plant selectively bred and other lab-evolved corals back into the ocean to see if they can survive in nature. By Caleb Jones. SENT: 1,210 words, photos, video.

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TRENDING NEWS

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CAPITOL BREACH-MEADOWS — Meadows sues as Jan. 6 panel proceeds with contempt case. SENT: 1,090 words, photos, video.

NEW ZEALAND-SMOKING BAN — New Zealand’s plan to end smoking: A lifetime ban for youth. SENT: 730 words, photos.

PHILANTHROPY-MACKENZIE-SCOTT — MacKenzie Scott won’t say how much she’s giving “this time." SENT: 890 words, photo.

CHRISTMAS-TREE-FIRE-FOX-NEWS — Giant Christmas tree outside Fox News headquarters set afire. SENT: 260 words, photos, video.

COYOTES-ARENA — Coyotes facing eviction from arena for unpaid bills. SENT: 310 words, photo.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRAL QUESTIONS-PANDEMIC OVER — There’s no clear-cut definition for when a pandemic starts and ends, and how much of a threat a global outbreak is posing can vary by country. By Medical Writer Maria Cheng. SENT: 310 words, graphic.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-UKRAINE-EXEMPLARY TOWN A small spa town in western Ukraine is standing out in a European country where only 29% of the people have received COVID-19 vaccine shots, and locals credit their community spirit for fending off the worst of the pandemic. SENT: 810 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-DENMARK — The Danish government has decided that students up to the 10th grade must study remotely for the last few days before Christmas and ordered nightclubs, bars and restaurants to close at midnight in an attempt to counter an uptick in COVID-19 cases. SENT: 250 words.

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WASHINGTON

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REPUBLICANS-PENCE — Former Vice President Mike Pence is courting voters and activists in New Hampshire, fueling expectations about his 2024 ambitions as he lays the groundwork for a potential presidential run. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

BOB DOLE — Bob Dole who served 36 years in Congress, rising to Senate majority leader, and was the 1996 Republican nominee for president, will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol. SENT: 730 words, photos. UPCOMING: 900 words after 9:45 a.m. arrival ceremony.

CONGRESS-BUDGET — Sen. Joe Manchin says he will oppose overturning the Senate parliamentarian’s decision if she rules that immigration or other provisions should fall from Democrats’ huge social and environment bill. SENT: 610 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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FOOD WASTE-RECYCLING — Banana peels, chicken bones and leftover veggies soon won’t be allowed in most California trash bins under a mandatory food recycling program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills. SENT: 970 words, photos, video.

NATIONAL PARKS-IMPROVEMENTS — Work has begun on giving some of America’s most spectacular natural settings and historic icons a makeover. SENT: 880 words, photos.

DAUNTE WRIGHT-OFFICER TRIAL — Prosecutors building their case against a suburban Minneapolis police officer who killed Black motorist Daunte Wright repeatedly played body-camera video of the fatal shooting, with the officer heard shouting “Taser!” and then collapsing in wails of “Oh my God!” after she had instead fired her handgun. SENT: 880 words, photos, videos.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT-TRIAL — Jurors in Jussie Smollett’s trial are expected to resume deliberations on charges the former “Empire” actor orchestrated a fake attack on himself, then lied to Chicago police about being the victim of an anti-gay, racist hate crime. SENT: 550 words, photos, video.

OKLAHOMA EXECUTION-STOUFFER — An Oklahoma death row inmate who shot and killed a schoolteacher during a 1985 attack is scheduled to receive a lethal injection. SENT: 650 words, photo. UPCOMING: Execution scheduled for 11 a.m.

USS-DANIEL-INOUYE — The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Daniel Inouye, named after the long-serving U.S. senator from Hawaii and decorated World War II veteran. SENT: 520 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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EUROPE-PANDEMIC-SURVEILLANCE — Tech tools like digital contact tracing apps and artificial intelligence that European governments rolled out to combat COVID-19 failed to play a key role in solving the pandemic and now threaten to make such monitoring widely accepted, a new report shows. By Business Writer Kelvin Chan. SENT: 590 words.

MYANMAR — Myanmar government troops raided a small northwestern village, rounding up civilians, binding their hands and then burning them alive in apparent retaliation for an attack on a military convoy, according to witnesses and other reports. SENT: 760 words, photos.

HONG-KONG — Hong Kong tycoon and prominent pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai and two others were convicted for their roles in last year’s banned Tiananmen candlelight vigil, amid a crackdown on dissent in the city and Beijing’s tightening political control. SENT: 430 words, photos.

CAMBODIA-ARMS-EMBARGO — The U.S. has ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, corruption and human rights abuses by the government and armed forces in the Southeast Asian country. By Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 640 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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SAVING-REDWOODS — A conservation group plans to purchase a scenic stretch of the Lost Coast in remote Northern California to save it from logging and preserve it for public use. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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EUROPE-GIG ECONOMY — The European Commission is expected to release proposals on regulating gig economy companies that may shift the 27-country bloc toward giving workers who are treated as independent contractors the same benefits of employees as laws and rulings in other parts of Europe have recently done. UPCOMING: 500 words, photo by 8 a.m.

THERANOS-FOUNDER-FRAUD-TRIAL-TESTIMONY-TAKEAWAYS — Once-lionized entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes wrapped up seven days of testimony in her criminal fraud trial, having largely used the time to defend her actions as CEO of the startup Theranos. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. SENT: 990 words, photo.

STARBUCKS-UNION-VOTE — A growing effort to unionize Starbucks stores — despite company resistance — is facing its first major test. By Business Writer Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 760 words, photo.

FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Asian stock markets were mixed as investors waited for U.S. inflation data that might influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on when to roll back economic stimulus. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 490 words, photos.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS — The Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. By Economics Writer Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 8:30 a.m., photo.

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SPORTS

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BEIJING-PENG EFFECT — IOC President Thomas Bach can't escape repeated questions about Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and issues raised by two video calls the committee had with her. By Sports Writer Stephen Wade. SENT: 590 words, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Wally Santana (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@ap.org or call 844-777-2006.

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