AP News Digest 7 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Monday 17 January 2022 12:07
Serbia Australian Open Djokovic
Serbia Australian Open Djokovic

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.





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DJOKOVIC — Novak Djokovic arrived in his native Serbia after being deported from Australia because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19, ending his hopes of defending his Australian Open title. The tennis star’s exit from Australia closes at least the first chapter in a dizzying drama that has resonance in the world of elite sports, Australian pandemic politics and the polarized debate over the COVID-19 shots. By Darko Bandic. SENT: 700 words, photos. WITH: AUSTRALIAN OPEN-DJOKOVIC-POLITICS — The backdrop to the government’s tough line on the defending Australian Open champion shines a light on Australia’s complicated, and strongly criticized, immigration and border policies. Now, with the next election due by May, Djokovic has become the new focus of the government’s claim to a tough stance on border protection. Opposition leaders argue that the tennis star has exposed government failures; AUSTRALIAN-OPEN-DJOKOVIC REACTION — To some, it seemed a cloud had been lifted from the Australian Open. To others, Novak Djokovic still was almost palpably present, his name on everyone’s lips on the opening day of the first major tennis tournament of the year. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

TEXAS SYNAGOGUE-STANDOFF — U.S. and British authorities are continuing an investigation into the weekend standoff at a Texas synagogue that ended with an armed British national dead. The rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel was among four people taken hostage and credits past security training with everyone getting out safely. ” By Jake Bleiberg and Eric Tucker. SENT: 980 words, photos, video. WITH: TEXAS SYNAGOGUE-STANDOFF-CONGREGATION — The tight-knit congregation at a Texas synagogue where four people were held hostage by an armed captor during a 10-hour standoff over the weekend traces its roots back to a gathering organized over 20 years ago by a handful of families who were new to the area. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CAPITOL RIOT-OATH KEEPERS — For more than a year, federal prosecutors have been investigating the Capitol riot, and at least 700 people have been charged, mostly with lower-level crimes. So it was stunning when prosecutors last week charged the leader of the far-right militia group known as the Oath Keepers, along with 10 other members or associates, with seditious conspiracy. Court documents show how long in the making it was that Donald Trump’s most fervent and dangerous supporters mobilized to subvert the 2020 election results through force and violence, even though there was no widespread election fraud. By Colleen Long. SENT: 1,800 words, photos. With an abridged version.

DAVOS FORUM — Chinese President Xi Jinping is calling for greater world cooperation against COVID-19 and pledged his country would send an additional 1 billion doses of vaccine to other countries. In a speech at a virtual gathering hosted by the World Economic Forum, he also urged other powers to discard a “Cold-War mentality” at a time of rising geopolitical tensions — a not-so-veiled swipe at the United States. By Jamey Keaten. SENT: 450 words, photos.




TONGA VOLCANO ERUPTION — New Zealand and Australia have sent military surveillance flights to assess the damage a huge undersea volcanic eruption caused in Tonga. Communications with the Pacific island nation remain limited since Saturday’s eruption. Residents who got messages out to the world described a moonscape left by tsunami waves and volcanic ash fall. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

OBIT-CHARLES McGEE – Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 fighter combat missions over three wars and later helped to bring attention to the Black pilots who had battled racism at home to fight for freedom abroad, died Sunday. He was 102. By Douglass K. Daniel. SENT: 750 words, photos.

OBIT-INDIA-BIRJU MAHARAJ — Birju Maharaj, a legend of classical Indian dance and among the country’s most well-known performing artists, has died. SENT: 310 words, photos.

UKRAINE-POROSHENKO — Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has returned to Ukraine to face court on treason charges he believes are politically motivated. SENT: 450 words, photos.

SWEDEN-POWER PLANTS — Swedish authorities are puzzled by reports that drones last week were seen hovering over two nuclear power plants on the country’s Baltic Sea coast. SENT: 230 words.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHINA — Beijing’s first reported case of the omicron variant has prompted stepped-up measures in the nation’s capital, just weeks before it hosts the Winter Olympic Games. SENT: 370 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PHILIPPINES — People who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are being banned from riding public transport in the Philippine capital region in a desperate move to curb spiking infections. SENT: 470 words, photos.




MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY — The annual Martin Luther King Jr. service is set to be held at his old congregation in Atlanta. Scheduled to attend are the city’s mayor, Georgia’s governor and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. Monday’s service at Ebenezer Baptist Church and other events surrounding Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorate what would have been King’s 93rd birthday. SENT: 410 words, photos.

BIDEN-ONE YEAR-JILL BIDEN — Her husband campaigned to help unite the country, but Jill Biden says “healing” a nation wounded by a deadly pandemic, natural and other disasters and deep political polarization is among her chief roles as first lady, too. Wrapping up a year in which she saw herself as a key member of President Joe Biden’s team, the first lady told The Associated Press that she found herself taking on a role that “I didn’t kind of expect.” By Darlene Superville. SENT: 1,160 words, photos, video.

PRESERVING BLACK CHURCHES — A new effort to preserve historic Black churches in the United States has received a $20 million donation that will go to help congregations. The National Trust for Historic Preservation says Lilly Endowment Inc. contributed the money to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. SENT: 650 words, photos.

WINTER-WEATHER - A dangerous winter storm is whipping the East Coast with significant snowfall, strong thunderstorms and blustery winds Monday. Forecasters estimate a foot of snow will fall in parts of New England, New York state, Ohio and Pennsylvania through Tuesday morning. New York City is expected to be spared most of the snowfall. SENT: 300 words, photos.




ISRAEL-ARAB KINGMAKER — Arab politician Mansour Abbas broke a longstanding taboo when he joined Israel’s governing coalition last year. The bold move appears to be paying dividends: Abbas is the linchpin of the shaky union, securing hefty budgets and favorable policies for his constituents and even being granted an audience with the king of Jordan. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

KOREAS-TENSIONS — North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea in its fourth weapons launch this month. South Korea’s military said the suspected ballistic missiles flew around 236 miles on a maximum altitude of 26 miles before landing off the country’s northeastern coast. SENT: 670 words, photos.

EMIRATES-PERSIAN GULF TENSIONS — Police say a possible drone attack may have sparked an explosion that struck three oil tankers in Abu Dhabi and another fire at an extension of Abu Dhabi International Airport that killed three people and wounded six. Abu Dhabi police identified the dead as two Indian nationals and one Pakistani. SENT: 850 words.

NORWAY BREIVIK-PAROLE HEARING — Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik goes to court Tuesday, after 10 years behind bars, claiming he is no longer a danger to society and attempting to get an early release from his 21-year sentence. SENT: 913 words, photos.

CHINA-POPULATION — The number of babies born in China fell again last year, adding to pressure on the ruling Communist Party’s ambitions to boost national wealth and global influence with a workforce that has been declining for a decade. SENT: 460 words

LIBYA — A senior U.N. official says Libya could hold elections by June after the county missed a December deadline to elect its first president since the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. SENT: 550 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES ELECTIONS — The son of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos has defeated a bid to disqualify him from the May 9 presidential race but still faces other petitions from human rights victims and others who have raised alarm over atrocities under his late father’s rule. SENT: 400 words, photos.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — Shares are mixed in Asia after China reported that its economy expanded at an 8.1% annual pace in 2021, though growth slowed to half that level in the last quarter. SENT: 650 words, photos.

DAVOS FORUM — The World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting virtually. UPCOMING.

CHINA ECONOMY — China’s economy grew by 8.1% in 2021 but Beijing faces pressure to shore up activity after an abrupt slowdown in the second half. Government data show the economy expanded by 4% over a year earlier in the final three months of 2021. SENT: 660 words, photos.




FILM-BOX OFFICE - After a month at the top of the box office, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” has finally been overtaken by “Scream.” SENT: 640 words, photo.




AUSTRALIA OPEN — The Australian Open has started without nine-time champion Novak Djokovic. Finally, the focus is on the tennis. Naomi Osaka opened her title defense with a win in straight sets over Camila Osorio in the second match on Rod Laver Arena. SENT: 770 words, photos.

FBN-EAGLES-BUCCANEERS - Tom Brady threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers launch their bid for a return to the Super Bowl with a dominating 31-15 NFC wild-card playoff victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBN-49ERS-COWBOYS - Versatile receiver Deebo Samuel ran 26 yards for a touchdown the play after an interception by Dak Prescott and the San Francisco 49ers held on for a 23-17 wild-card victory over the Dallas Cowboys. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, sidebar. Game underway.

FBN-STEELERS-CHIEFS - Patrick Mahomes threw for 404 yards and five touchdowns, Travis Kelce caught a TD pass and threw another one, and the Chiefs sent Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into his expected retirement with a 42-21 win in the wild-card round of the playoffs Sunday night. SENT: 830 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Shameka Dudley-Lowe 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 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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