AP News Digest 7 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Thursday 22 December 2022 11:56 GMT

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.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-ERASING MARIUPOL — Throughout Mariupol, Russian workers are tearing down bombed-out buildings at a rate of at least one a day, hauling away shattered bodies with the debris. Russian military convoys are rumbling down the broad avenues of what is swiftly becoming a garrison city, and Russian soldiers, builders, administrators and doctors are replacing the thousands of Ukrainians who have died or left. By Lori Hinnant, Vasilisa Stepanenko, Sarah El Deeb and Elizaveta Tilna. SENT: 2,850 words, photos. With RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-ERASING MARIUPOL-METHODOLOGY — How the AP estimated 10,300 new graves in occupied Mariupol (sent).




ZELENSKYY WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid a defiant wartime visit to Washington on Wednesday to thank U.S. leaders and “ordinary Americans” for their support in fighting off Russia’s invasion and to press for continued aid in the brutal months to come. President Joe Biden and Congress responded with billions in new assistance and a pledge to help Ukraine pursue a “just peace.” SENT: 1270 words, photos. With ZELENSKYY-WASHINGTON-HOW IT HAPPENED — Zelenskyy’s surprise visit to DC was months in the making (sent).

CAPITOL RIOT-INVESTIGATION — An 800-page report set to be released Thursday by House investigators will conclude that Donald Trump criminally plotted to overturn his 2020 election defeat and “provoked his supporters to violence” at the Capitol with false claims of widespread voter fraud. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

IRS-PRESIDENTS-TAXES — An IRS policy governing the audits of tax returns filed by U.S. presidents is under new scrutiny. A report published by a congressional panel finds that the agency failed to perform the mandatory inspection of Donald Trump’s returns as president until Congress pressed for information about the process. By Fatima Hussein. SENT: 860 words, photo.

FTX-BANKMAN-FRIED — Two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s top associates secretly pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX and are cooperating with investigators, a federal prosecutor announced Wednesday as the digital coin entrepreneur was being flown in FBI custody to the U.S. from the Bahamas. By Ken Sweet, Rebecca Blackwell and Larry Neumeister. SENT: 700 words, photos, audio.

CONGRESS-BUDGET — Congressional leaders have unveiled a $1.7 trillion bill to fund the government. The measure includes another large round of aid to Ukraine, a nearly 10% boost in defense spending and roughly $40 billion to assist communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Lawmakers are racing to complete passage before a midnight Friday deadline or face the prospect of a partial government shutdown going into the Christmas holiday. By Kevin Freking. SENT: 850 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Turkey and Saudi Arabia became the latest Muslim-majority countries to condemn a decision by Taliban authorities to bar women from universities, while about two dozen women staged a protest in the streets of Kabul. SENT: 560 words, photos.




TORY-LANEZ-MEGAN-THEE-STALLION — A California prosecutor told jurors that hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion would never have subjected herself to the torrent of public abuse she’s received if she wasn’t telling the truth about rapper Tory Lanez shooting her in the feet and wounding her in the summer of 2020. SENT: 880 words, photos.

SPAIN-CHRISTMAS LOTTERY — Spain kicked off the festive period with the celebration of one of its most iconic events, the bumper Christmas lottery, known as “El Gordo” (The Fat One). SENT: 230 words, photos.

MED-OVERDOSE-DEATHS — Nearly 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses last year, according to final figures. SENT: 180 words.




MILITARY-AID-UKRAINE-EXPLAINER — The presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Washington on Wednesday puts a dramatic exclamation point on the Biden administration’s latest announcement of military aid to the war-torn nation. By Lolita C. Baldor and Tara Copp. SENT: 980 words, photos.

BOSNIA-UKRAINE-GIFT-DRIVE — In homes and schools around Bosnia, youngsters this December have been preparing gift boxes they hope will put a smile on the faces of their peers living through war in Ukraine — just as such gifts did for many of their parents a generation ago. SENT: 710 words, photos.

GERMANY-ENERGY — The German government said Thursday that it has nationalized energy company Uniper after the European Union gave its blessing for it to rescue the gas supplier. SENT: 250 words.




SPECIAL-ELECTION-VIRGINIA — Virginia state Sen. Jennifer McClellan has overwhelmingly won the Democratic nomination to succeed the late A. Donald McEachin in Congress, party officials say. SENT: 350 words, photo.

ELECTIONS 2022-ARIZONA GOVERNOR — Since her loss in the Arizona governor’s race, Republican Kari Lake has claimed the election was stolen and promised bombshells showing she was the rightful winner. But on the first day of trial in her election challenge Wednesday, her lawyers alleged small-bore problems that didn’t appear to show the widespread, intentional misconduct she would need to prove. SENT: 830 words, photos.

CONGRESS-EMMETT TILL — The House unanimously passes a bill posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Emmett Till, the Chicago teenager murdered by white supremacists in the 1950s, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. SENT: 350 words, photo.




HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL-RACISM — Superintendent Torie Gibson felt she had no choice but to make the unpopular decision. When learning Amador High’s football team had a group chat titled, “Kill the Blacks,” filled with derogatory language and racial slurs, she ended the Northern California school’s varsity season. That meant the 100-year anniversary game between rivals Amador and Argonaut was called off. SENT: 830 words, photos.

LOUISIANA-GASSER-MANSLAUGHTER-PLEA – The man who killed former NFL player Joe McKnight during a 2016 Louisiana road-rage confrontation pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. SENT: 250 words, photos.




FIJI-ELECTION — Fijian police on say they were calling in the military to help maintain security following a close election last week that is now being disputed. SENT: 520 words, photo.

KOREAS_TENSION — North Korean hackers have stolen an estimated $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency and other virtual assets in the past five years, more than half of it this year alone, South Korea’s spy agency says. SENT: 350 words, photo.

IRAQ-TRADEMARK-PIRACY — There are three “Starbucks” cafes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, all serving authentic Starbucks coffee in authentic Starbucks cups. But they’re unlicensed by the international chain. Iraq has emerged as a hub for trademark violations and piracy that cuts across sectors. The Iraqi government shows little sign of being willing or able to stop it. SENT: 1,190 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-MYANMAR – The U.N. Security Council approved its first-ever resolution on Myanmar on Wednesday, demanding an immediate end to violence in the Southeast Asian nation and urging its military rulers to release all “arbitrarily detained” prisoners including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and to restore democratic institutions. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR-POLICY — Japan has adopted a new policy promoting greater use of nuclear energy to ensure a stable power supply amid global fuel shortages and to reduce carbon emissions — a major reversal of its phase-out plan since the Fukushima crisis. SENT: 910 words, photo.

VATICAN-BUREAUCRATS — Pope Francis has warned Vatican bureaucrats to beware the devil that lurks among them, saying it is an “elegant demon” that works in people who have a rigid, holier-than-thou way of living the Catholic faith. SENT: 760 words, photo.

UNITED NATIONS-HAITI — The U.N.’s deputy secretary-general urged every country “with capacity” to urgently consider the Haitian government’s request for an international armed force to help restore security and alleviate a humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean nation, which is in “a deepening crisis of unprecedented scale and complexity that is cause for serious alarm.” SENT: 770 words, photos.

NEW-ZEALAND-ARDERN-HOT-MIC — When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was caught on a hot mic using a vulgarity against a rival politician last week, it seemed the nation’s political discourse could be taking an ugly turn heading into an election year. But Ardern and her target, lawmaker David Seymour, agreed on a plan to make good. They both signed an official parliamentary transcript of Ardern’s comment and auctioned it for charity. The auction closed with a top bid of just over $63,000. SENT: 450 words, photo.

CUBA-MISSING — A half dozen women went to the Bahamian Embassy hoping to deliver a list of more than 100 Cubans who haven’t been heard from since leaving the island this year. Some are believed to have been lost when rickety boats sank, but families think many of the missing are being detained by Bahamian authorities. SENT: 280 words.

TAIWAN-CHINA-FLIGHTS — China’s military sent 39 planes and three ships toward Taiwan in a 24-hour display of force directed at the island, Taiwan’s defense ministry says. SENT: 240 words.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CLASH — Palestinian medics said Israeli forces shot dead a 23-year-old man and wounded five others during clashes in the occupied West Bank. SENT: 190 words.

ITALY-VENICE-TIDE-BARRIERS-PHOTO-GALLERY — It’s a simple solution, but one that may keep the marble columns and valuable mosaics of Venice’s iconic St. Mark’s Basilica safe from seawater-induced erosion: A set of glass barriers installed around the 900-year-old church has kept its floors dry during frequent high tides. SENT: 390 words, photos.

HONG-KONG-CHINA — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang praised the Hong Kong government’s efforts in revitalizing the economy as it rolls back COVID-19 restrictions, in a meeting on Thursday with the territory’s leader in Beijing. SENT: 320 words, photo.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDIA — India has begun randomly testing international passengers arriving at its airports for COVID-19, the country’s health minister said Thursday, citing an increase in cases in neighboring China. SENT: 290 words, photos.

SCI-ARCTIC-BLAST-EXPLAINER — An arctic blast is bringing extreme cold, heavy snow and intense wind across much of the U.S. this week — just in time for the holidays. The weather system, which may build into a “bomb cyclone,” is expected to move east in the days leading up to Christmas, disrupting travel and causing hazardous winter conditions. Where is this winter weather coming from, and what’s in store for the coming days? By Maddie Burakoff. SENT: 770 words, photos.




HOLIDAY-LAST-MINUTE-SHOPPERS — Inflation is driving many consumers to put off their holiday shopping until the last minute. For the first two years of the pandemic, many were buying earlier in the season, afraid of not getting what they wanted because of shortages of products or delays in deliveries. They also had more money to spend thanks to government stimulus checks and child care credits. But this year, higher prices on everything are squeezing shoppers’ budgets and pushing them to postpone their buying. SENT: 810 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — World shares were mixed after a rally on Wall Street as investors welcomed a report showing U.S. consumer confidence is holding up despite the Federal Reserve’s campaign to fight inflation by raising interest rates. SENT: 620 words, photos.

CROATIA-EURO — More than nine years after Croatia became the European Union’s newest member, the country is on a roll to make the most of its status as the EU member in the Western Balkans. SENT: 700 words, photos.




IMPRISONED-IRANIAN-DIRECTOR – After being arrested for creating anti-government propaganda in 2010, the Iranian director Jafar Panahi was banned from making films for 20 years. Since then, he’s made five widely acclaimed features. By Jake Coyle. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

OSCARS-SHORTLIST – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday announced shortlists in 10 categories for the 95th Oscars, including documentary feature, international film, makeup and hairstyling, score, original song, sound, visual effects and shorts. By Lindsey Bahr. SENT: 680 words, photos.




BKN--WARRIORS-NETS — Kevin Durant scored 23 points, all but two in a 91-point first half that was the third-biggest in NBA history, and the Brooklyn Nets routed the Golden State Warriors 143-113 to send the reigning champions staggering home with their second blowout loss in two nights in New York. With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins all sidelined, the Warriors finished 1-5 on their road trip to the East and will hope to get healthy before they have to get back on the court on Christmas against Memphis. The Nets matched a franchise record with nine players in double figures and won their seventh straight. SENT: 640 words, photos.

BKN--BUCKS-CAVALIERS — Donovan Mitchell scored 36 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers finally put together a complete game against Milwaukee, withstanding superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s season-high 45-point performance to beat the Bucks 114-106. Darius Garland added 23 points and Jarrett Allen had 19 for the Cavs, who lost their first two games against the Eastern Conference’s top team this season — both times collapsing in the third quarter and losing by 15 in Milwaukee. The Cavs improved the NBA’s best home record to 16-2, matching their start in the 2016 championship season. SENT: 720 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Donald E. King (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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