AP News Digest 4 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Thursday 23 June 2022 09:06

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 at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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ONLY ON AP

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MERMAID MANIA — Across the world, people are increasingly embracing the subculture of “mermaiding.” At its simplest, these are humans of all genders, shapes and backgrounds who enjoy dressing up as mermaids. In recent years, a growing number have flocked to mermaid conventions and competitions, formed local groups called “pods,” and poured their savings into a multimillion-dollar mermaid tail industry. On a planet plagued by war, disease and social upheaval, many merfolk have found life in the water a refuge. By Kristen Gelineau. SENT: 1,790 words, photos, video. An Abridged version is also available.

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TOP STORIES

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AFGHANISTAN — Survivors dug by hand through villages in eastern Afghanistan reduced to rubble by a powerful earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people, as the Taliban and the international community that fled their takeover struggled to aid the disaster’s victims. By Ebrahim Noroozi. SENT: 700 words, photo

THE-AP-INTERVIEW-ESONIAN-PRIME-MINISTER — Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has told The Associated Press that the West shouldn’t underestimate Russia’s military capabilities in Ukraine, saying Moscow is in it for the long haul as the war enters its fifth month. Kallas said in an interview that Europe should ensure that those committing war crimes and attempted genocide are prosecuted, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin escaped punishment for annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supporting an insurgency in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region that killed over 14,000 people even before this year’s war began. By Dasha Litvinova and Harriet Morris. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CAPITOL RIOT-INVESTIGATION — The Jan. 6 committee will hear from former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Donald Trump over the presidential election results, and suppressed a bizarre challenge from within their own ranks. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 900 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1,100 words after 3 p.m. hearing. With CAPITOL RIOT-HIGHLIGHTS — What we’ve learned so far — and what’s next. SENT: 700 words, photos.

SCHOOL-VIOLENCE — One of the most difficult academic years in the nation’s history was also one of the most violent. That’s according to educators and experts, who reported many more fights and assaults since last fall. Now, as students head out on summer break, schools are taking stock of what went wrong and how to fix it. Educators and psychologists say the pandemic contributed to the volatility in schools by causing a surge in student mental health problems, trauma at home, a lack of socializing opportunities, and a shortage of teachers and counselors that reduced adult supervision and guidance. By Jocelyn Gecker. SENT: 1,110 words, photos.

ELECTION 2022-COLORADO-SENATE — A U.S. Senate candidate in Colorado, Joe O’Dea, is a rarity in the Republican Party: a supporter of abortion rights. O’Dea is running for the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in a state that has grown increasingly liberal. By Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

GAS-PRICES-WORKERS — Millions of Americans who rely on their cars for work are changing their habits, signing up for carpools or even ditching their cars for bicycles as gas prices recently hit $5 per gallon for the first time ever. This week, it’s averaging $4.95 per gallon nationwide, up from $3.06 per gallon a year ago, according to AAA. By Business Writer Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

EUROPE-3-SUMMITS — Three consecutive summits over the next week will test Western resolve to support Ukraine and the extent of international unity as rising geopolitical tensions and economic pain cast an increasingly long shadow. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 1.030 words, photos.

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TRENDING

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WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW — Now this hound has something to toot his horn about. A bloodhound named Trumpet won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy. SENT: 650 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-SHARK-ATTACK — A swimmer was seriously injured in a shark attack on the central California coast, police say. The attack occurred at midmorning at Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, about 85 miles south of San Francisco, the Pacific Grove Police Department said in a statement. SENT: 260 words, photo.

OBIT-SIRAGUSA — Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, has died. He was 55. SENT: 200 words, photo.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY-TRADEMARK — Ohio State University wins its fight to trademark the word “The.” SENT: 200 words, photos.

NBA DRAFT PREVIEW — Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero are expected to be considered by the Orlando Magic with the No. 1 pick during Thursday night's NBA draft. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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RUSSIA UKRAINE WAR

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RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR — A Ukrainian deputy prime minister overseeing the country’s push to join the European Union said that she’s “100%” certain all 27 EU nations will approve making Ukraine a candidate for membership in the bloc during a summit this week. By John Leicester. SENT: 640 words, photo. With RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-MICROSOFT — Microsoft: Russian cyber spying targets 42 Ukraine allies. SENT: 440 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON

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CONGRESS-GUNS — The country has long endured a numbing succession of mass shootings at schools, places of worship and public gathering places. None forced Congress to react with significant legislation — until now. By Alan Fram. SENT: 980 words, photos.

ELECTION OFFICIALS-THREATS — This week’s gripping testimony about threats to election officials by Donald Trump and his followers had a rapt audience outside Washington — secretaries of state and election clerks across the country who said the stories could very well have been their own. Death threats, harassment and unfounded accusations have driven many local election officials from their jobs. By Julie Carr Smyth. SENT: 900 words, photos.

GIULIANI-ASSOCIATES-INDICTMENT — An associate of Rudy Giuliani who was convicted of campaign finance crimes at trial and later pleaded guilty to a separate fraud charge is asking that he be spared from prison at his sentencing next week, but prosecutors on Wednesday recommended that he be ordered to spend over six years in prison. SENT: 500 words.

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN — The independent watchdog for U.S. assistance to Afghanistan accuses the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development of illegally withholding information about the American withdrawal from the country last year. SENT: 490 words, photo.

SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH — A California man who was arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland pleads not guilty to a count of trying to kill the Supreme Court justice. SENT: 470 words, photo.

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ELECTION 2022

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ELECTION 2022-MISSOURI-SENATE — An attorney working as a senior investigator for the U.S. House committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection will leave the post amid calls urging him to run for a Missouri U.S. Senate seat as an independent. SENT: 560 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KOREAS-TENSION — North Korea discussed assigning additional duties to its frontline army units at a key military meeting, state media said Thursday, a suggestion the country may want to deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting South Korea along the rivals’ tense border. SENT: 660 words, photos.

CHINA-BRICS — Chinese President Xi Jinping is hosting a virtual summit with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa collectively known as the “BRICS,” amid rising concerns over the global economic outlook and a growing political divide between Beijing and New Delhi. SENT: 460 words, photos.

JAPAN-OKINAWA-ANNIVERSARY — Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki is marking the 77th anniversary Thursday of the end of one of harshest World War II battles fought on the southern islands by calling for further reduction of U.S. military presence there amid growing fear of getting embroiled in regional tension. SENT: 470 words, photos.

NEW-ZEALAND-STABBING — A man wounded four people in a stabbing rampage in a New Zealand city before bystanders brought him to the ground, authorities say. The Police District Commander says the suspect in the Auckland attack was in custody. SENT: 300 words, photos.

BRAZIL-CHILD ADOPTION — Brazil’s judicial watchdog agency says it is investigating a judge who stopped an 11-year-old rape victim from getting an abortion — a procedure that advocates insist is allowed in the South American nation for rape cases at any stage of a pregnancy. SENT: 590 words.

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NATIONAL

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BUILDING-COLLAPSE-MIAMI-SURVIVOR — People have compared the survival of a teenage boy in one of the deadliest collapses in U.S. history to the Bible story of Jonah and the whale. At 16, Jonah Handler is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the loss of his mother after falling from the 10th floor of the beachfront building that collapsed a year ago in Surfside, Florida, killing 98 people. What came after for Jonah had been kept mostly private by the family to protect him, but his father is now sharing the teen’s journey to recovery as they start a foundation to help families and first responders dealing with PTSD. SENT: 900 words, photos.

JEFFREY-EPSTEIN-MAXWELL-TRIAL — British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls over a 10-year period by her onetime boyfriend, financier Jeffrey Epstein, prosecutors said Wednesday in written arguments. SENT: 740 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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FLU VACCINE — A federal advisory panel says Americans 65 and older should get newer, souped-up flu vaccines. The panel unanimously recommends certain flu vaccines for seniors, whose weakened immune systems don’t respond as well to traditional shots. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 350 words, photos.

BRITAIN-POLIO — Health officials in Britain warn parents to ensure their children have been vaccinated against polio after the virus that causes the disease is found in London sewage samples. SENT: 280 words.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Asian stock markets were mostly higher after the Federal Reserve chairman said the U.S. central bank wants to avoid causing a recession but one is possible as it raises interest rates to cool surging inflation. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 510 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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HKN—NHL DIVERSITY PROGRESS — The National Hockey League has taken significant strides in recent years to improve diversity in a sport that has long been predominantly white. Executive Kim Davis said the NHL currently has 54 active players who are Arab, Asian, Black, Latino or Indigenous. That makes up roughly 7% of the league but it also represents significant progress. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 1,320 words, photos.

STANLEY CUP — The Colorado Avalanche are on the brink of their first Stanley Cup title since 2001, thanks to Nazem Kadri’s overtime goal. Even if the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning don’t believe it should have counted. Kadri scored at 12:02 of the extra period to give Colorado a 3-2 victory in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final and move the Avalanche within a win of their first championship in over two decades. By Sports Writer Fred Goodall. SENT: 710 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Vincent K. Willis 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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