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PIPELINE-CYBERSECURITY-ATTACK — A cyberattack against a U.S. energy company has led to a temporary halt of all operations on a major pipeline that delivers roughly 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast. This latest incident involving ransomware comes as such attacks by criminal syndicates are on the rise. The impact on fuel supplies and prices may depend on how long the pipeline is down. By Alan Suderman and Eric Tucker. SENT: 860 words, photos. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 4 p.m.
VIRUS OUTBREAK — States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. Officials in Wisconsin have asked for just 8% of their federal allotment of doses for next week, and Kansas and Illinois are asking for about 9%. Health officials say most people who want to get vaccinated have been able to find shots, but according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only 32% of the nation’s population has been fully vaccinated. By Heather Hollingsworth and Todd Richmond. SENT: 1.010 words, photos.
VOTING-ELECTION-OFFICIALS — The county officials who run elections are facing a slate of new punishments as part of a nationwide Republican campaign to roll back access to the ballot, months after many hailed them as heroes for the creative ways they expanded voting access last year during the coronavirus outbreak. The penalties, typically buried within sweeping GOP voting legislation, have already become law in Iowa, Georgia and Florida, and are making their way through statehouses in Texas and elsewhere. By Anthony Izaguirre. SENT: 1,065 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.
CONGRESS-DIVIDED-REPUBLICANS-STEFANIK — There was a time, not long ago, when Elise Stefanik would not say Donald Trump’s name. Today, the New York congresswoman is one of his fiercest defenders in the House, where her loyalty to the former president — and the support he returned — has carried the 36-year-old to the brink of becoming one of the most powerful women in Congress. Her evolution is the story of the modern Republican Party, which has come to believe that the path to power and fundraising success runs through Trump, whether party members like him or not. By National Political Writer Steve Peoples. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.
JUSTICE-DEPARTMENT-CIVIL-RIGHTS — Attorney General Merrick Garland is making good on his promise to refocus the Justice Department around civil rights, after the Trump administration had prioritized immigration and the Russia investigation. Within the past two weeks, the department has opened sweeping investigations of big-city police departments. And federal prosecutors have made the unusual step of wading into cases in two states, charging hate crimes and civil rights violations before the defendants have gone to trial. By Michael Balsamo and Amy Forliti. SENT: 970 words, photos.
AFGHANISTAN — A bomb exploded near a girls’ school in a majority Shiite district of west Kabul, killing at least 30 people, many of them young pupils between 11 and 15 years old. The Taliban condemned the attack and denied any responsibility. By Rahim Faiez. SENT: 660 words, photos.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
BRAZIL-RIO-MACAW-LOVE — A blue-and-yellow macaw that zookeepers named Juliet is believed to be the only wild bird of its kind left in the Brazilian city where the birds once flew far and wide. SENT: 760 words, photos.
OBIT-TAWNY KITAEN — Tawny Kitaen, the sultry red-haired actress who appeared in rock music videos during they heyday of MTV, has died. She was 59. SENT: 260 words, photo.
ODD-ESCAPED-ZEBRA-CAPTURED — Law enforcement officials helped capture a loose zebra in middle Tennessee after it escaped from an exotic livestock auction. SENT: 180 words.
ITALY-NEANDERTHALS — Italian archaeologists have uncovered the fossilized remains of nine Neanderthals in a cave near Rome. SENT: 240 words, photos.
HANDCUFFING-DEATH-RHODE-ISLAND — State authorities are investigating the case of a man who died after being handcuffed by police in Providence. SENT: 250 words, photo.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGES — Mask and distancing restrictions may be relaxing across much of the country, but it’s been another tough semester on many college campuses, where COVID-19 spikes have meant even tougher measures. Some administrators say they’ve needed to act with urgency to avoid risking an early end to the semester. University of Vermont students have been handed numerous citations for violating safety protocols, while schools including the University of Michigan and Cornell University have restricted access to buildings and Wi-Fi for those who miss mandatory virus tests. SENT: 890 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDIA — Two southern states in India became the latest to declare lockdowns, as coronavirus cases surge at breakneck speed across the country and pressure mounts on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to implement a nationwide shutdown. SENT: 670 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BANGLADESH — India’s surge in coronavirus cases is having a dangerous effect on neighboring Bangladesh. Health authorities said that for the first time, a variant originally identified in India was detected in Bangladesh. Experts are warning of imminent vaccine shortages, just as the country should be stepping up its vaccination drive. SENT: 515 words, photos.
EUROPE-SUMMIT-VACCINES — European Union leaders have cranked up criticism of the U.S. call to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents, arguing the move would yield no short-term or intermediate improvement in vaccine supplies and could even have a negative impact. SENT: 560 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EUROPEAN-UNION-VACCINE — The European Union has cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023. SENT: 495 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EUROPE-TRAVEL — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europeans can look forward to traveling this summer if coronavirus cases keep declining on the continent. SENT: 330 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPAIN-HOME-VACCINATIONS-GALLERY — While thousands flock daily to health clinics and ad-hoc vaccination points across Spain, health workers also fan out across the country to take shots to some of those who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. SENT: 300 words.
ELECTION-2020-NEW-HAMPSHIRE — A dispute over the vote count in a New Hampshire legislative race is driving a debate among conservatives about the fairness of election process. And now Donald Trump has joined the fray, using the dispute to promote his lie about widespread fraud in the 2020 election. SENT: 1,160 words, photo.
FACEBOOK-TRUMP-SOCIAL-MEDIA — Beyond Facebook’s decision on whether to continue Donald Trump’s suspension from its platform is a far more complex and consequential question: Do the protections carved out for companies when the internet was in its infancy 25 years ago make sense when some of them have become global powerhouses with almost unlimited reach? SENT: 780 words, photo.
CONGRESS-EQUALITY-ACT — Democrats had hoped this would be the year they finally secured civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. Then came a new debate over women’s and girls sports, and a conservative push against transgender participation in athletics that has swept state legislatures and now spilled into the halls of Congress. SENT: 980 words, photos.
VIRGINIA-GOVERNOR-GOP CONVENTION — Tens of thousands of Virginians are casting ballots to choose GOP nominees for governor and other statewide offices this weekend. SENT: 630 words, photos.
DIGITAL-DRIVER’S-LICENSES — The card millions of people have used to prove their identity to everyone from police officers to liquor store owners may soon be a thing of the past as a growing number of states develop digital driver’s licenses. With the advent of digital wallets and boarding passes, people are relying more on their phones to prove their identity. At least five states have implemented a mobile driver’s license program. SENT: 800 words, photos.
GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS — George Floyd’s brother and nephew expressed gratitude after a federal grand jury indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in his death. SENT: 270 words, photos.
LYNCHING-PARDONS-MARYLAND — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will posthumously pardon 34 victims of racial lynching in the state who were denied legal due process in the allegations against them between 1854 and 1933, a spokesman for Hogan said. SENT: 535 words, photos upcoming.
SEX EDUCATION-GRANT-UNIVERSITY — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has partially vetoed a bill aimed at penalizing the state’s 11 colleges and universities for funneling federal grant money to individuals or organizations that promote or perform abortions. SENT: 430 words.
AP-EXPLAINS-COLOMBIA-PROTESTS — Thousands of Colombians are protesting across the country against a government they feel has long ignored their needs, allowed corruption to run rampant and is so out of touch that it dared proposed tax increases during the coronavirus pandemic. The demonstrations began last week, after the government introduced a tax reform that would have squeezed the middle class. SENT: 690 words, photos.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Israel’s police chief has beefed up forces in Jerusalem ahead of expected disturbances in the coming days following a night of heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in the holy city. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
REL-BURKINA-FASO-MILITARY-CHAPLAINS — Salomon Tibiri, a pastor and military chaplain in Burkina Faso, has been offering soldiers spiritual succor for more than 15 years. But he’s never fielded as many calls from anxious soldiers as in recent years, when the army found itself under attack by Islamic extremist fighters. The unprecedented violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State has thrown an ill-equipped and undertrained army into disarray — and overwhelmed the clerics tasked with supporting them. Just seven chaplains are charged with ministering to some 11,000 soldiers. SENT: 980 words, photo.
SOUTH AFRICA-ZULU KING — A new Zulu king has been named in South Africa amid scenes of chaos as members of the royal family questioned a prince’s claim to the title. SENT: 450 words, photos.
FRANCE-ALPS-AVALANCHES — Local authorities say two separate avalanches in the Savoie region of the French Alps killed seven people. SENT: 100 words.
FRANCE-LANGUAGE OF INCLUSION — The fight to make the French language kinder to women took steps forward, and back, this week. SENT: 820 words, photo.
BRITAIN-ELECTIONS — Scotland’s governing Scottish National Party is on course to win its fourth straight parliamentary election. But the party’s anticipated inability to secure a majority could complicate its ambition to hold another referendum on the country’s independence from the U.K. SENT: 800 words, photos.
MALDIVES-BLAST — A top official in the Maldives said that Islamic extremists were responsible for an explosion earlier this week that critically wounded former President Mohamed Nasheed, as police said they arrested two of four suspects. SENT: 390 words, photos.
BUSINESS & TECH
ECONOMY-JOBS-EXPLAINER — The anticipation for the U.S. jobs report for April, released Friday morning, was high. Most experts agreed that after a yearlong pandemic, tens of millions of layoffs and widespread disease and death, a likely second straight month of nearly 1 million added jobs would send a clear signal: The economy was bounding back toward full health after a devastating recession. Instead, the report was a clunker. Once the shock wore off, economists grappled with a host of questions, starting with: What happened — and why? What did the tepid hiring gain say about the state of the job market and the economy? And is there really a labor shortage? By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 1,115 words, photos.
EUROPEAN UNION-INDIA — The European Union and India have agreed to restart their negotiations on a bilateral free trade deal. Both are seeking trade alternatives to China. SENT: 400 words, photos.
BOX--ALVAREZ-SAUNDERS — Canelo Alvarez is a big favorite when he puts his WBC and WBA titles on the line against Billy Joe Saunders, Britain’s undefeated WBO champion, in a super middleweight unification fight. An indoor crowd of about 70,000 is expected at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Bout starts about 11 p.m.
BKN--LAKERS-PLAY-IN PLIGHT — The Los Angeles Lakers won’t have home-court advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. They need help if they’re going to escape the play-in tournament. Worse yet, their invitation to the postseason isn’t even guaranteed yet. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BKN--WIZARDS-PACERS — Russell Westbrook can tie Oscar Robertson’s record of 181 career regular-season triple-doubles when the Washington Wizards play the Indiana Pacers. Both teams are vying for play-in spots in the Eastern Conference. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.
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