AP News Digest 2 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Saturday 15 May 2021 19:10
APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
APTOPIX Israel Palestinians

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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TOP STORIES

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ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — An Israeli airstrike targeted and destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. Hours later, Israel bombed the home of Khalil al-Hayeh, a top leader of Gaza’s ruling militant Hamas group. The Israeli military said Al-Hayeh’s home served as part of what it said was the militant group’s “terrorist infrastructure.” By Fares Akram and Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,495 words, photos, videos. WITH: ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-AP-STATEMENT — AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt says the company is shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. SENT: 160 words, photo. WITH: ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-THE-LATEST.

Click here for more coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

MIGRANTS-SELF-SEPARATION — Growing numbers of migrant families are making the heart-wrenching decision to separate as they try to get their children into America. Many families with kids older than 6 have been quickly expelled from the country under federal pandemic-related powers that don’t allow migrants to seek asylum. But they know that President Joe Biden is allowing children traveling alone to stay in the U.S. while their asylum cases are decided. Forced out of the country, they’re sending their older children back to cross alone. These self-separations mean children arrive in the United States confused and in distress. Many have traveled hundreds of miles with their parents without understanding why they can’t cross that last stretch together. By Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 1,075 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

CONGRESS-IRS — Congress is looking to the IRS to help pay for the big public works boost that lawmakers and President Joe Biden say is necessary for the country. Biden wants to rebuild the depleted and often-maligned agency, saying a more aggressive collection of unpaid taxes could help cover the cost of his multitrillion-dollar plan to boost infrastructure, families and education. By Kevin Freking and Marcy Gordon. SENT: 930 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK — After struggling to control the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year, Peru is now facing a parallel crisis: a lack of space in cemeteries. The problem is affecting everybody, not just COVID-19 victims, as the country experiences its deadliest period of the pandemic. The desperation has even prompted people to dig clandestine graves in their yards. By Franklin Briceno. UPCOMING: 780 words, photo by 4 p.m.

MED-ASPIRIN-HEART-HEALTH — An unusual study that had thousands of heart disease patients enroll themselves and track their health online as they took low- or regular-strength aspirin concludes that both doses seem equally safe and effective for preventing additional heart problems and strokes. By Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 605 words, photos.

RAC-PREAKNESS — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit and trainer Bob Baffert highlight a Preakness shadowed by drugs. The colt failed a drug test after winning the Derby and needed to pass additional tests for the second leg of the Triple Crown. Baffert is eyeing a record eighth Preakness win. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Post time 6:52 p.m.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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OBIT-KID-REPORTER — The student reporter who gained national acclaim when he interviewed President Barack Obama at the White House in 2009 has died of natural causes, his family says. He was 23. SENT: 230 words, photo.

HONG-KONG-OLDEST-DJ — After more than seven decades in radio, a 96-year-old Hong Kong DJ bid farewell to his listeners with “Time to Say Goodbye,” sung by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli. SENT: 330 words, photos.

EX-BORDER-AGENT-MEXICAN-NANNY —A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent in Texas has pleaded guilty to illegally bringing a Mexican woman into the U.S. to work as her nanny, according to federal court documents. SENT: 180 words.

ROCKET-LAB — California-based Rocket Lab said a launch of satellites from its facility in New Zealand failed. SENT; 145 words.

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MORE ON ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

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ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-MEDIA — News organizations condemned an Israeli airstrike that destroyed a building in Gaza housing the offices of The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera TV media, demanding an explanation for the targeted attack that disrupted coverage of the conflict. UPCOMING: 600 words by 4 p.m.

EUROPE-PALESTINIANS-PROTESTS — French riot police fired tear gas and used water cannons Saturday in Paris as protesters supporting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip defied a ban on marching in the French capital. SENT: 540 words, photos, video.

Click here for more coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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POLAND-VIRUS-EASING RESTRICTIONS — Across Poland people are taking off masks and making toasts as restaurants, bars and pubs re-open for the first time in seven months. SENT: 580 words, photos.

GERMANY-CLIMATE — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she understands young people’s frustration about the pace of efforts to combat climate change, but is stressing the need to build political majorities to support effective action. SENT: 330 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-DETROIT-TOURISM — Tourism leaders in Detroit are banking on a return of conventions and business meetings shut down last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Groups and companies already are booking dates for this year and next. SENT: 840 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — Britain deployed public health officials, supported by the army, to distribute coronavirus tests door-to-door in two northern England towns on Saturday in an effort to contain a fast-spreading variant that threatens plans to lift all lockdown restrictions next month. SENT: 530 words, photo.

CHINA-EVEREST — China has canceled attempts to climb Mount Everest from its side of the world’s highest peak because of fears of importing COVID-19 cases from neighboring Nepal, state media reported. SENT: 335 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEPAL — A drastically scaled-back version of a Hindu chariot festival took place in Nepal’s capital amid strict COVID-19 restrictions. SENT: 320 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TAIWAN — The island of Taiwan which has had enviable success in containing COVID-19, imposed new restrictions in its capital city as it battled its worst outbreak since the pandemic began. SENT: 240 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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VIRGINIA-REPUBLICANS-TRUMP —Virginia Republicans rejected the most pro-Trump candidate at their recent nominating convention, but whether the party achieved any measure of independence from Trump is up for debate. SENT: 775 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA RECALL — A fading coronavirus crisis and an astounding windfall of tax dollars have reshuffled California’s emerging recall election, allowing Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to talk about an end to most COVID-19 restrictions and propose billions in new spending as he looks to fend off Republicans who depict him as a foppish failure. SENT: 970 words, photos.

VATICAN-POPE-CLIMATE-US — John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, met privately with Pope Francis on Saturday, afterward calling the pope a “compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis” who has been “ahead of the curve.” SENT: 240 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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ASIAN-AMERICAN-STUDIES — Ongoing anti-Asian attacks during the pandemic along with last month’s massage business shootings in Georgia that left six Asian women dead have provoked national conversations about Asian American and Pacific Islander visibility. The debate has renewed an appetite at some colleges for Asian American studies programs. As student diversity grows, so does the desire for representation in the syllabus. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

VOTING-NAVAJO-NATION — Native American tribes say two new Arizona election laws won’t make it any easier for their voters. Gov. Doug Ducey recently signed the bills that he and fellow Republicans say will strengthen the integrity of elections. Tribes and voting rights advocates say the measures will disproportionately affect communities of color, tribal members who have to drive long distances to cast a ballot and voters who speak limited or no English. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

SECRET-MISSION-MEMORIAL — Families who’ve fought for recognition for soldiers who died while traveling to Vietnam for a secret mission have something to celebrate. Families of more than 20 fallen soldiers attended the unveiling of a memorial in Maine. All told, 93 U.S. soldiers, three South Vietnamese and 11 crew members were on a chartered flight that disappeared between Guam and the Philippines in 1962. SENT: 600 words, photos.

DEPUTY-PLANTED-DRUGS-CHARGE — A former Florida sheriff’s deputy on trial for allegedly planting drugs during traffic stops testified that he is innocent, saying he found a stash of narcotics discovered in his patrol car but could not explain why he never reported it. SENT: 350 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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IRAN — The hard-line cleric in charge of Iran’s judiciary who also took part in a panel involved in the mass execution of thousands of prisoners in 1988 has registered to run against for country’s presidency. SENT: 910 words, photo.

JAPAN-US-FRANCE-MILITARY — Dozens of Japanese, American and French troops have continued to hold their first-ever joint drills on Japanese soil. This week’s drills, dubbed “ARC21,” seek to step up military ties amid growing Chinese assertiveness in the region. SENT: 490 words, photos.

ETHIOPIA-ELECTION-DELAY — Ethiopia has again delayed its national election after some opposition parties said they wouldn’t take part and as conflict in the country’s Tigray region means no vote is being held there. SENT: 650 words, photos.

COLOMBIA-PROTESTS — Thousands of young people and college students have been at the forefront of Colombia’s antigovernment protests for more than two weeks, armed with improvised shields made from garbage cans and umbrellas. SENT: 930 words, photos.

CHINA-TORNADO — Back-to-back tornadoes have killed 12 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured. SENT: 280 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-LIBYA — The U.N. chief says foreign fighters and mercenaries remain in Libya in violation of last October’s cease-fire agreement and called for their withdrawal and an end to violations of the U.N. arms embargo, saying these are “critical elements” for lasting peace in the north African country and the region. SENT: 650 words, photo.

CHILE-CONSTITUTION — The face of a new Chile begins taking shape this weekend as the South American country elects 155 people to draft a constitution to replace one that has governed it since being imposed during a military dictatorship. SENT: 520 words, photos.

HUNGARY-ELECTION — The liberal mayor of Hungary’s capital announces that he will enter an upcoming primary race that will choose a candidate to face nationalist Prime Minster Viktor Orban in closely watched elections next year. SENT: 420 words.

ZIMBABWE-CHIEF JUSTICE — Zimbabwe’s High Court has forced the country’s chief justice to retire, ruling that an extension of his term by the president is illegal. SENT: 220 words.

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HEALTH & SCIENCE

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CHINA-SPACE-MARS-MISSION — China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest advance for its ambitious goals in space. SENT: 780 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BKO--HALL OF FAME — Basketball’s Hall of Fame welcomes its newest class, with headliners Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Tamika Catchings joined by Eddie Sutton, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Rudy Tomjanovich and international basketball’s Patrick Baumann. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 9 p.m.

BKN--NBA-THE LAST DAY — Welcome to the final weekend of the NBA’s regular season, with every first-round playoff matchup — even every play-in game matchup — still undecided and the defending champion Lakers needing two wins in the season’s final two days to avoid the play-in round. SENT: 700 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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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(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.