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ETHIOPIA-BORN AMID BLOODSHED — War broke out in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region at the worst possible time for Abraha Kinfe Gebremariam and his family. Their village of Mai Kadra was caught in the first known massacre of a grinding conflict that has killed thousands of ethnic Tigrayans like them. Abraha pleaded with his wife, writhing from post-childbirth complications, to be silent, fearful any noise would bring gunmen to his door. Their hungry newborn twin daughters were wailing beside her. Their two young sons watched in fear. Abraha was terrified his family would not survive. By Cara Anna. SENT: 2,100 words, photos, video. An abridged version is also available.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MEDICAL-MASKS — The Biden administration has taken the first step toward ending an emergency exception that allowed hospitals to ration and reuse N95 medical masks, the first line of defense between frontline workers and the deadly coronavirus. Thousands of medical providers have died in the COVID-19 pandemic, many exposed and infected while caring for patients without adequate protection. By Martha Mendoza and Juliet Linderman. SENT: 680 words, photos.
CLIMATE SUMMIT-BIDEN — For two days, President Joe Biden and his team used a virtual global summit to lay out a vision for how fighting climate change can be good not only for the U.S. and its economy but the world as well, offering new details along the way on how the U.S. can supercharge its own efforts while also leveraging international action to spur the technologies needed to help save the planet. By Matthew Daly and Christina Larson. 900 words by 5 p.m. WITH: CLIMATE SUMMIT — World leaders join President Joe Biden to close his virtual climate summit with stories of their own national drives to break free of climate-wrecking fossil fuels — from Kenyans leapfrogging from kerosene stoves to geothermal power to Israeli start-ups scrambling to improve battery storage. SENT: 900 words, photos, video. WITH: CLIMATE SUMMIT-THE LATEST.
VIRUS OUTBREAK — U.S. authorities are weighing whether to resume the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than a week after a pause was issued out of an abundance of caution. A government advisory panel is discussing a possible link between J&J’s shot and a handful of vaccine recipients who developed highly unusual blood clots. By Lauran Neergaard and Mike Stobbe. SENT: 800 words, photos. Developing.
RUSSIA-NAVALNY — Imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny said he is ending his hunger strike after getting medical attention and being warned by his doctors that continuing it would put his life at risk. In an Instagram post on the 24th day of his hunger strike, Navalny said he will continue to demand a visit from his doctor to address numbness in his legs and arms -– his main demand. But he said he would halt the strike after having been examined by doctors who were not affiliated with the prison, something he called “a huge progress.” By Daria Litvinova. SENT: 865 words, photos.
CALIFORNIA-GOVERNOR-RECALL-JENNER — Republican Caitlyn Jenner said she will run for governor of California, injecting a jolt of celebrity into an emerging campaign that threatens to oust Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office. Jenner — an Olympic hero, reality TV personality and transgender rights activist — said in statement posted on Twitter and on an accompanying website that she has filed initial paperwork to run for the post. By Michael R. Blood. SENT: 685 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-US — Louisiana has stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of COVID-19 vaccine. About three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned down new shipments of the vaccine at least once over the past month. And in Mississippi, officials asked the federal government to ship vials in smaller packages so they don’t go to waste. By Leah Willingham, Heather Hollingsworth and Michelle Smith. SENT: 960 words, photos.
EXPLAINING-GEORGE-FLOYD-OFFICER-TRIAL-APPEAL -- Former police Officer Derek Chauvin is expected to appeal his murder and manslaughter convictions in George Floyd’s death. Unique circumstances, such as wall-to-wall news coverage of his Minneapolis trial, could give him a chance of winning a retrial, though most legal experts agree it’s a long shot. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 900 words, photos.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
BABY-ANTELOPE-ZOO — A baby klipspringer antelope is bonding with its mother before making a public debut at a Florida zoo. SENT: 120 words, photo.
BUNNY-IN-THE-BALLPARK — It’s just not every day you see a rabbit at a baseball game. A golden-colored therapy bunny named Alex came to the ballpark and stole the hearts of San Francisco Giants fans. SENT: 430 words, photos.
MEDIA-KRISTEN-WELKER — NBC News’ Kristen Welker, shortly before she expects the birth of a daughter through a surrogate, is revealing the struggles with infertility that she and her husband, John Hughes, have gone through. SENT: 210 words, photos.
RUSSIA-MEDIA — Russia’s justice ministry has placed a widely respected news website on its list of “foreign agents,” a sign of increasing efforts to crack down on reporting critical of authorities. SENT: 200 words.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
MED-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-EMA-ASTRAZENECA — The European Medicines Agency says people who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should also get the second one despite the rare risk of blood clots that have been linked to the shot. In guidance issued on Friday, the European Union drug regulator said people should continue to get a second AstraZeneca dose four to 12 weeks after their first shot. SENT: 700 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RENTAL-ASSISTANCE — An estimated 8.8 million Americans are behind on their rent, according the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While relief efforts have staved off some of the housing crisis, rent is still going to come due. The federal government has approved two rounds of rental assistance, worth more than $46 billion total, that is slowly making its way to renters. The money for the second round will begin going out in May. But renters may need help navigating the system to access the aid, which is doled out at a state, territory, tribal or local level. SENT: 695 words, photo.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDIA — India put oxygen tankers on special express trains as major hospitals in New Delhi begged on social media for more supplies to save COVID-19 patients who are struggling to breathe. More than a dozen people died when an oxygen-fed fire ripped through a coronavirus ward in a populous western state. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.
OLY-TOKYO-EMERGENCY-ORDER — Tokyo and Japan’s second largest metropolitan area of Osaka are coming under emergency orders aimed at stemming surging cases of the coronavirus. The orders come into effect with the Tokyo Olympics opening in only three months. SENT: 665 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS-OUTBREAK-JAPAN-EXPLAINER — What does Japan’s virus state of emergency mean. SENT: 620 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-WHO-VACCINES — France on Friday became the first high-income country to donate COVID-19 vaccines to a developing country through the U.N.’s vaccine rollout program for low-and middle-income countries, shipping more than 100,000 doses to Mauritania. SENT: 400 words.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-WISCONSIN-JOHNSON — Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, questioned the need for widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, saying in a radio interview “what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?” SENT: 650 words, photo.
LONDON-BEYOND-THE-PANDEMIC-THEATER — The coronavirus pandemic has devastated British theater, a world-renowned cultural export and major economic force. The theaters in London’s West End shut even before the U.K.’s first lockdown began in March 2020, and they have remained closed for most of the past 13 months. They are now preparing to welcome audiences back. SENT: 1,110 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-NEPAL-EVEREST — The coronavirus has conquered the world’s highest mountain. A Norwegian climber became the first to be tested for COVID-19 in Mount Everest base camp and was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu, where he was hospitalized. SENT: 290 words, photo.
MILITARY-SEXUAL ASSAULT — A Pentagon panel is recommending that decisions to prosecute service members for sexual assault be made by independent authorities, not commanders, in what would be a major reversal of military practice and a change long sought by Congress members, The Associated Press has learned. SENT: 920 words, photo.
MENTAL HEALTH-POLICE SHOOTINGS — When police respond to a person gripped by a mental health or drug crisis, the encounter can have tragic results. Now a government insurance program will help communities set up an alternative: mobile teams of practitioners trained in de-escalating such potentially volatile situations. SENT: 900 words, photos.
BIDEN-PROGRESSIVES — Progressives helped elect President Biden and give Democrats control of Capitol Hill, and they worked mostly in lockstep with the Democratic establishment on the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Now Biden has moved on to an infrastructure and climate plan, leaving progressives with some hard choices and difficult political realities. UPCOMING: 900 words by 5 p.m., photos.
BIDEN-FOREIGN TRAVEL — President Biden will embark on his first overseas trip in office in June, with the aim of demonstrating his administration’s commitment to the transatlantic alliance and reengagement with key allies. Biden will attend the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, set for June 11-13, followed by a visit to Brussels, where he will hold meetings with European Union leadership and attend the June 14 summit of leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. SENT: 500 words, photos. With BIDEN-GEORGIA — Biden holding Georgia rally next week to promote jobs plan. SENT: 250 words, photo.
BIDEN-PUBLIC LANDS — A longtime environmental advocate and Democratic aide has been nominated by President Joe Biden to oversee roughly a quarter-billion acres of federally owned land in Western states. SENT: 770 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN — The Pentagon has decided to keep an aircraft carrier in the Middle East to help provide protection for American and coalition troops during their planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in coming weeks, U.S. defense officials say. SENT: 400 words.
CUOMO-NURSING-HOMES — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said it won’t reveal what it told the U.S. Justice Department about COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes, partly because doing so would be an “invasion of personal privacy.” SENT: 600 words, photos.
FRANCE-POLICEWOMAN-STABBED —French prosecutors opened a terrorism investigation into the fatal stabbing Friday of a French police official inside her police station near the historic Rambouillet chateau outside Paris. Police shot and killed the attacker at the scene, authorities said. SENT: 330 words, photos.
LIBYA-MIGRANTS — More than 100 Europe-bound migrants are feared dead after the rubber boat they were in capsized off Libya, independent rescue groups say. SENT: 410 words, photos.
DENMARK-UNWELCOME REFUGEES — Ten years after the start of the Syrian civil war, Denmark has become the first European country to start revoking the residency permits of some refugees from the Damascus area. The government says it is safe for them to return home now that the Syrian government has reestablished control around the city. For now, the decision only affects a small percentage of the Syrians in Denmark, yet human rights officials are appalled at a move that is causing family separations. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.
ISRAEL-DEADLY-FORCE — The shooting death of a Palestinian at a temporary checkpoint in the occupied West Bank this month has revived criticism of the Israeli military’s use of deadly force. Israel initially said the man was carrying out a car-ramming attack. But his wife, who was in the car with him at the time and was wounded by the gunfire, says they followed the soldiers’ instructions and posed no threat. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Israeli police say 44 people were arrested and 20 officers were wounded in a night of chaos in Jerusalem, where security forces separately clashed with Palestinians angry about Ramadan restrictions and Jewish extremists who held an anti-Arab march nearby. SENT: 510 words, photos.
MYANMAR-ASEAN — When the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations holds a special summit Saturday to discuss Myanmar, the regional body will be under as much scrutiny as the general who led the February coup ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. SENT: 1,150 words, photos. With MYANMAR — Protest in Yangon ahead of regional summit on Myanmar crisis. SENT: 300 words, photos.
INDONESIA-SUBMARINE — Rescuers continue urgently searching for an Indonesian submarine that disappeared two days ago and has less than a day’s supply of oxygen left for its 53 crew. SENT: 730 words, photos. WITH: SUBMARINE DISASTERS — Danger in the depths: submarine disasters highlight risks. SENT: 680 words, photos.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE — Russian troops began pulling back to their permanent bases Friday after a massive buildup that caused Ukrainian and Western concerns. SENT: 360 words, photos.
BRITAIN-POSTAL CONVICTIONS QUASHED — Britain’s appeals court has overturned the convictions for theft, fraud and false accounting of 39 people who ran local post offices. The ruling reversed one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British legal history. SENT: 700 words, photos.
CHAD-PRESIDENT-KILLED — Chad’s slain President Idriss Deby Itno is buried near his hometown after a state funeral in the capital, N’Djamena. SENT: 520 words, photos.
GEORGE FLOYD-INITIAL REPORTS — Moments after former officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death, copies of the original Minneapolis police statement began recirculating around social media. It attributed Floyd’s death to “medical distress” and made no mention that the Black man had been pinned to the ground at the neck by Chauvin. Police officials say they give the most accurate information they can during fast-moving and complicated investigations. But advocates say the frequency of misleading information cannot be ignored. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.
CAMPUS-BOOKSTORE-BATTLE — Andre Brady loved his job as a sales manager at the Youngstown State University bookstore, so he bristled when the university abolished his job in May 2016. His knowledge of the store’s financial performance prompted him to take action. SENT: 805 words, photos.
COLD-CASE-SLAYING-FLORIDA — A DNA test has led to the arrest of a suspect in the April 1985 slaying, rape and kidnapping of a 78-year-old woman who had dementia and had wandered away from her home. SENT: 350 words, photo.
SPELLING-BEE — The Scripps National Spelling Bee is undergoing a major overhaul to ensure it can identify a single champion, adding vocabulary questions and a lightning-round tiebreaker to this year’s pandemic-altered competition. SENT: 730 words, photos.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
SPACEX-CREW-LAUNCH — SpaceX launched four astronauts into orbit using a recycled rocket and capsule, the third crew flight in less than a year for Elon Musk’s rapidly expanding company. SENT: 790 words, photos, video. With SPACEX-ASTRONAUTS — SpaceX’s third crew has an attack helicopter pilot, a former Air France pilot, a Japanese rocket scientist and an oceanographer. SENT: 530 words, photos.
PHILANTHROPY-MARIJUANA — Nonprofits have an unexpected new source of funding: state marijuana sales. Over the past two years, California has used some of the fees it collects from the sale of recreational marijuana to give grants to community organizations that serve people and communities harmed by the war on drugs. So far, the state has awarded nearly $100 million, a figure expected to jump to $175 million in May. SENT: 900 words, photo.
NEW HOME SALES — Sales of new homes surged 20.7% in March to the highest level since 2006, rebounding from a sharp decline the previous month when severe winter storms wreaked havoc in many parts of the country. SENT: 340 words, photo.
FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Stocks were higher on Wall Street, but the overall market is still on pace to end the week lower for the first time in five weeks. SENT: 385 words, photo.
PEOPLE-GAL GADOT — Gal Gadot is using her Hollywood star power to spotlight remarkable women from around the world. The “Wonder Woman” actor is host and executive producer of a new documentary series that follows six women who made a positive impact on their communities despite dealing with poverty, violence, discrimination and natural disasters. SENT: 450 words, photos.
FILM-SPIRIT AWARDS — Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” won best feature at the 36th Independent Spirit Awards in a ceremony that turned the annual beach soiree into a virtual, largely pre-taped event, and, possibly, an Oscar preview. SENT: 580 words, photos.
BKN--CELTICS-NETS — The Brooklyn Nets can move back into first place in the Eastern Conference and finish off just their third season sweep of the Boston Celtics when the teams meet at Barclays Center. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m.
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