AP News Digest 2 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Sunday 17 January 2021 19:09 GMT
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CAPITOL BREACH-RALLY ORGANIZERS — An Associated Press review finds that members of President Donald Trump’s failed campaign were key players in the Washington rally that spawned a deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. The findings undercut claims that the event was the brainchild of the president’s grassroots supporters. Since the Jan. 6 riot, several of them have scrambled to distance themselves from the rally. By Richard Lardner and Michelle R. Smith. SENT: 2,000 words, photos. A 900-word version will be available after 4 p.m.




CAPITOL BREACH-DEMONSTRATIONS — Police and National Guard troops stood sentry at newly fortified statehouses Sunday ahead of demonstrations planned for the leadup to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, as authorities worked to deter a repeat of the recent riot that overran the U.S. Capitol. A few protesters were starting to gather in some cities, but streets in many others remained empty. By David A. Lieb and Adam Geller. SENT: 770 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing. With CAPITOL BREACH-DEMONSTRATIONS-THE LATEST (sent)

TRUMP-IMPEACHMENT — The lead prosecutor for Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment begins building his case for conviction at trial, asserting that Trump’s incitement of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol was “the most dangerous crime” ever committed by a president against the United States. A Senate trial could begin as soon as this week, just as Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in at the 46th president. By Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.

TRUMP-LEGACY-TRUTH — Truth caught up with Donald Trump after years of giving chase. The twice-impeached president painted a fantasy world in office, starring himself. In this world, he did things bigger, better, more boldly than all who came before him while facing enemies more pernicious than any in creation. In service of his ego, his nature and his reelection prospects, he said things that were not only wrong, but the precise opposite of right. He said them over and over, in leaps and bounds, and no less so when the deceptions were exposed. Then came his election defeat and a menacing twist in his life history of assaulting the facts. By Calvin Woodward. SENT: 1,910 words, photos. An abridged version of 860 words is available.

BIDEN-EVOLUTION — Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has navigated a half-century in American politics by relentlessly positioning himself at the core of the Democratic Party. Wherever that power center shifted, there Biden has been. The common thread through that evolution is Biden always pitching himself as a mainstream liberal but also pragmatist who still insists that governing well depends on compromise and consensus. Now Biden’s central political identity faces the ultimate trial. By Bill Barrow. UPCOMING: 990 words, photos by 4 p.m.

Find more coverage of the inauguration on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

VIRUS OUTBREAK — West Virginia has emerged as an unlikely success in the nation’s otherwise chaotic coronavirus vaccine rollout. It’s largely a result of the state’s decision to enlist mom-and-pop pharmacies to give the shots, rather than agreeing to a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Now more shots have gone into people’s arms per capita across West Virginia than in any other state. By Cuneyt Dil. SENT: 980 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-THINGS TO KNOW, VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE LATEST (both sent)

ETHIOPIA-HUNGER’S SHADOW — Starvation is threatening the survivors of more than two months of fighting in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. Authorities say more than 4.5 million people there need emergency food. The first humanitarian workers to arrive after pleading with the Ethiopian government for access describe weakened children dying from diarrhea, empty shops and refugees begging for something to eat. One new report says parts of Tigray are likely a step below famine. SENT: By Cara Anna. SENT: 990 words, photos. With ETHIOPIA-MILITARY CONFRONTATION — Report: Images show latest attack on Ethiopia refugee camps. SENT: 460 words, photo.

GERMANY-RUSSIA-NAVALNY — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany on Sunday, the prison service said. Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin. By Mstyslav Chernov and Jim Heintz. SENT: 540 words, photos.

OBIT-PHIL-SPECTOR — Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81. By Christopher Weber and Linda Deutsch. SENT: 1,800 words photos.




EGYPT-ANTIQUITIES — Egypt unveils ancient funerary temple south of Cairo. SENT: 290 words, photos.

ODD--PET MAYORS — Dog and goat serving as mayor of Vermont town raise money for a playground. SENT: 210 words, photo.

LOTTERY-JACKPOTS — The Powerball jackpot will grow to an estimated $730 million after there were no winners Saturday for the lottery’s top prize. And the Mega Millions jackpot is now an estimated $850 million. SENT: 240 words, photos.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK-EASTERN-EUROPE-VACCINE — Vaccines from the West, Russia or China? Or none at all? That dilemma faces nations in southeastern Europe, where coronavirus vaccination campaigns are off to a slow start — overshadowed by heated political debates and conspiracy theories. By Dusan Stojanovic and Jovana Gec. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — The U.K. government plans to offer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to every adult by September as the nation’s health care system battles the worst crisis in its 72-year-history. SENT: 570 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MIDEAST — Lebanon finalized a deal with Pfizer on Sunday for 2.1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine amid surge in infections that has overwhelmed the country’s health care system. SENT: 610 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-NETHERLANDS-PROTEST — Police in Amsterdam turned a water cannon on hundreds of demonstrators who were taking part in a banned protest against the Dutch government and its tough coronavirus lockdown. SENT: 220 words.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ITALY-SOUTH-TYROL — The autonomous province of South Tyrol with its German-speaking majority is flouting Rome’s decision to put it under partial lockdown starting Sunday, with provincial authorities citing its autonomous status to allow stores and restaurants to remain open. SENT: 330 words.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SOUTH-AFRICA-SCHOOLS — Faced with a rapid resurgence of COVID-19 overwhelming the country’s hospitals and driven by a more infectious variant of the virus, South Africa has delayed reopening its schools. SENT: 500 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-AUSTRIA — The Austrian government is extending the country’s lockdown until Feb. 7 in a drive to push down still-high infection figures as officials worry about the possible impact of new coronavirus variants. SENT: 310 words, photos.

Find more coverage on the Virus Outbreak on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.




CAPITOL BREACH-ATTORNEYS GENERAL — Republican state attorneys general who supported overturning the results of the presidential election with baseless claims of widespread fraud could be undermining their standing in courts. Some legal experts think the overt political involvement by the Republican attorneys general could have a lasting effect on how judges view legal actions their offices bring. UPCOMING: 1,070 words, photos. This is the Monday Spotlight.

BIDEN-PENTAGON — When the incoming Biden administration takes charge of a Pentagon rocked by four years of leadership churn, it’ll look mainly to one holdover to provide continuity: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President-elect Joe Biden will inherit Milley as his senior military adviser, and although Biden could replace him, Milley is likely to be retained. Milley’s presence early in Biden’s presidency would be a source of stability at a time of war and uncertainty on the international front. And Biden’s pick for defense secretary is awaiting confirmation by the Senate. SENT: 930 words, photos.

BIDEN — President-elect Joe Biden’s inaugural speech will appeal to national unity and convey a message of “getting things done,” and he plans to follow immediately with moves to combat the coronavirus pandemic and undo some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies. SENT: 710 words, photos.

HARRIS-SENATE RESIGNATION — Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. That clears the way for Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term. SENT: 630 words, photos.

VOTER-PORTRAITS — After more than 1,400 days of Donald Trump’s presidency -- after two bitter elections, two impeachments, more than 26,000 presidential tweets and four years of near-constant upheaval -- it is left to American voters to tally it all up. Where they are. How they got here. Regrets and rage, trepidation and hope. The Associated Press talked with Americans of all political stripes and asked them to assess this astonishing moment in their country’s history. SENT: 1,150 words, photos,




UGANDA-ELECTIONS — A day after Uganda’s longtime leader was declared winner of the country’s presidential election, the opposition party dismissed the results as “fraud” and called for the release of their leader, Bobi Wine, who has been allegedly under house arrest since polling day. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

ISRAEL-SETTLEMENTS — Israeli authorities advanced plans to build an additional 780 homes in West Bank settlements, an anti-settlement monitoring group said, in a last-minute surge of approvals before the friendly Trump administration leaves office later this week. SENT: 460 words, photo.

MEXICO-US CORRUPTION — One day after Mexico angered U.S. officials by publishing an entire 751-page U.S. case file against former Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos, the Mexican prosecutors who exonerated him released their own version — but with so many pages wholly blacked out it was almost impossible to tell what they’d found. SENT: 710 words, photos.

SOMALIA-US-TROOP WITHDRAWAL — The U.S. military says its troop withdrawal from Somalia is complete, in one of the last actions of President Donald Trump’s presidency. Some experts have warned that the withdrawal of an estimated 700 U.S. military personnel comes at the worst possible time for Somalia. SENT: 350 words.

IRAN-NUCLEAR — Iran urged the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to avoid publishing “unnecessary” details on Tehran’s nuclear program, state TV reported, a day after Germany, France and Britain said Tehran has “no credible civilian use” for its development of uranium metal. SENT: 550 words, photo.

INDONESIA-EARTHQUAKE — Indonesian rescuers retrieved more bodies from the rubble of homes and buildings toppled by a strong earthquake, raising the death toll to 78, while military engineers managed to reopen ruptured roads to clear access for relief goods. SENT: 690 words, photos.

ITALY-POLITICAL CRISIS-EXPLAINER — Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is testing his already low popularity by provoking a political crisis that could bring down Italy’s coalition government at a critical juncture in the coronavirus pandemic. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CENTRAL-AMERICA-MIGRANTS — Guatemalan police and soldiers launched tear gas and wielded batons and shields against a group of Honduran migrants that tried to push through their roadblock. SENT: 500 words, photos.

SUDAN — The death toll from tribal violence between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s West Darfur province climbed to at least 83, including women and children, a doctor’s union and aid worker said, as sporadic violence continued. SENT: 570 words, graphic.

AFGHANISTAN — Gunmen fire on a car in northern Kabul, killing two women judges who worked for Afghanistan’s high court and wounding the driver, a court official said. It was the latest attack in the Afghan capital during peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government officials in Qatar. SENT: 210 words, photos.




CHINA-TECH-WORKER-WOES — E-commerce workers who kept China fed during the coronavirus pandemic, making their billionaire bosses even richer, are so unhappy with their pay and treatment that one just set himself on fire in protest. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.




SCI-BURYING-BEETLES — New research suggests that some beetles are adept at hiding their food from competitors. The beetle is called a burying beetle because it digs a hole to bury dead birds and mice in. Then it covers the remains in goop that slows down decay. Now, scientists think that goo also hides the scent of the carcass so it won’t be found by rival beetles and other creatures that feed on dead animals. SENT: 440 words photos.




FBN-BROWNS-CHIEFS —After ending the longest current playoff drought in the NFL, the Cleveland Browns followed up with a win over Pittsburgh for their first postseason victory since 1994. Now the Browns face the defending Super Bowl champions, who had last week off after earning a first-round bye. The Chiefs could become the first AFC team in history to host three consecutive conference title games with a win. And no Super Bowl champion has repeated since the 2004 season. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 3:05 p.m.

FBN-BUCCANEERS-SAINTS— Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first NFL playoffs game featuring two starting quarterbacks age 42 or older. The Saints swept both regular season games but must beat the Bucs again again to advance to the NFC Championship game in Green Bay. Tampa Bay comes in having won five straight. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 6:40 p.m.

AUSTRALIAN-OPEN — A further 25 tennis players were forced into quarantine in Australia ahead of the season’s first tennis major after another positive coronavirus test on a charter flight, taking the total number of competitors isolating in hotel rooms to 72. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.




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