AP News Digest 3 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Monday 12 July 2021 08:01
Backsliding Democracy
Backsliding Democracy

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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BACKSLIDING DEMOCRACY — History -- at least recent history -- is not on the side of democracy. In just the last few months, the growing ranks of dictators have flexed their muscles, and freedom has been in retreat. The list is grim: a draconian crackdown in Nicaragua; a military takeover in Myanmar, with bloody repression that the United Nations says has left more than 850 people dead; a tightening grip by Beijing on Hong Kong. But in a world where democracy is often swimming against the political tide, scholars also see some good news. It just requires a longer view of history. By Tim Sullivan. SENT: 1.380 words, photos. There is an abridged version available.

UNITED STATES-CHINA — The Biden administration has upheld a Trump-era rejection of nearly all significant Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea. The administration also warned China that any attack on the Philippines in the flashpoint region would draw a U.S. response under a mutual defense treaty. The stern message came in a statement released late Sunday ahead of this week’s fifth anniversary of an international tribunal’s ruling in favor of the Philippines against China’s maritime claims around the Spratly Islands and neighboring reefs and shoals. By AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee SENT: 660 words, photos.

HAITI PRESDENT ASSASSINATED — The latest suspect detained in Haiti amid the search for the masterminds and assassins in the killing of President Jovenel Moïse is a Haitian in his 60s living in Florida who identifies himself as a doctor and has accused the leaders of his homeland of corruption. Police identified the man Sunday night as Christian Emmanuel Sanon and said Moïse’s alleged killers were protecting him as the supposed president of Haiti. By Danica Coto. SENT; 860 words, photos.

MIAMI BUILDING COLLAPSE-CUBAN EXILE — One of the at least 90 people killed in a condominium collapse in Florida was among hundreds of Cuban exiles who in the 1960s signed up for a covert, CIA-funded operation to overthrow Fidel Castro’s Soviet-backed dictatorship. Authorities last week identified the remains of 80-year-old Juan A. Mora, recovered from the rubble in Surfside. Others killed included his wife, Ana, and their adult son, Juan Mora Jr., who worked in Chicago and had been staying with his parents. By Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 920 words, photos.

Find more on the building collapse in the AP Newsroom hub.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK — Some in wheelchairs, others on canes, hundreds of South Africans waited recently on the ramps of an open-air Johannesburg parking garage to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots. Despite the masks, social distancing and blustery weather of the Southern Hemisphere winter, a celebratory atmosphere took hold. By Andrew Meldrum. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE-LATEST.

ELECTION-TRUMP LAWYERS — A federal judge is considering whether to order financial penalties and other sanctions against some of former President Donald Trump’s lawyers. They had signed onto a lawsuit last year challenging Michigan’s election results. The lawsuit alleging fraud was voluntarily dropped after a judge found nothing but “speculation and conjecture” that votes for Trump somehow were destroyed. By Ed White. SENT: 450 words, photos. Developing: Hearing starts at 8:30 EDT.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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INDONESIA TOURIST DEPORTATIONS — Indonesia has ordered four foreign tourists to leave the resort island of Bali after violating health protocols as the country endures a devastating wave of COVID-19 illnesses and deaths. SENT: 310 photos, words.

INDIA-LIGHTNING DEATH — Indian officials say lightning has killed at least 38 people across two states over the past 24 hours. SENT: 200 words.

FILM-BOX OFFICE — “Black Widow” soars to pandemic box office record. SENT: 310 words, photos.

SUPER-MARIO-64-AUCTION — An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 has sold at auction for $1.56 million. SENT: 110 words.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-BIDEN -- Pfizer says it plans to meet with top U.S. health officials to discuss the drugmaker’s request for federal authorization of a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser acknowledged that “it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely” that booster shots will be needed. By Hope Yen. SENT: 640 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTREAK-TAIWAN VACCINES — Two Taiwanese high-tech companies have announced a donation of 10 million doses of anti-coronavirus vaccine made by Germany’s BioNTech to the island’s government, which faces political obstacles in fighting the pandemic. SENT: 380 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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BIDEN-THE WHISPER -- President Joe Biden speaks volumes when he whispers. And his whispers during recent public appearances are attracting attention, with critics and some late-night TV comics saying they are “creepy” or “weird.” By Darlene Superville. SENT: 790 words, photos.

ELECTION 2021-HOUSE-OHIO -- A Democratic congressional primary in northeast Ohio has emerged as a test for progressives. Many nationally peg the race as a proxy for the larger war within the party, pitting those backing progressive causes against more moderate, longtime powerbrokers who fear pushing too far to the left. By Will Weissert. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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JORDAN-ROYAL TRIAL — A Jordanian state security court is expected to announce a verdict in the trial of two former officials accused of plotting with the half-brother of King Abdullah II to foment unrest in the Western-allied kingdom. Bassem Awadallah, a U.S. citizen and former top aide to the king, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were arrested in April. SENT: 440 words.

MOLDOVA-ELECTION — A pro-reform party in Moldova seeking closer ties with the European Union appears to be heading to a clear majority in early returns from Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections. SENT: 570 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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GEORGIA-INSURANCE COMMISSIONER-INDICTMENT — Georgia’s suspended insurance commissioner is set to stand trial on federal charges related to an alleged embezzlement scheme. Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the trial of Jim Beck, which is expected to last about two weeks. Beck was indicted in May 2019. Prosecutors said he defrauded his former employer of more than $2 million. SENT: 730 words, photos.

BIDEN-CRIME — President Joe Biden will host city leaders from around the country to talk about reducing crime. Joining the group Monday is New York’s likely next mayor, Democrat Eric Adams, currently the Brooklyn borough president. SENT: 430 words, photos.

WESTERN WILDFIRES — Firefighters working in searing heat struggled to contain the largest wildfire in California this year while state power operators urged people to conserve energy after a huge wildfire in neighboring Oregon disrupted the flow of electricity from three major transmission lines. SENT: 570 words, photos, video.

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BUSINESS

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VOLVO TRUCK STRIKE — Volvo Trucks North America says it will restart production at a plant in southwestern Virginia despite an ongoing strike and a lack of a labor deal between the company and a union representing nearly 3,000 workers. The company said in a news release Sunday that it will implement terms and conditions of a tentative agreement that was endorsed by leaders of the United Auto Workers union on July 1. SENT: 430 words, photo.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian stock markets have risen after Wall Street hit a high despite jitters about the spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant, as investors looked ahead to U.S. earnings reports. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced. On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index ended up 0.4% for the week. SENT: 420 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BKN--NBA FINALS — Deandre Ayton got off to a quick start then couldn’t do anything but watch as the Phoenix Suns were unable to take a stranglehold on the NBA Finals. The 6-foot-11 center’s inability to avoid foul trouble contributed to the Suns’ losing 120-100 Sunday night in Game 3 of the series. Devin Booker also struggled and the Phoenix guard finished with just 10 points. Ayton’s absence, however, showed just how big his presence on the floor is for the Suns. SENT: 850 words, photos.

EURO 2020-ENGLAND FANS — It took just a few weeks to undo decades of pessimism for England fans, persuading millions that the team could defy decades of disappointment and win a major international soccer tournament for the first time since 1966. For much of Sunday’s final against Italy it felt like it might. But when Italy won a penalty shootout 3-2, after a match that ended 1-1 after extra time, fans sat with heads in hands. SENT: 780 words, photos.

TEN-WIMBLEDON — Novak Djokovic tied Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal by claiming his 20th Grand Slam title, coming back to beat Matteo Berrettini 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final. The No. 1 -ranked Djokovic earned a third consecutive championship at the All England Club and sixth overall. SENT: 580 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Shameka Dudley-Lowe 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(at)ap.org or call 844-777-2006.