AP News Digest 3 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Monday 26 July 2021 07:59
Texas Ransomware
Texas Ransomware

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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ONLY ON AP

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TEXAS RANSOMWARE - A ransomware attack that affected roughly two dozen Texas communities two years ago caused disruptions to core government services as workers in small cities and towns and endured a cascade of frustrations. Thousands of pages obtained by AP and interviews with people involved show the many problems faced by the communities. By Jake Bleiberg and Eric Tucker. SENT: 1900 words, photos, video. An abridged version is available.

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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS OUTBREAK — Life has been tentatively returning to normal in India as coronavirus cases declined. But, for many, the worst may lay ahead as they deal with the crushing financial aftermath of huge piles of medical bills. Most Indians don’t have health insurance and costs for COVID-19 treatment have left them drowning in debt. In New Delhi, a father is pleading online for help from strangers on a crowdfunding website after his son’s medical bills surpassed $50,000. By Krutika Pathi and Yirmiyan Arthur. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE – Senators are racing to seal a bipartisan infrastructure deal as soon as Monday, as pressure is mounting on all sides to show progress heading into a make-or-break week on President Joe Biden’s top priority. By Hope Yen and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 900 words, photos.

OLY-SWM-SWIMMING -- Caeleb Dressel got started on his quest for six gold medals in swimming, while Katie Ledecky found herself in a very unusual position: Second place. Dressel led off an American victory in the men’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics. That eased a bit of the U.S. sting from Ledecky’s first Olympic loss. Australia’s Ariarne Titmus lived up to her billing as the “Terminator” when she chased down Ledecky in the 400 freestyle, winning one of Tokyo’s most anticipated races. Ledecky settled for the silver — the first time she’s failed to win an individual race in three Olympics. By Sports Writer Paul Newberry. SENT: 1040 words, photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-INVESTIGATION-THOMPSON - Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson is about to pick up his duties as chairman of a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. The FBI’s assessments about the growing dangers of domestic extremism, he said, show that “the significance of this committee’s work is as important as it can ever get.” By Mary Claire Jalonick. With AP Photos. SENT: 1100 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN-CIVILIAN CASUALTIES — The U.N. says in a new report that more women and children were killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the first half of 2021 than in any year since the United Nations began keeping count in 2009. The report was released on Monday. It says war-torn Afghanistan saw a 47% increase in the number of all civilians killed and wounded in violence across the country in the first six months of this year. That compares to the same period last year, according to the report. It comes as the Taliban have swiftly captured territory in recent weeks, seized strategic border crossings and threatening a number of provincial capitals. By Rahim Faiez. SENT: 730 words, photos.

HOMESCHOOLING SURGE — Some U.S. parents say they’re planning to continue to homeschool their children, even as schools resume in-person classes. Danielle King of Randolph, Vermont, says requiring homeschooling for her 7-year-old daughter was a “silver lining” in the pandemic. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs. Others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis, and found it beneficial to their children. By AP National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.

OBIT-ROBERT MOSES — Robert Moses, a civil rights activist who endured beatings and jail while leading black voter registration drives in the American South during the 1960s and later helped improve minority education in math, has died. He was 86. By Rebecca Santana. SENT: 980 words, photos.

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THE OLYMPICS

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TEN-TENNIS: Naomi Osaka reached the third round of the Olympic tennis tournament. The host country’s superstar stepped up her game when she needed to in a 6-3, 6-2 win over 49th-ranked Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland to reach the last 16 at Ariake Tennis Park. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 600 words, photos.

JAPAN-THE RIGHT PLACE? — Staging an Olympics during the worst pandemic in a century? There’s a widespread perception that it couldn’t happen in a better place than Japan. A vibrant, open democracy with deep pockets, the host nation is known for its diligent execution of detail-laden, large-scale projects, its technological advances, its consensus-building and world-class infrastructure. All this, on paper, at least, gives the strong impression that Japan is one of the few places in the world that could even consider pulling off the high-stakes tightrope walk that the Tokyo Games represent. By Foster Klug. SENT: 1200 words, photos.

SWM-TITMUS-COACH-CELEBRATION — Australia’s Ariarne Titmus was thrilled with her victory over Katie Ledecky. Her coach, Dean Boxall, was even more excited after the 400-meter freestyle. In the stands at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, yanked off his mandatory mask, let out a scream that echoed through the largely empty arena, pumped his fists and grabbed at a glass railing like he wanted to rip it apart. Boxall’s emotional display became an instant hit on social media. SENT: 235 words, photos.

OLY-TRI-TRIATHLON RESTART — The Olympic men’s triathlon needed a do-over when a bizarre start sent dozens of competitors into the water only to have others stuck on the dock, helplessly blocked by a boat containing cameras that got in the way. SENT: 375 words, photos.

OLY-GYM-UNITARDS — The German women’s gymnastics team took the floor for their first competition at the Tokyo Olympics wearing unitards with leggings that stretched down to the ankle. The gymnasts have said the wardrobe choice is intended to push “against sexualization” in women’s gymnastics. 600 words, photos.

SKB-SKATEBOARDING-WOMEN’S STREET -- On the Olympic podium, three teenage girls — 13, 13 and 16 — with weighty gold, silver and bronze medals around their young necks, rewards for having landed tricks on their skateboards that most kids their age only get to see on Instagram. By John Leicester. SENT: 300 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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FATAL PILEUP CRASH-UTAH — Utah Highway Patrol says 20 vehicles were involved in a pileup crash during a sandstorm that killed at least seven people. SENT: 110 words.

JILL BIDEN-HAWAII — First lady Jill Biden visited a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Waipahu, Hawaii, on Sunday to encourage unvaccinated Hawaiians to get their shots as the delta variant surges through much of the U.S. SENT: 170 words, photo.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-FRANCE — France’s parliament has approved a law requiring special virus passes for all restaurants and mandating vaccinations for all health workers. SENT: 430 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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UNITED STATES-IRAQ - President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi are set to announce that they’ve come to an agreement to end the U.S. military’s combat mission in Iraq by the end of the year. By Aamer Madhani, Robert Burns and Qassim Abdul-Zahra. UPCOMING: 910 words, photos at 5 a.m.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CHINA-US — China has blamed the U.S. for what it called a “stalemate” in bilateral relations as high-level face-to-face talks begin in the Chinese city of Tianjin. A state media report says Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng urged the U.S. “to change its highly misguided mindset and dangerous policy.” SENT: 480 words, photos.

CHINA TYPHOON — A typhoon is blowing heavy rain across Shanghai, leaving roads waterlogged and felling signs. Flights and trains were canceled and many offices were closed, including the U.S. consulate. Nearly 500,00 people have moved to shelters. SENT: 550 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-DUTERTE — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is to deliver his final state of the nation speech before Congress. He’s winding down his six-year term amid a raging pandemic and a battered economy. His legacy is also overshadowed by a bloody antidrug crackdown that set off complaints of mass murder before the International Criminal Court. SENT: 710 words, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-ISLAMIC STATE — New Zealand has agreed to repatriate an alleged Islamic State militant and her two young children, who have been detained in Turkey since February. The decision follows a bitter dispute with Australia over which country needed to shoulder responsibility for the woman. SENT: 310 words, photos.

MALAYSIA POLITICS — Malaysia’s Parliament has reopened for the first time this year after a seven-month suspension under a coronavirus emergency that has failed to curb a worsening pandemic. SENT: 560 words, photos.

ISRAEL-GAZA — Israeli warplanes have struck a target what the army says is a Hamas military base in the southern Gaza Strip. SENT: 300 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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BORDER-NOEM — There’s plenty of political reasons for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to visit the National Guard troops she deployed to the U.S. border with Mexico. She says she is making the flight to McAllen, Texas to check in on the roughly 50 National Guard members who volunteered for a 30-day deployment. SENT: 680 words, photos.

WESTERN-WILDFIRES — California’s largest wildfire merged with a smaller blaze and destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters. SENT: 890 words, photos, video, audio.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FILM-BOX-OFFICE — M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old” easily won a slower weekend at the North American box office, while the G.I. Joe pic “Snake Eyes” lived up to its name. SENT: 610 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.