AP News Digest 3 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Friday 01 January 2021 08:00 GMT
APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Germany New Year
APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Germany New Year (AFP or licensors)

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All Times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.








VIRUS OUTBREAK — The race to vaccinate millions of Americans is off to a slower, messier start than public health officials and leaders of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed had expected. Overworked, underfunded state public health departments are scrambling to patch together plans for administering vaccines. SENT: 1,075 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-THINGS TO KNOW, VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE LATEST

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ISRAEL-SURVEILLANCE — In the early days of the pandemic, a panicked Israel began using a mass surveillance tool on its own people, tracking civilians’ mobile phones to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Months later, the tool’s effectiveness has been called into question and Israel is scaling back the practice. But critics say the experiment has come at a cost to the country’s democratic norms. SENT: 985 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TRUMP-CONGRESS — Congress is ending a chaotic session with a rare rebuff by Republicans of President Donald Trump GOP senators are ignoring the outgoing president’s demand to increase the $600 COVID-19 aid checks to $2,000, and they are poised to override his veto of a major defense bill. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,055 words, photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW YEAR’S EVE — New Year’s Eve is being celebrated like no other in most of the world, with pandemic restrictions limiting crowds and many people bidding farewell to a year they’d prefer to forget. New Year’s experiences varied greatly by country or city, reflecting their response to the virus itself. SENT: 1,110 words, photos, videos.

BREXIT — Britain has completed its economic break from the European Union. The formal move came at 11 p.m. Thursday in London. It ended a 48-year partnership with the trading bloc and started a new, more distant relationship between Britain and its continental neighbors. SENT: 975 words, photos. With BEYOND-BREXIT — The New Year could finally bring a fresh start and a commitment to let bygones be bygones for Britain and the European Union. But don’t bet on it. SENT: 980 words, photos; BREXIT-GIBRALTAR — U.K. reaches deal with Spain to keep open Gibraltar border. SENT: 440 words, photos; BREXIT-TIMELINE

EXPLOSION-NASHVILLE-TELECOM VULNERABILITY — The Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville led to communications outages over hundreds of miles in the southern U.S., raising concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. networks. Widespread service outages followed the explosion, which damaged a major AT&T network hub, extended hundreds of miles to at least four neighboring states, disrupting 911 call centers, hospitals and flights out of the Nashville airport. By Tali Arbel. SENT: 1,010 words, photo. With EXPLOSION-NASHVILLE — Law enforcement officials give media outlets their first opportunity to survey the bomb site. SENT: 230 words, photos.

YE-YOUR 2020 SNAPSHOT — It was a year like no other, and Americans shambled through 2020 the best they could, taking cellphone photos along the way. Behind those images are the stories of an era of pandemic and polarization and progress and upheaval. SENT: 2,940 words, photos. (Note: This is an UPDATED version of a story that first moved Dec. 29.)

Find more year-end coverage on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.




TIMES SQUARE-NEW YEAR'S EVE — The revelry and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds that typify Times Square on New Year’s Eve were replaced by empty streets and an eerie quiet as the final moments of 2020 ticked away. SENT: 620 words, photos, video.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-VACCINE-RUINED — Authorities have arrested a suburban Milwaukee pharmacist suspected of deliberately ruining hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine by removing it from refrigeration for two nights. SENT: 570 words, photo.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-COLUMBUS POLICE — New police body camera footage shows that police stood by for several minutes without offering first aid to Andre Hill after he was shot by an officer in Columbus, Ohio. SENT: 650 words, photos.

MICROSOFT-HACK — Microsoft said Thursday in a blog post that hackers tied to a massive intrusion of dozens of U.S. government agencies and private companies sneaked further into its systems than previously thought, although the intrusion doesn’t appear to have caused any additional harm. By Tali Arbel. SENT: 230 words, photo.

HOTEL CONFRONTATION — Police have released a new video showing a woman trying to tackle a Black teenager after falsely accusing him of stealing her phone at a New York City hotel. SENT: 240 words, photo.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-BRAZIL-VACCINE — Brazil, a nation proud of its role as a regional leader in science, technology and medicine, finds itself falling behind its neighbors in the global race for immunization against a pandemic that has already killed nearly 200,000 of its people. SENT: 900 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA — Health officials say they’ve found evidence in a Florida man of the latest U.S. case of the new and apparently more contagious coronavirus strain first seen in England. SENT: 700 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ASIA — Two major airports in northeastern China are requiring departing passengers show a negative coronavirus test taken over the previous 72 hours before they can board their planes. SENT: 400 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-FRANCE — France’s government is pledging to pick up the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations after being criticized for a glacially slow rollout. SENT: 210 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EUROPE-VACCINE — The EU medicines watchdog says German company BioNTech has applied for clearance to administer up to six doses of its COVID-19 vaccine from each vial. SENT: 730 words, photo.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-UNEMPLOYMENT-BENEFITS — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 but remain elevated at 787,000 as a resurgent coronavirus grips the U.S. economy. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 865 words, photo.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CANADA — The finance minister for Canada’s most populous province has resigned after going on a Caribbean vacation during the pandemic and seemingly trying to hide the fact by sending social media posts showing him in a sweater before a fireplace. SENT: 570 words, photo.

ONE GOOD THING-TAIWAN-CAT HOUSE — Stray cats in Taiwan’s capital have recently received an upgrade in their dining situation with a “Midnight Cafeteria.” SENT: 475 words, photos, video.

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




OBIT-DICK THORNBURGH — Former federal attorney general and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh has died at age 88. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

UNITED-STATES-IRAN — The Pentagon has decided to send home the only Navy aircraft carrier operating in the Middle East, a move that will reduce American firepower in the region amid heightened tensions with Iran. By Robert Burns. SENT: 550 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SUPREME COURT — Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts praises federal courts nationwide for their flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, acknowledging the role technology has played in keeping courts running. SENT: 365 words, photos.

TRUMP — President Trump delivers a year-end video message after returning early from vacation, highlighting his administration’s work to rapidly develop a vaccine against COVID-19 and rebuild the economy. SENT: 835 words, photos, video, audio.

CONGRESS-ELECTORAL COLLEGE — Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska issues a pointed rebuke of GOP attempts to object Jan. 6 to the Electoral College tally of the presidential election, warning colleagues against a “dangerous ploy” that could damage the nation’s civic traditions. SENT: 1,030 words, photos, audio.

ELECTION 2020-GEORGIA SENATE — Exposure to the coronavirus has forced Georgia Sen. David Perdue into quarantine five days before the state’s high-stakes Senate runoff elections. SENT: 435 words, photos.

2020 CENSUS — The U.S. Census Bureau says less than a half percent of census takers interviewing households for the 2020 head count may have falsified their work. SENT: 575 words, photo.

KANSAS LAWMAKER-LEGAL ISSUES — The top Democrat in the Kansas House is refusing to give an incoming lawmaker any committee assignments over issues that include an anti-stalking court order filed against him after he won his seat. SENT: 560 words, photos.




ETHIOPIA-DEADLY UNREST — A new report says Ethiopian security forces killed more than 75 people and injured nearly 200 during deadly unrest in June and July after the killing of a popular singer. SENT: 225 words, photo.

TAIWAN-TSAI’S MESSAGE — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday hailed the island’s progress in containing the coronavirus pandemic and growing the economy while facing military threats from China. SENT: 330 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-ANTHEM — Australia has changed one word in its national anthem to reflect what the prime minister called “the spirit of unity” and the country’s Indigenous population. SENT: 340 words, photo.

NKOREA-KIM’S MESSAGE — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked the public for their trust and support “in the difficult times” and wished them happiness and good health in his first New Year’s Day cards sent to his people. SENT: 530 words, photos.

JAPAN-EMPEROR — Japan’s Emperor Naruhito expressed gratitude to medical professionals and acknowledged the hardship caused by the coronavirus in a New Year’s Day message shared by video instead of the usual public speech in front of large crowds at the palace. SENT: 440 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-HINDU TEMPLE — Pakistani police arrested at least 31 people in overnight raids after a Hindu temple was set on fire and demolished by a mob led by hundreds of supporters of a radical Islamist party, officials say. SENT: 450 words, photos.




POLICE-SHOOTING-MINNEAPOLIS — Police in Minneapolis on Thursday released body-camera video from a traffic stop one night earlier that ended with a man shot dead. It was an unusually quick move aimed at stemming public anger over the city’s first police-involved death since George Floyd died while being restrained by officers in May. SENT: 755 words, photos, video.

POLICE SHOOTING-MARYLAND — Maryland prosecutors aren’t charging any police officers in the shooting death of a man whose family says he was sleeping in his bed next to his girlfriend when police opened fire. SENT: 910 words, photos.

LGBT-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE — A North Carolina appeals court says domestic violence protection orders issued by judges must be granted to someone trying to stay apart from a same-sex dating partner, just like in opposite-sex relationships. SENT: 710 words.

ONE GOOD THING-SPECIAL OLYMPIAN — Derek “Tank” Schottle was withdrawn and bullied when he was a young boy. Special Olympics allowed him to gain confidence. Now his daily affirmations spread joy to more than 100,000 Twitter followers and beyond. SENT: 705 words, photos.

CASEY-ANTHONY — Records show Casey Anthony is starting investigation firm. SENT: 210 words.




FINANCIAL-MARKETS — The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2020 at more record highs Thursday, closing out one of the most tumultuous years in recent memory. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.

YE-BUSINESS-WINNERS-LOSERS — The coronavirus pandemic created winners and losers in the business world. Wall Street recovered after March, even though Main Street is still struggling. SENT: 1,430 words, photos.

FARMING-GOVERNMENT PAYMENTS — U.S. farmers are expected to end the year with higher profits than last year and the best net farm income in seven years thanks to the government paying nearly 40% of their income. SENT: 640 words, photos.

NEWSCASTERS-BIAS SUIT — Five female anchors will no longer work at a New York news channel after settling discrimination claims. SENT: 390 words, photo.

SALT LAKE CITY NEWSPAPERS-FINAL DAILY PRINT — Salt Lake City’s two major newspapers have printed daily editions for more than a century, but now the presses will only be whirring once a week as they join other news organizations nationwide in shifting their focus online to stay afloat. SENT: 490 words, photos.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS — A federal appeals court Thursday provided the go-ahead for Christian schools in an Ohio county to resume holding in-person classes during the pandemic. SENT: 300 words.

RELIGION-2020 DEATHS — A look at the many religious leaders — some admired worldwide, others beloved only locally — who died in 2020. SENT: 1,545 words, photo.




OBIT-PHYLLIS MCGUIRE — Phyllis McGuire, the last surviving member of the three singing McGuire Sisters who topped the charts with several hits in the 1950s, has died. She was 89. SENT: 340 words, photos.

OBIT-MF DOOM — MF Doom, a masked rapper who awed hip-hop fans and fellow musicians with intricate wordplay, has died. He was 49. SENT: 570 words.




NFL-THIS WEEK — As the calendar turns to 2021, the NFL is experiencing pretty much what it covets. Try two division races and five wild-card berths out of six undecided. Not to go unnoticed, naturally, is that the league is about to finish an entire schedule on time, with a few postponements but not nearly the disruptions plaguing the other major sports organizations in 2020. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 1,670 words, photos.




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