AP News Digest 3:35 a.m.

Via AP news wire
Tuesday 20 July 2021 08:36
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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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AFGHANISTAN-MORTUARY CHAPLAIN — The end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan is bringing calm to the military mortuary that had the solemn task of receiving the dead. Virtually all of the 2,312 American troops killed in the war were brought in flag-covered transfer cases to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Air Force Chaplain David Sparks has been there from the start, ministering to the families left behind and the workers charged with autopsying, embalming and preparing the remains for burial or cremation. By Matt Sedensky. SENT: 2,040 words, photos, video. An abridged version of 870 words is also available.

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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDIA-DEATHS — India’s excess deaths during the pandemic could be a staggering 10 times the official COVID-19 toll, likely making it modern India’s worst human tragedy, according to the most comprehensive research yet on the ravages of the virus in the south Asian country. Most experts believe India’s official toll of more than 414,000 dead is a vast undercount, but the government has dismissed those concerns as exaggerated and misleading. By Sheikh Saaliq and Krutika Pathi. SENT: 650 words, photos.

WESTERN-WILDFIRES — The threat of thunderstorms and lightning has prompted officials in fire-ravaged Oregon to ask for help from outside the Pacific Northwest to prepare for additional blazes as many resources are already devoted to a massive fire in the state that has grown to a third the size of Rhode Island. Evacuations and property losses have been minimal compared with much smaller blazes in densely populated areas of California. By Gillian Flaccus. SENT: 760 words, photos, videos.

BIDEN-INFRASTRUCTURE — President Joe Biden says his infrastructure agenda must be passed to sustain economic momentum. He’s aiming to set the tone for a crucial week of congressional negotiations on two separate bills that would together spend over $4 trillion. But Senate Republicans are signaling they would likely oppose a procedural vote set for Wednesday. By Josh Boak and Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 860 words, photos.

GERMANY-FLOODS-TOWN’S-TRAUMA — The Rev. Joerg Meyrer steels himself before making his way through the stinking piles of mud-caked debris that permeate this once-beautiful town in Germany’s wine-growing Ahr valley. For the past five days, the 58-year-old Catholic priest has pulled on his galoshes and walked the streets to try to give comfort to his parishioners as they get on with the grim task of cleaning up what was destroyed by Wednesday’s flash flood — and recovering the bodies of those who perished in it. By Frank Jordans and Bram Janssen. SENT: 670 words, photos.

MUSLIMS-EID-AL-ADHA — Muslims around the world were observing yet another major Islamic holiday in the shadow of the pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus. Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings and, for many, slaughtering of livestock and giving meat to the needy. This year, the holiday comes as many countries battle the delta variant, prompting some to impose new restrictions or issue appeals for people to avoid congregating and follow safety protocols. By Mariam Fam. SENT: 970 words, photos.

BLUE ORIGIN-BEZOS — Jeff Bezos is about to soar on his space travel company’s first flight with people on board. The founder of Blue Origin as well as Amazon will become the second billionaire to ride his own rocket. He’ll blast off from West Texas with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer from Texas. They’ll become the youngest and oldest ever to fly in space. Blue Origin’s capsule is fully automated, so there’s no need for trained staff on the brief space hop. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson rocket plane needs two pilots to operate. Branson beat Bezos to space on July 11. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn. SENT: 370 words, photos. UPCOMING: Launch targeted for 9 a.m.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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PEOPLE-HALSEY — “Without Me” singer Halsey announces birth of first child. SENT: 90 words, photo.

PREDATORS-GAY PROSPECT — Nashville prospect comes out as gay in NHL milestone. SENT: 530 words.

HALL-OF-FAME-SABOL — NFL Films’ creative force Steve Sabol enters Hall of Fame. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-RECALL-TAX-RETURNS — Tax returns show Caitlyn Jenner’s income has fallen sharply. SENT: 790 words, photo.

TOKYO-COMPOSER — Under-fire Olympic composer steps down over past bullying. SENT: 510 words, photo.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDONESIA — Muslims across Indonesia marked a grim Eid al-Adha festival for a second year as the country struggles to cope with a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases and the government has banned large gatherings and toughened travel restrictions. SENT: 950 words, photos. With VIRUS-OUTBREAK-THE-LATEST.

SOUTH-KOREA-INFECTED-SAILORS — South Korea’s prime minister apologized for “failing to carefully take care of the health” of hundreds of sailors who contracted the coronavirus on a navy ship taking part in an anti-piracy mission off East Africa. SENT: 370 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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CAPITOL POLICE CHIEF — A police official who has run large departments in Maryland and Virginia has been selected as chief of the U.S. Capitol Police. J. Thomas Manger will take over in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection. SENT: 700 words, photo. With CAPITOL BREACH-INVESTIGATION — McCarthy proposes five Republicans to sit on Jan. 6 panel.

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INTERNATIONAL

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PERU-ELECTION — A teacher in one of the poorest communities in the Andes who had never held office is now Peru’s president-elect after officials in the South American country declared him the winner of a runoff election held last month. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — At least three rockets hit near the presidential palace shortly before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was to give an address to mark the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. SENT: 600 words, photos.

HAITI-PRESIDENT-ASSASSINATED — While they await a new leader, Haitians are beginning a series of official ceremonies to honor President Jovenel Moïse nearly two weeks after he was assassinated at home. SENT: 410 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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TEXAS-DEMOCRATS — Texas Democrats are starting a second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. SENT: 1,210 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Asian shares fell as worries were growing that a faster-spreading variant of the coronavirus could upend the global economic recovery. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 750 words, photos.

NORDSTROM-EXECUTIVE-Q&A — Like many of its peers, venerable department store chain Nordstrom is having a tough time keeping pace with customer demand for new clothes because of supply issues. By Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.

SPYWARE-NSO-GROUP-EXPLAINER — Human rights and press freedom activists are up in arms about a new report on NSO Group, the notorious Israeli hacker-for-hire company. By Technology Writer Frank Bajak. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Wally Santana (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.