AP News Digest 2 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Saturday 18 September 2021 19:11
APTOPIX India Hindu Festival
APTOPIX India Hindu Festival

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-AMERICANS LEFT-BEHIND — Some of those left behind after the U.S. military’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan say they are scared the ruling Taliban will find them, throw them in jail, perhaps even kill them because they are Americans or had worked for the U.S. government. Through messages, emails and phone conversations with loved ones and rescue groups, AP has pieced together what life has been like for some families of permanent U.S. resident green card holders, who described a frightened, furtive existence of hiding in houses and apartments, keeping the lights off at night and moving from place to place every few days. By Bernard Condon and Julie Watson. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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BIDEN-RESET — In one stunning afternoon, a wave of punishing setbacks washed over the White House just as President Joe Biden aimed for a September reset. He was primed to refocus on his domestic agenda and galvanize divided Democrats in attempt to turn the page on the most challenging stretch of his first year. By Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller. SENT: 1,110 words, photos.

BORDER-MIGRANT-CAMP —U.S. officials said that within the next three days, they plan to ramp up expulsion flights for some of the thousands of Haitian migrants who have gathered in a Texas city from across the border in Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it moved about 2,000 migrants out of Del Rio to other locations on Friday for processing and possible removal from the United States. By Eric Gay and Elliot Spagat. SENT: 1,330 words, photos. With BORDER PATROL-PROCESSING BOTTLENECK — The thousands of Haitians gathered under a bridge in a small Texas border town highlight a glaring problem in how the Border Patrol is staffed: Agents spend about 40% of their time on custody care. In January, the agency graduated its first class of “processing coordinators” to handle everything from microwaving burritos to checking on holding cells and processing court papers. It has plans to hire 1,200, freeing up agents to get back in the field. By Cedar Attanasio and Elliot Spagat. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4 p.m., photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-RALLY — In a city still on edge after the Jan. 6 insurrection, law enforcement turned out in full force in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol over concerns a rally in support of jailed rioters would turn violent. It didn’t. And despite the sparse crowd, rally organizers used the moment to promote well-trod conspiracy theories about the attack on the Capitol and those held behind bars for their roles in it. By Colleen Long, Michael Balsamo and Ashraf Khalil. SENT: 930 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK— Just one month ago, President Joe Biden and his health advisers announced big plans to soon deliver a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine to all Americans. But after campaigning for the White House on a pledge to “follow the science,” Biden now finds himself uncharacteristically ahead of it with that lofty pronouncement. Some of the nation’s top medical advisers have delivered a stinging rebuke of the idea, in essence telling the White House: not so fast. By Zeke Miller. SENT: 960 words, photos.

CONGRESS-BUDGET — Overhaul the tax system. Revamp health care and environment programs. Spend $3.5 trillion over 10 years, but maybe a lot less. Ensure that no more than three Democrats in all of Congress vote “no” because Republicans will be unanimously opposed. Try to finish all that within the next couple of weeks, knowing failure means President Joe Biden’s own party will have repudiated him on the cornerstone of his domestic agenda. A look at the big issues to be resolved as Democrats try writing a final version of a massive bill bolstering the social safety net and strengthening efforts to tame climate change. By Alan Fram. SENT: 930 words, photos.

REDISTRICTING-NEW-COMMISSIONS — New commissions approved by voters to reduce partisan gamesmanship in redistricting are instead splitting along partisan lines in some states. In New York, Ohio and Virginia, the new commissions have so far failed to agree on a plan for new congressional or state legislative voting districts. Democratic and Republican commissioners have instead produced rival versions of the maps based on new census data. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

UNITED-STATES-CHINA-CLIMATE-BARGAINING — U.S. envoy John Kerry’s diplomatic quest to stave off the worst scenarios of global warming is meeting resistance from China the world’s biggest climate polluter, which is adamant that the United States ease confrontation over other matters if it wants Beijing to speed up its climate efforts. Rights advocates and Republican lawmakers say they see signs that China’s pressure is leading the United States to back off on criticism of China’s mass detentions, forced sterilization and other abuses of its predominantly Muslim Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang region. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 1,040 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SOUTH-CAROLINA — In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter. Classes, schools and entire districts have gone virtual, leaving parents frustrated and teachers quitting weeks into the school year. SENT: 930 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-GEORGIA-SEAN-PENN — A disaster relief organization founded by actor Sean Penn is boosting Georgia’s drive to inoculate people against the coronavirus, though some of its pop-up vaccine clinics have struggled to attract people. SENT: 750 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY-VACCINATIONS — The U.N. General Assembly is relying on an honor system to ensure that world leaders have been vaccinated before they speak at next week’s big meeting, the assembly president said. SENT: 480 words, photos.

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MORE ON AFGHANISTAN

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AFGHANISTAN-DRONE-STRIKE— The Afghan survivors of an errant U.S. drone strike that killed 10 members of their family, including seven children, on the eve of the U.S. pullout from the country, say that an apology is not enough. SENT: 705 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers have set up a ministry for the “propagation of virtue and the prevention of vice” in the building that once housed the Women’s Affairs Ministry. They escorted out World Bank staffers as part of the forced move. SENT: 690 words, photos.

UNITED-STATES-AFGHANISTAN — Against the backdrop of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the top U.S. military officer holds talks in Greece with his NATO counterparts, hoping to forge more basing, intelligence-sharing and other agreements to prevent terrorist groups from regrouping and threatening America and the region. SENT: 530 words, photos.

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TRENDING NEWS

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MISSING-TRAVELERS —Police in Florida searched a vast wildlife reserve near the Gulf Coast for 23-year-old Brian Laundrie, a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. SENT: 665 words, photos.

FRANCE-NOTRE-DAME — France’s Notre Dame Cathedral is finally stable and secure enough for artisans to start rebuilding it. SENT: 215 words, photos.

MAGA-HAT-THEFT — Two Delaware women who confronted supporters of former President Donald Trump and took a “Make America Great Again” hat from them at the 2020 Democratic National Convention have been sentenced to probation. SENT: 280 words.

CHINA-PLANE-RETURNS — An Air France-KLM flight has returned to Beijing shortly after takeoff after smoke filled the cabin. SENT: 100 words.

ABANDONED-SUV-BODIES — One of two men suspected in the shooting deaths of four people whose bodies were found in an abandoned SUV in Wisconsin has been arrested in Arizona. SENT: 315 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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WILDFIRES-ALUMINUM-WRAPPED-HOMES — Aluminum wraps designed to protect homes from flames are getting attention as wildfires burn in California. During a fire near Lake Tahoe, some wrapped houses survived while nearby homes were destroyed. The material resembles tin foil from the kitchen drawer but is modeled after the tent-like shelters that wildland firefighters use as a last resort to protect themselves when trapped by flames. SENT: 990 words, photos. WITH: WESTERN-WILDFIRES— Crews watching weather as wildfire burns near sequoias. SENT: 680 words, photos.

DROUGHT-DRYING-TRADITION — The Rio Chama begins at the edge of the Rocky Mountains and courses through rugged basalt hillsides and the red and yellow cliffs made famous by painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Here marked the start of New Mexico’s centuries-old tradition of sharing water through irrigation systems known as acequias, and it’s one of many spots in the arid West facing pressure as drought stretches into another decade and climate change piles on. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.

ABORTION-CECILE-RICHARDS — A year after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the country’s top abortion-rights activists warned that the Supreme Court’s recent inaction on Texas’ extremely restrictive new abortion law could signal the end of judicial checks and balances on the issue. SENT: 700 words, photos.

ABANDONED SUV-BODIES — One of two men suspected in the shooting deaths of four people whose bodies were found in an abandoned SUV in Wisconsin has been arrested in Arizona. SENT: 320 words, photos.

OBIT-FRED DAKOTA — Fred Dakota has died at age 84 after creating a milestone for Native American gambling by opening a garage casino in Michigan in the 1980s. SENT: 320 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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AUSTRALIA-SUBMARINES — France’s ambassador to Australia described as a “huge mistake” the surprise cancellation of a multibillion-dollar submarine contract in favor of a U.S. deal. Australia’s sudden breaking of what was widely billed in France as the “contract of the century” has triggered the unprecedented show of anger among allies. SENT: 745 words, photos.

CANADA-ELECTION-EXPLAINER — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is facing a tough reelection battle against his Conservative Party rival, Erin O’Toole. Trudeau called an early election for Monday in hopes of winning a parliamentary majority and strengthening his government. But he has struggled to explain why he was in a rush to schedule the snap vote during the coronavirus pandemic. SENT: 870 words, photos.

RUSSIA-ELECTION — The head of Russia’s second-largest political party is alleging widespread violations in the election for a new national parliament, in which his party is widely expected to gain seats. SENT: 680 words, photos. WITH: RUSSIA-ELECTION-OUSTED-GOVERNOR — The handful of demonstrators gathering each evening in Khabarovsk are a shadow of the masses who took part in an unusually sustained wave of protests last year in the Russian Far Eastern city, but they are a chronic reminder of the political tensions that persist. SENT: 830 words, photos.

INDONESIA-MILITANT-KILLED — Indonesia’s military says security forces have killed the country’s most wanted militant with ties to the Islamic State group. The regional military commander says Ali Kalora was one of two militants killed in the shootout in the jungles of Central Sulawesi province. SENT: 405 words.

YEMEN-EXECUTIONS — Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they have executed nine people for their alleged involvement in the killing of a senior Houthi official in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition more than three years ago. The public executions by firing squad were carried out in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, despite repeated calls by rights groups and lawyers to stop the killings. SENT: 570 words, photos.

KOREAS-TENSIONS — Recent satellite images shows North Korea is expanding a uranium enrichment plant at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex, a sign that it’s intent on boosting the production of bomb materials, experts say. SENT: 510 words, photos.

VATICAN-SEX-ABUSE — Pope Francis is urging European bishops to listen to survivors of clergy sexual abuse and consider them partners in reforming the Catholic Church. SENT: 385 words, photos.

ALGERIA-BOUTEFLIKA — Algeria’s leader has declared a three-day period of mourning for former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika whose 20-year-long rule ended in disgrace as he was pushed from power amid huge street protests when he decided to seek a new term. Bouteflika, who had been ailing since a stroke in 2013, died Friday at 84. SENT: 270 words, photos.

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HEALTH & SCIENCE

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SCI-PRIVATE-SPACEFLIGHT — The four Americans on SpaceX’s first privately chartered flight are due to return to Earth after three days in orbit. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 7:30 p.m. Splashdown expected at 7:06 p.m.

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SPORTS

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FBC--T25-ALABAMA-FLORIDA — Top-ranked and defending national champion Alabama puts its 16-game winning streak on the line at No. 11 Florida, a two-touchdown underdog that’s trying to become the latest team to shake up the College Football Playoff picture. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 3:30 p.m.

FBC--T25-AUBURN-PENN STATE — No. 22 Auburn travels to Penn State to take on the No. 10 Nittany Lions in an SEC-Big Ten showdown. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.

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HOW TO REACH US

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