Top Stories Digest

Via AP news wire
Monday 29 November 2021 19:02

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.

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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRUS VARIANT-INEQUALITY — The emergence of the new omicron variant and the world’s desperate and likely futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months: The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines. The hoarding of limited COVID-19 shots by rich countries — creating virtual vaccine deserts in many poorer ones — doesn’t just mean risk for the parts of the world seeing shortages; it threatens the entire globe. By Maria Cheng and Lori Hinnant. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BIDEN — President Joe Biden is urging Americans to get vaccinated, including booster shots, as he seeks to quell concerns over the newly identified COVID-19 variant named omicron. But he said Monday he won’t be seeking any severe business or other widespread lockdowns. SENT: 750 words, photos.

IRAN NUCLEAR — Negotiators in Vienna have resumed talks over reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, with the United States taking part at arms length as in previous rounds since the Trump administration pulled out of the accord three years ago. Hopes of quick progress were muted after a hardline new government in Tehran led to a more than five-month hiatus in negotiations. By Kiyoko Metzler. SENT: 930 words, photos.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT-TRIAL — The trial of actor Jussie Smollett will boil down to the question of whether the jury believes the actor’s version of what he says was a racist and homophobic attack or that told by two brothers who say they helped the actor fake the attack. SENT: 830 words, photos. Developing.

INDIA-INTERFAITH LOVE — Arbaz Mullah was a Muslim man in love with a Hindu woman. But the romance so angered the woman’s family that — according to police — they hired members of a hard-line Hindu group to murder him. It’s a grim illustration of the risks facing interfaith couples as Hindu nationalism surges in India. By Sheikh Saaliq. SENT: 1,500 words. photos, video. WITH: INDIA-INTERFAITH LOVE-ABRIDGED SENT: 1,080 words, photos, video.

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TRENDING NEWS ——————————————————————————————

TWITTER-DORSEY — Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has stepped down as CEO of the social media platform. Dorsey will remain on the board until his term expires in 2022. SENT: 550 words, photo.

WORD-OF-THE-YEAR-MERRIAM-WEBSTER — Merriam-Webster has declared vaccine its 2021 word of the year. SENT: 770 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-NEW-VARIANT-GLOBAL — Nations around the world sought to keep the new omicron variant at bay with travel bans and further restrictions, even as it remains unclear what it means for the COVID-19 pandemic. New cases of the variant identified days ago by researchers in South Africa appeared as far apart as Hong Kong, Australia and Portugal. By Raf Casert and Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 840 words, photos. Developing. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-VARIANT-EXPLAINER — What we know and don’t know about omicron. SENT: 950 words, photos. And VIRUS OUTBREAK-LATEST

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-PORTUGAL — Portuguese health authorities have identified 13 cases of the omicron coronavirus variant among members of a top soccer club, and were investigating possible local transmission of the virus outside of southern Africa. One of those who tested positive was a player from the Lisbon-based Belenenses SAD soccer club who had recently traveled to South Africa. SENT: 670 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH AFRICA-NEW VARIANT — South Africa’s rapid increase in COVID-19 cases attributed to the new omicron variant is resulting in mostly mild symptoms, doctors say. Most of the cases in South Africa have been among people in their 20s and 30s, and doctors note young people generally have milder symptoms. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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FRANCE-RACISM-DEBATE — A Black woman will, for the first time, join other luminaries interred in France’s Pantheon. That woman is entertainer Josephine Baker, and the honor will take place Tuesday. But critics in France say that by focusing on an American-born figure, France is continuing a long tradition of decrying racism abroad while failing to face up to it at home. SENT: 980 words, photos.

BELARUS-PRESIDENT — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has accused Lithuanian authorities of dumping the bodies of migrants on the border between the two countries. It’s a claim rejected by Lithuania. SENT: 520 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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WHITE HOUSE-HOLIDAYS — “Gifts from the Heart” is the theme of President Biden’s first White House Christmas. First lady Jill Biden plans to unveil Christmas decorations Monday that match the theme. The first lady’s office says more than 100 volunteers spent the past week decorating the mansion using 41 Christmas trees, 6,000 feet of ribbon and more than 10,000 ornaments. SENT: 520 words, photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-ACTOR ARRESTED — An actor charged with storming the Capitol as a member of the Oath Keepers nearly talked his way into remaining in jail after his former attorney told a judge that the actor was challenging the court’s jurisdiction. A prosecutor said he hadn’t planned on seeking pretrial detention for James Beeks until learning in court that Beeks didn’t accept the court’s jurisdiction. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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JEFFERY EPSTEIN-MAXWELL TRIAL — Two years after Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide behind bars, a jury was selected Monday in New York City to determine a central question in the long-running sex trafficking case: Was his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s puppet or accomplice? Twelve jurors and six alternates will hear Maxwell’s case, starting with opening statements expected later in the day. SENT: 400 words, photos. Developing.

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BUSINESS

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FINANCIAL MARKETS -- Wall Street is steadying itself Monday from last week’s slide caused by the newest coronavirus variant, as investors wait for more clues about just how much damage it may do to the economy. The S&P 500 was 1.6% higher in afternoon trading to recover a little more than half its drop from Friday. SENT: 920 words

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FILM-BOX OFFICE — Thanksgiving weekend moviegoing was still far from the feast it normally is, but Disney’s “Encanto” and the Lady Gaga-led “House of Gucci” both gave a lift to two genres that have been particularly battered by the pandemic: family movies and adult dramas. SENT: 840 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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OBIT-LEE-ELDER — Golf pioneer Lee Elder has died at the age of 87. Elder broke down racial barriers as the first Black golfer to play in the Masters and he paved the way for Tiger Woods and others to follow. SENT: 900 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Josh Housing 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@ap.org or call 844-777-2006.

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