AP News Digest 2:15 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Saturday 09 October 2021 19:16
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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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS OUTBREAK — Russians are flocking to Serbia to receive Western-approved COVID-19 shots. Although Russia has its own vaccine, known as Sputnik V, international health authorities haven’t approved its use. That means Russians who want to travel freely need to show of having received a Western-made shot. Serbia is a convenient choice for vaccine-seeking Russians because they can enter the allied Balkan nation without visas and because it offers a wide choice of vaccines. By Jovana Gec and Daria Litvinova. SENT: 992 words, photo, video.

AFGHANISTAN — The Taliban ruled out cooperation with the U.S. to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan, staking out an uncompromising position on a key issue ahead of the first direct talks between the former foes since America withdrew from the country in August. They've signaled more flexibility on the evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country. By Kathy Gannon and Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 630 words, photos.

CONGRESS-McCONNELL — The dangerous standoff in Congress over raising the debt limit as well as its ultimate resolution both were engineered by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader determined to stop President Joe Biden’s agenda even if it pushes the country toward grave economic uncertainty. McConnell is no longer the majority leader of the Senate, but he is exerting the power of the minority in new and uncharted ways. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

SCHOOL BOARD BATTLES-ELECTIONS — Races for local school board seats have emerged as intense political battlegrounds in the upcoming Nov. 2 elections across the U.S. Parental protests that started during COVID-19 lockdowns are evolving into full-fledged board takeover campaigns. National conservative groups offering training academies for right-leaning candidates are helping stoke the challenges, which could have a dramatic effect on public education if they succeed. By Julie Carr Smyth and Patty Nieberg. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

RUSSIA-MURATOV — As a new Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Russian newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov has downplфyed the buzz around his name. The award isn’t for him, he says, but for all of the staff at Novaya Gazeta, the independent Russian newspaper noted for investigations of official corruption, human rights abuses and Kremlin criticism. SENT: 950 words, photos.

US-GOP DOCTORS-VACCINES — Roger Marshall won’t let people forget he’s a doctor by putting “Doc” in the letterhead of his U.S. Senate office news releases. But when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, other doctors think he sounds far less like a doctor and far more like a politician rallying hard-right supporters. The Republican senator from Kansas is offering advice about who does and doesn’t need to get vaccinated that defies U.S. government guidance as he aggressively fights vaccine mandates. He has company from other GOP doctors, dentists and pharmacists in Congress. Critics say those Republicans are putting a higher priority on politics than medical ethics. By John Hanna. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. This is the Sunday Spotlight

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TRENDING NEWS

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SPAIN-VOLCANO — A new lava flow belched from the La Palma volcano, threatening to spread more destruction on the Atlantic Ocean island, where over 1,000 buildings have already been engulfed or badly damaged by streams of molten rock. SENT:230 words, photo.

LEBANON-OBIT-ALI-ATWA — Hezbollah member wanted for role in 1985 hijacking dies. SENT: 360 words, photo.

BRITAIN-WALK-ME-HOME — UK eyes ‘walk me home’ phone-tracker to protect lone women. SENT: 330 words, photo.

GERMANY-CLIMATE-COAL — Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate visited a vast German open-pit coal mine and a village that is to be bulldozed for its expansion, saying the destruction is “really disturbing” and has implications far beyond Germany. SENT: 320 words, photos.

POLAND-CHOPIN'S PORTRAIT — A peeling portrait of Polish piano composer Frederic Chopin purchased at a flea market hung modestly in a private house in Poland for almost three decades before an expert dated the painting to the 19th century. SENT: 450 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RAPID TESTS — Nevada this week became one of the last states to publicly report rapid antigen tests as part of its coronavirus tallies — a move that experts said could provide a fuller picture of the pandemic but also upend metrics used to gauge how the virus is spreading. SENT: 1,020 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-RUSSIA — Russia has recorded a new record-high daily death toll from COVID-19, continuing a persistent rise that has brought new records almost daily in October. The national coronavirus task force reported that 968 people in Russia died of COVID-19 over the past day — about 100 more daily deaths than were recorded in late September. SENT: 290 words.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ITALY-PROTESTS — Thousands of demonstrators have marched down Rome’s Via Veneto and other main streets to protest a government rule requiring COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests for workers to enter offices. SENT: 400 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK ITALY CLUBS PHOTO GALLERY — The Italian government has finally given the green light for nightclubs to reopen next week. It’s been a long wait for the Rocket Club, a centerpiece for the indie, underground and techno scene in Milan. While theaters, cinemas and restaurants have been able to reopen to the public, night clubs have remained shut since the first coronavirus outbreak started in northern Italy in February 2020. SENT: 415 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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SUPREME COURT-BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING — The Biden administration will try to persuade the Supreme Court this coming week to reinstate the death penalty for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The aggressive pursuit of a capital sentence comes as the administration has halted federal executions and President Joe Biden has called for an end to the federal death penalty. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

NOEM-DAUGHTER-MEETING-EXPLAINER — The four retired judges who make up South Dakota’s Government Accountability Board usually meet just a handful of times a year, almost entirely unnoticed by the public, and have never advanced a complaint to a public hearing. They’re now preparing for the high-profile task of weighing whether Gov. Kristi Noem twice abused the power of her office. SENT: 740 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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TEXAS-EXECUTIONS-SPIRITUAL ADVISERS — Executions in the nation’s busiest capital punishment state face delays amid legal questions over Texas’ refusal to allow spiritual advisers to touch inmates and pray aloud as condemned individuals are being put to death. SENT: 870 words, photos.

ABORTION-TEXAS — A federal appeals court Friday night quickly allowed Texas to resume banning most abortions, just one day after clinics began racing to serve patients again for the first time since early September. SENT: 760 words, photos.

EXONERATED-MAN-LAWSUIT — A Florida man exonerated of a 1983 rape and murder after serving 37 years in prison is suing over his wrongful conviction in which a disproven bite mark was crucial evidence. SENT: 560 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CZECH-ELECTION — Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ centrist party narrowly lost the Czech Republic’s parliamentary election, a surprise development that could mean the end of the populist billionaire’s rule. SENT: 580 words, photos.

AUSTRIA-GOVERNMENT — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says he plans to step down in an effort to defuse a government crisis triggered by prosecutors’ announcement that he is a target of a corruption investigation. SENT: 300 words, photo.

MIGRATION-LIBYA-CRACKDOWN — Guards at a Libyan detention center for migrants shot and killed at least six people amid chaos in the overcrowded facility, U.N. officials said, as they again condemned widespread abuses against migrants in the North African country. SENT: 730 words, photos.

CHINA-ANNIVERSARY-XI-SPEECH — Chinese leader Xi Jinping says reunification with Taiwan will happen peacefully, despite a recent ratcheting up of military threats against the self-governing island. SENT: 710 words, photos.

POLAND-EUROPE — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban signed a government resolution welcoming a Polish constitutional court ruling that challenges the primacy of European Union law, and accusing EU institutions of overextending their powers. SENT: 540 words, photos.

VATICAN-CLIMATE — Pope Francis is urging lawmakers worldwide to overcome “the narrow confines” of partisan politics to quickly reach consensus on fighting climate change. SENT: 330 words, photos.

SYRIA-ASSAD'S UNCLE — President Bashar Assad allowed his exiled uncle back into Syria to avoid serving a four-year prison term in France, where he has spent more than 30 years, a pro-government newspaper reported. SENT: 450 words, photo.

IRAN-OBIT-ABOLHASSAN-BANISADR — Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran’s first president after the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution who fled Tehran after being impeached for challenging the growing power of clerics as the nation became a theocracy, has died. He was 88. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

FRANCE-AUSTRALIA-SUBMARINES — France’s ambassador to Australia tells the AP that Australian officials lied to his face and raised the risk of confrontation in Asia by crafting a secret submarine deal with the United States and Britain. SENT: 620 words, photos.

IRAQ ELECTIONS EXPLAINER — Few Iraqis expect meaningful change in their day-to-day lives from Sunday’s parliament elections, but the vote will shape the direction of Iraq’s foreign politics for the coming years, including its role as regional mediator. SENT: 930 words, photos. photo.

LEBANON-ECONOMY — Lebanon’s two main power plants were forced to shut down after running out of fuel, the state electricity company said, leaving the small country with no government-produced power. Lebanon is grappling with a crippling energy crisis made worse by its dependency on fuel imports. SENT: 460 words, photo.

CONGO-EBOLA — Residents of the eastern Congolese city of Beni expressed concern after receiving the news that a new case of Ebola was confirmed only five months since the country declared an end to the last outbreak that killed six people in the region. SENT: 360 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FACEBOOK-WHISTLEBLOWER-RETALIANTION-EXPLAINER — Facebook has recently taken a harsher tone toward whistleblower Frances Haugen, suggesting that the social network could be considering legal retaliation after Haugen went public with internal research that she copied before leaving her job earlier this year. SENT: 820 words, photos.

US--PHILANTHROPY-PANDORA-PAPERS — The “Pandora Papers” investigation revealed how the rich and powerful have been shielding their wealth in offshore accounts, as well as trust-friendly states like South Dakota. As these so-called “dynasty trusts” increasingly become known as tax havens for wealthy Americans and foreigners, some experts worry charities could suffer because of their use. SENT: 930 words, photo.

SPORTS

BBN--NLDS-DODGERS-GIANTS — The Dodgers try to even their best-of-five NL Division Series when they send 20-game winner Julio Urías to the mound for Game 2 on Saturday night opposite Giants All-Star right-hander Kevin Gausman. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 9:07 p.m.

FBC--T25-PENN STATE-IOWA — No. 4 Penn State visits No. 3 Iowa in what is being billed as the biggest game in Iowa City since the 1980s. Both teams are on long winning streaks dating to last season and looking to make runs to the Big Ten title game. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 4 p.m.

FBC--T25-AP TOP 25 TAKEAWAYS — The first of what could be several huge matchups in the Big Ten over the last two months of the season takes place in Iowa City, with No. 4 Penn State visiting the third-ranked Hawkeyes. No. 21 Texas and No. 6 Oklahoma get together for one of the last times as Big 12 rivals before taking the Red River Shootout to the SEC. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 9 p.m.

BOX--FURY-WILDER — Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder meet for the third time in one of the most memorable heavyweight rivalries in modern boxing history. After a thrilling split draw in their first meeting in 2018, Britain’s Fury stopped Wilder in seven rounds last year and took the American’s WBC title belt. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Main event starts around 11:45 p.m.

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