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.
EUROPE-RUSSIA-UKRAINE —NATO says it’s putting extra forces on standby and sending more ships and fighter jets to eastern Europe, as Ireland warned that new Russian war games off its coast are not welcome given heightened fears over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine By Lorne Cook. SENT: 930 words, photos. WITH: UNITED STATES-UKRAINE — The State Department is ordering the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv to leave the country. SENT: 360 words, photos.
UKRAINE-SPHERE OF INFLUENCE — The crisis in Ukraine is hardly going away. A showdown of two world views that could upend Europe, it carries echoes of the Cold War and resurrects an idea left over from the 1945 Yalta Conference: that the West should respect a Russian sphere of influence in Central and Eastern Europe. Since coming to power in 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin has systematically been bent on repairing what he views as the humiliation of the breakup of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Russia’s present demands are based in part on Putin’s rejection of Ukraine and Belarus as truly separate, sovereign nations, but rather as part of an historic Russian motherland. By John Daniszewski. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
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GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS — The federal trial for three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights as Derek Chauvin pinned the Black man’s neck to the street is set to begin Monday with opening statements. J. Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are charged with depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. All three are charged for failing to provide Floyd with medical care. Legal experts say prosecutors must prove Kueng, Lane and Thao willfully violated Floyd’s constitutional rights. Defense attorneys are likely to blame Chauvin for the murder. By Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski. SENT: 530 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHINA - Chinese authorities have lifted a monthlong lockdown of Xi’an and its 13 million residents as infections subside ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing in less than two weeks. Meanwhile, the 2 million residents of one Beijing district are being tested following a series of cases in the capital. SENT: 570 words, photos.
ELECTION 2022-REDISTRICTING -- Democrats braced for disaster when state legislatures began redrawing congressional maps, fearing that Republican dominance of statehouses would tilt power away from them for the next decade. But as the redistricting process reaches its final stages, that anxiety is beginning to ease. By Nicholas Riccardi and Bobby Caina Calvan. SENT: 1,320 words, photos.
BRITAIN-WIKILEAKS-ASSANGE — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s battle to avoid extradition to the U.S. will go to Britain’s Supreme Court after he was granted the right to appeal a lower court ruling. The decision is the latest step in Assange’s long battle to avoid trial on a series of charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of classified documents more than a decade ago. SENT: 250 words, photos.
OBIT-MANFRED THIERRY MUGLER — French fashion designer Manfred Thierry Mugler, whose dramatic designs were worn by celebrities like Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cardi B, has died. He was 73. SENT: 240 words, photos.
MULTIPLE HOMICIDES-MILWAUKEE HOME — Five people have been found dead in a Milwaukee home in what police are investigating as multiple homicides. SENT: 188 words.
AUSTRALIA-MISSING GIRL — A man has pleaded guilty to abducting a 4-year-old girl from her family’s camping tent on Australia’s west coast last year. SENT: 140 words.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-FRANCE — People who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are no longer allowed in France’s restaurants, bars, tourist sites and sports venues unless they recently recovered from the virus. A new law came into effect Monday requiring a “vaccine pass” that is central to the government’s anti-virus strategy. SENT: 290 words, photos.
CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES-UTILITIES — The nation’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, is poised to emerge from five years of criminal probation amid worries that it remains too dangerous to be trusted. Over the last five years, the utility became an even more destructive force. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
SCHOOL SHOOTING-MICHIGAN — The Michigan high school where four students were fatally shot is reopening for the first time since the Nov. 30 tragedy. Officials planned to welcome students back to Oxford High School on Monday. SENT: 150 words, photos.
BURKINO FASO-MILITARY — Two mutinous soldiers told The Associated Press that Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore is being held by the rebellious soldiers. State news station RTB was also heavily guarded on Monday morning. Fighting began on Sunday when soldiers took control of the Lamizana Sangoule military barracks in the capital, Ouagadougou. Kabore had been leading Burkina Faso since being elected in 2015 after a popular uprising ousted longtime strongman President Blaise Compaore who was in power for nearly three decades. By Sam Mednick. SENT: 890 words, photos.
NORWAY - AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN — The Taliban and western diplomats have began their first official talks in Europe since they took over control of Afghanistan in August. The closed-door meetings were taking place at a hotel in the snow-capped mountains above the Norwegian capital and Taliban representatives will be certain to press their demand that nearly $10 billion frozen by the United States and other Western countries be released as Afghanistan faces a precarious humanitarian situation. WITH: AFGHANISTAN AID-EXPLAINER – An estimated 23 million people, half the country, face severe hunger and nearly 9 million are on the brink of starvation. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.
TAIWAN-CHINA FLIGHTS — China has flown 39 warplanes toward Taiwan in its largest such sortie of the new year, amid tensions over the island’s future. Taiwan’s defense ministry says the formation Sunday night included fighter jets and electronic warfare aircraft. SENT: 350 words, photos.
MEXICO JOURNALIST-KILLED — A journalist has been killed in the northern Mexico border city of Tijuana. Lourdes Maldonado López was the second journalist killed in Tijuana in a week’s time and the third in Mexico this month. The Baja California state prosecutor’s office said Maldonado was found shot to death inside a car Sunday. SENT: 210 words.
PERSIAN GULF TENSIONS — The United Arab Emirates has intercepted two ballistic missiles targeting Abu Dhabi. The state-run WAM news agency said missile fragments fell harmlessly over the Emirati capital. A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebel militia said they had launched attacks targeting both the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, without elaborating. SENT: 650 words, photos.
DUBAI BRUNCH-INTERRUPTED — Friday will never be the same in Dubai. The Middle East’s financial hub has shifted its weekend this year from Friday and Saturday to the Western-style Saturday and Sunday along with the rest of the United Arab Emirates. That has thrown Dubai’s beloved institution of Friday brunch — a favorite custom of expats who revel in hourslong booze-soaked, Instagram-worthy buffets — into disarray. SENT: 970 words, photos.
AUSTRALIA-WECHAT — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has lost control of his Chinese-owned social media platform WeChat account and a lawmaker has accused China’s leaders of political interference. Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday that Morrison’s 76,000 WeChat followers were notified his page had been renamed. SENT: 530 words, photos.
TONGA VOLCANO ERUPTION AUSTRALIA — Four Japanese aircraft have left Australia to deliver more vital aid to Tonga as the Pacific nation deals with the aftermath of a volcanic eruption and tsunami. SENT: 480 words, photos.
ITALY-PRESIDENTIAL VOTE — The first round of voting for Italy’s next president opens Monday without a clear slate of candidates following three-time ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s reluctant withdrawal. SENT: 410 words, photos.
BRITIAN POLITICS —British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation into a Conservative lawmaker’s claim that she was fired from a government job in part because of her Muslim faith. SENT: 340 words, photos.
FILM-BOX-OFFICE - Never underestimate your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, even with a mutating virus afoot. Despite rising concerns over the omicron variant, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” not only shattered pandemic-era box office records; it became the third best opening of all time behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($357.1 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($257.7 million). SENT: 950 words, photos.
FINANCIAL MARKETS — Shares are mostly lower in Europe and Asia after Wall Street logged its worst week since the pandemic began in 2020. Investors have been growing increasingly worried about how aggressively the Federal Reserve might act to cool rising inflation. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FBN-RAMS-BUCCANEERS - Matthew Stafford threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns and Matt Gay’s 30-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Los Angeles Rams to a 30-27 divisional playoff victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.
FBN-BILLS-CHIEFS - Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce in the corner of the end zone early in overtime, and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied to beat the Buffalo Bills 42-36 on Sunday night in a dramatic finish to a wild divisional-round weekend. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
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