AP News Digest 2 p.m.

Via AP news wire
Sunday 20 September 2020 19:05 BST
2020 Census Disasters
2020 Census Disasters

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.




SUPREME COURT-GINSBURG-FINAL DAYS — She was seeing family. She was exercising. She was listening to opera. She was doing the work of the court. She even officiated at a wedding. That’s how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent the weeks before her death Friday at 87. Those who had been in touch with Ginsburg or her staff recently said she seemed to be coping with treatment for cancer and also making plans for events months away. So the announcement of her death came as something of a surprise, even to some close friends. By Jessica Gresko. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 3 p.m.




SUPREME COURT-VACANCY — A second Republican senator comes out in opposition to considering a Supreme Court nomination before the Nov. 3 election and Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserts without details that the Democratic-led House has “options” for stalling or preventing President Donald Trump from quickly filling the vacancy created by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. By Laurie Kellman and Lisa Mascaro. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 2:30 p.m.

SUPREME COURT-GINSBURG-WOMEN — Sure, there were the RBG bobbleheads, the Halloween getups, the lace collars, the refrigerator magnets. But the pop culture status that Ruth Bader Ginsburg found -- or rather, that found her -- in recent years was just a side show, albeit one that amused her, to the unique and profound impact she had on women’s lives, first as a tenacious litigator and then as a judge. Women of different ages and backgrounds reflected over the weekend on her significance to them. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. AP Photos. UPCOMING: 1,100 words by 2:30 p.m., photos.

ELECTION 2020-BIDEN — Joe Biden is expected to use the sudden Supreme Court vacancy to reinforce his argument that the upcoming election should be a referendum on President Donald Trump’s handling of health care and the coronavirus. By Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 590 words, photos.

Find more coverage on the 2020 U.S. Elections featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

VIRUS-MILESTONES-POLITICS-ANALYSIS — In a deeply divided America, even death is a political litmus test. To Joe Biden and Democrats, crossing 200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths is a reminder of the Trump administration’s inaction and indifference to the pandemic. To President Donald Trump and his supporters, it’s a reminder that the toll could have been much worse. A News Analysis by Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace. SENT: 950 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SWEDEN’S-APPROACH — Sweden’s relatively low-key approach to coronavirus lockdowns captured the world’s attention when the pandemic first hit Europe. But it also had a per capita death rate much higher than other Nordic countries. Now, as infection numbers surge in much of Europe, Sweden has some of the lowest numbers of new cases and there are only 14 people being treated for the virus in intensive care in the country of 10 million. SENT: 1,100 words, photos,

BRAZIL-AMAZON-LAND GRAB — Brazil’s Alter do Chao, a sleepy village that blends rainforest and beaches, has become an ecotourism hot spot. But problems rife throughout the Amazon region — land grabbing, illegal deforestation and unsanctioned construction — have begun plaguing this once pristine area. SENT: 1,200 words, photos. This is the Monday Spotlight.




SUPREME COURT-GINSBURG-STORIES-SHE-TOLD — In recent years Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was surprised to find herself so popular that “everyone wants to take a picture with me.” People wanted to give her awards. They wanted to hear her talk. A look at some the stories she liked to tell, such as the marriage advice from her mother-in-law — “Sometimes it helps to be a little deaf” — that Ginsburg also was useful in dealing sometimes with her fellow justices. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 750 words, photos.

SUPREME COURT-VACANCY-GRAHAM — Few members of the Republican Party have taken a political journey as long as Lindsey Graham’s. He’s gone from ridiculing Donald Trump as a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” to becoming one of the president’s fiercest defenders in Congress. This November may be Graham’s toughest test yet as he seeks reelection. He’ll have to explain to voters how, as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, he’ll push for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee on the president’s aggressive timetable, even though the senator opposed moving ahead with Democratic President Barack Obama’s election-year nominee. Graham says “the rules have changed as far as I’m concerned.” By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 950 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-REPUBLICANS-SUPREME COURT — Four years ago, the allure of conservative Supreme Court appointments helped persuade skeptical Republicans to support Donald Trump for president. Two years ago, a contentious clash over Trump’s choice of Brett Kavanaugh for the court was credited with bolstering GOP gains in the Senate in an otherwise bad midterm election. And now, just 44 days before Trump’s reelection will be decided, Republicans are again looking to a Supreme Court nomination fight to unite a deeply fractured party as it faces the very real possibility of losing the White House and control of the Senate this fall. GOP leaders are optimistic they can pull it off. By Steve Peoples and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK-IOWA-SCHOOLS — Students in Iowa’s largest school system are facing the possibility that this most unusual school year could stretch into next summer, and the district could be hit with crippling bills because of a dispute with the governor over the safety of returning to classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ASIA — Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has moved close to easing severe lockdown restrictions after recording only 14 new COVID-19 cases. It was the second day in a row new infections fell below 30, after 21 were reported on Saturday, the lowest daily number since June 19. SENT: 660 words, photos.

Find more coverage on the Virus Outbreak on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.




FINLAND-SWEDEN-FERRY-AGROUND — Baltic Sea ferry runs aground in Finnish waters, no injuries. SENT: 160 words, photos.

EMMYS — Oops, says Emmy: ‘This Is Us’ actor gets award after mix-up. SENT: 480 words, photos.




ELECTION-2020-WINNING-THE-SUBURBS — Contested congressional seats in the nation’s suburbs are becoming battlefields, and each party is wielding what it hopes will be a potent weapon. During the pandemic, Democrats are widely returning to the health care theme they used in 2018 to capture House control. In some races, Republicans are promoting the need for law and order after racial justice protests this summer that sometimes turned violent. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

ELECTION-2020-VOTING-FULTON COUNTY — Twice delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, Georgia’s primary election earlier this year was marred by dysfunction: Hourslong wait times at polling places. Absentee ballots that never arrived. Votes cast after midnight. The problems were most acute in Fulton County, which includes most of Atlanta and is a Democratic stronghold in a traditionally red state. State leaders launched investigations while election officials in the most populous county said they did the best they could in unprecedented circumstances. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.




TROPICAL WEATHER — Tropical Storm Beta is making a slow crawl to the shores of Texas and Louisiana, casting worries about heavy rain, flooding and storm surge across the Gulf Coast. SENT: 790 words, photos.

WESTERN WILDFIRES — The destruction wrought by a wind-driven wildfire in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles is approaching 156 square miles, burning structures, homes and a nature center in a famed Southern California wildlife sanctuary in foothill desert communities. SENT: 470 words, photos.

2020 CENSUS-DISASTERS — Already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic and a tightened deadline, the Census Bureau must now contend with several natural disasters as wildfires and hurricanes disrupt the final weeks of the nation’s once-a-decade headcount. SENT: 900 words, photos.

ROCHESTER-DANIEL PRUDE — New York Attorney General Letitia James is promising to expedite the release of body camera footage in cases of alleged police misconduct that her office investigates. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SOUTHERN GRASSLANDS' LAST STAND — The Southeastern Grasslands Initiative is working to restore thousands of acres of grasslands in the South while also developing a seed bank, discovering new species and leading teams of volunteers to search for remnants. SENT: 900 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-ILLINOIS CAPITOL — With the nation racing to come to grips with centuries of racial sins, officials plan to remove the Capitol lawn statue of Stephen A. Douglas, whose forceful 19th century politics helped forge modern-day Illinois but who also profited from slavery. But inside the Capitol is a painting of an 1858 debate with Douglas in which Abraham Lincoln disavowed support for Black people’s civil rights. Experts question whether it’s right to remove a memorial to Douglas when Lincoln has racial scars, too. SENT: 970 words, photos.




BAHRAIN — Saudi state TV is reporting that Bahrain broke up a plot by militants backed by Iran to launch attacks on diplomats and foreigners in the island nation home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, just days after normalizing relations with Israel. SENT: 360 words.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY-UN AT 75 — The United Nations prepares to commemorate its 75th anniversary with the scourge of pandemic hanging over its head, its lifeblood of multilateralism under threat and the encroaching menace of climate change an ever-present worry. By Edith M. Lederer. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 p.m.

THAILAND-PROTESTS — Anti-government demonstrators occupying a historic field in the Thai capital installed a plaque symbolizing the country’s transition to democracy to replace the original one that was mysteriously ripped and stolen three years ago, as they vowed to press on with calls for new elections and reform of the monarchy. The mass student-led rally was the largest in a series of protests this year, with thousands camping overnight at Sanam Luang field near the royal palace. SENT: 890 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Government airstrikes in the north of Afghanistan killed 24 civilians, including children, and wounded six others, witnesses told The Associated Press. SENT: 500 words.

UNITED NATIONS-US-IRAN — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations will not support reimposing sanctions on Iran as the United States is demanding until he gets a green light from the Security Council. SENT: 850 words, photos. With IRAN-US — Iran’s president dismissed U.S. efforts to restore all U.N. sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever. SENT: 500 words, photos.

PAKISTAN — Pakistan’s military says two soldiers have been killed and four wounded in a shootout with militants. SENT: 200 words.

EUROPE-MIGRANTS — The German humanitarian group Sea-Watch has condemned as politically motivated the blockade of its ship in the Sicilian port of Palermo by Italian authorities after an 11-hour inspection. SENT: 300 words, photos

ITALY-REGIONAL ELECTIONS — Italians in seven regions head to the polls for two days of voting shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BELARUS-PROTESTING-RETIREES-PHOTO-GALLERY — Thousands of protesters who have flooded Belarusian cities for six weeks of demonstrations to demand an end to the 26-year rule of the country’s authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko include people of all ages, professions and social groups. SENT: 1,080 words, photos, With: BELARUS-PROTESTS — Tens of thousands of Belarusians calling for the authoritarian president to resign marched through the capital as the country’s wave of protests entered its seventh week. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BRITAIN-BATTLE OF BRITAIN — Military jets flew over central London and a memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SUDAN-JAILED ARTIST — A Sudanese court’s decision to send five young artists to prison has stirred controversy both in Sudan and abroad, with activists and rights groups calling for judicial reforms following last year’s pro-democracy uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. SENT: 500 words.




WECHAT-BAN-RULING — A federal judge has approved a request from a group of WeChat users to delay looming U.S. government restrictions that could effectively make the popular app nearly impossible to use. SENT: 540 words.




EMMY-AWARDS — The 72nd annual prime-time Emmy Awards will honor TV’s best with a daringly live, virtual show that will have host Jimmy Kimmel on stage in an empty arena and very socially distanced nominees at their homes. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos, video. Developing from an 8p Eastern show.

FILM-BOX OFFICE — About three quarters of the country’s movie theaters are open, but Americans are not going back to the movies in significant numbers in the COVID-19 era, even with new movies coming into the marketplace. SENT: 440 words, photo.




CYC-TOUR DE FRANCE — In a stunning performance for the ages, Tour de France rookie Tadej Pogacar won cycling’s showpiece race Sunday on the eve of his 22nd birthday. Pogacar became the second-youngest winner of the 117-year-old event that this year braved, and overcame, France’s worsening coronavirus epidemic. Turning him from promising prodigy into cycling superstar, Pogacar became the youngest winner since World War II and the first from Slovenia. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Rob Jagodzinski 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(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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