AP News Digest 3 a.m.
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.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOVERNMENT AID-LOCALIZE IT — The AP is offering ways to localize reporting regarding city, county and state government finances during the pandemic. That includes how much revenue they lost during the first year of the virus outbreak, how they have recovered since and how they plan to spend their federal aid and other surplus money. Find the localize it guide here.
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LOUISIANA POLICE DEATH-FEDERAL PROBE — Text messages obtained by The Associated Press show Louisiana’s governor was informed within hours of the deadly 2019 arrest of Ronald Greene that troopers engaged in “a violent, lengthy struggle” that ended with the Black motorist’s death. Yet Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards remained publicly quiet as police clung to a much different story: that Greene died from a crash following a high-speed chase. What the governor knew and when have become questions in the federal investigation of Greene’s death. The governor’s spokesperson says he’s not under investigation and that he’s been tight-lipped to avoid impeding the probe. By Jim Mustian and Jake Bleiberg. SENT: 1,580 words, photos.
BIDEN — President Joe Biden visited the collapsed bridge in Pittsburgh that fell just hours before his previously scheduled trip to promote his infrastructure package — a new law that aims to prevent just such disasters. By Colleen Long, Steve Peoples and Marc Levy. SENT: 880 words, photos, video. With BRIDGE COLLAPSE-PITTSBURGH — A bridge spanning a ravine collapses, requiring rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet while others form a human chain to help rescue people from a bus. SENT: 890 words, photos.
SUPREME COURT-BLACK LAW STUDENTS — Students from the law schools of two Historical Black Colleges and Universities weigh in on the historic opportunity before President Biden. One thing they agree on: Even in the minority, having a voice on the court for Black women is significant and overdue. By Jamie Stengle and Jonathan Drew. SENT: 820 words, photos, video.
UKRAINE-PUTIN OPTIONS-EXPLAINER — With more than 100,000 Russian troops positioned around Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be preparing to launch an invasion. But Russia has other options for lashing out at the U.S. and its allies, including cyberattacks, cuts to oil and wheat shipments and closer military ties to China By Ben Fox and Vladimir Isachenkov. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.
UKRAINE-TENSIONS — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says Russia has arrayed enough military forces along Ukraine’s borders to provide Moscow with a complete range of options, including moves short of a full-scale invasion. Russian President Putin says the West has failed to take Russian security concerns into account. By Lolita C. Baldor, Vladimir Isachenkov and Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 1,230 words, photos, video; UNITED STATES-UKRAINE-INTELLIGENCE — The Biden administration and its allies are taking an unusually proactive approach to publicizing intelligence findings and trying to defuse influence campaigns by Russia as they raise alarms about a possible new Russian invasion of Ukraine. By Nomaan Merchant. SENT: 990 words, photos.
For full coverage of Ukraine.
REPUBLICANS-TRUMP — Former President Donald Trump is facing a cascade of intensifying investigations that represent the most serious legal threat he has faced in his decades of litigious public life. Yet those around Trump describe him as largely unbothered by the legal proceedings. By Jill Colvin. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.
WINTER-WEATHER — A powerful nor’easter swept up the East Coast on Saturday, threatening to bury parts of 10 states under deep, furiously falling snow accompanied by coastal flooding and high winds that could cut power and leave people shivering in the cold weather expected to follow. SENT: 680 words, photos.
CAPITOL RIOT-INVESTIGATION — The House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection subpoenas more than a dozen individuals who it says falsely tried to declare Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election in seven swing states. SENT: 580 words, photo.
OLY--SBD-STILL SECOND FIDDLE — More than 20 years after their sport was brought into the Olympics to give the Games a more vibrant feel, snowboarders still feel like second-class citizens. The Associated Press interviewed a number of gold medalists and industry executives, all of whom say they haven’t seen much improvement in the way their sport is treated once it gets to the biggest stage in sports. SENT: 1,675 words, photos.
BEIJING-WINTER SPORTS — Villagers in Yanqing, a sleepy farm area in rural Beijing that will host the downhill and other skiing events at the Winter Olympics, are riding an emerging winter sports wave in China, from becoming a ski coach to opening hostels for winter sports enthusiasts. SENT: 860 words, photos.
CHINA-WINTER OLYMPICS-HUMAN RIGHTS — Human rights activists issued a call to action against the Beijing Olympics, imploring athletes and sponsors to speak out against what they call the “genocide games.” SENT: 490 words, photos.
REL-ARABIC-NETFLIX UPROAR — The first Arabic Netflix film has sparked controversy in Egypt and beyond. The feature, based on an Italian hit, includes talk about teenage sex, marital infidelity and a character coming out as gay. SENT: 1,125 words, photos.
MUSIC-SPOTIFY-MITCHELL — Joni Mitchell is joining Neil Young in his protest against Spotify, seeking to have her music removed from the streaming service. SENT: 340 words, photo.
SHUFFLING-CASINOS-VEGAS — Some shuffling among owners could result in rebranding, demolition, reconstruction and the addition of familiar names at some of the Las Vegas Strip’s most iconic properties. SENT: 400 words, photo.
NOT-REAL-NEWS — Social media users this week shared a range of false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, Wisconsin lawmakers and a Canadian truck protest. Here are the facts. SENT: 2,560 words, photo.
TIGER KING-SENTENCE — A federal judge has resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison. The former zookeeper — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was convicted in a murder-for-hire case involving his chief rival, Carole Baskin. SENT: 365 words, photos.
WEST-VIRGINIA-GOVERNOR-MIDLER — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice tells Bette Midler to kiss dog’s ‘hiney’ -- and shows it. SENT: 340 words, photos.
BRITAIN-PRINCE-ANDREW -- Britain’s Prince Andrew has given up his honorary membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, considered one of the world’s most prestigious golf clubs. SENT: 280 words, photos.
BIDEN-NEW-CAT-PRESIDENTIAL-PETS — A new cat named Willow joins a long line of White House pets through many presidencies, including dogs, ponies, cows and even a raccoon. SENT: 990 words, photos.
YELLOWSTONE-WOLVES-KILLED — Montana wildlife commissioners on Friday will consider if gray wolf hunting and trapping should continue in areas bordering Yellowstone National Park after 23 of the animals roamed from the park and were killed over the past several months. SENT: 350 words.
ODD-CITY LOGO BACKLASH — Some residents think a northern Alabama city’s new logo might be sending the wrong message. It’s a capital F followed by an L and an O arranged as an exclamation point. SENT: 290 words, photo.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-GOVERNMENT-AID — State and local governments reported more than $117 billion of revenue losses in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of newly available data. But those shortfalls proved less severe than originally feared. Many of those same governments are now awash in record amounts of money. In response to the dramatic turnaround, governors, lawmakers and local officials have proposed a surge in spending as well as a new wave of tax cuts. The AP calculated the estimated revenue loss figures for 2020 by reviewing thousands of reports filed with the Treasury Department by states, counties and larger cities. By David A. Lieb and Camille Fassett. SENT: 1,175 words, photos.
WHO-TURMOIL-IN-ASIA — Japan’s government says it will watch the World Health Organization’s investigation into staff complaints over racism and abuse by a top Japanese official at the agency but denied it inappropriately received sensitive vaccine information from him. SENT: 720 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDIA — Indian health officials say there were signs of COVID-19 infections plateauing in some parts of the country but cautioned that cases were still surging in other states, linked to a new, stealthier version of the omicron variant. SENT: 460 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE TRANSPARENCY — The European Union’s executive arm is responsible of “maladministration” for mishandling a request for access to text messages between its president and the CEO of pharmaceutical company Pfizer regarding COVID-19 vaccine purchases, the bloc’s ombudsman said. SENT: 475 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-RUSSIA — Russian authorities report over 98,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases, but according to the Kremlin, the actual number is likely to be much higher as the highly contagious omicron variant continues to rage through the vast country. SENT: 510 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CANADA-PROTEST — Police in Canada’s capital have called in reinforcements as the first trucks in a convoy organized to protest the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers arrive in the capital. SENT: 550 words.
CONSUMER SPENDING — A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 5.8% last year, the sharpest increase since 1982, as brisk consumer spending collided with snarled supply chains to raise the costs of food, furniture, appliances and other goods. The report from the Commerce Department also said that consumer spending fell 0.6% in December, with purchases of cars, electronics, and clothes declining. By Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 790 words, photos.
UNION STATION-SWASTIKAS — Vandals scrawl swastikas on the outside of Union Station, the central hub for regional train transportation in the nation’s capital. SENT: 270 words, photos.
BIDEN-OIL LEASING — President Biden has an opportunity for a reset on climate policy after a federal judge rejects an administration plan to lease millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil drilling. SENT: 930 words, photo.
CALIFORNIA-NET-NEUTRALITY — A federal appeals court has upheld California’s net neutrality law, rejecting an attempt by telecommunications industry groups to prevent the state from enforcing it. SENT: 350 words.
REL-KENTUCKY-TORNADO-REBUILDING-CHURCHES — The century-old Mayfield First United Methodist Church has long been an anchor in its Western Kentucky town, home to countless worship services, weddings, funerals and baptisms. But that was before a deadly tornado swept through in December, tearing off the church’s roof and covering the front entrance in rubble. It’s one of a half-dozen historic churches in Mayfield’s downtown that were destroyed or heavily damaged, all with roots dating to the 1800s. While the rubble is still being cleared, it’s already apparent that the historic congregations are unlikely to rebuild in anything resembling their previous architectural glory, and their leaders say they must instead adapt for the 21st century. By Bobby Ross Jr. SENT: 1,205 words, photos.
KENOSHA PROTEST-SHOOTINGS — A Wisconsin judge approved an agreement by lawyers to destroy the assault-style rifle that Kyle Rittenhouse used to shoot three people during a 2020 street protest. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger said the state crime lab would destroy the gun, probably in April. SENT: 690 words, photos.
GEORGE-FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS — Minneapolis police officers are trained that they have a duty to intervene to stop unreasonable force, the commander of the department’s training division testified Friday at the trial of three former officers for allegedly violating George Floyd’s civil rights when he was killed under the knee of fellow Officer Derek Chauvin. SENT: 760 words, photos.
BREONNA TAYLOR-EX-OFFICER’S TRIAL — When hundreds of potential jurors gather at a Louisville courthouse, they’ll find out for the first time that they could be chosen to preside over the only criminal trial to arise from the botched police raid that left Breonna Taylor dead. SENT: 960 words, photos.
MICHAEL AVENATTI-STORMY DANIELS — Michael Avenatti sought to portray his former client Stormy Daniels as someone who might be delusional — or at least someone who believes in ghosts — at his fraud trial on Friday. SENT: 430 words, photos.
FARM-WORKER-OVERTIME — New York state is now looking at lowering the farm worker overtime threshold from 60 hours a week. Some workers and their advocates say the change would bring long-delayed justice to agricultural workers in New York, many of whom are Latino. But the prospect is alarming farmers. They warn the extra costs would wipe out marginal farms, hobble others and actually reduce workers’ earnings if farmers cap hours to manage expenses. SENT: 870 words, photos.
HOUSTON CHASE-SHOOTOUT — Two Houston police officers who were wounded in a shootout with a suspect have been discharged from the hospital, police said. SENT: 250 words.
PORTUGAL-ELECTION — Sunday’s election for a new parliament and government in Portugal is providing a stage for voters to air old grievances. SENT: 710 words, photos. With PORTUGAL-ELECTION-EXPLAINER — Portuguese voters go to the polls Sunday, two years earlier than scheduled, after a political crisis over a blocked spending bill brought down the minority Socialist government and triggered a snap election. SENT: 710 words, photos.
ILLEGAL-FISHING — Negotiators from the U.S., China and 13 other governments failed to take action to protect threatened squid stocks on the high seas off South America amid a recent surge in activity by China’s distant water fishing fleet. SENT: 400 words.
VIETNAM-THICH NHAT HANH — A funeral has been held for the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, a week after the renowned Zen master died at the age of 95 in Hue in central Vietnam. SENT: 300 words, photo.
IRAQ-CHINA — In north Iraq, a Chinese language school projects soft power. Anchored in energy, China’s interest in Iraq is expanding. Beijing is building power plants, factories, water treatment facilities, as well as badly needed schools across the country. Dozens of contracts signed in recent years ensure China’s growing footprint in Iraq, right as major western companies, including the U.S., plot their exit. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.
BRITAIN-POLITICS — Doubt about the timing of a key report into lockdown-breaching parties within the British government deepened when police said they wanted parts of it to remain unpublished until they finish a criminal investigation. SENT: 490 words, photos.
ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CRISIS — More than a third of the people in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region “are suffering an extreme lack of food,” the United Nations World Food Program said in a new assessment of a region under a months-long government blockade. SENT: 645 words, photo.
GERMANY-RUSSIA-ESPIONAGE — German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that the government has expelled a Russian diplomat after he was linked to an espionage case in Germany. SENT: 190 words.
FINANCIAL MARKETS — Wall Street ended a volatile week of trading with a late-afternoon buying spree that gave the major stock indexes their biggest gains of the year and snapped their three-week losing streak. SENT: 540 words, photos.
INTEL-PLANT-OHIO — Ohio offered Intel Corp. incentives worth roughly $2 billion to secure a new $20 billion chipmaking factory that the company says will help alleviate a global shortage and create a new technology hub in the Midwest. SENT: 520 words, photos.
FBN-NFC-CHAMPIONSHIP — The Los Angeles Rams will host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game on Sunday. The matchup is the resumption of an NFC West rivalry that has been tilted heavily in the 49ers’ favor for the past six meetings, all won by San Francisco. The Rams made several bold moves this season to build a team capable of winning it all, and now they’re one step away from playing in a Super Bowl in their home stadium. SENT: 990 words, photos.
FBN-AFC-CHAMPIONSHIP — The Kansas City Chiefs are ready to host their record fourth consecutive AFC championship game. As for the Bengals, who visit Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday with a Super Bowl berth on the line, this will be a whole new experience. Only a couple of special teams players were even alive the last time Cincinnati played in a conference championship game. Both teams are coming off dramatic wins in the divisional round. SENT: 930 words, photos.
TEN-AUSTRALIAN-OPEN — Top-ranked Ash Barty is aiming to be the first Australian woman to win her home Grand Slam singles title since 1978 when she takes on Danielle Collins in the final of the Australian Open. Barty has won majors on grass at Wimbledon and on clay at Roland Garros. She’s aiming for her first on a hard court. Collins, a 28-year-old American, is in a Grand Slam final for the first time. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 8:30 p.m.
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