AP News Digest 2 p.m.

·8 min read
APTOPIX Tokyo Olympics Handball (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
APTOPIX Tokyo Olympics Handball (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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.




US-VIRUS OUTBREAK — Several U.S. states scaled back their reporting of COVID-19 statistics this month just as cases across the country started to skyrocket, depriving the public of real-time information on outbreaks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths in their communities. By Josh Funk. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

GERMANY-FLOODING — With the death toll and economic damage from last week’s floods in Germany continuing to rise, some residents are asking why systems designed to warn people of the impending disaster didn’t work. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 720 words, photos.

US-WESTERN-WILDFIRES — Out-of-state crews are heading to Montana to battle a blaze that injured five firefighters as the West struggles with a series of fires that have ravaged rural lands and destroyed homes. By Nathan Howard. SENT: 490 words, photos. Developing. US-BIDEN-McAULIFFE — President Joe Biden is back on the campaign trail, leading the kind of rally that was impossible last year because of the pandemic. He spoke Friday before nearly 3,000 people in support of a fellow moderate Democrat whose race for Virginia governor could serve as a test of Biden’s own strength and coattails. By Jonathan Lemire and Josh Boak. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.




OLY-OLYMPICS-ROUNDUP — Hardly half a day passed before politics, the pandemic and blistering heat impacted events across the Tokyo Olympics. China’s Yang Qian, at least, stayed right on target. Yang overtook Anastasiia Galashina of Russia to win the first gold medal of the Tokyo Games in the women’s 10-meter air rifle. By Jake Seiner. SENT: 800 words, photos. OLY-SOC-NEW-ZEALAND-US — The Americans have rebounded from their opening loss with a 6-1 rout of New Zealand in front of First Lady Jill Biden in the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 466 words, photos.

OLY-SURREAL-GAMES-PROMOTING-TOURISM — Olympics host cities often offer the tens of thousands of visiting journalists excursions to advertise their tourist destinations. But this time around, they are attempting to do so while keeping Olympic visitors within a carefully controlled bubble, cut off from Tokyo’s 14 million residents. The efforts include a lottery for nighttime tours to history museums and historic gardens, where journalists are required to pledge not to talk to locals. By Claire Galofaro. SENT: 440 words, photos.

OLY-SRF-SURFING-SCIENCE — Olympic surfing’s debut is making clear that these wave riders are unsung masters of science -- in climatology, meteorology and oceanography to be exact. Serious wave chasers are by default atmospheric science junkies because there are few, if any, sports that are both dependent on an uncontrollable variable — the weather — and defined by a literal uneven playing field — the ocean. By Sally Ho. SENT: 740 words, photos. OLY-OSAKA’S MOMENT —What a moment for Naomi Osaka. For the new Japan. For racial injustice. For female athletes. For tennis. The four-time Grand Slam winner lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. By Andrew Dampf. SENT: 700 words, photos.

OLY-EXPLAINER-NEW-OLYMPIC-SPORTS — The Tokyo Olympics are introducing four new sports — skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing. Each traveled its own unique path to the Games. Here, at a glance, from Associated Press journalists covering each sport, are the tales of how these sports reached Tokyo and what to watch for in each. SENT: 720 words, photos.




GEORGE FLOYD STATUE — A statue of George Floyd that was defaced in Brooklyn has been cleaned and is headed for Manhattan’s Union Square. SENT: 210 words, photos.

CHINA-FLOODING — A news report says a man in central China has been rescued after spending three days trapped in a flooded underground garage during torrential rains. By Dake Kang. SENT: 386 words, photos.

US-ENDANGERED SALMON — Atlantic salmon once teemed in U.S. rivers but now return to only a handful of areas in Maine. Environmental campaigners are urging reluctant state officials to do more to protect them. By Patrick Whittle. SENT: 600 words, photos.

SCI-INSIDE-MARS — A quake-measuring device on Mars is providing the first detailed look at the red planet’s interior, revealing a surprisingly thin crust and a hot molten core beneath the frigid surface. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 570 words, photos.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK-TANZANIA — Tanzania has received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the U.S. government. The African country’s former leader had claimed that prayer alone was enough to defeat the pandemic. By Tom Odula. SENT: 250 words.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-FRANCE — Far-right activists and members of France’s yellow vest movement are held protests against new virus measures. French lawmakers are debating a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers. SENT 220 words.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN-SUMMER-GETAWAY — With all British schools now closed for the summer, airports and airlines are looking a tad more normal, though the number of families heading off for warmer climes remains way down on the levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic struck. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 539 words, photos. VIRUS-OUTBREAK-AUSTRALIA — Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants. SENT: 410 words, photos.




CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE-GIMMICKS — Senators negotiating two colossal bills that would deliver more than $4 trillion for infrastructure, health care, environment and other initiatives keep insisting both bills will be fully paid for. But will they really? Democrats and Republicans have long relied on budget gimmicks to help finance their priorities. By Alan Fram. SENT: 1,075 words, photos.

GIULIANI-LAW-LICENSE-SUSPENDED-EXPLAINER — For Rudy Giuliani, the point man for pushing Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election, the days of practicing law may be over. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 1,090 words, photos. CAPITOL BREACH-LURIA — Virginia Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria has built a reputation as pro-military and proud moderate in one of the nation’s most Navy-dependent swing districts. But she’s also agreed to join a House committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which could test her centrist credentials. By Will Weissert. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.




HUNGARY-LGBT-PRIDE-PARADE — Rising anger over the policies of Hungary’s right-wing government filled the streets of the country’s capital as thousands of LGBT supporters marched in the annual Budapest Pride parade. By JUSTIN SPIKE. SENT: 620 words, photos. With: GERMANY-BERLIN-LGBTQ-PARADE — Some 35,000 revelers marched for LGBTQ rights at an annual even in Berlin. The parade started with a call from Berlin’s senator for culture to make the city a “queer-freedom zone” in response to deteriorating safety for gays and lesbians in Hungary and neighboring Poland. By Ciaran Fahey. SENT: 350 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-FLOODING — Officials in the Philippines say thousands of residents have fled flooded communities and swollen rivers in the capital of Manila and outlying provinces. SENT: 420 words, photos.

GUATEMALA-CORRUPTION — Anti-corruption prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval fled Guatemala late Friday, arriving in neighboring El Salvador just hours after he was removed from his post. SENT: 480 words. ___________



US-IMMIGRANTS-HEALTH INSURANCE — Illinois is leading a handful of Democratic-run states in extending health insurance coverage to adult immigrants living in the country illegally, including seniors. By Sophia Tareen. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. US-CARBON CAPTURE-PIPELINES — Two companies seeking to build thousands of miles of pipeline across the Midwest are promising the effort will aid rather than hinder the fight against climate change, though some environmental groups remain skeptical. By Stephen Groves. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

US-OFFICER-CONVICTED-ALABAMA — An Alabama police officer who remained on his city’s payroll for two months after being convicted of murder has resigned from the Huntsville Police Department. SENT: 270 words.




LEBANON-IRAQ — Lebanon has signed a deal to broker Iraqi fuel sales in hopes of alleviating a crippling financial and energy crisis in the small Mediterranean country, Lebanese and Iraqi media reported. SENT: 500 words, photos.

VATICAN-FINANCES — The Vatican closed out 2020 with a deficit of 66.3 million euros ($78 million), which was better than projected and even lower than pre-pandemic 2019, according to newly released figures. SENT: 250 words.




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