AP News Digest 3:50 a.m.

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

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ONLY ON AP

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CHINA-LARGEST DETENTION CENTER — China’s largest detention center is twice the size of Vatican City and has room for at least 10,000 inmates. The AP was the first Western media allowed in during a state-led tour of Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng in the far western region of Xinjiang. No. 3 was converted from an internment camp into a pre-trial detention facility, the AP found, in what appears to be an attempt to move Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities into a more permanent prison system justified under the law. By Dake Kang. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. An abridged version of 1,000 words is also available.

PANDEMIC-AFRICA-SOUTH-SUDAN-MOTHERS — Even before the pandemic hit, South Sudanese women were accustomed to building lives on the edge of uncertainty. But COVID-19 is shaking that fragile foundation. The country is just a decade old and one of the world’s most difficult places to raise children. Coronavirus has exacerbated hunger and poverty. And inflation is hollowing out earnings. Some women are getting jobs outside home for the first time. SENT: 1,490 words, photos, video. An abridged version of 1,020 words is also available.

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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS OUTBREAK — Indonesia has converted nearly its entire oxygen production to medical use just to meet the demand from COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe. Overflowing hospitals in Malaysia had to resort to treating patients on the floor. And in Myanmar’s largest city, graveyard workers have been laboring day and night. Just in the last two weeks, the three Southeast Asian nations have all surpassed India’s peak per capita death rate from a new coronavirus wave. By David Rising and Eileen Ng. SENT: 1,360 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CHINA-COVID-ORIGINS — China cannot accept the World Health Organization’s plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19, a senior Chinese health official says. Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission, says he was “rather taken aback” by the call for a further into the pandemic’s origins and specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab. SENT: 600 words, photos.

BIDEN — President Joe Biden expresses pointed frustration over the slowing COVID-19 vaccination rate in the U.S. and pleads that it’s “gigantically important” for Americans to step up and get inoculated against the virus as it surges again. By Alexandra Jaffe and Aamer Madhani. SENT: 1,070 words, photos, video. With BIDEN-FACT CHECK — Biden goes too far in assurances on vaccines.

OPENING-CEREMONY-DIRECTOR-FIRED — The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee fired the director of the opening ceremony because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998. Organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto said a day ahead of the opening ceremony that director Kentaro Kobayashi has been dismissed. He was accused of using a joke about the Holocaust in his comedy act, including the phrase “Let’s play Holocaust.” By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 650 words, photo. With TOKYO-OLYMPICS-THE-LATEST.

EXPLAINER-PROTEST-RULE — The simple act of taking a knee felt like something more monumental when it happened on Olympic soccer pitches in Japan on the opening night of action. Players from the U.S., Sweden, Chile, Britain and New Zealand women’s teams went to a knee before their games, anti-racism gestures the likes of which had not been seen before on the Olympic stage. They figured to be the first of many of these sort of demonstrations over the three-week stay in Tokyo. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 700 words, photo. With IOC-ATHLETE-PROTESTS — IOC to include athletes kneeling in highlights, social media.

WESTERN-WILDFIRES — A Northern California wildfire crossed into Nevada, prompting new evacuations, but better weather has been helping crews battling the nation’s largest blaze in southern Oregon. By Haven Daley. SENT: 510 words, photos. With WILDFIRES-SMOKE EXPLAINER — As wildlife smoke spreads, who’s at risk?

For more on the U.S. wildfires, click here.

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THE OLYMPICS

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DOPING-CONGRESS — The U.S. government will hold onto nearly half of the $2.93 million in dues it owes to the World Anti-Doping Agency while it waits to see how the global drug-fighting agency moves forward with reforming its governing structure. By National Writer Eddie Pells. SENT: 430 words, photo.

EXPLAINER-SURFING — Surfing is as much skill and science as instinct and timing. SENT: 980 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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CALIFORNIA-RECALL — Radio host Larry Elder wins fight to enter California recall. SENT: 780 words, photos.

CHICAGO-COLUMBUS STATUE — Lawsuit seeks return of Columbus statue to Chicago park. SENT: 350 words.

CHINA-TUNNEL-COLLAPSE — All 14 workers lost in tunnel flood in China confirmed dead. SENT: 320 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VIRAL QUESTIONS-BREAKTHROUGH CASES — A small number of COVID-19 “breakthrough” cases are expected after vaccination, and health officials say they’re not a cause for alarm. By Candice Choi. SENT: 380 words, graphic.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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BIDEN-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT — The Biden administration says it is making $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. By Zeke Miller and Josh Boak. SENT: 330 words, photos.

CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE — Senate Republicans reject an effort to begin debate on the big infrastructure deal that a bipartisan group of senators brokered with Biden, but pressure is mounting as supporters insist they just need more time before another vote possibly next week. SENT: 1,080 words, photos, video.

CAPITOL BREACH-INVESTIGATION — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. SENT: 980 words, photos, video.

UNITED-STATES-AFGHANISTAN — The Taliban appear to have “strategic momentum” in the fight for control of Afghanistan as they put increasing pressure on key cities, setting the stage for a decisive period in coming weeks as American forces complete their withdrawal, the top U.S. military officer says. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. SENT: 490 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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JERUSALEM-SHRINE-BRIDGE — A rickety bridge allowing access to Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site is at risk of collapse, according to experts, but the flashpoint shrine’s delicate position at ground-zero of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has prevented its repair for more than a decade. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

RACIAL-INJUSTICE-FRANCE-POLICE — Leading rights organizations and grassroots groups are taking France’s first class-action lawsuit targeting the nation’s powerful police machine to the highest administrative authority to fix what they contend is a culture of systemic discrimination in identity checks. SENT: 390 words.

NORWAY-ATTACK-ANNIVERSARY — Commemorations will begin marking the 10-year anniversary of Norway’s worst ever peacetime slaughter. SENT: 110 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing, will be updated.

HAITI-PRESIDENT-ASSASSINATED — Hundreds of workers fled businesses in northern Haiti after demonstrations near the hometown of assassinated President Jovenel Moïse grew violent ahead of his funeral. SENT: 440 words, photos.

RUSSIA-WILDFIRES-EXPLAINER — Thousands of wildfires engulf broad expanses of Russia each year, destroying forests and shrouding territories in acrid smoke. SENT: 770 words, photos.

KOREAS-US-NUCLEAR — Top U.S. and South Korean officials agreed to try to convince North Korea to return to talks on its nuclear program, which Pyongyang has insisted it won’t do in protest of what it calls U.S. hostility. SENT: 370 words, photos.

HONG-KONG — Hong Kong police arrested five trade union members and a court denied bail for four editors and journalists held on charges of endangering national security, as part of a widening crackdown on dissent in the city. SENT: 330 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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SUPREME COURT-ABORTION-MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi attorney general’s office is expected to file briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court to outline the state’s arguments in a case that could upend nearly 50 years of court rulings on abortion rights nationwide. SENT: 390 words, photo.

GEORGIA-CHASE-DEADLY-SHOOTING — A judge is expected to delve into the jury selection process at a hearing for the upcoming murder trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was chased and shot after he was spotted running in a Georgia neighborhood. SENT: 330 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher for a second day as optimism about an economic recovery appeared to outweigh concern over rising coronavirus cases and inflation. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 410 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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KRAKEN-EXPANSION-DRAFT — What the expansion draft of the Seattle Kraken lacked in drama it made up for with quirks, production and a giant party to celebrate one of the biggest steps in the launch of the NHL’s newest team. By Sports Writer Tim Booth. SENT: 910 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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MUSIC-KANYE-WEST — Kanye West knows how to make a splash even with an upcoming listening event in Atlanta. By Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 370 words, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US

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