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OLY-ATH-BELARUS ATHLETE — A Belarusian Olympic sprinter plans to seek asylum in Poland after alleging that officials tried to force her home, where she feared for her safety, an activist group said Monday. Athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya is applying for a visa at the Polish embassy in Tokyo, according to Vadim Krivosheyev, of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation. He told The Associated Press that the group has bought her a plane ticket to Warsaw for Aug. 4.. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 650 words, photos.
CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE -- After much delay, senators unveiled a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package Sunday night, wrapping up days of painstaking work on the inches-thick bill and launching what is certain to be a lengthy debate over President Joe Biden’s big priority. By Kevin Freking and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 850 words, photos. Senate to reconvene at noon EDT.
EVICTIONS-MORATORIUM — Housing courts around the country are expected to get busy starting Monday after the federal eviction moratorium lifted over the weekend. Housing advocates fear the end of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moratorium could result in millions of people being evicted in the coming weeks. By Michael Casey. SENT: 1,030 words, photos. WITH: CONGRESS-EVICTIONS-MORATORIUM -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic leaders called on the Biden administration to immediately extend the nation’s eviction moratorium, calling it a “moral imperative” to prevent Americans from being put out of their homes during a COVID-19 surge. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 760 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-VACCINES-REFUGEES — Millions of refugees living in crowded camps are waiting for their COVID-19 vaccines. For months, the World Health Organization urged countries to prioritize immunizing refugees, placing them in the second priority group for at-risk people, alongside those with serious health conditions. But those plans have been upended by vaccine shortages. By AP Science Writers By Victoria Milko and Aniruddha Ghosal. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
LEBANON BLAST-ONE YEAR — It’s been a year since one of the largest non-nuclear explosions erupted at a port warehouse in Beirut. The blast destroyed entire neighborhoods and killed 214 people, including 22 at the nearby St. George Hospital. Every moment of that day remains engrained in the minds of those who lived through it. Many still struggle with the physical and psychological trauma. By Bassem Mroue and Fay Abuelgasim. SENT: 1,770 words, photos, video. An abridged version is available.
OLY-BEIJING GAMES-FORIEGN JOURNALISTS — The IOC says the Olympics are only about the sports, and that no politics are allowed. This will be the mantra when the Beijing Winter Games open in six months. Covering ski races or figure-skating finals should be painless. Just stay in the sports bubble and out of trouble. But reporters from other countries who puncture the PR skin to explore other aspects of life in China — as they have in Japan during the Tokyo Olympics — could draw more than criticism. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 1,330 words, photos.
MORE ON THE OLYMPICS
OLY-KINDNESS: The world’s most competitive athletes at the Olympics are showing a gentleness and kindness to each other, forced by circumstance to see their rivals as coronavirus battle buddies after a turbulent year. By Sally Ho. SENT: 650 words, photos.
OLY-GYM-BILES RETURNS — Simone Biles is returning to competition in Tokyo. The 2016 Olympic champion will compete in the balance beam finals on Tuesday. That’s a little over a week after the American superstar stepped away from the meet to focus on her mental health. SENT: 240 words, photos.
OLY-GYM-EXPLAINER-GYMNASTICS HISTORY — The word gymnastics is derived from the ancient Greek “gymnazein,” meaning “to exercise naked.” The sport, now among the Olympics’ most beloved events, was born millennia ago, as young men trained for war in the buff. Throughout human history, people have flipped and twisted to explore the limits of the human body. SENT: 700 words, photos.
OLY-SOC-US-CANADA — Jessie Fleming scored a penalty in the 74th minute and Canada knocked the United States out of the Olympic women’s soccer competition with a 1-0 semifinal victory on Monday. Canada goes on to face the winner of the late semifinal in Yokohama between Sweden and Australia. The gold medal match is set for Friday at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. SENT: 530 words, photos.
OLY-BOX-EXPLAINER-BOXING DRAMA — For as long as boxing has been in the modern Olympics, fighters and fans have complained about it. Every good-faith attempt to improve the judging and officiating has been undone by more missteps. The sport now is essentially defined by images of outraged boxers protesting their perceived injustices. SENT: 970 words, photos.
OLY-ITALY’S YEAR: The first hints that this was Italy’s year came when Italian band Maneskin won the popular Eurovision Song Contest in May. Then came the European Championship soccer title run in June and July. SENT: 690 words, photos.
OLY-ATH-TRACK-AND-FIELD — Marcell Jacobs won the men’s Olympic 100-meter race Sunday night, crossing the line in 9.8 seconds to bring the sprint gold to Italy for the first time. Jacobs topped America’s Fred Kerley and Canada’s Andre DeGrasse to take the spot held for the past 13 years by the now-retired Usain Bolt. SENT: 1,160 words, photos.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
FRANCE-CHINA PANDAS — A French zoo has announced that a giant panda on loan to France from China has given birth to two female twin cubs. SENT: 3300 words, photos.
HONG KONG — A prominent Hong Kong singer and pro-democracy activist has been arrested by the city’s anti-corruption watchdog over accusations that he broke the law by singing at a political rally three years ago. SENT: 380 words, photos.
OBIT-CHARLES CONNER — Charles Connor, known for being Little Richard’s drummer who performed with other music greats including James Brown and Sam Cooke, has died. He was 86. SENT: 310 words.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-GERMANY PROTESTS — Berlin police say a 49-year-old man has died after being detained by officers during protests Sunday against the German government’s anti-coronavirus measures. Police said early Monday that the man had complained of tingling in his arm and chest while officers checked his ID in the capital’s Mitte district. SENT: 240 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK — Italy and France are introducing Europe’s toughest vaccine pass regimes for normal social activities like dining indoors at restaurants, visiting museums and attending sporting events. The tactic has boosted vaccination rates in both countries. But there are pockets of resistance by those who call it a violation of their civil liberties or who are concerned about vaccine safety. SENT: 990 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN -- The Biden administration is expanding its efforts to evacuate at-risk Afghan citizens from Afghanistan as Taliban violence increases ahead of the U.S. military pullout at the end of the month. By Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee. SENT: 390 words, photos.
BIDEN-AUGUST PUSH -- An array of progressive and pro-White House groups plans to spend nearly $100 million to promote President Joe Biden’s agenda over the next month to pressure Congress while lawmakers are on their August recess. By Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 610 words, photos.
BIDEN-JUDGES -- With no Supreme Court opening to slow them, President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats are putting judges on federal trial and appellate courts at a much faster clip than any of Biden’s recent predecessors, including former President Donald Trump. By Mark Sherman and Darlene Superville. SENT: 900 words, photos.
ELECTION 2021-TRUMP-OHIO -- The midsummer race for Ohio’s traditionally Republican 15th Congressional District wouldn’t typically get much national attention. But it’s suddenly becoming a high-stakes test of former President Donald Trump’s endorsement power, which he has wielded as a cudgel to silence opposition in the GOP. By Jill Colvin, Thomas Beaumont and Julie Carr Smyth. SENT: 1,290 words, photos.
TEXAS-ELECTION DISCREPANCIES -- A group of researchers reports a series of minor errors in Texas’ election results across the states. The discrepancies concern only a few hundred votes and would not have made a difference in races. But they show how new partisan demands for election audits overlook actual weaknesses in election systems. By Nicholas Riccardi and Paul Weber. SENT: 980 words, photos.
IRAN ANALYSIS — Iran’s hard-liners will control all parts of the Islamic Republic’s civilian government once a protégé of the country’s supreme leader is sworn in as president this week. One might think this has already happened, given the brinkmanship over Iran accelerating its nuclear program and the West alleging that Tehran launched a fatal drone attack targeting an oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire. Iran’s inauguration of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday represents the last stop in a slow slide from the hopes that the 2015 nuclear deal would open the Islamic Republic to the West. SENT: 980 words, photos.
TURKEY WILDFIRES — Firefighters are battling to control blazes that tore through forests near Turkey’s beach destinations for the sixth day running, as water-carrying planes from the European Union prepare to join the containment efforts. The fires burning in parched conditions and strong winds since Wednesday have left eight people dead and forced residents and tourists to flee vacation resorts in boats. SENT: 460 words, photos.
CHINA FLOODING — More than 300 people died in recent flooding in central China, authorities said Monday, three times the previously announced toll. SENT: 350 words, photos.
ASEAN — Southeast Asia’s top diplomats are meeting to appoint a special envoy to help deal with the political crisis and violence gripping Myanmar and finalize an emergency plan to help control a coronavirus outbreak that many fear is spiraling out of control in the military-ruled nation. SENT: 720 words, photo.
KOREAS-TENSIONS — South Korea says it’ll keep pushing to improve ties and resume talks with rival North Korea, despite the North’s threat to rekindle animosities if Seoul continues with its upcoming military drills with the United States. SENT: 400 words, photos.
ARIZONA UNKNOWNS — Some families of USS Arizona sailors and Marines whose remains were never found after the bombing of Pearl Harbor are concerned the U.S. military doesn’t plan to take advantage of advances in DNA technology to identify unknowns from the battleship. Eighty-five individuals from the Arizona were buried as unknowns in a Honolulu cemetery after the war. SENT: 1,160 words, photos.
WESTERN-WILDFIRES — Firefighters in Oregon reported good progress in the battle against the nation’s largest wildfire, while authorities canceled evacuation orders near a major blaze in Northern California. Containment of the Bootleg Fire in remote southern Oregon is up to 74% on Sunday. SENT: 550 words, photos.
FILM-BOX-OFFICE — Despite growing concerns over the delta variant, “Jungle Cruise” still drew moviegoers out to theaters during the film’s opening weekend to sail atop the North American box office. SENT: 380 words, photos.
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