BC-AP News Digest 3 a.m.

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APTOPIX California Wildfires (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
APTOPIX California Wildfires (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

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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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE INEQUITY — Global health experts say they expected vaccine distribution to be unequal between rich countries and poor countries. But no one thought it would get to this point. Less than 1% of the world’s poorest citizens have received a dose. And experts say it could be 2023 until vaccines are widely available everywhere. That’s fueling more infections and variants that could keep the pandemic around longer. The African Union’s envoy for vaccine acquisition compared the inequity of distribution to a famine in which “the richest guys grab the baker.” By Lori Hinnant, Maria Cheng and Aniruddha Ghosal. SENT: 3,640 words, photos. An abridged version of 1,110 words is available. This is the Monday Spotlight

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TOP STORIES

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WESTERN-WILDFIRES — The largest wildfire in the U.S. torched more dry forest landscape in Oregon, one of dozens of major blazes burning across the West as critically dangerous fire weather loomed in the coming days. The destructive Bootleg Fire just north of the California border grew to more than 476 square miles (1,210 square kilometers), an area about the size of Los Angeles. SENT: 770 words, photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-SENTENCING — A Florida man who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag is scheduled to become the first Jan. 6 rioter sentenced for a felony, in a hearing that will help set a benchmark for punishment in similar cases. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 560 words, photos. Hearing set for 10 a.m. EDT.

EUROPE-FLOODS — German Chancellor Angela Merkel surveyed what she called a “surreal, ghostly” scene in a devastated village, pledging quick financial aid and a redoubled political focus on curbing climate change as the death toll from floods in Western Europe climbed above 180. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 870 words, photos. With EUROPE-FLOODS-SURVIVORS — Survivors of the massive flooding that crashed through parts of Western Europe are confronting haunting memories and the daunting task of cleaning up and making repairs. SENT: 730 words, photos; GERMANY-FLOODS-ELECTION-CANDIDATE — German candidate sorry for laughing scene in flood visit. SENT: 240 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BANGLADESH -- Millions of Bangladeshis are shopping and traveling this week during a controversial eight-day pause in the country’s strict coronavirus lockdown that the government is allowing for the Islamic festival Eid-al Adha. The suspension has been panned by health experts as it comes as the country is still battling a surge fueled by the highly contagious delta variant and risks an explosion in new cases. By Julhas Alam. SENT: 740 words, photos.

OLYMPICS-JAPAN-THE SURREAL GAMES - After a yearlong delay and months of hand-wringing that rippled across a pandemic-inflected world, a Summer Games unlike any other is at hand. It’s an Olympics, sure, but also, in a very real way, something quite different. No foreign fans. No local attendance in Tokyo-area venues. A reluctant populace navigating a surge of virus cases amid a still-limited vaccination campaign. Athletes and their entourages confined to a quasi-bubble, under threat of deportation. Government minders and monitoring apps trying — in theory, at least — to track visitors’ every move. Alcohol curtailed or banned. Cultural exchanges, the kind that power the on-the-ground energy of most Games, completely absent. By Foster Klug. SENT: 870 words, photo.

JAPAN-GHOSN-ESCAPE-TRIAL - A Tokyo court handed down prison terms for the American father and son accused of helping Nissan’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, escape to Lebanon while awaiting trial in Japan. Michael Taylor was sentenced Monday to two years in prison, while his son Peter was sentenced to one year and eight months. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 530 words, photo.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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DEADLY SHOOTING ATTACK - A series of attacks Sunday afternoon in Arizona have ended with five people shot, including one fatality, and two or three children missing, Tucson police said. The suspect in the attacks was critically wounded by an officer. SENT: 280 words, photos.

OLY-TOKYO-ATHLETES POSITIVE — Two South African soccer players have become the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19, with the Tokyo Games opening on Friday. SENT: 750 words, photos.

PADRES-NATIONALS-SHOOTING — The San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals have resumed playing, a day after their game was suspended when gunfire erupted outside the stadium. SENT: 400 words, photos.

MUSIC-DYLAN’S-RETURN — Singer Bob Dylan who has a reputation as a relentless road warrior, has returned to the stage for the first time since things shut down because of the pandemic — at least on film. He gave a 13-song performance Sunday for fans who paid $25 to see him through the live-streaming platform Veeps. SENT: 370 words, photos.

SCI-BLUE-ORIGIN-EXPLAINER — When Blue Origin launches people into space for the first time, founder Jeff Bezos will be on board. No test pilots or flight engineers for Tuesday’s debut flight from West Texas, just the founder of Amazon, his brother, an 82-year-old aviation pioneer and a teenage tourist. By Marcia Dunn. SENT: 990 words, photos, video.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-US -- The U.S. surgeon general says he is concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly. Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of people who haven’t gotten shots despite widespread vaccine availability, Dr. Vivek Murthy painted an unsettling picture of what the future could hold. By Jay Reeves. SENT: 670 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE LATEST (sent).

BRITAIN-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-FREEDOM-DAY? — Thousands of young people across England plan to dance the night away at “Freedom Day” parties as soon as it turns Monday. Businesses and ravers are jubilant. But many others are deeply worried about the U.K. government’s decision to go ahead with shelving social distancing at a time when virus cases are on another rapid upswing. By Sylvia Hui and Urooba Jamal. SENT: 1,030 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, his office said — reversing an earlier announcement that he would not have to quarantine after facing an uproar. SENT: 640 words, photo.

SAUDI ARABIA-HAJJ — Tens of thousands of vaccinated Muslim pilgrims circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca but remained socially distanced and wore masks as the coronavirus takes its toll on the hajj for a second year running. SENT: 810 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CALIFORNIA — Los Angeles County residents are again required to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status — a new mandate starting this weekend that health officials hope will reverse the latest spikes in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. SENT: 480 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-AUSTRALIA — Far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins will be deported from Australia after boasting on social media that she planned to breach quarantine rules. SENT: 380 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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CAPITOL-BREACH-DELUSIONS — Months after Donald Trump’s supporters besieged the Capitol, the ex-president and his supporters are revising their account of what happened on Jan. 6 and portraying themselves as the martyrs and heroes. Historians recognize the techniques of propaganda in this revisionism. They see an effort to glorify his side and demonize the other — in this case, the police officers who were overwhelmed and beaten by the attackers that day. By Calvin Woodward, Colleen Long and David Klepper. SENT: 1,420 words, photos. An abridged version of 990 words is available.

UNITED STATES-JORDAN — President Joe Biden is set to host King Abdullah II of Jordan during one of the most difficult moments of the Jordanian leader’s 22-year rule and at a pivotal time in the Middle East for Biden. By Aamer Madhani. SENT: 600 words, photos. Abdullah’s arrival at White House scheduled for 1:45 p.m.

TEXAS DEMOCRATS — Texas Democrats are starting a second week of holing up in Washington to block new voting laws back home. More than 50 Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives plan on Monday to continue a media blitz in the nation’s capital and pressure Congress to act on federal voting rights. By Paul J. Weber. SENT: 1,150 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RUNAWAY-LAWMAKERS — Two more Texas lawmakers who left their state to hobble efforts to pass new voting restrictions have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising to five the number of infected people in the delegation. SENT: 280 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-PENNSYLVANIA AUDIT — Donald Trump’s false claims of a stolen election have been debunked by the courts, his own Justice Department and scores of recounts. But in Pennsylvania, they’re still picking up steam. That has some Republicans quietly worrying that the protracted spectacle of an election audit could damage the state’s democratic institutions and undermine the party’s credibility with critical swing voters before the 2022 elections. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE — A proposal to strengthen IRS enforcement to crack down on tax scofflaws and help fund a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure spending is officially off the table, Republican Sen. Rob Portman says. SENT: 380 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CYBERSECURITY-SPYWARE-NSO GROUP — A new investigation by a global media consortium based on leaked targeting data provides more damning evidence that Israel-based NSO Group, the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire outfit, lets repressive regimes use its military-grade malware to spy on journalists, human rights activists and dissidents. SENT: 1,300 words, photo.

AFGHANISTAN-PEACE-TALKS — The leader of the Taliban says his movement is committed to a political settlement to end decades of war in Afghanistan, even as the insurgents battle in dozens of districts across to country to gain territory. SENT: 540 words, photo.

HAITI-PRESIDENT ASSASSINATED — Haiti’s political future on Sunday grew murkier after the surprise return of first lady Martine Moïse, who was released from a hospital in Miami where she was treated for injuries following an attack in which the president was assassinated. SENT: 660 words, photos.

NORWAY-ATTACK ANNIVERSARY - On the 10th anniversary of Norway’s worst peacetime slaughter, survivors of Anders Behring Breivik’s assault worry that the racism which nurtured the anti-Islamic mass murderer is re-emerging in a nation known for its progressive politics. Most of Breivik’s 77 victims on July 22, 2011, were teen members of the Labor Party — idealists enjoying their annual camping trip on the tranquil, wooded island of Utoya, in a lake northwest of Oslo, the capital. Today many survivors are battling to keep their vision for their country alive. SENT: 990 words, photos.

OPEC-OIL PRICES — OPEC and allied nations have agreed to raise the production limits imposed on five countries next year and boost their production by 2 million barrels per day by the end of this year, ending a dispute that roiled oil markets. SENT: 710 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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CALIFORNIA-RECALL — The official list of who’s running in California’s recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom remained unsettled Sunday, with conservative talk radio host Larry Elder maintaining he should be included and state officials giving no details as to why he wasn’t. SENT: 1, 450 words, photos.

CDC-FLORIDA CRUISES — Pandemic restrictions on Florida-based cruise ships will remain in place after a federal appeals court temporarily blocked a previous ruling that sided with a Florida lawsuit challenging the regulations. SENT: 490 words, photo.

EDWIN EDWARDS-FUNERAL — The casket of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards has been removed from the state Capitol for transport by horse-drawn carriage to the site of his funeral. Bagpipes played as a state police honor guard carried the casket down the Capitol steps. SENT: 380 words, photo. WITH: LOUISIANA SPOTLIGHT-ANALYSIS-EDWARDS-LEGACY — Prison sentence, state’s fiscal woes weigh on Edwards’ legacy. SENT: 750 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FILM-BOX OFFICE — “Black Widow” ceded its No. 1 spot to an unlikely foe in its second week in theaters: The Tune Squad. LeBron James, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the stars of Warner Bros.’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” defied expectations and won the box office this weekend. SENT: 530 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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GLF--BRITISH OPEN — Collin Morikawa is the champion golfer of the year. Morikawa captured the British Open on Sunday for his second major championship in two years. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TOUR DE FRANCE — Tadej Pogacar won the Tour de France for a second straight year after a mostly ceremonial final stage to the Champs-Elysees in cycling’s biggest race. SENT: 120 words, photos. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SOUTH KOREA-DEFECTOR-BOXER - South Korea’s only boxing world champion is a North Korean defector who fled her authoritarian former homeland as a 13-year-old girl with her family in 2003. WBA super featherweight champion Choi Hyunmi has appeared on TV shows in South Korea and is considered a role model for fellow defectors who have faced discrimination. SENT: 970 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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The Nerve Center 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 844-777-2006.

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