*

upload_article_image

AP News Digest 3:50 a.m.

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.

------------------

TOP STORIES

-------------------

TRUMP-RUSHMORE — President Donald Trump delivered a fiery speech at Mount Rushmore, charging that protesters have waged “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history” amid demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality. The president dug further into American divisions on Friday, offering a discordant tone to an electorate battered by a pandemic and wounded by racial injustice following the high-profile killings of Black people. By Stephen Groves and Darlene Superville. SENT: 1,000 words, audio.

JULY 4 — While public health officials are urging Americans to hold more muted Independence Day celebrations amid a spike of coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump is going big for what he is promising will be a “special evening” in the nation’s capital. By Aamer Madhani. SENT: 880 words, photos. WITH: FOURTH OF JULY-MILITARY — President Trump’s July 4 celebration will feature an extensive U.S. military air show over Washington, but four other cities — Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore — will get mini-versions of the air power display. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 420 words, photo.

SYRIA-MISSING DETAINEES — Syrian families are hoping that newly imposed U.S. sanctions will force Damascus to reveal news about their loved ones who disappeared into government prisons during the country’s civil war. Activist groups say more than 12,000 Syrians are missing after being detained, and that thousands more are known to have been tortured to death. By Bassem Mroue. SENT: 980 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SEX WORKERS AND HIV — As the coronavirus spreads in Africa, it threatens those who earn their living on the streets, including sex workers with HIV. One sex worker in Rwanda says the country’s lockdown has taken away many of her customers, giving her less money to buy food. And when she doesn’t eat, the antiviral drugs she takes for HIV can bring on pain, weakness and nausea, or even make her pass out. By Ignatius Ssuuna. SENT: 840 words, photos.

TALIBAN BOUNTIES-PEACE DEAL — Intelligence alleging that Afghan militants might have accepted Russian bounties for killing American troops didn’t scuttle the U.S.-Taliban agreement or President Trump’s plan to withdraw thousands more troops from the war. But it’s given critics of the deal more reason to claim the Taliban shouldn’t be trusted. By Deb Riechmann. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

-----------------------------------------------

MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

-----------------------------------------------

VIRUS OUTBREAK — The U.S. is heading into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control. They say this could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak. With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families are being urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they are being told to keep their backyard cookouts small. By John Seewer. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE LATEST, developing.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CALIFORNIA — California’s governor is warning counties they risk losing state funds if they fail to enforce health orders heading into the Fourth of July weekend. SENT: 800 words, photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ASIA — South Korea has reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus, continuing a weekslong resurgence as new clusters pop up in various parts of the country. The figures bring national totals to 13,030 infections, including 283 deaths. SENT: 230 words, photos, developing.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MEXICO — Mexico’s coronavirus outbreak has risen by about 6,740 newly confirmed cases for a second straight day, while 654 deaths raised the country’s total to almost 30,000, the sixth-highest highest in the world. SENT: 260 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COVID PARTIES-ALABAMA — The Alabama Department of Public Health said it could not verify reports of so-called COVID-19 parties where students deliberately tried to become infected, but also warned people not to try it. SENT: 160 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TEXAS — As Texas began mandating face coverings Friday on the orders of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, his party charged ahead with plans for a massive convention this month in Houston, magnifying the conflicting responses in the Texas GOP to a rampant resurgence of the coronavirus. SENT: 740 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-AIR FRANCE — Air France and regional subsidiary Hop have announced 7,500 job cuts after the virus pandemic grounded most flights and darkened prospects for future air travel. Union activists protested at Air France headquarters at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport as talks between management and personnel representatives about future job prospects began Friday. SENT: 360 words, photos.

Find more coverage of the Virus Outbreak in AP Newsroom.

-----------------------------------------------

MORE ON RACIAL INJUSTICE

-----------------------------------------------

RACIAL INJUSTICE-ELIJAH MCCLAIN — Three officers were fired Friday over photos showing police reenact a chokehold used on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died last year after police stopped him on the street in a Denver suburb. SENT: 870 words, photos, videos.

FOURTH-OF-JULY-FREDERICK-DOUGLASS — About 150 preachers, rabbis and imams are promising to invoke Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass on July 4th as they call for the U.S. to tackle racism and poverty. SENT: 460 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-MISSOURI — Hundreds of protesters have made a peaceful return to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defense of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support. SENT: 670 words, photos.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-PORTLAND — Protesters in the liberal, predominantly white city of Portland, Oregon, have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are co-opting the moment. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

Find more coverage of Racial Injustice in AP Newsroom.

---------------------------------------------

WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

---------------------------------------------

VIRUS OUTBREAK-DOG-GEORGIA — A dog in Georgia is believed to have been the second canine in the U.S. to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, health officials said. SENT: 120 words.

SOBER LIVING-INSURANCE FRAUD — A Beverly Hills, California, surgeon and his girlfriend have pleaded not guilty to taking part in a $52 million insurance fraud scheme that involved recruiting patients at Southern California sober living homes to undergo unnecessary surgeries and other procedures, prosecutors said Friday. SENT: 170 words.

SAN FRANCISCO-MOUNTAIN LION — A young mountain lion that was captured last month after roaming the streets of San Francisco and then released into a wilderness preserve was found dead Friday on the shoulder of a highway in Northern California. SENT: 270 words, photo.

NOT REAL NEWS — This week’s Not Real News examines false information on a St. Louis confrontation last weekend, comments purportedly made by Sen. Kamala Harris, and a video about a tag inside a Victoria’s Secret bra. SENT: 1,800 words, photos.

-------------------------------------

WASHINGTON/POLITICS

-------------------------------------

ELECTION 2020-DIGITAL — Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is feverishly working to develop a social media force that can compete with President Trump’s well-established digital “army” of meme makers and political influencers who retweet campaign messages in support of him. And it won’t be easy. By Alexandra Jaffe and Amanda Seitz. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

------------------———

INTERNATIONAL

————————————

NORTH KOREA-US — North Korea is reiterating it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” polices toward Pyongyang. SENT: 470 words, photo.

SOMALIA-BLAST — Explosions rocked two of Somalia’s largest cities on Saturday as officials said a suicide car bomber detonated near the port in Mogadishu and a land mine in a restaurant on the outskirts of Baidoa killed four people. SENT: 170 words, developing.

EUROPE-IRAN-NUCLEAR — The European Union’s top diplomat said Friday that he has received a letter from Iran that triggers a dispute mechanism in the international agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, citing concerns that Britain, France and Germany are not living up to their side of the deal. SENT: 440 words, photos.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-ANNEXATION — A group of former world leaders urged European leaders on Friday to keep pressuring Israel against annexation of parts of the West Bank, warning against complacency after Israel made no move to take over the territory on July 1. SENT: 560 words, photos.

JAPAN-HEAVY RAIN — Heavy rain in southern Japan triggered flooding and mudslides on Saturday, leaving at least two dead, more than a dozen missing and others stranded on rooftops waiting to be rescued, officials said. SENT: 260 words, photos.

PUERTO RICO-QUAKE — Two strong earthquakes shook Puerto Rico on Friday, but there were no reports of injuries in the latest of a series of tremors that have hit the U.S. territory since late December. SENT: 340 words.

CANADA-TRUDEAU-SECURITY — A military reservist who allegedly crashed his truck through a gate on the grounds where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives has been charged with 22 crimes, including weapons offenses and uttering threats. SENT: 340 words.

COLOMBIA-AMERICAN CAPTIVES — Three American defense contractors held for five years by leftist rebels in Colombia moved closer to collecting on a $318 million judgment against their former captors when a U.S. Supreme Court justice rebuffed an appeal by a sanctioned Venezuelan businessman whose assets they seek to claim. SENT: 670 words, photo.

————————

NATIONAL

————————

SHOPPING MALL-SHOOTING-ALABAMA — An 8-year-old boy was killed Friday in a shooting at an Alabama shopping mall that left three other people injured, police said. SENT: 470 words, photo.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN-ASSOCIATE — Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite accused of procuring underage sex partners for Jeffrey Epstein, is facing charges despite an unusual deal that Epstein struck with federal prosecutors more than a decade ago that was thought at the time to have protected his associates. Will it offer her any legal cover now? SENT: 840 words, photos.

FOURTH OF JULY-FIREWORKS RISK — With hundreds of fireworks shows canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, sales of consumer fireworks are booming. Some officials are concerned about fires and injuries with more pyrotechnics going off in backyards and at block parties. SENT: 690 words, photos.

FEDERAL EXECUTIONS-LEE — Attorneys for a federal inmate scheduled to be the first put to death in 17 years are asking a judge to delay his execution due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Attorneys for Daniel Lee asked a federal judge on Thursday to delay his execution until spring 2021. SENT: 200 words.

MEXICO-VIOLENCE — Mexico’s military says soldiers patrolling in the border city of Nuevo Laredo across from Texas came under fire from drug cartel gunmen, then killed 12 of their attackers in a gunbattle. SENT: 340 words.

———————————————

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

———————————————

FINANCIAL-MARKETS — World stock markets fell slightly in Europe on Friday after gains in Asia, with trading somewhat subdued by a long holiday weekend in the U.S. SENT: 460 words, photos.

————————————

ENTERTAINMENT

————————————

PEOPLE-KACEY MUSGRAVES — Grammy-winning singer Kacey Musgraves and her musician-husband, Ruston Kelly, have filed for divorce. Representatives for both singers confirmed the news Friday to The Associated Press. In a joint statement, Musgraves and Kelly said they’ve “made this painful decision together.” SENT: 430 words, photos.

WILLIE NELSON-PICNIC — Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic is going ahead this year, but to reduce concerns about the coronavirus the event will be virtual. SENT: 160 words.

————————————

SPORTS

————————————

CAR-NASCAR-PAINTING A MESSAGE — Corey LaJoie came to Indianapolis with a new primary sponsor and a freshly painted car. It’s likely to drive the conversation inside and outside of Gasoline Alley all weekend. The sleek red, white and blue No. 32 Ford will carry the banner Trump 2020 on LaJoie’s hood for the next nine races — a move that comes at a time of an intensifying political debate that is now moving to NASCAR events. By AP Sports Writer Michael Marot. SENT: 850 words, photos.

MLB CORONAVIRUS POSITIVE TESTS — Thirty-one Major League Baseball players and seven staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 during intake for the resumption of training, a rate of 1.2%. By AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 330 words, photos.

FBN-REDSKINS NAME — The Washington Redskins begin a “thorough review” of their nickname, a significant step toward moving on from what experts and advocates call a “dictionary-defined racial slur.” Even though owner Dan Snyder had shown no willingness to change the name since buying the team in 1999, the recent national conversation on race has renewed opposition to the name and prompted sponsors to speak up. By AP Sports Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 570 words, photos.

----------------------————

HOW TO REACH US

----------------------————

At the Nerve Center, Mallika Sen can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). Expanded AP content can be obtained from https://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.