AP News Digest 2 p.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.



Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Trump was admitted to the hospital after contracting the coronavirus. (AP PhotoSusan Walsh)


VIRUS OUTBREAK-IMMIGRATION ORDER -- Two former U.S. health officials tell AP that Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nation’s top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the borders against immigrants and asylum seekers over the objections of its scientists. Three people with direct knowledge of the situation say a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doctor had refused to comply with the Trump administration directive. By Jason Dearen and Garace Burke. SENT: 1,410 words, photos.


Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas wears a face mask with his own caricature prior to his third round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. (AP PhotoMichel Euler)



VIRUS OUTBREAK - President Donald Trump’s doctor painted a rosy picture of the president’s health as he remains hospitalized for coronavirus treatment. But that assessment was immediately contradicted by a person familiar with Trump’s condition, who said the president was administered supplemental oxygen on Friday at the White House. As well, Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, said the president went through a “very concerning” period Friday and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. By Jonathan Lemire, Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller. SENT: 1,350 words, photos, video. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-WHAT WE KNOW — What we know, and what we don’t, about Trump’s coronavirus. SENT: 350 words, photos.

For more coverage on Trump virus in AP Newsroom.

TRUMP-SICK PRESIDENTS - Throughout U.S. history, an uncomfortable truth has emerged: Presidents have lied about their health. By Deb Riechmann. UPCOMING: 1,100 words by 5 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TRUMP-STATE REPUBLICANS — Republican governors and lawmakers in many states have followed President Donald Trump’s lead on their response to the coronavirus, declining to impose mask mandates and pushing to lift restrictions on businesses and social gatherings as swiftly as possible. Revelations that the president and first lady are now among those who have tested positive for the disease appeared to do little to change their thinking. By Marc Levy. SENT: 900 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS — Republicans sought to call off legislative work in the Senate until Oct. 19 as the coronavirus reached into their ranks. But they vowed that hearings for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee would push ahead as planned. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett will still begin Oct. 12, even if Democrats agree to cancel the regular Senate session to avoid further spread of COVID-19. By Laurie Kellman. SENT: 425 words, photos, developing.

SUPREME COURT-NEW TERM — The Supreme Court is opening a new term with Republicans on the cusp of a solid conservative majority that might roll back abortion rights, expand gun rights and shrink the power of government. Eight justices are getting back to work Monday less than a month before the presidential election. They’re still mourning the death of their colleague Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last month. They’re also working in the midst of a pandemic that has forced the court to meet by telephone. By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko. SENT: 830 words, photos. WITH: SUPREME COURT NEW TERM GLANCE — A look at big issues on Supreme Court’s agenda in new term. SENT: 700 words, photo.

REL-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CHURCH-IMPACTS -- The coronavirus pandemic has posed daunting challenges for houses of worship across the U.S., including large financial losses and suspension of in-person services. It also has sparked moments of gratitude and wonder. In suburban Chicago, Lutheran pastor Sarah Wilson recorded an online sermon while flying aboard a small plane piloted by a congregant. In New York, Episcopal priest Steven Paulikas heard from someone in France who watched a sermon online and wrote to say he “loved” it. By David Crary. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

FBN--VIRUS OUTBREAK-PATRIOTS -- The NFL postponed this week’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” ESPN reported that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was among those testing positive. The NFL said that the game, originally scheduled for 4:25 p.m. EDT on Sunday, will be played on Monday or Tuesday, a move that would be possible only if there is no wider spread of the disease on the rosters. By Jimmy Golen. SENT: 400 words, photos, developing.




ELECTION 2020-POLITICAL VOLATILITY — There are few parallels in American history when the nation has confronted such a collision of crises on the eve of a presidential election. Yet beneath the extraordinary volatility, the broad contours of the 2020 presidential contest have been remarkably stable. UPCOMING: 900 words by 5 p.m. Photos.

ELECTIONS-VOTER-REGISTRATION-FLORIDA -- Republicans in Florida are narrowing the voter registration gap with Democrats, underscoring the state’s status as a crucial battleground in November. Even though Democrats have historically had a voter registration edge in Florida, they have been unable to capitalize on that advantage and have lost a string of high-profile election contests. SENT: 780 words, photos.

SUPREME-COURT-BARRETT-RHODES-COLLEGE -- U.S. Supreme Court hopeful Amy Coney Barrett graduated with honors in 1994 from a small liberal arts school — Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. But more than 1,500 alumni are not proud of their school’s ties to the conservative lawyer and judge. They have posted a letter on social media expressing their opposition to Barrett’s nomination to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court after Ginsburg’s death last month. SENT: 795 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-NORTH CAROLINA -- Cal Cunningham, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate for North Carolina, admitted to sending sexual text messages to a California strategist who is not his wife, but he said he will not drop out of the race. SENT: 850 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-CALIFORNIA DATA PRIVACY — Californians will vote on whether to expand their data privacy rights in a Nov. 3 ballot measure that would also amend a law that took effect earlier this year. Proposition 24 would rewrite parts of a groundbreaking law that took effect in January. Critics say it has been watered down by big tech companies that have found ways to dodge its requirements. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has taken a lead role in promoting the initiative. SENT: 840 words, photos.

FACT CHECK WEEK — President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis cut short the week’s political arguing and even quieted his Twitter account for a time. But the wild presidential debate produced plenty of distortions in the campaign for the election a month away. SENT: 1900 words, photos. Find more here: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-fact-check




VIRUS OUTBREAK-AMERICA'S VULNERABILITY — President Trump’s startling COVID-19 diagnosis serves as a cruel reminder of the pervasive spread of the coronavirus and shows how tenuous of a grip the nation has on the crisis, health experts said. SENT: 700 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PRIVATE SCHOOLS — A federal judge has turned down an initial request to ease pandemic-related occupancy limits for in-person instruction at private schools in New Mexico, in a setback for a lawsuit supported by the U.S. Justice Department. SENT: 420 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDIA — India passed a grim milestone in its fight against the coronavirus Saturday, with health authorities saying the country has recorded more than 100,000 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began. The announcement from the Health Ministry means that nearly 10% of the more than 1 million people to die globally in the pandemic have done so in India, behind only the United States and Brazil. SENT: 840 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-INDIA-SELFLESS SOUL - In India’s northeastern Assam state, one man has been braving the risk of contamination and social stigma to conduct the funeral rites of COVID-19 victims. Ramananda Sarkar volunteered for this perilous work when no one was willing to risk cremating the dead. Out of the 711 confirmed coronavirus deaths in his state, Sarkar says he has cremated more than 450. SENT: 590 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BOSNIA-SKEPTICS - Bosnia’s coronavirus rebels have grown increasingly aggressive in recent months as the number of confirmed virus cases rise in the small Balkan nation. The vicious arguments in the comment sections of news websites occasionally spill over into invasive confrontations. SENT: 970 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INTELLUCTUAL-PROPERTY — South Africa and India have asked the World Trade Organization to waive some provisions in the international agreements that regulate intellectual property rights, to speed up efforts to prevent, treat and contain the COVID-19 pandemic and make sure developing countries are not left behind. SENT: 660 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PRIVATE SCHOOLS - A federal judge has turned down an initial request to ease pandemic-related occupancy limits for in-person instruction at private schools in New Mexico, in a setback for a lawsuit supported by the U.S. Justice Department. SENT: 420 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ARGENTINA-ANTARCTICA — As COVID-19 cases surge in their homeland, there are at least some Argentines who feel secure: the scientists and military personnel at South American country’s bases in Antarctica, the only continent without reported cases. SENT: 420 words, photo.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-VIRAL-QUESTIONS-CONTACT-TRACING - What is contact tracing, and how does it work with COVID-19? The goal of contact tracing is to alert people who may have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, so they won’t spread it to others. SENT: 300 words, photo.

Find more coverage on the Virus Outbreak on the featured topic page in AP Newsroom.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW JERSEY — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he has tested positive for COVID-19. SENT: 160 words, photo.

ODD-VIRUS OUTBREAK-FLORIDA SENATOR MISSPEAKS — U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said he misspoke when he said on national television that he had tested positive for COVID-19. SENT: 170 words, photos.

EGYPT ANTIQUITIES — Egypt’s tourism and antiquities minster said archaeologists have unearthed dozens of ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of Cairo. SENT: 400 words, photos.

VOTER FRAUD-FLORIDA — Florida authorities say they’ve filed a voter fraud charge against a man who said he said he “wanted to test the system” when he tried to obtain a mail-in ballot for his deceased wife. SENT: 175 words.

OBIT-DON RYCE — Don Ryce, a labor lawyer who with his wife became a leading advocate for missing children after their 9-year-old son was abducted, raped and murdered in South Florida, died Saturday. He was 76. SENT: 255 words, photo.




CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES — Red flag warnings of extreme fire danger subsided, but warm and dry weather continued to challenge firefighters battling more than two dozen blazes across California as the state approaches an astonishing milestone: 4 million acres burned by wildfires this year. SENT: 475 words, photo, video.

PIPELINE WORRIES — Some residents in South Carolina are worried about losing portions of their land to a proposed natural gas pipeline. The 14.5-mile pipeline being proposed by Virginia-based utility giant Dominion Energy would traverse parts of 65 pieces of private property. The utility cites increased energy needs spurred by economic growth in southeastern South Carolina as the impetus for the project. SENT: 935 words, photos.




CENTRAL AMERICA MIGRANTS — hundreds of Honduran migrants who had entered Guatemala this week without registering were being bused back to their country’s border by authorities after running into a large roadblock. SENT: 795 words, photos.

EUROPE STORM —Flooding from record rains in the mountainous region that spans France and Italy killed an Italian firefighter and left at least 25 people missing. A storm that moved overnight across southeastern France and then northern Italy caused major flooding on both sides of the border, destroying bridges, blocking roads and isolating communities. SENT: 450 words, photos.

ETHIOPIA-IRREECHA FESTIVAL — Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, celebrates the annual Thanksgiving festival of Irreecha amid tight security and a significantly smaller crowd due to political tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Hundreds of people were arrested ahead of the festival, some accused by authorities of plotting terror attacks and a new wave of unrest. SENT: 480 words.

THAILAND ZOO SCANDAL — The head of Thailand’s state zoological agency was shot dead as he was pursuing an investigation into the suspicious disappearance of rare animals from a zoo in a southern province. SENT: 328 words.




NOBEL-BASIC-SCIENCE - The Nobel Prizes show how slow basic science pays off, even though everyone wants quick fixes to global problems. The Nobels, with new winners announced next week, often concentrate on unheralded, methodical, basic science. Scientists say this plodding process has over the past couple decades greatly improved our understanding of biology and other disciplines. And that, they say, makes it easier and faster for doctors to develop treatments and potential vaccines for the coronavirus. SENT: 930 words, photos.




BKN--NBA FINALS — For the Los Angeles Lakers, the mission is clear: Get two more wins and become NBA champions. For the Miami Heat, it’s: Get one win and make this a series. Game 3 of the NBA Finals is Sunday night. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 750 words, photos.

BBO-OBIT-BOB GIBSON - Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, the dominating St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who won a record seven consecutive World Series starts and set a modern standard for excellence when he finished the 1968 season with a 1.12 ERA, died Friday. He was 84. The Cardinals confirmed Gibson’s death shortly after a 4-0 playoff loss to San Diego ended their season. He had long been ill with pancreatic cancer in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. By Hillel Italie. SENT: 2,300 words, photos.

RAC--PREAKNESS — Kentucky Derby winner Authentic can give trainer Bob Baffert a record eighth victory in the Preakness Stakes. The race, before no fans, wraps up the Triple Crown for the first time in its 145-year history. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Post time 5:36 p.m.




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