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UKRAINE-TENSIONS — Some airlines canceled flights to the Ukrainian capital and troops there unloaded fresh shipments of weapons from NATO members, as the country’s president sought to project confidence in the face of U.S. warnings of possible invasion within days by a growing number of Russian forces. President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke for nearly an hour. By Jim Heintz and Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. WITH: UKRAINE-TENSIONS-INFLECTION POINT — Even if a Russian invasion of Ukraine doesn’t come in the next few days, the crisis is reaching a critical inflection point with European stability and the future of East-West relations hanging in the balance. By Matthew Lee and Vladimir Isachenkov. SENT: 940 words, photos; UKRAINE-FRAGILE DEMOCRACY— Ukraine president's ratings are falling as the crisis with Russia brews. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
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OLY-FIG-RUSSIAN DOPING HEARING RULING — Russian teenage figure skater Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women’s figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test. The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled after a hastily arranged hearing that lasted into early Monday morning that the 15-year-old Valieva, the favorite for the women’s individual gold, does not need to be provisionally suspended ahead of a full investigation. By James Ellingworth and Graham Dunbar. SENT: 550 words, photos. WITH: OLY--FIG-RUSSIAN DOPING-US LAW — After Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva’s fate is determined at the Olympics, legal trouble for her coach and others in her orbit could emerge in the United States. By National Writer Eddie Pells. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 a.m.
SUPER-BOWL — The Los Angeles Rams carried off the crown jewel in a venue built for champions by winning the Super Bowl trophy. It took a precise 79-yard drive capped by Cooper Kupp’s 1-yard touchdown reception with 1:25 remaining for a 23-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals to give the Rams their first NFL title since the 1999 season. By Barry Wilner. SENT: 620 words, photos. WITH: SUPER BOWL-MVP — Cooper Kupp capped off his triple crown performance with a Super Bowl MVP award after carrying the Los Angeles Rams on the final drive. SENT: 720 words, photos; SUPER BOWL-ENTERTAINMENT — 50 Cent made a surprise upside-down entrance at the Super Bowl halftime show, and Eminem dramatically took a knee. The show brought about as much hip-hop as a stadium can hold, with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar spitting a fiery medley of their hits. By Andrew Dalton. SENT: 1,020 words, photos; SUPER-BOWL-PHOTO-GALLERY — Here are some of the most compelling moments captured by Associated Press photographers from Super Bowl LVI. SENT: 100 words, photos.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-PROTESTS — The busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing has reopened after protests against COVID-19 restrictions closed it for almost a week, while Canadian officials held back from a crackdown on a larger protest in the capital, Ottawa. By Rob Gillies and Corey Williams. SENT: 1,400 words, photos, videos. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-CANADA TRUCKERS-PROTESTERS — Canadians who have occupied downtown Ottawa, disrupted travel and trade with the U.S. and inspired copycat protests from New Zealand to the Netherlands sound a common note when asked about their motivation: Decisions about their health shouldn’t be made by the government. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
ELECTION 2022-DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS — Four states are emerging as top priorities for Democrats in an election year when the party is facing fierce political headwinds. Wisconsin as well as Kansas, Michigan and Pennsylvania have Republican-controlled legislatures and Democratic-held governorships on the ballot this fall. Democratic loses could lead to GOP-led changes in election laws that have an impact on the 2024 presidential race. By Thomas Beaumont. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
CYBERWAR-RULES OF ENGAGEMENT — President Joe Biden said back in July that if the U.S. ends up in a war with a major power it would “be as a consequence of a cyber breach of great consequence.” Now tensions are soaring over Ukraine with Western officials warning about the danger of Russia launching damaging cyberattacks. By Frank Bajak. SENT: 1,310 words, photos.
MORE ON THE OLYMPICS
OLY-ASIAN AMERICAN WOMEN — Across two pandemic Olympics set in Asian countries, Asian American women fronting the Games have encountered a whiplashing duality — prized on the global stage for their medal-winning talent, buffeted by the escalating crisis of racist abuse at home. The world’s most elite and international sporting event underscores along the way the crude reality that many Asian women face: of only being seen when they have something to offer. By Sally Ho. SENT: 1,040 words, photos. WITH OLY-BEIJING-OLYMPICS-THE LATEST (sent).
OLY-CHINA’S BUBBLE WORKFORCE — Tens of thousands of Chinese workers have been hermetically sealed inside the ring-fence of virus prevention measures that China has erected around the games, locked in with the athletes and Olympic visitors. But while Olympians jet in for just weeks, Chinese workers who cook, clean, transport, care for them and otherwise make the games tick are spending several months sequestered inside the sanitary bubble. China’s ruling Communist Party does not allow workers to organize independently, so there is not a whisper of public complaint. But there’s plenty of enthusing from workers about how lucky they are. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
OLY-SPD-SPEEDSKATING — Erin Jackson has become the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal at the Winter Olympics. A gold one. Jackson won the 500 meters with a time of 37.04 seconds to give the American speedskating program its first speedskating medal of the Beijing Games and first individual medal since 2010. SENT: 800 words, photos.
OLY-OLYMPICS SNOW-PHOTO GALLERY — A sustained, heavy snowfall delighted — and disrupted — the Winter Olympics on Sunday. Fat flakes fell at all three locations that are hosting the Beijing Games. It wouldn’t normally be that novel to see snow at the Winter Olympics, but China’s capital city and the mountain venues get precious little of the stuff usually, making these the first Winter Games to rely almost entirely on artificial snow. SENT: 150 words, photos.
OBIT-IVAN-REITMAN — Ivan Reitman, the influential filmmaker and producer behind beloved comedies from “Animal House” to “Ghostbusters,” has died at 75. Reitman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Montecito, Calif., his family told The Associated Press. By Lindsey Bahr. SENT: 880 words, photos.
MEXICO-AVOCADOS-VIOLENCE — The U.S. government has suspended imports of Mexican avocados, after a U.S. plant safety inspector in Mexico received a threat. SENT: 760 words, photos.
DENVER-SHOOTING-FILM — A man who fatally shot five people before being killed by police alluded to violence in a film for sale on a website that previously sold fictional e-books he’s believed to have written, with victims and scenes similar to the attacks. SENT: 580 words, photo.
CYBERSECURITY-49ERS-RANSOMWARE — The San Francisco 49ers have been hit by a ransomware attack, with cyber criminals claiming they stole some of the football team’s financial data. SENT: 440 words, photo.
SENATE-LUJAN — Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Luján, who is recovering from a stroke in January, says he plans to be back at work in “just a few short weeks” to vote on President Joe Biden’s forthcoming Supreme Court nominee. SENT: 290 words, photo.
SUPREME COURT VACANCY-GRAHAM — Lindsey Graham is someone to watch in Washington these days. The South Carolina senator, who tied himself closely to Donald Trump, is among a handful of Republicans declaring their willingness to break with party lines and vote for the White House’s yet-to-be-announced nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.
ELECTIONS 2022-TEXAS PRIMARY — Early voting in the first primary of the 2022 midterm elections is starting in Texas. But polls will open Monday under a rushed rollout of tougher voting restrictions that were passed last fall by state Republicans. SENT 920 words, photos.
COLLEGES-LEGACY ADMISSIONS — America’s elite colleges are facing growing calls to end the decades-old tradition of giving an admissions boost to the relatives of alumni. On campuses across the Ivy League, students have pushed officials to end legacy admissions, saying it’s rooted in racism.Many colleges defend legacy admissions, saying it helps build an alumni community and encourages donations. But two colleges have ended the practice recently, giving opponents hope that others will follow. By Collin Binkley. SENT: 1,280 words, photos. This is the Monday Spotlight.
MINNEAPOLIS-POLICE SHOOTING-CHIEF — The fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Black man by police in Minneapolis is turning up the heat on the city’s police chief. Amelia Huffman was elevated to the top job on an interim basis just weeks before Amir Locke was slain by officers serving a search warrant. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.
REL-GAY BLACK PRIEST PROFILE — Among Catholic priests in the United States, few are African American and few are openly gay. Bryan Massingale is both, using his platform as a priest and professor to teach about racial injustice within the U.S. and urge the Catholic Church to be more welcoming to LGBTQ Catholics. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.
CHURCH IN SCHOOOL-WEST VIRGINIA — A West Virginia school superintendent is investigating a Feb. 2 religious revival that occurred at Huntington High School, saying he believes students’ rights have been violated. It was advertised as a voluntary event but two teachers took their entire classes. SENT: 250 words, photo.
SCHOOL SHOOTING-TEXAS — A man accused of fatally shooting 10 people at a Texas high school in 2018 will continue receiving treatment in a state mental health facility as doctors say he remains incompetent to stand trial. SENT: 280 words.
ALBUQUERQUE STABBINGS — Albuquerque police say they’ve arrested a man suspected of stabbing 11 people in the city. The incidents were reported at multiple locations on Sunday, including the downtown area and near the University of New Mexico. Police say the suspect rode a bike and was armed with a large knife. The victims were taken to several hospitals and are all in stable condition. SENT: 250 words.
GAZA-EGYPT'S INFLUENCE — Since it mediated a cease-fire in Gaza, Egypt has helped clear rubble and promised to build vast new apartment complexes. Billboards praising President el-Sissi have sprung up across the Palestinian territory where Egypt is taking on a much larger role. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
KOREAS-JAPAN — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met his Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Hawaii to discuss the threat posed by nuclear-armed North Korea after Pyongyang began the year with a series of missile tests. Blinken told journalists at a news conference after Saturday’s meeting that North Korea was “in a phase of provocation” and the three countries condemned the recent missile launches. SENT: 710 words, photos.
CLIMATE REPORT — A special United Nations panel is putting the finishing touches on a major science report that’s supposed to tell people the “so what?” about climate change. The report will highlight how global warming disrupts people’s lives, their natural environment and Earth itself. SENT: 700 words, photos.
MALAYSIA-CORRUPTION-GOLDMAN SACHS — A federal jury in Brooklyn is set to hear opening statements in the trial of a former Goldman Sachs executive charged in the multibillion-dollar ransacking of a Malaysian state investment fund. SENT: 550 words, photos.
FILM-BOX OFFICE — Hollywood’s Super Bowl weekend largely fizzled with the muted debut of Kenneth Branagh’s long-delayed Agatha Christie whodunit, “Death on the Nile,” a tepid reception for the Jennifer Lopez romantic-comedy “Marry Me” and modest box-office bumps for Oscar nominees. SENT: 780 words, photos.
FASHION WEEK-BRANDON MAXWELL — Brandon Maxwell ended his Fashion Week runway show with silence — to pay emotional homage to his grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, and her influence on his life. With the help of supermodel Karlie Kloss, Maxwell left behind the bright colors for neutral tones and simplicity this season. SENT: 450 words, photos.
UNIONS-YOUNG WORKERS — After decades of decline, U.S. unions have a new reason for hope: younger workers. Workers in their 20s and even in their teens are leading ongoing efforts to unionize Starbucks and other companies. The Alphabet Workers Union, formed last year and now representing 800 Google employees, is run by five people who are under 35. Multiple polls show union approval is high and growing among the youngest workers. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.
SAUDI ARABIA-ARAMCO — Saudi Arabia says it will transfer 4% of the stock in the state-run oil giant Aramco to a sovereign wealth fund. Sunday’s infusion, valued at nearly $80 billion, comes as the kingdom tries to overhaul its energy-dependent economy in part with the fund. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the assertive son of King Salman, made the decision to transfer the stock. SENT: 400 words, photo.
GAS PRICES — The average U.S. price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline spiked 15 cents over the past three weeks to $3.55 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that the price jump comes after a rise in crude oil costs. SENT: 90 words.
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