October 24, 2021

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AP News Digest 6 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.

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NEW/DEVELOPING

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Adds: OLY-ATH-CHOPRA’S GOLD; OBIT-DENNIS THOMAS; DB COOPER DIG; CALIFORNIA-RECALL; NBC’S-OLYMPICS; LEBANON-ISRAEL; OLY-NBC-TIRICO; PEOPLE-RICKEY MEDLOCKE; STEELERS-WATT

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TOP STORIES

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CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE — The Senate moved closer to passing a $1 trillion infrastructure package after lawmakers from both parties came together and voted to clear a key procedural hurdle. More votes will be needed before Senate passage of one of President Joe Biden’s top priorities. The measure would provide a massive injection of federal money for a range of public works programs, from roads and bridges to broadband internet access, drinking water and others. By Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK — The U.S. is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge in yet another bleak reminder of how quickly the delta variant has spread through the country. The U.S. was averaging about 11,000 cases a day in late June. Now the number is 107,143. By Terry Spencer. SENT: 630 words, photos.

CUOMO-SEXUAL-HARASSMENT-HOCHUL — As New York’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul has spent years on the road as the friendly face of the administration. During two terms, she has visited each of the state’s 62 counties yearly for countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies and civic cheerleading events. Now, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo facing possible impeachment over sexual harassment allegations, her next stop may be the state capitol of Albany. Hochul would become the state’s first woman governor if Cuomo were removed from office. By Carolyn Thompson. SENT: 885 words, photos. WITH: CUOMO-SEXUAL-HARASSMENT — The Albany County sheriff says Cuomo could face misdemeanor charges if investigators substantiate a criminal complaint filed this week accusing him of groping an aide at the governor’s state residence. SENT: 550 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — A provincial lawmaker says Taliban fighters have entered the capital of northern Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province after sweeping through nine of 10 districts in the province. The government did not deny lawmaker Mohammad Karim Jawzjani’s claim that Taliban fighters had entered Sheberghan, but said the city had not fallen. If the city falls, it will be the second provincial capital in as many days to succumb to the Taliban. By Tameem Akhgar and Kathy Gannon. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-MENTALLY-ILL-&-HOMELESS — A San Francisco Bay Area man who is homeless and bipolar allegedly threw a water bottle at California Gov. Gavin Newsom The brief encounter highlighted the population Newsom says he is trying to help. More than 37,000 people in California are both homeless and have a severe mental illness. They are among the most vulnerable residents, cycling in and out of jail, emergency rooms and psychiatric holds. By Janie Har. SENT: 1,235 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

OLY–THE PERSEVERANCE GAMES — The pandemic-delayed Tokyo Games finally come to a close after an exhausting, enlightening and sometimes enraging run. These Olympics will be forever remembered as the Games where the athletes found their voice. Tokyo marked a turning point when mental health became as important as physical health, and tales of perseverance often overshadowed actual performance. These Olympics were willed into existence despite a pandemic that sparked worldwide skepticism and hard-wired opposition from Tokyo’s own citizens, and now might go down as the Games that changed sports for good. By Jenna Fryer. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS

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OLY-ATH-TRACK-AND-FIELD — ​Allyson Felix knows the way to the Olympic medals stand better than any runner alive. She made her record-setting 11th trip there, after starring as the headliner on a 4×400 relay win that featured a who’s-who of American running. With the gold medal dangling from her neck and the “Star-Spangled Banner” playing in the near-empty stadium, “I took a moment just to close my eyes and take it in one last time,” Felix said. SENT: 870 words, photos.

OLY-BBI-GOLD-MEDAL-GAME — A Japanese team of All-Stars fulfilled a determined national mission to win the Olympic baseball gold medal for the first time, beating the United States 2-0 behind Munetaka Murakami’s third-inning home run. SENT: 980 words, photos.

OLY-BKO-MEN’S-FINAL — Nothing about the summer was easy for the U.S. men’s basketball team, and neither was the gold-medal game. The Americans expected nothing less. And in the end, their Olympic reign lives on. Kevin Durant scored 29 points and joined Carmelo Anthony as the only three-time men’s gold medalists in Olympic history and the U.S. held off France 87-82 to win the title at the Tokyo Games — ending a summer that started with sputters but closed with celebration. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

OLY-ATH-CHOPRA’S GOLD — Neeraj Chopra has won India’s first gold medal in Olympic track and field with a throw of 87.58 meters to clinch the javelin title at the Tokyo Games. SENT: 570 words, photos.

OLY–GYM-MEN’S RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS — Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the only sports at the summer Games, along with synchronized swimming, that are considered so feminine only women compete. But in the host country, Japan, a men’s version was born decades ago and remains a popular sport. Around 1,500 boys and men are involved in rhythmic gymnastics, and some are trying to expand its reach around the world, dreaming of a day when it will be recognized in the Olympics. SENT: 1,150 words, photo.

OLY-JAPAN-WHAT-DID-THEY-MEAN? — Was it the strangest Olympics ever, staged during a deadly global pandemic, with no fans? How about the angriest, awash in protests and fierce opposition from large swaths of the host nation? The scariest, with fears of new coronavirus variants and surging cases in Japan throughout the Games? Or maybe, as athletes banded together under moments of intense stress, the kindest? As the tens of thousands of athletes, journalists and officials get ready to pack up and leave, Japan will be left picking over the answers to these questions, maybe for years. SENT: 1,360 words, photos.

OLY-EXPLAINER-ROBOTIC-PHOTOS — The amazing shots from way above Olympians and from underwater in the pool aren’t easy to get. They involve months of planning and weeks of setup before the exciting Olympic moments come along. The Associated Press has been using robotics since the 2012 London Games to get unexpected shots from oblique angles. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BOOSTER-SHOTS — An untold number of Americans have managed to get COVID-19 booster shots even though the U.S. government hasn’t approved them. They’re doing so by taking advantage of the nation’s vaccine surplus and loose tracking of those who have been fully vaccinated. Gina Welch says she got a booster by telling a clinic it was her first shot. SENT: 885 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SURVIVORS — COVID survivors and other victims of the disease are speaking out about the need for vaccination and masks. Organizers have planned rallies around the country to raise awareness about the devastating impacts of the coronavirus on individuals and families. SENT: 860 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-FRANCE-PROTESTS — Thousands of people are marching in Paris and other French cities during a fourth consecutive week of protests against COVID-19 entrance requirements. The demonstrations come days after France’s Constitutional Council upheld most provisions of a new law that expands the locations where health passes are needed. Starting Monday, the pass will be required to access cafes, restaurants, long-distance travel and, in some cases, hospitals. SENT: 475 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — A British scientist who gained prominence for issuing dire warnings about the spread of COVID-19 says the U.K. is unlikely to need future lockdowns but new infections may rise significantly as social interactions increase. SENT: 580 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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OBIT-DENNIS THOMAS — Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas dead at age 70. SENT: 270 words, photos.

DB COOPER DIG — Nearly 50 years after skyjacker D.B. Cooper vanished out the back of a Boeing 727 with $200,000 in cash, a crime historian is conducting a dig on the banks of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, in search of evidence. SENT: 390 words, photo.

ITALY-MAFIA-ARREST — A reputed top Naples crime syndicate boss was arrested Saturday as she was about to board a flight to Spain. Italian authorities said. Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese praised the arrest of Maria Licciardi, 70, by Carabinieri officers on orders of Naples prosecutors. SENT: 270 words.

OLY–DIV-KNITTING POOLSIDE — Tom Daley’s way of relaxing between dives off the 10-meter tower at the Olympics keeps him in stitches. Not the laughing kind, but the knitting and crocheting kind. SENT: 360 words, photos.

SNAKE-ON-THE-LOOSE — A snake collector whose escaped zebra cobra caused a frenzy for days this summer in a North Carolina neighborhood has pleaded guilty to a charge, agreeing in turn to pay restitution and give up his snakes. SENT: 285 words.

BRITAIN-OLYMPIAN BAT — A tiny bat that flew 2,018 kilometers (1,254 miles) from Britain to Russia is being hailed as a mini-Olympian by scientists who hope her flight will teach them more about how climate change is affecting the species. SENT: 310 words.

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WASHINGTON/ POLITICS

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VOTING-BILL-TEXAS — Texas Democrats still refused to return to the state Capitol on Saturday as Gov. Greg Abbott began a third attempt at passing new election laws, prolonging a monthslong standoff that ramped up in July when dozens of Democratic state lawmakers left the state and hunkered down in Washington, D.C. SENT: 635 words, photos.

BIDEN-VACATION — President Biden should be heading out on vacation and a traditional August break from Washington. But with the Senate still in session and working on his bipartisan infrastructure bill, Biden hasn’t gone far. SENT: 790 words, photos.

ELECTION 2022-SENATE-PENNSYLVANIA — Democrats see one of their best chances to pick up a Senate during next year’s midterms in Pennsylvania. But first the party will have to endure a potentially bruising primary where the packed field doesn’t break neatly down along ideological lines. SENT: 990 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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GREECE-WILDFIRES — Three large wildfires churned across Greece, with one threatening whole towns and cutting Evia, the country’s second-largest island, in half. Others engulfed forested mountainsides and skirted ancient sites, leaving behind a trail of destruction that one official described as “a biblical catastrophe.” SENT: 770 words, photos.

RUSSIA-WILDFIRES — Wildfires in Russia’s vast Siberia region are endangering a dozen villages and prompted evacuations and other emergency precautions. Officials said 93 active forest fires burned across 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres) of Sakha-Yakutia in northeastern Siberia. SENT: 370 words, photos.

FRANCE-POLICE-DOMESTIC-ABUSE — The death of a 31-year-old woman who was shot and burned alive by her former husband has focused attention on the long-taboo subject of domestic violence among French police officers. The woman, Chahinez Daoud, had filed an abuse complaint two months before she died in May and it never got properly forwarded to court authorities. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

SUDAN-TIGRAY-RIVER-CORPSES — Six more bodies have been found floating down the river separating Ethiopia’s troubled Tigray region from Sudan, refugees and a physician said on Saturday. They urged Sudanese authorities and the U.N. to help in search efforts. SENT: 675 words, photos.

IRAN-G7 — Iran has denounced accusations by leading industrial nations that Tehran was behind last week’s deadly attack on an oil tanker in the Arabian Sea. SENT: 320 words.

THAILAND-PROTEST — Thai riot police have fired water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to repel a crowd of several hundred young anti-government protesters who marched on an army base where Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has his residence to demand his resignation. SENT: 320 words, photos.

JAPAN-STABBING — Japanese police say they arrested a man who stabbed 10 passengers on a commuter train in Tokyo hours earlier, in what Japanese media reported to be a random burst of violence unrelated to the ongoing Olympic Games. The 36-year-old man told police he wanted to kill women who appeared happy, and chose his targets at random. SENT: 520 words, photos.

BELARUS-POLITICAL-PRISONERS-PHOTO-GALLERY — Human rights activists describe the political repression taking place in Belarus as its worst since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s purges during the 1930s. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

LEBANON-ISRAEL — The leader of the militant Hezbollah says his group will retaliate against any future Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon, a day after his supporters fired a barrage of rockets toward Israel. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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CALIFORNIA-RECALL — The California Republican Party voted overwhelmingly Saturday not to endorse any candidate in the looming recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, sidestepping a potentially nasty fight over a GOP favorite that threatened to divide Republicans and depress turnout in the nationally watched race. SENT: 620 words, photos.

WESTERN WILDFIRES — People living in the scenic forestlands of Northern California found themselves facing a weekend of fear as wildfires threatened to reduce thousands of homes to ashes. The Dixie Fire that incinerated much of the gold rush-era town of Greenville has destroyed more than 180 homes and is threatening more than 10,000 buildings in the northern Sierra Nevada. SENT: 815 words, photos, videos.

GIDEON’S ARMY — There’s growing interest in grassroots programs aimed at reducing community violence at a time when crime rates around the country are on the rise. Violence interrupter programs use homegrown peacemakers from communities plagued by violence to try to ease tense situations. Other programs focus primarily on issues such as poverty and education. These kind of strategies to curb violence recognize the fallout on American society from decades of “tough on crime” policies. SENT: 985 words, photos.

FLASH-FLOODS-COLORADO HIGHWAY — Mudslides that ripped through western Colorado last month marked the latest in a string of closures over the last two years for Interstate 70, a major transportation corridor between the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

MICHIGAN-FLOODING-ORGAN-REPAIR — A summer flood in southeastern Michigan ruined basements in thousands of homes. It also created urgent business for pipe organ specialists. The keys, pedals and pipes weren’t directly affected by the water. But pipe organs have critical parts installed in church basements, and those parts got soaked during the flood in late June. SENT: 535 words, photos.

SHRIMP-COLLAPSE — Maine’s long-shuttered shrimp fishing business has a chance to reopen in the coming winter, but the warming of the ocean threatens to keep the industry shut down. SENT: 340 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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NBC’S-OLYMPICS — NBC Universal persevered after a rough start to the Tokyo Olympics, and was rewarded with the type of picture it treasures on Saturday. It was Kevin Durant, draped in the American flag, after the U.S. men’s basketball team won a gold medal with its victory over France. It was a transitional Olympics. The old way of consuming the Games is fading fast while new ways are still taking hold. SENT: 890 words, photos. With: OLY-NBC-TIRICO — NBC’s Tirico reflects on Tokyo Games, looks ahead to Beijing. SENT: 690 words.

RESERVATION-DOGS-SERIES — Two Indigenous filmmakers are smashing the caricatures and stereotypes of Native Americans who are often portrayed in TV and films as bloodthirsty killers standing in the way of white, westward expansion. Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi have teamed up on “Reservation Dogs,” a new series debuting Monday on FX on Hulu. The series features four rough-and-tumble teenagers who cuss, fight and steal their way toward adulthood in a rural Oklahoma town. SENT: 875 words, photos.

PEOPLE-RICKEY MEDLOCKE — Lynyrd Skynyrd has pulled out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame concert after guitarist Rickey Medlocke tested positive for COVID-19. The band was set to co-headline the concert Monday night with Brad Paisley. SENT: 110 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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TEXANS-WATSON-LAWSUITS — Lawyers fighting sexual assault and harassment allegations against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson face a predicament: Defending their client means working to discredit the claims of 22 women who are more likely to be believed in the #MeToo era. SENT: 835 words, photos.

SOC-MESSI-PSG — A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Paris Saint-Germain and Lionel Messi are in negotiations on a contract after financially troubled Barcelona was unable to keep the superstar. SENT: 520 words, photos.

STEELERS-WATT — Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler acknowledged that linebacker T.J. Watt isn’t practicing because he has yet to sign a long-term contract. Watt has been on the field doing individual work, but he hasn’t practiced with his teammates during training camp workouts at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. SENT: 610 words.

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HOW TO REACH US

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