AP News Digest 7 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.




VIRUS OUTBREAK — The U.S. is easing restrictions on travel from a long list of countries including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe, allowing tourists to make long-delayed trips and family members to reconnect with loved ones after more than a year and a half apart because of the pandemic. COVID-19 has upended lives in many ways including through restrictions on travel. That has been felt acutely by those living near U.S. borders, where traveling back and forth was a way of life. By Travis Loller. SENT: 790 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-TRAVEL-EXPLAINER – How are the rules changing and what they might mean for travellers heading to the United States. SENT: 780 words, photos.

MUSIC-FESTIVAL-DEATHS — Investigators are expected to examine the design of safety barriers and the use of crowd control in determining what led to a crush of spectators at a Houston music festival that left eight people dead and hundreds more injured. Flowers and votive candles surrounded NRG Park in Houston on Sunday as city officials said they were just starting to investigate how pandemonium started Friday evening at Astroworld, a sold-out, two-day event headlined by rapper Travis Scott An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance. The dead ranged in age from 14 to 27, and 13 people were still hospitalized. By Juan A. Lozano and Jamie Stengle. SENT: 990 words, photos, video. See more stories below. With: MUSIC-FESTIVAL DEATHS-VICTIMS — Interviews with family members and social media posts told the stories of those that died. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. Developing.

CYBERSECURITY-NSO GROUP-PALESTINIANS HACKED — Security researchers say spyware from the notorious Israeli hacker-for-hire company NSO Group was detected on the cellphones of six Palestinian human rights activists. Half are affiliated with groups that Israel’s defense minister controversially claimed last month were involved in terrorism. By Frank Bajak and Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

BIDEN — President Joe Biden doesn’t need to look any further back than his time as vice president to grasp the challenges that lie ahead in promoting his new $1 trillion infrastructure deal to the American people and getting the money out the door fast enough that they can feel a real impact. By Alexandra Jaffe. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

CHINA-US MILITARY — Satellite images show China has built mock-ups of U.S. warships in its northwestern desert, possibly to practice for a future naval clash. China is massively upgrading its military, and its capability and intentions are increasingly concerning to the United States. SENT: 610 words, photos.




CHINA-SPACE — Wang Yaping has become the first Chinese woman to conduct a spacewalk as part of a six-month mission to the country’s space station. SENT: 230 words, photos.

COLLEGE BOMB THREATS — Officials say multiple bomb threats made over the weekend at Ivy League campuses were not credible. SENT: 80 words.

EMIRATES-LAW — The capital of the United Arab Emirates has issued new rules governing divorce, inheritance and child custody for non-Muslims in Abu Dhabi. SENT: 270 words, photos.

YEMEN WOMEN SENTENCED — A court run by Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels has sentenced an actor and model to five years in prison on charges of committing an indecent act and having drugs in her possession. SENT: 430 words.

IRAN-NEWSPAPER — Iran’s judicial authorities have reportedly banned a newspaper for publishing a front-page graphic that appeared to show Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s hand drawing the poverty line. SENT: 320 words, photo.

BRITIAN-NI-BUS BURNED — A bus has been hijacked and set on fire in Northern Ireland, amid discontent over the trade deal struck as part of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union. SENT: 190 words.

POLAND-BELARUS — Officials say Poland is stepping up security at its border with Belarus, on the European Union’s eastern border, following reports that a large group of migrants is headed there. SENT: 290 words.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-GERMANY — Germany’s coronavirus infection rate has climbed to its highest recorded level yet — as what officials have called a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” gathers pace. The national disease control center says the country has seen 201.1 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days. SENT:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL VACCINES — The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids and information to parents on the benefits of the shots. First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are set to visit the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote child vaccinations. SENT: 420 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW ZEALAND — The lockdown of New Zealand’s largest city is likely to end later this month, with some coronavirus restrictions being eased Tuesday. Auckland has been in lockdown for almost three months after an outbreak of the delta variant. SENT: 300 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-LOS-ANGELES — Starting Monday, anyone going to a shopping mall, theater, gym or nail salon in Los Angeles must verify they are vaccinated. The mandate, among the strictest in the country, requires proof of shots for everyone entering a wide variety of businesses. SENT: 870 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VAN MORRISAN — Northern Ireland’s health minister is suing Van Morrison after the singer called him “very dangerous” for his handling of coronavirus restrictions. The Belfast-born singer opposes restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, and has released several songs criticizing lockdowns. SENT: 160 words, photo.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-JAPAN — Japan has reported no daily deaths from COVID-19 for the first time in 15 months, as infections decline rapidly. After record cases last summer, numbers began falling in September. Experts attribute the decline to vaccination progress, mask wearing and other anti-virus measures. SENT: 280 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SLOVAKIA — Slovakia has expanded strict coronavirus restrictions to nearly half of the country amid a record surge of infections. The government is expected to discuss additional measures on Monday as the country’s Health Minister Vladimir Lengvarsky joined medical personnel who treat COVID-19 patients in urging Slovaks to get vaccinated. SENT: 360 words, photos.




SUPREME COURT-GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE — The Supreme Court is preparing to hear a case about the government’s ability to get lawsuits thrown out of court by claiming they would reveal secrets that threaten national security. The case before the high court Monday involves a group of Muslim men from Southern California. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 420 words, photos. Arguments scheduled for 10 a.m. EST.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SCHOOL VACCINES — The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids — and information to parents on the benefits of the shots — as the White House looks to speedily provide vaccines to those 5 to 11. By Zeke Miller. UPCOMING at 5 a.m. EST; 420 words, photos.




ETHIOPIA-TIGRAY CRISIS — People fleeing Ethiopia say a new round of deadly attacks and forced conscription has begun against ethnic Tigrayans who remain in an area now controlled by Amhara regional authorities in collaboration with soldiers from neighboring Eritrea. The war is intensifying as rival Tigray forces approach Ethiopia’s capital with the intention of pressuring the prime minister to step aside. SENT: 820 words, photos.

CHINA-POLITICS — China’s leader Xi Jinping appears to be laying the foundation for a third term in power as top officials from the all-powerful Communist Party meet in Beijing this week. SENT: 450 words, photos.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-ENDURING BARRIER — Palestinian farmers in dozens of villages in the occupied West Bank must show permits to soldiers in order to access their own land on the other side of Israel’s separation barrier. It’s been nearly two decades since Israel sparked controversy by building the barrier during a Palestinian uprising. By Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-BAN REVOKED — Pakistan’s interior ministry has lifted a ban on a radical Islamist party behind a violent anti-France protest last month. The rally triggered clashes that killed six policemen and four demonstrators. Authorities said on Monday that Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan party was no longer outlawed. SENT: 370 words, photo.

NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTINGS — A lawyer for the gunman who killed 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques says his client is considering appealing his convictions and prison sentence. Lawyer Tony Ellis wrote in a memo to Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall that Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant was subject to inhumane and degrading treatment while in jail, prompting him to plead guilty under duress. SENT: 340 words, photos.

BANGLESH ELECTIONS — Bangladesh is holding a series of local elections to choose representatives at the village level amid a boycott by the country’s largest opposition party. SENT: 840 words, photos.

NICARAGUA-ELECTIONS — Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has sought a fourth consecutive term in elections the United States has called a “pantomime” vote following the jailing of his top rivals and a call from the opposition for voters to boycott. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

FRANCE-CHURCH-SEX ABUSE — The president of France’s Bishops Conference said the country’s Catholic Church made “a decisive step” after it agreed to provide financial compensation to sex abuse victims. SENT: 300 words, photos.

CAMBODIA-CONVICTED TEEN — A Cambodian activist has denounced a delay in releasing her autistic teenage son, who has been imprisoned for comments critical of the government he made on social media. SENT: 980 words, photos.

BRITIAN-POLITICS-SLEAZE — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to talk about climate change. But his opponents want to focus on sleaze. As a United Nations climate summit aimed at staving off catastrophic global warming enters its final week in Glasgow, Scotland, host leader Johnson is facing a barrage of criticism in London over his attempts to change the system that oversees lawmakers’ standards. SENT: 480 words, photo.

MIGRATION-GERMANY-MERKEL — Chancellor Angela Merkel has a positive verdict on the influx of migrants to Germany in 2015 and 2016 as she prepares to step down: “We managed it.” Merkel became the face of a welcoming approach to migrants as people fleeing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere trekked across the Balkans. SENT: 300 words, photos.

LEBABON GULF — A top Arab League official is in Beirut to explore ways to resolve an unprecedented diplomatic rift between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia that emerged following comments by the Lebanese information minister. SENT: 400 words, photos.




KENOSHA PROTEST SHOOTINGS — A man who suffered a severe arm injury when he was shot by Kyle Rittenhouse during a night of protests against racial injustice last year is expected to testify this week. Prosecutors are close to wrapping up their case in Rittenhouse’s murder trial. But before they do, Gaige Grosskreutz, is expected to take the stand. By Michael Tarm, Scott Bauer and Amy Forliti. SENT: 640 words, photos.

TRIPLE MURDER-WRONGFUL CONVICTION — Attorneys for a Kansas City man who has spent most of his life in prison for a triple murder that many people, including a prosecutor, believe he didn’t commit will get a chance to argue that their client should be exonerated. SENT: 450 words, photo.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian stock markets are mostly lower after Wall Street hit a new high and China reported a double-digit rise in exports. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney declined while Shanghai advanced. SENT: 390 words, photos.




MUSIC CARPENTERS — A new book on the Carpenters takes a look back at nearly every rainy day and Monday of the legendary pop duo’s career. Richard Carpenter tells The Associated Press he took part in “Carpenters: A Musical Legacy” because it focused on the work itself, including hits like “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “Superstar,” instead of issues like his sister Karen’s death from anorexia in 1983. SENT: 780 words, photos.

FILM-BOX OFFICE — “Eternals,” one of Marvel’s most ambitious efforts to expand its superhero universe, arrived in theaters over the weekend with an estimated $71 million in ticket sales. By most studios’ box-office standards, the opening was enviable. Only three other films have debuted better during the pandemic. SENT: 790 words, photos.




TITANS-RAMS — Kevin Byard returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown, and Tennessee’s defense carried the Titans to a 28-16 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in a showdown between conference co-leaders. SENT: 890 words, photos.

BILLS-JAGUARS — Jacksonville had the better Josh Allen on this Sunday, with the standout linebacker intercepting a pass, making a sack and recovering a fumble in a 9-6 upset of the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo’s star quarterback with the same first and last names turned the ball over three times in the second half. SENT: 900 words, photos.




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