AP News Digest 2 p.m. Deborah Birx Alarm Spotlight Schoolboys AP

Here are the latest coverage schedules, top stories, and promotional content from the AP. All times EST. For up-to-date information on AP reporting, please visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BIRX – As COVID-19 cases skyrocketed ahead of Thanksgiving weekend, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, instructs Americans to be “vigilant” and limit the celebrations to “your immediate household.” It was difficult for many Americans to follow these instructions, including Birx herself. The day after Thanksgiving, she traveled to one of her vacation homes on Fenwick Island, Delaware. She was accompanied by three generations of her family from two households. By Aamer Madhani and Brian Slodysko. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

NIGERIA-FREED SCHOOLBOYS – Nigeria’s liberated students have reunited with their joyous parents after being held captive for nearly a week by armed men allied with jihadist rebels in the northwestern part of the country. Many of the students expressed concern about their return to school, saying their kidnappers threatened them with death if they returned to class. By Lekan Oyekanmi and Sunday Alamba. SENT: 430 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK – The first shipments of the second U.S.-approved COVID-19 vaccine have left a factory as the nation works to bring the coronavirus pandemic under control. The trucks left the Moderna McKesson facility in Olive Branch, Mississippi. In the meantime, a committee of experts is considering who should stand up next for early doses of the vaccine. Early recordings are primarily made of health care workers and residents of nursing homes. By Mike Stobbe and John Hanna. SENT: 730 words, photos. COMING: The committee is expected to vote at 4 p. M

VIRUS OUTBREAK-EUROPE – One by one, several EU countries have banned flights from the UK and others have considered such measures in hopes of preventing a new strain of coronavirus spreading across southern England from gaining a foothold on the continent . By Kirsten Grieshaber and Sylvia Hui. SENT: 475 words, photos. VIRUS OUTBREAK GENETIC VARIANTS: Reports from the UK and South Africa of new strains of coronavirus that appear to be spreading more easily raise alarms, but it is unclear whether they do, or whether they raise vaccine concerns or cause more serious illness, say virus experts. From the chief physician Marilynn Marchione. COMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS – Top Washington negotiators, fueled by a nightly deal over the final major barrier to a COVID-19 economic aid package, say a Sunday deal is all but inevitable to close overdue pandemic aid $ 1 trillion. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 830 words, photos. COMING: 900 words, photos by 5 p.m.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDONESIA-VACCINE – In October, Indonesian diplomats and Muslim clergy got off a plane in China. While diplomats were there to do deals to ensure millions of doses reached Indonesian citizens, clergymen had a very different concern: whether the COVID-19 vaccine could be allowed under Islamic law. By Victoria Milko. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.




FILM BOX OFFICE – ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ receives $ 38.5 million overseas. SENT: 200 words.

FIJI-CYCLONE – Fiji cyclone death toll rises to 4, with 1 missing. SENT: 140 words, photos.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONTACT TRACING – Health departments are asking people who test positive for the coronavirus to warn friends, family and employees themselves. Health officials say do-it-yourself tracing isn’t ideal, but with infections and hospital stays rising across the country, it’s probably the most effective way to reach those at risk. SENT: 935 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-HOLIDAY TRAVEL – More than 1 million people have passed security checkpoints at US airports in the past two days to signal that public health reasons are being ignored to avoid vacation travel. SENT: 440 words.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LAWSUITS – A fight for corporate legal immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits is currently on hold in Congress, but companies are still concerned. Hundreds of coronavirus lawsuits have been filed across the country. Most of all, mom-and-pop outfits without deep pockets fear the prospect of crippling lawsuits. SENT: 970 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK TRAVEL TESTING – Most virus-free Kauai that has been hit by a pandemic after resuming travel. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI CHURCHES – Mississippi is the center of the Bible belt in the United States and its residents consider themselves to be the most religious in the country. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the state health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs called churches a “powder keg” for viral infections and deaths. However, Republican Governor Tate Reeves did not restrict worship citing freedom of religion. SENT: 890 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ASIAN-FOOD – The bigotry against Asian Americans and Asian food has spread steadily in the USA alongside the coronavirus. Skewed information about the virus, which first appeared in China, has re-launched centuries-old tropes where Asian food was dirty. Social media has been flooded with racist memes depicting Chinese people as bat-eaters responsible for spreading COVID-19. SENT: 980 words, photos. This is the spotlight on Monday

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MIDEAST – In the past two days, more than 1 million people have passed through US airport security to signal that public health reasons to avoid vacation travel are being ignored. SENT: 480 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ITALY-NEW-BAD – The coronavirus pandemic reveals economic uncertainties in the rich north of Italy, where thousands of people are turning to charity for the first time. The Italian agricultural lobby, Coldiretti, estimates that the virus gave birth to 300,000 people in the Lombardy region, whom it refers to as the “new poor”. SENT: 910 words, photos.

For more information on the virus outbreak, see the Featured Topics page in the AP Newsroom.

TRUMP FLATTERY – President Donald Trump’s administration ends its beginnings with exaggerated praises for the chief executive officer. But now the flattery mixes with a sense of finality as key people in the president’s orbit begin to turn the page and acknowledge his defeat. SENT: 940 words, photos.

SENATE CALIFORNIA – Should California get its first Latin American Senator or should the 100-member chamber keep a black woman’s vote? That’s a weight on California Governor Gavin Newsom’s shoulders as he debates whether to take on the remaining term of Senate-elected Vice President Kamala Harris until 2022. Leaving the election to a governor has frustrated some observers with the ongoing lack of racial diversity in the Senate and what they see as the failure of both parties to do much to address it. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

BIDEN ATTORNEY GENERAL – President-elect Joe Biden’s new press secretary says Biden will not discuss his son’s investigation with potential attorney general candidates. A federal investigation into the finances of Biden’s son Hunter is likely to be a major point of contention during the Senate confirmation hearings for the candidate. SENT: 250 words, photo.

WAHL-2020-GEORGIA-WARNOCK – As the leader of the Church in Atlanta where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, Rev. Raphael Warnock has shied away from passionate sermons and energetic advocacy for the poor and disadvantaged. The 51-year-old Warnock now wants to bring this progressive platform to the US Senate. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

BREXIT – Deep in a pivotal weekend of negotiations, a breakthrough in fishing rights was difficult for the European Union and the UK to achieve, leaving both of them without a trade deal that would tarnish the brink of a chaotic, costly economic lull on New Years Day. SENT: 580 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN – According to the Afghan Interior Ministry, a car bomb explosion that struck the Afghan capital killed at least nine people. Interior Minister Masoud Andarabi told reporters the attack injured around 20 others, including one MP. SENT: 430 words, photo.

NEPAL POLITICS – Nepal’s President dissolved parliament after the Prime Minister recommended the move amid an escalating feud within his Communist Party that is likely to drive the Himalayan nation into political crisis. SENT: 210 words, photo.

KUWAIT – The eldest son of Kuwait’s late emir has died. He was 72 years old. Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Sabah emerged as an influential reformer and supported his ambitious mega-projects and anti-corruption efforts among the population. SENT: 300 words, photo.

BELARUS PROTESTS – During the anti-government protests sparked by the re-election of the country’s authoritarian leader, which have lasted for more than four months, around 100 people were arrested in the Belarusian capital. SENT: 440 words.

SUDAN ETHIOPIA – The Sudanese Prime Minister meets his Ethiopian counterpart as the Sudanese Armed Forces continue to advance to reclaim areas controlled by Ethiopian militias along the two countries’ shared border. SENT: 430 words, photo.

MIGRANT DEATHS – After a record hot and dry summer, more than 210 cross-border commuter deaths were recorded in Arizona’s desert and mountains this year. It’s a reminder that the furthest ways to travel to the US from Mexico can be the deadliest. SENT: 880 words, photos.

GOLF PNC CHAMPIONSHIP – Tiger Woods and 11 year old son Charlie are four shots behind the final day of the PNC Championship. By golf writer Doug Ferguson. COMING: 600 words, photos by 5 p.m. EST.

In the nerve center, Rob Jagodzinski can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos (extension 1900). For graphics and interactive elements (extension 7636). Extended AP content can be found at http://newsroom.ap.org. Contact apcustomersupport (at) ap.org or call 877-836-9477 for access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues.

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