BC-AP News Digest 3 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.

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE INEQUITY — Global health experts say they expected vaccine distribution to be unequal between rich countries and poor countries. But no one thought it would get to this point. Less than 1% of the world’s poorest citizens have received a dose.

And experts say it could be 2023 until vaccines are widely available everywhere. That’s fueling more infections and variants that could keep the pandemic around longer. The African Union’s envoy for vaccine acquisition compared the inequity of distribution to a famine in which “the richest guys grab the baker.” By Lori Hinnant, Maria Cheng and Aniruddha Ghosal.

SENT: 3,640 words, photos. With Abridged. ______________

TOP STORIES ______________ VIRUS OUTBREAK — Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has hit the road, meeting face-to-face with residents to try to overcome vaccine hesitancy — in many cases, hostility — in Arkansas which has the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. but is near the very bottom in dispensing shots.

By Andrew DeMillo. SENT: 850 words, photos. UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN-ANALYSIS — It took only two months for U.S. invaders to topple the Taliban in 2001, a seemingly tidy success against a government that had given refuge to 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Twenty years later, the United States is withdrawing — visions of victory long vanished and an ascendant Taliban arguably within reach of restoring its rule. Afghanistan proved to be a lesson in the limits of America’s military power. A News Analysis by National Security Writer Robert Burns SENT: 980 words, photos.

TEXAS-REPUBLICANS — In Republicans’ bid to retake control of Congress, a traditionally Democratic stretch of south Texas has quietly become a top battleground. After making unexpected gains last November, the GOP is zeroing in on a trio of House seats in the region as key targets heading into next year’s midterm elections. By Jill Colvin.

SENT: 1,290 words, photos. WITH: VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RUNAWAY-LAWMAKERS — Three of the Democratic state lawmakers who fled Texas to block a Republican-backed effort to impose broad new voting restrictions have tested positive for COVID-19, the Texas House’s Democratic caucus said. SENT: 330 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-IRAN — The Biden administration has lashed out at Iran for accusing it of delaying a proposed prisoner swap to force a quick resumption of indirect nuclear talks. SENT: 620 words, photos. EUROPE-FLOODS — Rescue workers labored to deal with damage laid bare by receding water as the death toll from disastrous flooding in Western Europe rose above 160 and thoughts turned to the lengthy job of rebuilding communities devastated in minutes.

By Geir Moulson. SENT: 610 words, photos. With EUROPE-FLOODS-CLIMATE-CHANGE — Experts say Europe floods shows need to curb emissions, adapt; SENT: 690 words, photos.

EUROPE-FLOODS-PHOTO-GALLERY — Swollen rivers smash through parts of Europe (sent). OLY-TOKYO-SECURITY-BALANCE — Japan’s massive security apparatus for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics is raising complaints that the nation will look more like authoritarian North Korea or China than one of the world’s most powerful, vibrant democracies. The worry for many Japanese, however, isn’t too much Big Brother.

It’s that all the increased precautions won’t be nearly enough to stop the estimated 85,000 athletes, officials, journalists and other workers coming into Japan from introducing fast-spreading coronavirus variants to a largely unvaccinated population struggling with mounting cases. By Foster Klug and Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 1,230 words, photos.

PADRES-NATIONALS-SHOOTING — The baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Washington was suspended in the sixth inning Saturday night after a shooting outside Nationals Park. Echoes of gunfire inside the stadium prompted some fans to scramble for safety in the dugout. Police say an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars left three people injured.

SENT: 755 words, photos, video.

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WATER PARK-CHEMICAL LEAK — A chemical leak at a Houston-area water park has left dozens suffering from minor skin irritation and respiratory issues, authorities said. Twenty-nine people were taken to local hospitals after the incident at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Splashtown. SENT: 150 words.

UPCOMING: Developing. CANNES-AWARDS — Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” a wild body-horror thriller featuring sex with a car and a surprisingly tender heart, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making Ducournau just the second female filmmaker to win the festival’s top honor in its 74-year history. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

BIDEN-BUCANEERS — Biden to host Super Bowl champ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday. SENT: 100 words, photos. RED-TIDE-FLORIDA — Amid the stench of dead fish, protesters marched along Florida’s Tampa Bay to call for state assistance in dealing with a growing outbreak of harmful red tide.

SENT: 320 words, photos. OLY-GERMANY-RACISM — Germany’s Olympic soccer team has walked off the field during a preparation match for the Tokyo Games in response to alleged racist abuse from an opposing Honduras player toward German defender Jordan Torunarigha. SENT: 350 words, photo.

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-FRANCE — Thousands of people marched around France to protest mandatory vaccinations for health care workers and COVID-19 passes that will be required to enter restaurants and other venues.. SENT: 415 words, photo. VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ARMENIA-IRAN-VACCINE-TOURISM — In Iran, the urgency of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is growing by the day.

A crush of new cases fueled by the fast-spreading delta variant has threatened to overwhelm Iranian hospitals with breathless patients too numerous to handle. But as deaths mount, and the sense swells that protection for most citizens remains far-off, thousands of desperate Iranians are taking matters into their own hands: They’re flocking to neighboring Armenia. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-EUROPE-VACCINATIONS — European nations are scrambling to ramp up vaccination drives, using a carrot-and-stick approach to persuade the reluctant to get their shots as the more transmissible delta variant drives a surge in infections. SENT: 800 words, photos. VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN — Tourists and the travel industry vented frustration and anger after Britain reversed a plan to ease travel restrictions on France just two days after they were due to start, citing concerns about a variant of the coronavirus.

SENT: 560 words, photo. VIRUS-OUTBREAK-THAILAND — Thailand has tightened coronavirus restrictions further as daily cases surpassed 10,000 and the death toll hit a record 141 despite an overnight curfew in Bangkok and several other provinces. SENT: 400 words, photos.

__________________________ WASHINGTON & POLITICS __________________________

BIDEN-IMMIGRATION — President Joe Biden says the Justice Department intends to appeal a federal judge’s ruling deeming illegal an Obama-era program that’s protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. Biden also is renewing his calls for Congress to create a permanent solution. SENT: 330 words, photos.

REMEMBERING-JOHN-LEWIS — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Saturday both marked the one-year anniversary of U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ death by urging Congress to honor the legacy of the civil rights icon by enacting laws to protect voting rights.

SENT: 760 words, photos. TRUMP-FACT CHECK — Former President Donald Trump is falsely claiming voting fraud and irregularities in Arizona cost him the state’s electorate votes. SENT: 700 words, photos.

REPUBLICANS-COMBATIVE-NOEM — More than 18 months away from the first presidential primary of 2024, most potential Republican candidates are just getting a sense of the political landscape, tiptoeing through early-voting states and trying to make friends in key places. Not Kristi Noem. As the South Dakota governor tries to carve out a niche, she’s come out swinging, and some of her targets are possible GOP rivals for the White House.

Her combative style, no surprise to those who follow her, is evidence of how competitive the nomination race will be if Donald Trump stays on the sidelines. SENT: 1,170 words, photos. HOUSE GOP-CANCELLED RALLY — Republican House Reps.

Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene held a protest Saturday after a third venue in California canceled their event. SENT: 240 words, photos. ________________

INTERNATIONAL ________________ HAITI-PRESIDENT-ASSASSINATED — The wife of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moise has returned to the Caribbean nation, an official said.

Martine Moise was injured in the attack that killed her husband, and had been taken to a Miami hospital for treatment. SENT: 330 words, photos. BURKINA-FASO-EXPANDING-EXTREMISM — An increase in attacks by extremist groups in Burkina Faso’s west has put the military on edge.

Violence linked to Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso has been largely centered in the country’s north and east. But signs have emerged over the last two years that the conflict is shifting to the calmer west and southwest regions near the borders with Mali and Ivory Coast. SENT: 910 words, photo.

OLY–SKOREA-BANNER-CONTROVERSY — South Korea’s Olympic committee says it has removed banners at the Olympic athletes’ village in Tokyo that referred to a 16th-century war between Korea and Japan after the International Olympic Committee ruled it was provocative. SENT: 540 words, photos. SYRIA — Syrian President Bashar Assad was sworn in for a fourth seven-year term in the war-torn country, pledging to overcome the impact of Western economic sanctions and retake territory still out of his control after 10 years of fighting.

SENT: 725 words, photos. RUSSIA-NEW FIGHTER JET — Russian aircraft makers say they will present a prospective new fighter jet at a Moscow air show that opens next week. SENT: 400 words, photos.

RUSSIA-WILDFIRES — The Russian military has used its heavy-lift transport planes to help douse wildfires in Siberia. SENT: 150 words, photos. AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN –The daughter of Afghanistan’s ambassador to Pakistan was abducted in the middle of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, held for several hours and brutally attacked, officials in both countries said.

SENT: 460 words. PALESTINIANS-ACTIVIST DEATH — The family of a political activist who died in the custody of Palestinian security forces last month has accused the Palestinian Authority of trying to cover up his death. SENT: 490 words, photos.

CUBA-PROTESTS — Cuban officials have rallied tens of thousands of supporters in the streets nearly a week after they were stunned by the most widespread protests in decades. SENT: 860 words, photos. ___________

NATIONAL ___________ WESTERN-WILDFIRES — A rapidly growing wildfire south of Lake Tahoe jumped a highway, prompting more evacuation orders and the cancellation of an extreme bike ride through the Sierra Nevada on Saturday as critically dangerous wildfire weather loomed in the coming days.

SENT: 990 words, photos, video. PORTLAND SHOOTING — One person died and at least six more were injured in an early morning shooting in downtown Portland, Oregon, police said. SENT: 270 words, photos.

INTERIOR-LAND DONATION — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited her home state to celebrate what marks the largest wilderness land donation in the agency’s history and another addition to the nation’s landholdings as the Biden administration aims to conserve nearly one-third of America’s lands and waters by 2030. SENT: 450 words, photo.

CONFEDERATE-MONUMENT-LOUISIANA — Spectators cheered Saturday as a stone statue of a Confederate general was hoisted by a crane and removed from a pedestal where it stood for 99 years in front of a city hall in south Louisiana. SENT: 480 words, photos. INDIGENOUS-SCHOOL-BURIAL — The remains of nine Native American children who died more than a century ago while attending a government-run school in Pennsylvania meant to assimilate them into white culture have been returned to their South Dakota tribe for burial on its reservation.

SENT: 490 words, photos. EDWIN-EDWARDS-MEMORIAL — Mourners steadily filed by the flag-draped open casket of former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards, saying their farewells at a public viewing in the marble-trimmed main hall of the state Capitol where the powerful and flamboyant politician served 16 years.

SENT: 820 words, photos. BUILDING COLLAPSE-MIAMI — Another victim was identified in the collapse of a 12-story Florida condominium that killed at least 97 people, authorities said. The Miami-Dade Police Department said in a news release that Theresa Velasquez, 36, was a confirmed fatality in the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo.

Her body was recovered July 8. SENT: 225 words, photos. CALIFORNIA-RITE-AID-EMPLOYEE-KILLING — A Rite Aid employee was fatally shot while confronting two shoplifters in Los Angeles, according to police and the union that represents workers at the store.

SENT: 190 words. OBIT-RIGHT-WING FUNDER-REGNERY — William H. Regnery II, the heir to a family publishing fortune who was known for his quiet, but influential support of extreme right-wing causes in the United States, has died at 80.

SENT: 540 words. ________________ BUSINESS/TECH

________________ VOICES-CLONES-ANTHONY-BOURDAIN — The revelation that a documentary filmmaker used voice-cloning software to make the late chef Anthony Bourdain say words he never spoke has drawn criticism amid ethical concerns about use of the powerful technology. SENT: 840 words, photos.

BALLOON INTERNET-CUBA-EXPLAINER — Is a balloon-powered internet network for Cubans possible? Technically, it’s been done. A former division of Google owner Alphabet, Loon, developed balloons that provided internet service in the aftermath of natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Peru and had a commercial contract to provide service in hard-to-reach areas of Kenya.

SENT: 760 words, photos. __________________ ENTERTAINMENT

__________________ OBIT-FLOYD-COOPER — An award-winning illustrator and author of children’s books whose mission to offer candid and positive images of Black history included subjects ranging from Frederick Douglass and the civil rights movement to Venus and Serena Williams has died. SENT: 500 words.

OBIT-BIZ-MARKIE — Biz Markie, a hip-hop staple known for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend,” has died. He was 57. Markie’s representative, Jenni Izumi, said the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his wife by his side.

The cause of death has not been released. SENT: 580 words, photos. BRITAIN-NEWSCHANNEL — A British news channel that launched as a right-leaning alternative to the BBC and Sky News has recruited populist politician Nigel Farage as a presenter.

SENT: 380 words, photo. _________ SPORTS

_________ BKN–NBA FINALS — Jrue Holiday’s steal and alley-oop pass to Giannis Antetounmpo for a dunk sealed a wild Game 5 and gave the Milwaukee Bucks a 123-119 victory over the Phoenix Suns. By Brian Mahoney.

SENT: 975 words, photos. GLF–BRITISH OPEN — Louis Oosthuizen has a one-stroke lead at the British Open and another big shot to end his 11-year wait for a second major title. A third round as undulating as the fairways at Royal St.

George’s ends how it starts with Oosthuizen holding off Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth and three shots separating the three players. SENT: 880 words, photos. __________________

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