AP News Digest 2 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.




ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Thousands of Palestinians grabbed children and belongings and fled their homes as Israel barraged the northern Gaza Strip with tank fire and airstrikes, killing a family of six in their house and heavily damaging other neighborhoods in what it said was an operation to clear militant tunnels. As international efforts at a cease-fire stepped up, Israel appeared to be looking to inflict intensified damage on the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel. By Fares Akram and Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,200 words, photos, video. WITH: GAZA-EXPLAINER — Why is Gaza almost always mired in conflict? SENT: 650 words, photos.

CONGRESS-DIVIDED REPUBLICANS — House Republicans elevate Donald Trump defender Rep. Elise Stefanik to a top leadership post, underscoring the GOP’s bet that loyalty to the former president is essential to winning the House in 2022. It’s also a cautionary tale for dissenters like Liz Cheney, purged after calling out Trump’s election lies. By Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 875 words. UPCOMING: Developing, 890 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISINFORMATION-TARGETS — People have unwittingly had their online posts or pictures exploited to spread misinformation about COVID-19 in recent months. They include a movie prop master whose video about retractable stunt needles was used to spread false claims about injections, a doctor whose miscarriage was incorrectly blamed on the vaccine, and a professor whose identity was manipulated to push the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus is a hoax. By Ali Swenson and Beatrice Dupuy. SENT: 745 words, photos.

CAPITOL BREACH-COMMISSION — The top Democrat and Republican on a House panel agree on legislation to form a bipartisan 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, when hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters pushed past police. The measure, which had stalled amid partisan differences, could see quick House action along with $1.9 billion to toughen security. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Kevin Freking. SENT: 500 words. UPCOMING: Developing, 650 words by 5 p.m., photos.

TRUMP-GOLF-COURSE-FIGHT — Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running a windswept city golf course in the Bronx. That abrupt firing was part of the backlash against Trump’s businesses over his role in whipping up the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6. But experts who have reviewed the city’s 566-page contract with the ex-president say kicking him off the course may not be so easy. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.

NFL-CONCUSSION-SETTLEMENT —Thousands of retired Black professional football players, their families and supporters are demanding an end to the controversial use of “race-norming” to determine which players are eligible for payouts in the NFL’s $1 billion settlement of brain injury claims, a system experts say is discriminatory. By Maryclaire Dale and Michelle R. Smith. SENT: 1,975 words, photos.

STREAMING-PASSWORD-SHARING-CRACKDOWN — Many of us were taught to share as kids. Now streaming services ranging from Netflix to Disney+ want us to stop. That’s the new edict from the giants of streaming media, who hope to discourage the common practice of sharing account passwords without alienating their subscribers, who’ve grown accustomed to the hack. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 995 words, photos.




PEOPLE-PRINCE-HARRY — Prince Harry compares his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” The Duke of Sussex says he contemplated quitting royal life on several occasions while in his 20s. SENT: 330 words, photos.

FREE-LIGHTHOUSES — The federal government is making available for free some waterfront workspaces with killer views. The General Services Administration says the U.S. Coast Guard no longer needs four of the nation’s most picturesque lighthouses. SENT: 450 words, photos.

INTERSTATE-40-BRIDGE-CLOSED — The U.S. Coast Guard says river traffic is resuming on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee. The reopening comes three days after the river was shut down when a crack was found in the Interstate 40 bridge that connects Tennessee and Arkansas. SENT: 325 words, photos.

GERMANY-MISSING-BILLIONAIRE — A German court officially declared billionaire Karl-Erivan Haub dead, more than three years after the head of retail group Tengelmann went missing in the Swiss Alps. SENT: 205 words, photos.

SPACE-FORCE-BASE — California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base will be renamed as a U.S. Space Force Base. SENT: 195 words, photo.

MISSING WOMAN-COLORO — A Colorado man suspected in the death of his wife in 2020 is also accused of submitting a fraudulent vote on her behalf for Donald Trump in November’s presidential election. SENT: 340 words.

NOT REAL NEWS — A cyberattack on the country’s biggest fuel pipeline led to real-life panic-buying at gas stations and plenty of misinformation about the issue online. A popular video of a woman filling a white plastic bag with gas at Kroeger station was not from this week; it first circulated in 2019. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.




ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-ANALYSIS — Israel and Hamas know that a fourth Gaza war would be as inconclusive as it would be devastating for the impoverished territory’s 2 million Palestinians. But in the days or weeks before an inevitable truce, each will aim for something it can call a victory. By Joseph Krauss. SENT: 1,065 words, photos.

REL-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS-INTERFAITH-ANGUISH — The escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dismaying American Muslims and Jews who’ve been working to build bridges between their communities. They are now struggling to quell fear and anger in their own circles. By David Crary and Luis Andres Henao. SENT: 970 words, photos.

ISRAEL-HEIRS OF KAHANE — In the 1980s, Rabbi Meir Kahane’s violent anti-Arab ideology was considered so repugnant that Israel banned him from parliament and the U.S. listed his party as a terrorist group. Today, his disciples march through the streets of Jerusalem and other cities by the hundreds, chanting “Death to Arabs” and attacking any that cross their path. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

GAZA-HOSPITALS-DOUBLE THREAT — Just a few weeks ago, the Gaza Strip’s feeble health system was struggling to cope with a runaway surge in coronavirus cases. To make space for patients who couldn’t breathe, health authorities cleared out operating rooms, suspended non-urgent care and redeployed surgeons to COVID-19 patients. SENT: 990 words, photos, video.

Click here for more coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.




VIRUS OUTBREAK-WASHINGTON-MASKS — First lady Jill Biden says it “feels so good” take off her mask. A Republican senator says unmasking “certainly helps the flow of conversation.” But on the floor of the House, legislators will have to keep masking up until everyone gets vaccinated. All across Washington, the government is adjusting to new federal guidance easing up on when masks are required. UPCOMING: 750 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISINFORMATION-INDIA — Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. The falsehoods include bogus cures, baseless tales of vaccine side effects and unsubstantiated allegations of blame. SENT: 740 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK — Thanks to an efficient vaccine rollout program, Britain is finally saying goodbye to months of tough lockdown restrictions. Starting Monday, all restaurants, bars and museums can fully reopen, and people can socialize indoors. SENT: 990 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-JAPAN-EXPLAINER — Japan’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines began belatedly in mid-February, months behind the United States and many other countries. Officials blamed a shortage of Pfizer Inc. vaccine from Europe as the main culprit in the delay. But three months later, with shipments stabilized and officials attempting to accelerate vaccinations, Japan remains one of the world’s least protected. SENT: 770 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-SOUTHERN-EUROPE-TOURISM — Southern European countries are racing to reopen their tourism services despite delays in rolling out a planned EU-wide travel pass. Greece becomes the latest country to open up its vacation season as it dismantles lockdown restrictions and focuses its vaccination program on the islands. SENT: 590 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GERMANY — Germany’s coronavirus infection rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly two months on Friday, while the health minister said the country had the most successful day yet of its vaccination campaign this week. SENT: 440 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-JAPAN — Japan is set to further expand a coronavirus state of emergency, currently in Tokyo and five other prefectures, to nine areas as the government is determined to hold the Olympics in just over two months. SENT: 310 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TURKEY — A video promoting tourism in Turkey amid the pandemic has caused an uproar on social media for showing tourism employees wearing masks that read “Enjoy, I’m vaccinated.” Tourism workers have been prioritized to receive vaccinations but millions of others are still waiting for a shot. SENT: 540 words, photos.




VOTING BILLS-OKLAHOMA — While Republican-led states across the country are imposing new restrictions on voting, deep-red Oklahoma is moving in the other direction. UPCOMING: 880 words by 5 p.m., photos.

BIDEN-IMMIGRATION — President Biden meets with immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children as he seeks to reaffirm his commitment to pressing for an overhaul of immigration laws. It’s a campaign pledge his administration has made scant progress on in the first months of his presidency. SENT: 500 words. UPCOMING: Developing from 3 p.m. meeting, 700 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

VOTING BILLS-CONSERVATIVES —The head of a national conservative group that is spending $24 million to push new voting restrictions told supporters it secretly helped draft legislation in Republican-controlled statehouses across the country. SENT: 780 words, photo.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-ARCTIC — Secretary of State Antony Blinken is headed to Europe and North Atlantic islands next week to put the Biden administration’s stamp on climate change policy in the Arctic and warn Russia against interference in the United States, Ukraine and elsewhere. SENT: 280 words, photo.

PENNSYLVANIA-PRIMARY-RACIAL-EQUITY — Next week, nearly a year since the George Floyd killing, Pennsylvania voters will decide whether to make greater anti-discrimination protections explicit in the state constitution. It’s believed to be the first time voters will decide a racial equity issue on a statewide ballot since last summer’s protests. SENT: 1,165 words, photos.




RACIAL-INJUSTICE-ANDRE-HILL — Ohio’s capital city has reached a $10 million settlement for the family of Andre Hill, a Black man who was fatally shot by a white Columbus police officer in December as he emerged from a garage holding a cellphone. The settlement announced is the largest in city history. By Andrew Welsh-Huggins. SENT: 260 words, photos, developing.

RACIAL-INJUSTICE-BIRMINGHAM — Hundreds of teenagers and adults helped change the world nearly 60 years ago by marching for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama. Today, those same people have a message for people demonstrating against racial justice and police violence: Keep going. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

GREEN-BERET-ESPIONAGE — A former Army Green Beret who admitted divulging military secrets to Russia over a 15-year period was sentenced to more than 15 years in prison on espionage charges. SENT: 670 words.

MAYOR-CHARGED — A former Massachusetts mayor first elected at the age of 23 by touting himself as a successful entrepreneur was convicted of stealing money from investors in his startup to bankroll his lavish lifestyle and soliciting bribes from marijuana vendors who wanted to operate in the struggling mill city. SENT: 745 words.

CALIFORNIA-SERIAL SLASHINGS — When Ryan Scott Blinston was arrested last year, authorities say he was trying to smash in a door with a hatchet to finish killing a man whose throat he had slashed. That man would have become the fourth victim of Blinston, according to officials who call the Northern California tree trimmer a serial killer. SENT: 980 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-BUDGET — It was one year ago that a solemn Gov. Gavin Newsom walked onto a podium in California’s capital city, removed his mask and announced he would raise taxes on businesses, slash spending on public education and cut the salaries of more than 233,000 state workers. Newsom will return to that same podium, only this time he will have more than $100 billion of surplus cash to dole out in his revised budget. SENT: 650 words. With CALIFORNIA BUDGET-GUARANTEED INCOME — California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to use a sliver of the state’s massive budget surplus to encourage guaranteed income programs. SENT: 470 words, photos.

SOUTH CAROLINA-INMATE DEATH — In newly released video of the January death of a South Carolina inmate with a history of mental health issues, deputies are seen deploying stun guns repeatedly, kneeling on the man’s neck and back, before he stops moving. SENT: 730 words.




WHO-CONGO-SEX ABUSE-REACTION — British, European and American diplomats and donors have voiced serious concerns about how the World Health Organization handled sex abuse allegations involving its own staff during an outbreak of Ebola in Congo, as reported this week by The Associated Press. SENT: 770 words, photo.

SOUTH-SUDAN-TROUBLED-PEACE — As South Sudan approaches 10 years of being an independent country, many challenges remain for the world’s youngest state. A 2018 peace deal ending a five-year civil war has faced delays in implementation. A government of national unity was formed only last year. Millions remain in need of humanitarian assistance. SENT: 570 words, photo.

MYANMAR-JAPAN-JOURNALIST — An arrested Japanese freelance reporter left for home after being released by Myanmar’s ruling junta in what it called a gesture of friendship to Japan, Japanese officials and Myanmar state media say. SENT: 510 words, photo.

SOUTH-AFRICA-CORRUPTION — A top official in South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has taken the party to court to challenge his suspension pending charges of fraud and corruption against him, heightening tensions within the fractured organization once led by Nelson Mandela. SENT: 470 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN-EXPLOSION — A bomb ripped through a mosque in northern Kabul during prayers and killed 12 worshippers, Afghan police said. SENT: 390 words.

BRAZIL-FLOOD-PHOTO GALLERY — The rivers have been swelling for weeks in Brazil’s Amazon region, and residents in a town that bills itself as ‘The Venice of Amazonas’ traded motorcycles for canoes and are clambering atop fresh-laid planks inside their homes to stay dry. SENT: 300 words, photos.




CHINA-SPACE-MARS-MISSION — China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are expected to land on the red planet sometime between Saturday and Wednesday Beijing time. The China National Space Administration says the probe has collected a large amount of scientific data since entering Mars orbit on Feb. 10 and the window for setting down on an icy area of the planet was determined by “current flying conditions.” SENT: 275 words, photos.




PIPELINE CYBERSECURITY ATTACK — Gas shortages have spread from the South, almost exhausting supplies in Washington, D.C. The runs on gasoline follow a ransomware cyberattack that forced a shutdown of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

IRELAND-CYBERATTACK — Ireland’s health service says it has shut down its IT systems after being targeted in a ransomware attack by what it called “international criminals.” SENT: 490 words, photo.

FIGHTING ONLINE EXTREMISM — Tech giants and governments around the world are gathering virtually to find better ways to stop extremist violence from spreading online while also respecting freedom of expression. The U.S. is joining this effort for the first time. SENT: 240 words, photo.

PHILANTHROPY-RAMAN-GIVING-CIRCLES — As Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with a celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the American Muslim Community Foundation reached a new record. The group says it has distributed nearly $1.3 million, the largest it has ever raised during Ramadan, to over 150 charities. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks were sharply higher on Wall Street, continuing a bounce from a day earlier, but indexes are still on track for weekly losses after three days of drops to begin the week. SENT: 415 words, photo.




FOOD-TIKTOK INFLUENCE — From sourdough to feta pasta, much of the last year has been food-focused. One driver of these delectable fads is the social media platform TikTok, which has billions of food posts. SENT: 875 words, photos.

TV-KARDASHIAN-REVEAL — Fans were tickled by a big reveal on Thursday night’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” A California government worker is behind a mystery social media handle that’s been cranking out droll posts from North West’s point of view since Kim’s eldest was born seven years ago. SENT: 410 words, photo.

TV-BILL MAHER — A taping of Bill Maher’s weekly HBO show was canceled after the host tested positive for COVID-19. SENT: 170 words, photo.




RAC–PREAKNESS PREVIEW — Medina Spirit goes for the second leg of the Triple Crown — provided the colt passes prerace drug tests — when the Preakness is run before 10,000 fans Saturday. Trainer Bob Baffert goes for a record eighth Preakness victory while his sport is consumed with talk of his medication violations. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

BKL—WNBA SEASON-THINGS TO KNOW — The WNBA, the longest running women’s professional sports league, begins its 25th season Friday night. There was a lot of player movement in the offseason, headlined by Candace Parker heading home to Chicago after playing 13 years in Los Angeles. SENT: 500 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Donald E. King ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.