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Adds: RACIAL INJUSTICE-ST. LOUIS-COUPLE; AWOL-WEAPONS; WESTERN-HEAT-WAVE-EXPLAINER; MEXICO-JOURNALIST-KILLED; EXCESSIVE FORCE-ATLANTA; SAME-GUN-ROBBERY-ACCIDENTAL-SHOOTING; EURO-2020-REMOVING-BOTTLES; AMERICAN-WOMEN-QUARTERS; MYANMAR; TEXAS HANDGUNS; TROPICAL WEATHER; INTERIOR DEPUTY; ELECTION 2024-POMPEO; EPA-SCIENCE BOARDS
SUPREME COURT-HEALTH CARE — The Supreme Court, though increasingly conservative in makeup, rejects the latest major Republican-led effort to kill the national health care law known as “Obamacare,” preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans. The justices, by a 7-2 vote, leave the entire Affordable Care Act intact in ruling that Texas, other GOP-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 1,090 words, photos, video.
SUPREME COURT-FOSTER CARE-SAME SEX COUPLES — The Supreme Court unanimously sides with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples as foster parents. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 820 words, photos. With SUPREME COURT-OVERSEAS ABUSES — The Supreme Court sides with Nestle and Cargill in a lawsuit that claimed they knowingly bought cocoa beans from farms in Africa that used child slave labor. SENT: 370 words, photo.
BIDEN-JUNETEENTH — Black Americans rejoice after President Joe Biden makes Juneteenth a federal holiday, but some say that, while they appreciate the recognition at an important moment in America’s history, more is needed to change policies that disadvantage too many of their brethren. By Darlene Superville and Kevin Freking. SENT: 830 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 980 words by 7 p.m. (Replaces CONGRESS-JUNETEENTH.) WITH: JUNETEENTH-EXPLAINER — The United States government is catching up with Black people who have been commemorating the end of slavery in the United States for generations with a day called “Juneteenth.” SENT: 635 words, photos.
AWOL-WEAPONS — Shocked by an Associated Press investigation into the loss and theft of military guns, the Pentagon’s top general signaled that he will consider a “systematic fix” to how the armed services keep account of their firearms. The AP’s investigation reported how some of the missing guns have been stolen and later used in violent street crimes, while many others have vanished without a clue from the military’s enormous supply chains. By Kristin M. Hall, James LaPorta and Justin Pritchard. SENT: 800 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-COVID-COMMISSION — A push is underway on Capitol Hill and beyond for a full-blown investigation of the coronavirus outbreak by a national commission like the one that looked into 9/11. The proposal comes amid lingering questions over the government’s response to the crisis and the origin of the virus that has killed more than 600,000 Americans. A bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine would establish such a commission. Its prospects are unclear, though. By Jay Reeves and Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 835 words, photos.
BIDEN-AGENDA — President Biden confronts a daunting to-do list now that he’s back from his eight-day trip to Europe. Some of the same legislative challenges await him that were there when he left, plus new foreign policy initiatives discussed in Europe and the need to steer the country’s reopening as the coronavirus threat recedes. By Zeke Miller and Lisa Mascaro. UPCOMING: 800 words by 7 p.m., photos.
RUSSIA-SUMMIT-REAX — Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised the outcome of his summit with U.S. President Joe Biden and called him an astute negotiator. Putin and Biden concluded three hours of talks Wednesday in Geneva by exchanging expressions of mutual respect but firmly restating their starkly differing views on cyberattacks, Ukraine, human rights and other issues. At the same time, they announced an agreement to return the ambassadors and mapped talks on arms control and cybersecurity. By Vladimir Isachenkov. SENT: 1,160 words, photos. WITH: BIDEN-PUTIN-REPUBLICANS — Republicans accuse President Biden of being weak on Russia after his summit with Vladimir Putin, ignoring four years of Putin flattery from Donald Trump. By Jill Colvin. SENT: 650 words, photos.
For more on Biden and Putin’s summit, click here.
SCI-LIVING-FOSSIL-FISH — Scientists have calculated that the coelacanth, a giant weird fish from the time of dinosaurs, can live to be 100 years old. The study uses a standard age dating technique on the endangered tropical fish and finds they are much older than scientists had previously calculated. Also they figured that the males don’t become sexual mature until age 40 or so and females it’s not until they hit the late 50s. They concluded that the fish’s pregnancies last for about five years. By Seth Borenstein. SENT: 400 words, photos.
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
BOSTWANA-BIG-DIAMOND — A huge diamond weighing more than 1,000 carats, which could be the third-largest mined in history, has been discovered in the southern African country of Botswana. SENT: 255 words.
EURO-2020-REMOVING-BOTTLES — UEFA asks Euro 2020 teams to stop removing sponsor bottles. SENT: 580 words, photos.
AMERICAN-WOMEN-QUARTERS — US Mint to issue quarters honoring notable American women. SENT: 250 words.
TROPICAL WEATHER — Tropical storm warning issued for northern Gulf Coast. SENT: 200 words.
SAME-GUN-ROBBERY-ACCIDENTAL-SHOOTING — Boy’s accidental shooting leads to arrest in Texas killing. SENT: 300 words, photo.
MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BIDEN —The United States is devoting $3.2 billion to advance development of antiviral pills for COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses that could turn into pandemics. By Zeke Miller and Matthew Perrone. SENT: 420 words, photo.
VIRUS OUTBREAK — Some of the most desperately poor countries in the world are seeing a two-headed crisis: a surge in COVID-19 cases and a critical shortage of vaccine. Fears are running high in African nations such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda. Health experts and world leaders have repeatedly warned that even if rich nations immunize all their people, the pandemic will not be defeated if the virus is allowed to spread in countries starved of vaccine. SENT: 1,190 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BLACK-CHURCHES — Members of Black communities across the U.S. have disproportionately fallen sick or died from the virus, so some church leaders are using their influence and trusted reputations to fight back. SENT: 780 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-BRITAIN —The U.K.’s latest surge in coronavirus infections gathered pace with new confirmed cases rising above 10,000 for the first time in nearly four months as a result of the spread of the more contagious delta variant. SENT: 545 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-NEPA -AP-INTERVIEW —Nepal’s health minister says the country has significantly reduced coronavirus infections after its worst outbreak but is in desperate need of vaccines. Health Minister Sher Bahadur Tamang said in an interview with The Associated Press that “The main issue for us is vaccines, and unless we get vaccines we cannot say everyone is safe.” SENT: 525 words, photos.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-RUSSIA — Authorities in four Russian regions made coronavirus vaccines mandatory this week for people working in retail, education and other service sectors, part of an effort to boost the country’s low immunization rates as COVID-19 cases continue to soar. SENT: 580 words, photo.
VIRUS-OUTBREAK-VIRAL-QUESTIONS-VACCINE-MIXING — Experts say mixing and matching different two-dose COVID-19 vaccines is likely safe and effective, but data still needs to be collected to be sure. SENT: 330 words, graphic.
INTERIOR DEPUTY — The Senate easily confirms former Obama administration official Tommy Beaudreau as deputy secretary at the Interior Department — a rare bipartisan moment in an increasingly bitter fight over energy and climate change policy. SENT: 750 words, photos.
ELECTION 2024-POMPEO — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become the latest former Trump administration official to launch a political action committee, but he’s not disclosing any possible 2024 presidential plans. SENT: 490 words, photos.
EPA-SCIENCE BOARDS — The head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he has fully reinstated one of two key advisory boards he dismantled earlier this year in a push for “scientific integrity.” SENT: 530 words, photo.
CONGRESS-INFRASTRUCTURE — Democrats are eyeing a $6 trillion infrastructure package that goes far beyond roads and bridges. It could work to achieve core party priorities such as lowering the Medicare eligibility age and changing immigration law, even as a bipartisan group of senators works toward a much narrower infrastructure plan. SENT: 950 words, photos.
CONGRESS-VOTING BILLS — Senate Democrats huddle behind closed doors to discuss the path forward on their sweeping election legislation. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a key holdout, is proposing changes. UPCOMING: 800 words by 7 p.m., photos.
CONGRESS-IRAQ — The House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, passes legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq. Supporters say it is necessary for Congress to reassert its constitutional duty to weigh in on matters of war, while detractors worry it will embolden militia or terror groups in the region. SENT: 930 words, photos.
UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN — An extremist group like al-Qaida may be able to regenerate in Afghanistan and pose a threat to the U.S. homeland within two years of the American military’s withdrawal from the country, the Pentagon’s top leaders say. SENT: 760 words, photos. With VIRUS OUTBREAK-AFGHANISTAN-UNITED STATES — The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan orders a near-complete lockdown because of a massive spike in coronavirus cases among employees. SENT: 360 words, photo.
GEORGIA-ELECTION-FULTON-COUNTY — Reports from an independent monitor who observed election operations in Georgia’s most populous county during the 2020 election cycle detail tense encounters with party election monitors. Carter Jones wrote that transparency is imperative throughout the election process and monitors are necessary. But he said political parties must do a better job of vetting and training their monitors. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.
ELECTION 2024-POMPEO — Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become the latest former Trump administration official to launch a political action committee. In an interview with The Associated Press, Pompeo declined to link the move to link to a possible 2024 presidential bid. SENT: 490 words, photos.
TEXAS-HANDGUNS — Texas will now let people carry handguns without first getting a background check and training. It’s the latest and largest on a growing list of states to roll back permitting requirements for carrying guns in public. SENT: 640 words, photos.
WESTERN HEATWAVE-EXPLAINER — Much of the American West has been blasted with sweltering heat this week as a high pressure dome combines with the worst drought in modern history to launch temperatures into the triple digits, toppling records even before the official start of summer. Climate scientists say the early arrival and intensity of the heat wave have much to do with a long-running drought gripping the region and climate change. SENT: 780 words, photos.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-ST. LOUIS-COUPLE — A St. Louis couple who gained notoriety for pointing guns at social justice demonstrators last year pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. Patricia McCloskey was fined $2,000. Her husband, Mark McCloskey, was fined $750. The couple also agreed to forfeit both weapons they used when they confronted several hundred protesters who were marching in front of their home in June of last year. SENT: 560 words, photos.
EXCESSIVE FORCE-ATLANTA — Atlanta police had no justification for pulling two students from their car and hitting them with stun guns while they were stuck in traffic caused by protests over George Floyd’s death , a lawsuit claims. SENT: 480 words.
PORTLAND-POLICE-RESIGNATIONS — A team of 50 police officers who serve on a specialized crowd-control unit in Portland, Oregon, and respond to the city’s ongoing, often violent protests have resigned en masse after a team member was indicted on criminal charges. SENT: 720 words, photos.
SEXUAL-MISCONDUCT-CALIFORNIA-SCHOOL — An elite private high school in Southern California has disclosed allegations of sexual misconduct involving students, faculty and staff that extend back for decades and were improperly handled. SENT: 550 words, photos.
IRAN-ELECTIONS-EXPLAINER — Iran’s presidential election Friday will determine who will lead the country’s civilian government as tensions remain high between the Islamic Republic and the West over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. SENT: 580 words, photo.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for a second time since a shaky cease-fire ended last month’s 11-day war. The strikes came after activists mobilized by Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers launched incendiary balloons into Israel for a third straight day. SENT: 815 words, photos.
HONG-KONG-APPLE-DAILY — Hong Kong police used a sweeping national security law to arrest five editors and executives of a pro-democracy newspaper on charges of colluding with foreign powers — the first time the legislation has been used against the press in yet another sign of an intensifying crackdown by Chinese authorities in the city long known for its freedoms. SENT: 790 words, photos. With HONG KONG-APPLE-DAILY-PHOTO GALLERY (sent).
MYANMAR — The United Nations’ office in Myanmar expressed concern about escalating human rights abuses after reports this week that a group opposed to the country’s ruling military may have executed 25 civilians it captured and that government security forces had burned down a village. SENT: 650 words, photo.
INDIA-TIBET-AP-INTERVIEW — The new president of the Tibetan exile government says he will do his best to resume a dialogue with China after more than a decade, and that a visit by the Dalai Lama to Tibet could be the best way to move forward. SENT: 630 words, photos.
BELGIUM-IVORY-COAST-GBAGBO’S-RETURN — Former President Laurent Gbagbo returned home to Ivory Coast, a decade after his refusal to concede defeat in the presidential election sparked months of violence that left more than 3,000 people dead. SENT: 905 words, photos.
ZAMBIA-OBIT-KAUNDA — Zambia’s first president and champion of African independence Kenneth Kaunda has died at the age of 97, the country’s president Edgar Lungu announced. Zambia will have 21 days of mourning, said Lungu. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.
MEXICO-JOURNALIST-KILLED — Prosecutors in southern Mexico said reporter Gustavo Sánchez Cabrera was shot to death, and another journalist was killed just west of Mexico City, bring to three the number killed so far this year in the country. Two other reporters have disappeared. . SENT: 260 words.
HEALTH & SCIENCE
CHINA-SPACE STATION — Three Chinese astronauts arrived at China’s new space station at the start of a three-month mission, marking another milestone in the country’s ambitious space program. SENT: 610 words, photos, video. WITH: CHINA-SPACE STATION-EXPLAINER — The significance of China’s new space station. SENT: 785 words, photo.
UNEMPLOYMENT-BENEFITS — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April despite widespread evidence that the economy and the job market are rebounding steadily from the pandemic recession. The Labor Department said that jobless claims rose 37,000 from the week before. SENT: 580 words, photo.
INTERNET DISRUPTION — A software bug at a major network provider briefly knocked offline dozens of financial institutions, airlines and other companies across the globe during peak Asian business hours. SENT: 410 words, photo.
BOOKS-TRUMP-MICHAEL WOLFF — The author of “Fire and Fury,” the million-seller from 2018 that helped launched the wave of inside accounts of the Trump White House, will have a last look coming out next month. Publisher Henry Holt tells The Associated Press that Michael Wolff’s “Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency” is scheduled for July 27. SENT: 450 words, photo.
OBIT-JANET-MALCOLM — Janet Malcolm, the inquisitive and boldly subjective author and reporter known for her challenging critiques of everything from murder cases and art to journalism itself, has died. She was 86. SENT: 995 words, photo.
SOC–EURO 2020-PLAYER COLLAPSES — Danish star Christian Eriksen will be fitted with an implantable device to monitor his heart rhythm. He is recovering from cardiac arrest during his team’s European Championship opener. A tribute for Eriksen was held during the Denmark-Belgium game. SENT: 550 words, photos.
GLF–US OPEN — Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau starts his quest for back-to-back titles when the U.S. Open begins at Torrey Pines with dry weather and nasty rough. Phil Mickelson, 51 and coming off his PGA Championship victory, is looking to complete a career Grand Slam. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 9 p.m.
TEN–WIMBLEDON-NADAL & OSAKA OUT — Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka are sitting out Wimbledon, leaving the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament without two of the sport’s biggest stars as it returns after being canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. SENT: 700 words, photos.
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