AP News Digest 3:35 a.m.

Here are the AP’s latest cover plans, top stories, and promotional content. Hourly EST. For late-breaking information on AP’s coverage, visit the coverage plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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BEST STORIES

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-INDIA-DEJA-VU – Coronavirus cases fueled by the highly transmissible variant of omicron are exploding in India, prompting the federal government and states to quickly reintroduce a series of restrictions. By Cheikh Saaliq. SENT: 740 words, photos.

HARRY REID MEMORIAL – The late United States Senator Harry Reid will be remembered in Las Vegas by family, friends and the nation’s top Democrats as a fighter, father and powerful politician of the United States and Nevada. President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to speak. By Ken Ritter and Darlene Superville. SENT: 850 words, photos. COMING SOON: 990 words after the 2 p.m. ceremony.

BOSNIA-SERBS-POLITICAL-CRISIS – It has already been described in Washington as an anti-nationalist “breath of fresh air” in the murderous and genocidal Balkan quagmire of ethnically divided Bosnia. How times are changing. This week, the political leader of the Bosnian Serbs Milorad Dodik, now secessionist denying the genocide, was hit with new US sanctions for alleged corruption. He responded in typical style, saying that the days when the United States and other Western democracies “molded Bosnia to their liking” are long gone. By Sabina Niksic. SENT: 890 words, photos.

AUSTRALIAN-DJOKOVIC OPEN – Lawyers for Novak Djokovic have filed court documents in his challenge against the deportation from Australia that showed the tennis star had contracted COVID-19 last month, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp. By sports writer John Pye. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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OUTBREAK VIRUSES-BIDEN-TESTS AT HOME – President Biden announced last month that the federal government would purchase half a billion COVID-19 rapid test kits and distribute them free to people to use at home. But White House officials say it will be several more weeks before these kits are available to ship. SENT: 690 words, photo.

CALIFORNIA VIRUS OUTBREAK – Difficulty finding coronavirus test kits in many parts of California and delays in getting results are causing growing frustration and contributing to the outbreak of infections which in just two weeks , more than doubled the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. SENT: 770 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK – AUSTRALIA – Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tested positive for COVID-19 as the number of cases reached new highs across the country and health officials have warned that the actual number of case is probably much higher than the tests show. SENT: 430 words, photos.

VIRUS-OUTBREAK-ROSE-PARADE-BAND – Members of a 410-person Alabama high school marching band that led this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade with “Yankee Doodle Dandy” have tested positive for COVID-19 since their return from California. SENT: 490 words, photos.

RENTAL ASSISTANCE AGAINST VIRUS OUTBREAKS – The Treasury Department said states and communities provided the largest amount of rent assistance to cash-strapped tenants in November since the program began. SENT: 630 words, photo.

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NEW TRENDS

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FILM-PIXAR-RELEASE – Pixar’s third consecutive feature film will go direct to Disney +, Walt Disney Co. announced. SUBMITTED: 160 words, photo.

GADGET-SHOW – Attendance at this week’s CES gadgets show in Las Vegas is down more than 75% from its previous in-person event two years ago, its organizer said. SENT: 160 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON / POLITICS

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OBIT-LANI-GUINIER – Lani Guinier, lawyer and civil rights scholar whose appointment by President Bill Clinton as head of the Department of Justice’s civil rights division was withdrawn after Tories criticized her point of view on correcting racial discrimination, has died. She was 71 years old. SENT: 820 words, photos.

VOTER-ID-NORTH-CAROLINA – Two North Carolina Supreme Court justices – the son of a powerful lawmaker among them – say they will not back down from hearing a case that challenges a pair of constitutional amendments, including one requires voter identification with photo. SENT: 580 words, photos.

2022-WISCONSIN-SENATE ELECTION – Republican US Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, has decided to run for a third term, two Republicans with knowledge of the plan. SENT: 570 words, photo.

CAPITOL RIOT-CRUZ – Texas Senator Ted Cruz apologizes for calling the January 6 insurgency a “violent terrorist attack on Capitol Hill,” capitulating to outrage from the right wing of the Republican Party. By Jill Colvin. SENT: 870 words, photos.

NAVY-BOOT CAMP – Navy adds two weeks to training camp as part of major overhaul to improve recruit combat and emergency skills while focusing on character issues such as sexual assault , hazing and extremism in the ranks. SENT: 550 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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MARINES-DEATH-TRAINING-ACCIDENT – A Marine Corps battalion commander said on Friday he would have retrospectively halted the exercise that killed nine of his Marines whose amphibious assault vehicle sank off the south coast from California, but at the time he had no specific information to make such a decision. SENT: 740 words, photo.

CALIFORNIA-BOAT-FIRE – The Coast Guard announced new safety rules following a fatal fire that killed 34 people on a scuba diving boat off the coast of California more than two years ago, including the installation of fire detection and extinguishing equipment. SENT: 660 words, photo.

EX-MICHIGAN LAWMAKER-SEXUAL ASSAULT – A former Michigan law leader on Friday denied allegations he sexually assaulted his future sister-in-law from the age of 14 or 15, saying they had a relationship sex for years but both were consenting adults. SENT: 360 words, photos.

ABORTION-TEXAS – Texas abortion clinics returned to court on Friday, weakened in efforts to end the country’s most restrictive abortion law after the United States Supreme Court cleared the month last the almost total ban on the procedure by the state to remain in place. SENT: 300 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CHINA EARTHQUAKE – A severe earthquake rocked a sparsely populated area in western China and forced the suspension of high-speed rail service due to damage to the tunnel, authorities said.

OLY-BEIJING-OPENING CEREMONY – Famous Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is promising a simpler opening ceremony for next month’s Beijing Winter Games with a bold and unprecedented way of lighting the Olympic flame. SENT: 270 words, photo.

INDIA-MOTHER-TERESA – The Indian government allowed Mother Teresa’s charity to receive foreign funds, weeks after blocking it, claiming the Catholic organization did not qualify under local laws, a declared a legislator. SENT: 230 words, photo.

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BUSINESS / ECONOMY

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EMPLOYER-MANDATE VIRUS OUTBREAK – Companies said to be affected by a Biden administration vaccine or testing requirement for workers have largely been left on the sidelines as the Supreme Court examines whether the rule can be enforced. SENT: 660 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-Q & A-AMY-SCHNEIDER – “Jeopardy!” Champion Amy Schneider joins her list of bragging rights and admirers. Already the highest paid contestant in quiz history and the woman with the longest winning streak, on Friday she became one of only four “Jeopardy!” players to reach seven figures in regular season earnings. By television writer Lynn Elber. SENT: 970 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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FBC – CFP CHAMPIONSHIP-TEAMS ARRIVES – Coach Nick Saban led Alabama off the team plane and into a cold reality. The Crimson Tide will either return from frigid Indianapolis with another national championship or as this season’s national finalist. By Michel Marot. SENT: 550 words, photos. With FBC – CFP Championship-Transfer Portal (sent).

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerf Center, Vincent K. Willis can be reached at 800-845-8450 (extension 1600). For the photos, (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. The extended content of the AP can be obtained at http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact [email protected] or call 844-777-2006.

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