AP News Digest 2 p.m.

March 25, 2020 11:04 AM

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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TOP STORIES

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS — The White House and Senate leaders of both parties agree on a $2 trillion emergency bill to rush aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. It's the largest economic rescue bill in U.S. history, equal to half the size of the $4 trillion federal budget. The package is intended as a patch for an economy spiraling into recession or worse and a nation facing a grim toll from an infection that's killed nearly 20,000 people worldwide. By Andrew Taylor and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1190 words. UPCOMING: Developing throughout the day, expected Senate passage 1,240 words by 6 p.m., photos, video. WITH: VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONGRESS-GLANCE — What’s in the bill. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-TRUMP EASTER — President Donald Trump’s “beautiful” idea to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter Sunday and pack the churches that day was dreamed up during a conference call among business leaders desperate to get the country back up and running. But that target date for easing coronavirus restrictions is another bone for a group he has long courted: Evangelical Christians. By Jill Colvin and Elana Schor. UPCOMING: 820 words by 4:30 p.m., photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK —Just days after New Yorkers were pushing onto crowded subways and elevators, authorities mobilize to head off a potential public health disaster, the city's emergence as the nation's biggest coronavirus hot spot a warning flare for the rest of the country. By Jennifer Peltz and Colleen Long. 900 words, photos, by 3 p.m. WITH: VIRUS-OUTBREAK-WHAT'S HAPPENING - What you need to know today about the virus outbreak. SENT: 700 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPAIN-HEALTH WORKERS — The coronavirus is waging a war of attrition against health care workers around the world. In Spain, doctors and nurses complain of shortages of the equipment necessary to shield them from contagion and tests for the new virus. There and in Italy, many medical professionals are falling ill. By Joseph Wilson and Artiz Parra. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-UNEMPLOYMENT — Barely a week ago, David McGaw was cooking daily for dozens of diners at one of New Orleans’ illustrious restaurants. Today, he’s cooking for himself, at home — laid off like hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. in a massive economic upheaval spurred by efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. New government figures to be released Thursday are expected to shatter the old record for the greatest number of new unemployment claims filed in a single week. But McGaw doesn’t need official numbers to understand the new reality in one of the nation’s hot spots. “The whole city laid off. Everybody,” he says. By David A. Lieb and Rebecca Santana. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

Find more all-format coverage on the Virus Outbreak featured topic page in AP Newsroom.

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MORE ON VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-HOTELS — Hours before his first shift cooking for people with mild cases of COVID-19 who are being quarantined in a downtown Chicago hotel, Jose Gonzalez made a plan to protect his family from the coronavirus. SENT: 1,080 words, photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-RURAL AMERICA — The social distancing rules repeated like a mantra in America's urban centers, where the coronavirus is spreading exponentially, might seem silly in wide-open places where neighbors live far from each other and “working from home” means another day spent branding calves or driving a tractor alone through a field. SENT: 1,192 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-GOVERNOR'S DILEMMA - Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been walking a tightrope for weeks, trying to balance the priorities of protecting people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 and protecting the economy. He has put limits on nursing home visits, closed stretches of sand in two South Florida counties while allowing the other counties to decide on their own. He has yet to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, given that about a third of the state's counties have had little or no cases of the virus. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 5 p.m.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-ONE GOOD THING-VET VENTILATORS - What works for Fido also works for Jane and John Doe: Veterinary hospitals from North Carolina to New York to Colorado are giving vital equipment and supplies to their human-focused counterparts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Breathing machines, masks, gowns, protective suits — the donations come in response to a call last week from the U.S. agriculture secretary for materials to combat the pandemic. SENT: 875 words, photos, video.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-THE NEW SACRIFICE — For most Americans alive today, the idea of a shared national sacrifice is a collective abstraction. It's a memory passed on from a grandparent or through a book or movie. Not since World War II, when people carried ration books, has the nation been asked to truly sacrifice for a greater good. Now, with the coronavirus, it's as though a natural disaster has taken place in multiple places at once. Will America step up as it enters what one prominent historian calls “a new moment?" SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PRINCE CHARLES — Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, royal officials confirmed — touching off criticism over whether his wealth and status gave him priority in receiving a test. SENT: 810 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MIGRANTS — Pressure is mounting on the Trump administration to release some of the nearly 40,000 migrants held around the country after at least one detainee and two detention center staff members test positive for the virus and as people in custody and their advocates warn that many more will follow because of crowded and unsanitary conditions. SENT 980 words, photo.

AP’s coronavirus podcast, “Ground Game: Inside the Outbreak,” today looks at how funerals can’t be held in Italy, where COVID-19 has killed more people than anywhere in the world. Listen to the podcast at 3 p.m. at https://appodcasts.com/category/ground-game/. Embed code is available on AP Coverage. Plan.

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

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MUSIC LIBRARY OF CONGRESS — Dr. Dre's classic debut rap album “The Chronic," Selena's sophomore release “Ven Conmigo" and the worldwide disco hit “Y.M.C.A." by the Village People are among 25 recordings being inducted to the National Recording Registry. SENT: 205 words, photos.

AIRCRAFT CARRIER-CLOGGED PIPES — Toilets on two Virginia-based Navy aircraft carriers that have become repeatedly clogged could require treatments costing $400,000 each to get them working properly, a report finds. SENT: 200 words.

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WASHINGTON/ POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-BIDEN-WOMEN — Joe Biden's status as Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting means the party will choose another man for an office never held by a woman. But he is running with plenty of women behind him — including a yet-to-be-named vice presidential running mate. It’s a crucial dynamic for a man who came of age politically in a staunchly patriarchal era, whose inner circle was for many years dominated by men, and whose career has been marked by both successes and controversies where women are concerned. By Bill Barrow. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-DEBATE— There is no 12th Democratic primary debate on the horizon with the party's presidential nominating process remains in an odd holding pattern amid the coronarvirus pandemic. By Bill Barrow. SENT: 429 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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RUSSIA-PUTIN — Citing the coronavirus, Russian President Vladimir Putin postponed a nationwide vote on proposed constitutional amendments that include a change potentially allowing him to stay in office until 2036. SENT: 965 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — A lone Islamic State gunman rampaged through a Sikh house of worship in the heart of the Afghan capital, Kabul, killing 25 worshippers and wounding eight, Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said. SENT: 965 words, photos.

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BUSINESS

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FINANCIAL-MARKETS — Stocks are adding to their gains as Congress moves closer to passing a $2 trillion package to help the economy deal with damage caused by the coronavirus. SENT: 840 words, photos, developing.

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HEALTH & SCIENCE

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-MENTAL HEALTH — A pandemic that requires social distancing and isolation is posing special challenges for those with mental illness and substance abuse. UPCOMING: 700 words, by 5 p.m.

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NATIONAL

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SEVERE-WEATHER-SOUTH — Teresa Hazelwood stopped by a Dollar General store in northern Mississippi to get some chips, and soon found herself riding out a suspected tornado in the parking lot and felt it lifting her car. She gripped the steering wheel and prayed. SENT: 325 words, photos, video.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-WATCHING AT HOME -- Television executives are used to a steady stream of sad news about declining viewership. Not this week, not with millions of people stuck at home because of the coronavirus outbreak. By David Bauder and Lynn Elber. UPCOMING 800 words by 4 p.m., photos.

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SPORTS

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SOC—VIRUS OUTBREAK-CONTAGIOUS GAME — It was a Champions League game more than a month ago that may have helped accelerate the spread of the coronavirus in Italy and Spain, the two countries struggling the most to battle the pandemic in Europe. Experts point to the round-of-16 game between Atalanta and Valencia in Milan as the biggest reason Bergamo became one of the epicenters of the pandemic. By Andrew Dampf and Tales Azzoni. SENT: 1,370 words, photos.

FBN-EXPANDED PLAYOFFS — With the NFL set to add a seventh playoff team in each conference this season, here's a look at how that would have played out in past seasons. By Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4 p.m.

BBO—MLB-EMPTY BALLPARKS — There are no hot dogs on the grill, no peanuts and Cracker Jacks for baseball fans ready to come back. Instead of MLB’s opening day, ballparks are empty with the start of the season on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 4 p.m.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Courtney Dittmar (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (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.