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Greater Mid-Atlantic News Digest 1 p.m.

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up for select stories. For up-to-the minute information on…

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up for select stories. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s complete coverage of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and the rest of the world, visit Coverage Plan at

Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to 919-510-8937, 202-641-9660, 410-837-8315, 804-643-6646 or Mid-South Assistant News Director Jonathan Drew can be reached at 919-510-8937 or

For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at or 877-836-9477.

This information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Coverage Plan will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern unless specified otherwise.


IN BRIEF: — UNEMPLOYMENT RATE — North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% for June, the state Commerce Department said on Friday, continuing a slow decline that began late last year.




ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former investigative journalist for ABC News has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. Fifty-three-year-old James Gordon Meek of Arlington, Virginia, admitted that he illegally possessed and transported child pornography. He covered national security issues for the network until he resigned last year. Court papers indicate the investigation began when the FBI received a tip from Dropbox about videos in an account linked to Meek. As part of the plea, Meek admitted he used an iPhone to exchange child pornography, including a video showing sexual abuse of an infant. He will be sentenced in September at the federal courthouse in Alexandria and faces a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. SENT: 310 words.


COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Five members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front have been convicted of misdemeanor charges of conspiracy to riot at a Pride event in Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene Press reports that a Kootenai County jury found Forrest Rankin, Devin Center, Derek Smith, James Julius Johnson and Robert Whitted guilty on Thursday after about an hour of deliberation. The men were accused of planning to riot at the Coeur d’Alene LGBTQ+ Pride event in 2022. A total of 31 Patriot Front members were arrested and face charges in connection with the event. The five men are scheduled to be sentenced Friday. SENT: 250 words, photos.




Social media users shared a range of false claims this week. Here are the facts: A North Carolina Pfizer plant damaged by a tornado wasn’t storing COVID-19 vaccines. A video doesn’t show a swarm of deadly mosquitoes being released at a Baltimore music festival. A massive sandstorm in Egypt seen in a video isn’t bound for Florida or New York; that claim conflates the event with an actual occurrence in which dust from the Sahara Desert can reach Florida. The Department of Justice didn’t say international child sex trafficking is no longer of concern. SENT: 1,850 words, photos.




ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With first place on the line in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles continue a four-game series at Tropicana Field. By Mark Didtler. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6:40 p.m. ET.


San Francisco plays Washington at Nationals Park. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. By Patrick Stevens.



HOLLYWOOD STRIKES-LOCALIZE IT: Three years after the pandemic brought Hollywood to a standstill, the film and TV industry has again ground to a halt. This time, though, the industry is engaged in a bitter battle over how streaming — after advancing rapidly during the pandemic — has upended the economics of entertainment. Tens of thousands of actors have now joined screenwriters on picket lines outside studios and streaming services’ headquarters, seeking better pay and more details about streaming audiences. We provide tips on finding strike events near you and ideas for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.

HEAT WAVE-LOCALIZE IT: The onslaught of searing temperatures struck parts of the United States again this week. Around one-third of Americans are under some type of heat advisory, with the most blistering temperatures in the South and West, where even the regular simmer has turned up a notch. We offer tips for localization. Find the latest Localize It guides.

HUNGER-COLLEGE-STUDENTS-LOCALIZE IT: Many college students who are struggling with hunger are facing the potential loss of food stamp benefits that were boosted in the pandemic. COVID-era rule changes made it easier for as many as 3 million students to enter the SNAP, or food stamps, program. But now those changes are expiring, and thousands of college students will be gradually removed from a program they say is still vital to their ability to feed themselves and stay in school. We offer tips and resources for localizing the story. Find the latest Localize It guides.

EDUCATION-STUDENT LOANS-LOCALIZE IT: Following through on a promise from last year, the Biden administration said last week it will cancel $39 billion in federal student loans for Americans who were enrolled in one of the government’s income-driven repayment plans. The relief will be granted to 804,000 borrowers as part of an action meant to correct past problems with the payment plans. New data released Tuesday by the Education Department shows how many people are eligible for the relief in each state, along with the combined student loan debt eligible for cancellation. It’s separate from the cancellation plan that the Supreme Court struck down, and from a new one the Biden administration is now developing. We link to the state breakdown, offer political context and other resources for localizing the story.

WORLD CUP-LOCALIZE IT: America’s star-studded women’s World Cup team has community ties from coast to coast. We list them for you and include players with U.S. ties from some other teams as well. We also point you to local club resources for potential watch parties and other events and link to AP’s planned coverage. Find the latest Localize It guides.



Lottery officials and others wait for Powerball winner

Tony Bennett, eminent stylist of American musical standards and last of the great saloon singers, dies at 96

Jan. 6 investigation closes in on former President Trump

Freed rabbits take hold in Florida neighborhood



Tony Bennett, masterful stylist of American musical standards, dies at 96

One-third of Americans are under a heat advisory

Northeast floods devastate ‘heartbroken’ farmers as months of labor and crops are swept away

Attention turns to Mega Millions after California store sells winning Powerball ticket



TRUMP-CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS — A federal judge in Florida has set a trial date for next May for former President Donald Trump in a case charging him with illegally retaining hundreds of classified documents. The May 20, 2024, trial date was set Friday by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon. It is a compromise between a request from prosecutors to set the trial for this coming December, and a request from defense lawyers to schedule it after the 2024 presidential election. If the date holds, it would follow close on the heels of a separate New York trial for Trump on dozens of state charges of falsifying business records. SENT: 400 words, photos. Developing.

OBIT-TONY BENNETT — Tony Bennett, the eminent stylist and last of the great saloon singers whose devotion to classic American songs and knack for creating new standards such as “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” graced a decadeslong career, has died at 96. His publicist said he died Friday. Bennett often said his lifelong ambition was to create “a hit catalog rather than hit records,” which he accomplished through more than 70 albums. Bennett was praised often by fellow performers, but never more meaningfully than by what Frank Sinatra said in a 1965 Life magazine interview: “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business.” SENT: 2,200 words, video, photos, audio, 1,100-word abridged version. With OBIT-TONY BENNETT-REACTION.

POLICE SHOOTING-NORTH DAKOTA — Authorities say the man who shot three Fargo, North Dakota, police officers and a civilian, killing one of the officers before an officer killed him, searched internet for terms including “explosive ammo” and “kill fast,” as well as for what crowded area events might be happening. State Attorney General Drew Wrigley said at a news conference Friday that Mohamad Barakat also used a “binary trigger” that allowed him to fire rapidly during the July 14 attack. SENT: 920 words, photos.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY- JOURNALIST — The president of Texas A&M University has resigned after a Black journalist’s celebrated hiring at one of the nation’s largest campuses unraveled over criticism of her diversity and inclusion work. The school made the announcement Friday. President Katherine Banks said in a resignation letter that she is retiring immediately. She says “negative press has become a distraction” at the nearly 70,000-student campus in College Station. SENT: 540 words, photos.



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