AP News Digest 4:15 p.m

Here are the latest coverage schedules, top stories and ad-ready content from AP. All times EDT. For the latest information on AP’s coverage, see the Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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TOP STORIES

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RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned his people that retreating Russian forces are causing “a complete disaster” outside the capital by leaving mines in “all territory”, including around houses and bodies. By Nebi Qena and Yuras Karmanau. SENT: 990 words, photos, videos. With RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-THE-NEW.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-ENERGY-DECLARATION – Russian President Vladimir Putin demands payment in rubles for natural gas – or else. Germany talks about gas rationing in case of shutdown. The prices of the fuel used to heat homes, generate electricity and power industry have gone through the roof. While Putin said importers of Russian gas must now pay in rubles, he offered what could be seen as a loophole. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK – The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 has fallen to its lowest level since the pandemic began, providing both healthcare workers and patients with a much-needed rest in the wake of the Omicron surge. The number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus has fallen by more than 90% in more than two months, and some hospitals are going days without a single COVID-19 patient in intensive care for the first time since early 2020. By Ben Finley and Kimberlee Kruesi. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

INDIA BAN ON HIJAB – A recent court ruling upholding a ban on Muslim students wearing head coverings in schools has sparked criticism from constitutional scholars and rights activists amid concerns over judicial abuses over religious freedoms in officially secular India. By Sheikh Saaliq. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

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MORE ABOUT RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR

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RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-SPANISH DISINFORMATION – Disinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is on the rise in Spanish as stories written for Latin American audiences receive a boost from the Kremlin. RT en Español, the Spanish-language version of one of Russia’s leading news outlets, is now a leading source for Spanish-language information about the war, although RT constantly promotes pro-Russian conspiracy theories and disinformation. By David Klepper and Amanda Seitz. SENT: 950 words, photos

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-RADIO — Here Radio Ukraine is calling. A new internet radio station based in Prague has started broadcasting news, information and music tailored to the daily concerns of some 300,000 refugees who have arrived in the Czech Republic since Russia began its military attack on Ukraine. SENT: 910 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-MEDIA – New restrictions on journalists in Russia have hampered, but not silenced, reporting on the country and its war in Ukraine. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WARFIGHTERS PHOTO GALLERY — They are old, young, local, foreign, often new to the war. Thousands of people have volunteered to join the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces and resist the Russian invasion. The Associated Press spent time with some of them this week. SENT: 460 words, photos.

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MORE ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK

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VIRUS-OUTBREAK-HONG KONG-CHINA – Hong Kong authorities on Saturday urged the entire population of more than 7.4 million people to voluntarily test themselves at home for three consecutive days for COVID-19 starting next week. SENT: 360 words, photos.

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TRENDY NEWS

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CUOMO-BOOK-DEAL — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo filed a lawsuit against the state ethics committee on Friday, the latest move in an ongoing dispute over his earnings from a book about his efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. SENT: 200 words, photo.

NASA-MOON ROCKET – NASA has launched a critical countdown test for its new lunar rocket, a 30-story behemoth that could make its first lunar test flight by summer. SENT: 500 words, photos.

MISSISSIPPI-STATE-SONG — Mississippi is on the verge of sinking a state song with racist roots, two years after it retired a Confederate-themed state flag. SENT: 500 words, photos.

MUSIC-THE-JUDDS-CMT – The Judds reunite to perform at the CMT Music Awards, their first major awards show to perform together in more than two decades. SENT: 385 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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CAPITOL RIOT INVESTIGATION-GARLAND — Lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol are sending a blunt but clear message to Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department: Donald Trump and his allies likely committed crimes, and it’s on you to do something like this. By Farnoush Amiri and Michael Balsamo. SENT: 990 words, photos. Featuring CAPITOL RIOT-INVESTIGATION-CRIMES – A closer look at the possible crimes proposed by the Jan. 6 committee that Trump and his associates could be charged with. SENT: 990 words, photos.

HUNTER BIDEN TAXES – A federal grand jury has in recent months heard testimony regarding Hunter Biden’s income and payments he received while serving on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, according to two people familiar with the investigation. SENT: 540 words, photo.

BIDEN PRESS SECRETARY — White House press secretary Jen Psaki does not confirm reports that she will soon be taking a television job at MSNBC and insists she is focused on her work as President Joe Biden’s key spokeswoman. SENT: 480 words, photos.

ELECTION-2022=GEORGIA-GREENE – US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a lawsuit Friday challenging a state law by which a group of voters are challenging their eligibility for reelection. SENT: 510 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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CALIFORNIA-CORPORATE-BOARDS-DIVERSITY — A Los Angeles judge ruled Friday that landmark California law requiring companies to diversify their boards with members from certain racial, ethnic or LGBT groups is unconstitutional. SENT: 520 words, photos.

CUOMO BOOK DEAL —

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INTERNATIONAL

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VATICAN-MALTA — Pope Francis traveled to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta on Saturday for a pandemic-delayed weekend visit to draw attention to Europe’s migratory challenge, made only greater by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. SENT: 520 words, photos.

RAMADAN – The Muslim holy month of Ramadan – during which believers fast from dawn to dusk – began at sunrise on Saturday in much of the Middle East, where the Russian invasion of Ukraine has pushed up energy and food prices. SENT: 620 words, photos.

CHINA-MYANMAR — China says it will support neighbor Myanmar “no matter how the situation changes,” in the latest show of unequivocal Chinese support for the ruling military council that seized power last year. SENT:330 words, photo.

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HEALTH SCIENCE

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CLIMATE-FIRE-AND-FLOOD – A new study says that as the world warms, the West will get more double whammy of nasty wildfires followed by extreme rains. Friday’s study says these combinations, which can lead to mudslides and flooding, will increase eightfold in the Pacific Northwest and double in California by 2100 in a worst-case global warming emissions scenario. By AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 610 words, photos. WITH: CALIFORNIA-DROUGHT-SNOW-SURVEY — California is experiencing one of its driest early spring days in decades, and without a heavy dose of April and May showers, the state’s drought will deepen, which could lead to tighter water-use rules and another devastating wildfire season . SENT: 610 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BKW — NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP LOOKAHEAD — The South Carolina Gamecocks have held the top spot in the Associated Press’s top 25 poll all season. The final test for the No. 1 overall in this year’s NCAA tournament will be the Connecticut Huskies. Women’s college basketball brings the greats of the game together on the biggest stage as consistently as any other sport. This matchup between South Carolina and UConn is no different. By David Campbell. SENT: 500 words, photos. BKW–NCAA-Gender Equity (broadcast).

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HOW TO CONTACT US

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At the Nerve Center, Vincent K. Willis can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactive, app. 7636. Extended AP content is available at http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical questions, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 844-777-2006.

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