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AP Top News at 11:46 p.m. EDT

August 12, 2020 GMT

Biden picks Kamala Harris as running mate, first Black woman

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump. In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. The 55-year-old first-term senator, who is also of South Asian descent, is one of the party’s most prominent figures. She quickly became a top contender for the No.

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How it happened: Inside Biden’s search for a running mate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gretchen Whitmer wanted out. The Michigan governor had caught the interest of Joe Biden and his vice presidential vetting committee, who were drawn to her prominence in a crucial battleground state and her aggressive response to the coronavirus outbreak there. But by late spring, the nation was in the midst of a reckoning over race and inequality following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Whitmer sent word to Biden’s team that while she was flattered, she no longer wanted to be considered for the running mate slot, according to a high-ranking Democrat familiar with the process.

Scientists uneasy as Russia approves 1st coronavirus vaccine

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MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Tuesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, a move that was met with international skepticism and unease because the shots have only been studied in dozens of people. President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry’s approval and said one of his two adult daughters already was inoculated. He said the vaccine underwent the necessary tests and was shown to provide lasting immunity to the coronavirus, although Russian authorities have offered no proof to back up claims of safety or effectiveness. “I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity,” Putin said.

Greene, who made racist videos, wins GOP nod in Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Marjorie Taylor Greene, a businesswoman who has expressed support for the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon and been criticized for a series of racist comments, has won the Republican nomination for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District. Greene beat neurosurgeon John Cowan in a primary runoff for the open seat on Tuesday in the deep-red district in northwest Georgia, despite several GOP officials denouncing her campaign after videos surfaced in which she expresses racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim views. “WE WON! Thank you for your support! Save America. Stop Socialism,” Greene tweeted late Tuesday. A video posted to her Twitter account of her victory party showed a room full of supporters gathered closely together.

Minnesota’s Omar holds off well-funded primary challenger

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge Tuesday from a well-funded opponent who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity, the latest in a string of victories by a new generation of emboldened progressive lawmakers. Omar, seeking her second term in November, easily defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money. Omar and her allies gained confidence in her reelection chances after primary victories last week by fellow “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and by Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist who ousted a longtime St.

1000s of Korean laborers still lost after WWII, Cold War end

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Shin Yun-sun describes her life as a maze of dead ends. The South Korean has spent many of her 75 years pestering government officials, digging into records and searching burial grounds on a desolate Russian island, desperately searching for traces of a father she never met. Shin wants to bring back the remains of her presumed-dead father for her ailing 92-year-old mother, Baek Bong-rye. Japan’s colonial government conscripted Shin’s father for forced labor from their farming village in September 1943, when Baek was pregnant with Shin. As the 75th anniversary of the end of the war nears, the thousands of conscripted Korean men who vanished on Sakhalin Island are a largely forgotten legacy of Japan’s brutal rule of the Korean Peninsula, which ended with Tokyo’s Aug.

What’s keeping Washington from a virus deal, explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hopes that talks on a huge COVID-19 relief deal would generate an agreement soon are fizzling, with both the Trump administration negotiating team and top congressional Democrats adopting hard lines and testy attitudes. Now that President Donald Trump has issued a series of executive edicts and the national political conventions are set to begin, consuming the attention of both Trump and top Democrats, the talks seem to be on an indefinite pause. The urgency has evaporated now that rank-and-file lawmakers have been set free for the August recess, and while both sides still want an agreement — and pressure is likely to remain high — it’s looking more like a September legislating effort than an August one.

New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy

NEW YORK (AP) — Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility. The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed. “It was a cascading effect,” administrator Emil Fuzayov recalled. “One after the other.” New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.

After multiple crises, this time Lebanese feel broken

BEIRUT (AP) — For nearly a week, Mona Zahran had to sleep on a couch pulled across her apartment’s front door. Beirut’s massive explosion knocked her doors off their hinges and shattered her windows, and she feared looters would take advantage of the chaos that has hit the Lebanese capital since. It was the latest and probably most humiliating blow in the turbulent life of the 50-year-old. A few months ago, Zahran lost her last income as a seamstress because of the combination of anti-government protests, Lebanon’s economic collapse and coronavirus restrictions. Now the Aug. 4 explosion at Beirut’s port threatened to rob her of her home as well.

Big Ten, Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic

A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday when the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and powerful conferences, succumbed to the pandemic and canceled their fall football seasons. Five months almost to the day after the first spikes in coronavirus cases in the U.S. led to the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments, the still raging pandemic is tearing down another American sports institution: fall Saturdays filled with college football. “This was an extremely difficult and painful decision that we know will have important impacts on our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our fans,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said.