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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

February 11, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. 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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TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY — Capitol Hill negotiators seek to revive border security talks in hopes of averting a potential second government shutdown this weekend. Democrats’ demand for limits on detentions of immigrants in the country illegally is eclipsing Trump’s border wall — for now — and Republicans are fighting back furiously against what they say is overreach by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

TRUMP — President Donald Trump aims to use a rally at the Texas border to make his case that border barriers work. Potential 2020 Democratic contender Beto O’Rourke leads the first dueling event of the campaign season. By Jill Colvin and Will Weissert. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m., with updates from 9 p.m. El Paso rally.

VIRGINIA POLITICS-BLACKFACE —After clamoring for days for resignations or impeachment, Virginia Democratic politicians and community leaders are stopping and taking a deep breath while they decide how to deal with the scandals that have engulfed the state’s top three elected officials. By Alan Suderman and Ben Finley. SENT: 920 words, photos, video.

SYRIA — Islamic State group militants cornered in their last foothold in eastern Syria fought back with suicide car bombs, snipers and booby traps, slowing Kurdish fighters advancing under the cover of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Kurdish news agencies and a Syrian war monitor said. SENT: 780 words, photos.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-A MOTHER’S GRIEF — In the year since her 14-year-old daughter was gunned down at a Parkland high school, Lori Alhadeff called out Trump in a gut wrenching speech on live TV, won a seat on the local school board and started a foundation to make schools safer. She keeps a dizzying pace, saying the advocacy helps with her grief. But there’s a sense that if she allowed herself to stop, the grief might be too much to bear. By Kelli Kennedy. SENT: 1,080 words, photos, video. This is the Tuesday Spotlight.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-BIDEN — This weekend former Vice President Joe Biden will headline his first public event in three weeks — in Munich, Germany, nearly 5,000 miles from Iowa, site of the presidential campaign’s first contest. As he weighs whether to jump into the race, Biden has been conspicuously absent from early voting states, making him an outlier among Democrats eying the White House. By Julie Pace and Thomas Beaumont. SENT: 1,040 words, photo.

PENTAGON CHIEF’S-DEBUT — At an extraordinary moment in Pentagon history, Pat Shanahan, a former business chief with little political stature and no military experience, is making his international debut as the acting U.S. secretary of defense. He is only the third person to serve as interim Pentagon chief. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. SENT: 820 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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DENVER TEACHERS-STRIKE — Denver teachers went on strike Monday after failing to reach a deal with administrators on pay in the latest example of educator discontent, following a wave of walkouts over the last year. SENT: 660 words, photos, video

CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD — Prosecutors asked Illinois’ highest court to review what they consider to be a too lenient sentence for the white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald. SENT: 610 words, photos.

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SCIENCE/HEALTH

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YOUTH SMOKING — Cigarette smoking rates have stopped falling among U.S. kids, and health officials believe youth vaping is responsible. SENT: 550 words, photo.

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