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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

August 25, 2018

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IRELAND-POPE - Pope Francis arrives in Ireland to a lukewarm reception and scattered protests, with even his vow to rid the church of the “scourge” of sexual abuse and his outrage at the “repugnant crimes” dismissed as an insult by Ireland’s wounded abuse victims. By Nicole Winfield and Maria Grazia Murru. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

TRUMP-COHEN - For Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, it’s always been about money and loyalty. But the man who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump now is pledging loyalty to his own family and actively seeking to cooperate in the Russia investigation. By Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

IMMIGRATION-ANKLE MONITORS - Federal authorities’ shift away from separating immigrant families caught in the U.S. illegally now means that many parents and children are quickly released, only to be fitted with electronic monitoring devices - a practice which both the government and advocacy groups oppose for different reasons. By Colleen Long, Frank Bajak and Will Weissert. 1,500 words, photos, 800-word abridged version. This story is this week’s Sunday Spotlight.

KOREAS-FAMILY REUNIONS-BACKCHANNELS - Only a fraction of the elderly Koreans separated by the Korean War are able to attend the on-and-off reunions organized by their rival governments. So some South Koreans turn to unofficial networks of brokers, friends and others to correspond with their loved ones in the North. Such exchanges flourished during a previous era of detente, but the number has sharply decreased as many elderly refugees in South Korea died and North Korea has tightened control on its once porous border with China. By Hyung-Jin Kim. SENT 1,250 words, photos.

TESLA-STAYING PUBLIC - First it was the shocking tweet that funding was secured and Tesla may go private. Then a statement that the money wasn’t locked down after all. Two weeks later it’s never mind, the whole deal is off. Welcome to the disarray of Elon Musk, the impulsive genius and architect of cutting-edge car, rocket and solar panel companies built nearly from scratch. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 3 p.m., photos.

AFGHANISTAN-RUSSIA TALKS — Vladimir Putin’s Russia appears to have emerged as a player in Afghanistan after 17 years of Western involvement that has left the country no closer to peace than before. To some, Russia’s offer to host talks next month might contain at least the seeds of a positive pivot if the Taliban are coaxed to the table at a time when they have been more aggressive on the battlefield than in recent years, causing much mayhem in Kabul and other cities. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.




DEMOCRATS-SUPERDELEGATES - Overhauling how they pick a White House nominee, Democrats agree to curtail the role played by party insiders known as superdelegates, a major source of ill will in the 2016 race. It’s the latest test of party unity as Democrats try to turn their attention to the November elections and the 2020 presidential race. SENT: 620 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 2:30 p.m.

FACT CHECK-WEEK - President Donald Trump denied that the crimes of his ex-lawyer were criminal, complained about a politician plagiarizing his slogan despite his history of doing the same and defied data in declaring the U.S. is No. 1 in environmental quality. A look at some of his rhetoric over the past week. By Hope Yen. SENT: 1,350 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd




FRANCE-WWI-CENTENARY - Hundreds of volunteers from 18 countries gather in the French town of Verdun as part of a string of events to mark the centenary of the end of World War I. SENT: 560 words, photos, video.




TROPICAL STORM LANE HAWAII - Federal officials say torrential rains are now the biggest threat to Hawaii after a once-powerful hurricane that threatened the island state was downgraded to a tropical storm, and they urged people to continue to take the storm seriously. By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher and Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 800 words, video, photos. Developing.

HARVEY-FLOOD CONTROL-BOND ELECTION - Voters in Houston and its surrounding county will mark the anniversary of Hurricane Harvey coming ashore by deciding whether to approve the issuance of $2.5 billion in bonds to fund flood-control projects that might mitigate the damage caused by future storms. SENT: 620 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated after 8 p.m. close with results, if available.

FLORIDA TOWN-FAKE NAME CHANGE - Mayo, Florida is holding the mayo, at least for a few days. The mayor of this tiny town of less than 1,500 residents, located where Florida’s Panhandle morphs into a peninsula, is announcing the city is switching its name to “Miracle Whip.” But it’s a joke. SENT: 640 words, photos.




FBC--T25-OHIO STATE-NEW NORMAL - A week before the opening game, few people in Columbus are talking much about football. Instead the discussion has been about domestic violence, misplaced loyalty and how much a football coach is expected to know about the personal lives of his assistants. It’s been a preseason unlike any other in Columbus. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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