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BC-AP News Digest 7 am

December 14, 2018

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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ONLY ON AP

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GOOD DEED-DOING PRIEST — A Kentucky-based priest is crisscrossing the United States, spreading the Gospel through acts of kindness. The pope named Father Jim Sichko to a fleet of papal missionaries of mercy three years ago. Pope Francis commanded the missionaries to go forth and bring joy, kindness and forgiveness to the world. Since then, Sichko has been traveling to all 50 states, buying strangers lunch or gas and doing other good deeds. By John Rodgers. SENT: 960 words, video, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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CONGRESS-SAUDI ARABIA — In back-to-back votes against Saudi Arabia, the Senate delivers an unusual rebuke of President Donald Trump’s response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and signals new skepticism from Capitol Hill toward the longtime Middle East ally. By Mary Clare Jalonick, Lisa Mascaro and Matthew Lee. SENT: 930 words, photos.

BREXIT — European Union leaders expressed deep doubts British Prime Minister Theresa May can live up to her side of their Brexit agreement and they vowed to step up preparations for a potentially-catastrophic “no-deal” scenario. By Lorne Cook and Jill Lawless. SENT: 670 words, photos. With BREXIT-THE LATEST; BREXIT-UNITED VS UNION — Out of many nations, a single message: Europe is united (both sent).

DEMOCRACY’S NEW PATH-ANALYSIS — Bickering in the Oval Office. Shouting at the Houses of Parliament. Rioting on the Champs-Elysees. It’s a chaotic moment for the countries that have long underpinned the global order, a time of instability for the balance of power that has reigned for decades. By Niko Price. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

TRUMP-CHIEF OF STAFF — Serious contenders are hiding from view. Celebrity hangers-on are applying via Twitter. Fresh names circulate practically on the hour. President Donald Trump’s hunt for a new chief of staff has taken on the feel of a reality TV show. By Catherine Lucey and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 830 words, photos.

FRANCE-ATTACK —Investigators looking into the Strasbourg attack are trying to establish whether the main suspect was helped by accomplices while on the run, Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz says. By Samuel Petrequin and Mstyslav Chernov. SENT: 410 words, video, photos.

CANADA ALONE —First U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Canada on trade. Then Saudi Arabia punished it for speaking up for human rights. Now China has the country in its cross-hairs, detaining two Canadians in apparent retaliation for the arrest of a top Chinese tech executive on behalf of the United States. By Rob Gillies and Paul Wiseman. SENT: 1,110 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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CHILD DEAD-BORDER PATROL — Federal immigration authorities confirm a 7-year-old girl who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border with her father last week died after being taken into the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. SENT: 550 words, photo.

DEPUTIES-CAR CRASH — Two sheriff’s vehicles crash into a car in southern Colorado, killing a deputy, the car’s driver and a year-old baby. SENT: 120 words.

CHINA-US-TRADE — China has announced a 90-day suspension of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington that threatens global economic growth. SENT: 120 words.

INDIA-MINING DEATHS —Thirteen young miners were missing and feared dead following the collapse of a shaft and flooding of a coal mine they were digging illegally in India’s remote northeast, police say. SENT: 210 words.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-CBS — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year with actress Eliza Dushku after on-set sexual comments from Michael Weatherly, star of the network’s show “Bull,” made her uncomfortable when she was a recurring character on the show. SENT: 320 words, photos.

NETHERLANDS-US-STUDENT SLAIN —An American student living in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam has been stabbed to death in her apartment and police are preparing to arraign a 23-year-old man suspected in the slaying. SENT: 430 words.

INDIA-FRANCE-AIRCRAFT DEAL — India’s top court rejects petitions by activists seeking a probe into the government purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. SENT: 350 words.

CONGO-EBOLA-YOUNGEST SURVIVOR — ‘Young miracle:’ Baby recovers from Ebola in Congo outbreak; mother died in childbirth. SENT: 130 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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MICHAEL FLYNN — Days away from being sentenced in the Russia probe, former national security adviser Michael Flynn is not exactly hiding his face in shame. People close to him tell The Associated Press that as the possibility of prison looms, Flynn is relaxed and hopeful, eager to get through Tuesday’s sentencing and move forward. SENT: 1,040 words, photos. With TRUMP-RUSSIA-FACT CHECK — President Trump skims over the facts when it comes to Flynn’s guilty plea for lying (sent).

PELOSI-SPEAKER — After a dramatic week, Nancy Pelosi is set to reclaim the House speaker’s gavel and go toe-to-toe with President Trump. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.

DEATH PENALTY — Three states resumed executions of death row inmates in 2018 after long breaks, but nationwide, executions remained near historic lows this year, according to an annual report on the death penalty. SENT: 660 words, photo. With DEATH PENALTY-TEXAS — A new report says that while Texas led the nation in the number of inmates executed in 2018, the use of capital punishment in the state continues to decline (sent).

TRUMP-FACT CHECK — President Trump advances a face-saving argument that Mexico actually is paying for his border wall. SENT: 440 words, photos.

TRUMP-CAMPAIGN FINANCE PROBE — President Trump invokes an “advice-of-counsel” defense in response to the scandal over hush-money payments made to conceal his alleged affairs. SENT: 640 words, photo. With TRUMP-LAWYER INVESTIGATION — Trump argues he ‘never directed’ longtime fixer to break law (sent).

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INTERNATIONAL

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LEBANON-TENSE BORDER — It’s a scene that has played out often over the past week: a crowd of young Lebanese men gather to watch as across the border, Israeli excavators dig into the rocky hills. The mood is light and as the crowd observes in real time what Israel says is a military operation — dubbed “Northern Shield” — that’s aimed at destroying attack tunnels built by Hezbollah. SENT: 900 words, photos.

SYRIA — UU.S.-backed, Kurdish-led fighters captured the last town held by the Islamic State group after days of intense battles in the militants’ single remaining enclave in eastern Syria, activists say. SENT: 535 words, photos.

JAPAN-US MILITARY-OKINAWA — Japan’s central government starts main reclamation work at a disputed U.S. military base relocation site on the southern island of Okinawa despite fierce local opposition. SENT: 620 words, photos.

CONGO-EBOLA-YOUNGEST SURVIVOR — They call her the “young miracle.” A baby who was admitted to an Ebola treatment center just six days after birth is now recovered from the virus. Congo’s health ministry calls the baby the youngest survivor in what is now the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak. The baby’s mother, who had Ebola, died in childbirth. SENT: 520 words.

NEPAL-TRAIN TO INDIA — The competition between two Asian giants, India and China, for influence over tiny Nepal is yielding a bonanza in the form of the Himalayan mountain nation’s first modern railway — and possibly more to come. New shiny rails connecting the 21 miles between Janakpur in southeastern Nepal and Jay Nagar in the Indian state of Bihar are raising hopes for more business and pilgrimages. SENT: 970 words, photos.

KOSOVO-ARMY — Kosovo’s parliament overwhelmingly approved the formation of an army, a move that has angered Serbia which says it would threaten peace in the war-scarred region. SENT: 320 words, photos. With KOSOVO-ARMY-THE LATEST.

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NATIONAL

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NUCLEAR REACTORS-SOUTH CAROLINA — South Carolina regulators have a couple of billion-dollar decisions. The Public Service Commission will determine how much to cut rates for 737,000 South Carolina Electric & Gas customers who have already paid more than $2 billion for a pair of nuclear reactors abandoned during construction. Regulators will also decide whether to approve a roughly $15 billion cash and stock bid from Virginia-based Dominion Energy to buy SCE&G’s parent company SCANA Corp. SENT: 680 words, photos.

DEATH PENALTY VOLUNTEER — A Mississippi judge will decide whether a death row inmate who says he wants to be executed is mentally competent to waive all his appeals. SENT: 580 words, photo.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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APPLE NEW CAMPUSES — One tech giant strung dozens of North American cities through a circus-like contest that led mayors and governors to desperately pitch their regions — and offer huge sums of public money — in hopes of landing a gleaming new corporate campus. The other swept in quietly to Austin, Texas, before making its big move. The outcome was largely the same: Amazon and Apple are running out of room in their West Coast hometowns and establishing major footholds elsewhere. SENT: 850 words, video, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — European and Asian indexes wobbled after British Prime Minister Theresa May failed to get assurances for a Brexit divorce deal at an EU summit in Brussels. China reported weaker-than-expected economic data, stirring up worries about the state of the world’s second largest economy. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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LETTUCE OUTBREAK — U.S. health officials have traced a dangerous bacterial outbreak in romaine lettuce to at least one farm in central California. By Health Writer Matthew Perrone. SENT: 430 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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OBIT-NANCY WILSON — Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning “song stylist” and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, has died. Wilson, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her manager and publicist Devra Hall Levy told The Associated Press. She was 81. By Andrew Dalton and Hillel Italie. SENT: 910 words, photos.

OBIT-SONDRA LOCKE — Actress and director Sondra Locke, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her first film role in 1968′s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” and went on to co-star in six films with Clint Eastwood, has died. Locked died Nov. 3 at her Los Angeles home of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer, according to a death certificate obtained by The Associated Press. By Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton. SENT: 570 words, photos.

ARPAIO-DEFAMATION LAWSUIT — Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio alleged in a defamation lawsuit earlier this week against three news organizations that CNN made no effort to correct anchor Chris Cuomo’s erroneous statement that the lawman was a convicted felon. But CNN released a statement saying Cuomo corrected his error on air within minutes of making it during the Jan. 10 broadcast. SENT: 580 words.

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SPORTS

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CHARGERS-CHIEFS —Philip Rivers led the Chargers to a pair of touchdowns in the final minutes, then hit Mike Williams for the go-ahead 2-point conversion with 4 seconds remaining to give Los Angeles a 29-28 victory over the Chiefs. The Chargers clinched a playoff berth while forging a first-place tie with Kansas City in the AFC West. By Sports Writer Dave Skretta. SENT: 720 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Vincent Willis can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org . For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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