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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

May 17, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. 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-IRAN POLITICS — President Donald Trump won the White House pledging to wind down America’s foreign entanglements and put “America First.” With fears of a brewing conflict with Iran swirling that could hamper his re-election hopes, Trump publicly is adopting a softer tone. By Zeke Miller and Steve Peoples. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m., photos.

TRUMP’S ATTORNEY GENERAL — More and more, Attorney General William Barr is becoming the president’s favorite lawyer. He’s not only enthusiastically embracing Donald Trump’s political agenda, he’s also gone all-in by casting special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as vindication for Trump and hinting that the real wrongdoing was committed by those who launched the investigation. By Michael Balsamo and Jonathan Lemire. UPCOMING: 900 words by 5 p.m., photos.

OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR — A now-dead Ohio State team doctor sexually abused at least 177 male students over nearly two decades, and university officials knew what he was doing and did little to stop him, according to an investigative report released by the school. Dr. Richard Strauss committed the abuse from 1979 to 1997 — nearly his entire time at Ohio State — in episodes involving students from at least 16 sports, plus his work at the student health center and his off-campus clinic, the report said. By Kantele Franko and Julie Carr Smyth. SENT: 700 words, photos.

ABORTION-MISSOURI — Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature approves a sweeping bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy, joining Alabama and other states that have moved to severely restrict the procedure. Republican Gov. Mike Parson is expected to sign the bill. The ban would be among the most restrictive in the U.S. It would include exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating the eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn’t be prosecuted. By Summer Ballentine. SENT: 450 words, photo, developing.

IRAQ-CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE — When U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down with Iraqi officials in Baghdad last week as tensions mounted between America and Iran, he delivered a nuanced message: If you’re not going to stand with us, stand aside. The message, relayed to The Associated Press by two Iraqi government officials, underscores Iraq’s delicate position — its government is allied with both sides of an increasingly tense confrontation. By Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Bassem Mroue. UPCOMING: 1,100 words, photos by 4:30 p.m.

GULF TENSIONS-GAS PRICES — A rare mix of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and China is tugging oil prices in opposite directions and creating uncertainty over where they might land. Deteriorating trade talks between the United States and China have threatened to drive down the cost of oil and gasoline, because a clash between the world’s two largest economies is a serious threat to global economic growth and when economic growth sputters, demand for oil and gasoline typically craters. By Cathy Bussewitz and Michelle Chapman. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 5 p.m.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-MEDICARE FOR ALL — A half-dozen presidential candidates back “Medicare for All,” a proposal that would put the government in charge of most health benefits. But many of the Democrats they’re courting aren’t so sure that the nation’s health care system should be overhauled so dramatically. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE FLYNN — Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn told the special counsel’s office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress sought to influence his cooperation with the Russia investigation, and he provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, prosecutors say. By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo. SENT: 600 words, photo. Developing.

ELECTION 2020-ELIZABETH WARREN-ABORTION — Elizabeth Warren calls for a series of targeted measures designed to safeguard abortion rights following a flurry of new state laws that dramatically restrict women’s ability to terminate pregnancies, moves Democrats have decried as a planned effort to chip away at the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. By Elana Schor. SENT: 430 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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PREGNANT WOMAN SLAIN-BABY TAKEN — A prosecutor says a pregnant Chicago teen who was killed and whose baby was cut from her womb was strangled while being shown a photo album of the late son and brother of her attackers. The prosecutor told Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz that 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez managed to get her fingers under the cord around her neck and that the woman strangling her, 46-year-old Clarisa Figueroa, then yelled at her daughter, “You’re not doing your f---ing job!” SENT: 300 words, photos, developing.

MONTFORD POINT MARINES — It took an executive order to enable black men to join the U.S. Marine Corps, and even then they still faced obstacles. But the pioneering men who broke the Marines’ color barrier in the 1940s recall how they persevered and prevailed. President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 executive order banned discrimination in government and defense industry employment because of “race, creed, color, or national origin.” By Tom Foreman Jr. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

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BUSINESS

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TRUMP-AUTO TARIFFS — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald Trump decided against declaring commercial war on America’s friends: The White House said that he is delaying for six months any decision to slap import taxes on foreign cars, a move that would hit Europe and Japan especially hard. Trump is hoping to use the threat of auto tariffs to pressure Japan and the European Union into making concessions in ongoing trade talks. By Business Writers Paul Wiseman and Tom Krisher. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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OBIT-WOUK — Herman Wouk, the versatile author of “The Caine Mutiny” and the World War II epics “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance,” has died at age 103. Literary agent Amy Rennert says Wouk died in his sleep early Friday at his home in Palm Springs, California. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1952 for “The Caine Mutiny,” the classic Navy drama that made Captain Queeg a symbol of authority gone mad. He adapted his two-part war epic into a highly rated TV miniseries that aired in the 1980s. By National Writer Hillel Italie. SENT: 900 words, photo.

TV-GAME OF THRONES-THEN AND NOW — When season eight of “Game of Thrones” began, The Associated Press examined the arcs of the major characters who had survived the bloody series until its final season. With Sunday’s finale of the HBO show looming, here’s an update on where those characters stand after an action-packed season of zombie-mobbing, dragon-torching and secret-revealing. Will Daenerys end up ruling the Seven Kingdoms? Jon? Sansa? No one? And how many really want to anymore? Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS throughout. By Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

TV-NEW SEASON-TAKEAWAYS — The major broadcast networks touted their 2019-20 season wares this week, but executives also had to address real-life drama involving Jessie Smollett, Michael Weatherly and Constance Wu. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. UPCOMING: 1,300 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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GLF--PGA CHAMPIONSHIP — Defending champion Brooks Koepka, coming off a course-record 63, takes a one-stroke lead over Danny Lee into the second of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. Tiger Woods, in his first tournament since his Masters victory, is nine back. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 7:30 p.m.

BKN--RAPTORS-BUCKS — The Bucks, their defense and rebounding offsetting poor shooting in an opening win, play the Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. For Toronto, Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard can’t be the only ones hitting shots. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:30 p.m.

HKN--SHARKS-BLUES — The Blues look to bounce back after a contentious goal in overtime sent them toa loss against San Jose. The Sharks, up 2-1 entering Game 4 of the Western Conference final, had forced overtime on Logan Couture’s goal with 61 seconds left in the third period. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m.

RAC--PREAKNESS PREVIEW — For the first time since 1996, there’s no Kentucky Derby winner and no Triple Crown possibility on the line at the Preakness. While the race may have lost much of its shine, it’s as wide open as ever. By Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video, graphic by 5 p.m.