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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

February 18, 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-RUSSIA PROBE-MCCABE — Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says in an interview that a “crime may have been committed” when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the interview with “60 Minutes” that the FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia, and therefore a possible national security threat, following the May 2017 firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 800 words, photo.

ISRAEL-NETANYAHU-HOLOCAUST-HISTORY — An off-hand comment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Warsaw about Poland and the Holocaust looks to overshadow a summit of central European leaders this week in Israel. Poland’s abrupt decision to downgrade its participation in the upcoming Visegrad conference suddenly cast a pall over the gathering, which Netanyahu has touted as a major milestone in his outreach to emerging democracies in eastern Europe and his broader goal of countering the criticism Israel typically faces in international forums. By Aron Heller. SENT: 980 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-O’ROURKE-BORDER POLITICS — Beto O’Rourke clearly hopes to make his personal experience with the border a strength if he runs for president, but the former congressman’s record on border walls is complicated. By Will Weissert. SENT: 950 words, photos.

NIGERIA-ELECTION-WOMEN IN POLITICS — Nervous ahead of Nigeria’s election, dozens of first-time female candidates are seeking office in a country where the percentage of women in parliament is one of the lowest in the world, under 7 percent, and the idea of a female president brings a belly laugh from many men. They are trying to break the grip of Nigeria’s two main political parties, which traditionally have been less about issues and more about winning power at all costs. By Cara Anna. UPCOMING: 890 words by 5 a.m., photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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FACEBOOK-UK REPORT — British lawmakers issue a scathing report that accuse Facebook of intentionally violating privacy and anti-competition laws in the U.K., and call for greater oversight of social media companies. SENT: 300 words, photo.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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WASHINGTON-GUERRILLA PROTEST — If demonstrators want to stand out in the nation’s protest-happy capital, they must be creative. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is game to talk about motherhood, leadership, policies and her Democratic campaign for president. SENT: 1,280 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina’s elections board is holding a hearing on ballot fraud allegations in the nation’s last undecided congressional election. SENT: 440 words, photos. UPCOMING: Hearing at 10 a.m.

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SPORTS

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FRANCE-LEARNING LIGHTSABER — In France, it is easier than ever now to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, after its fencing federation took the radical step of officially recognizing lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga about a galaxy far, far away the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics. By Sports Writer John Leicester. SENT: 950 words, photos. UPCOMING: video.