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BC-AP News Digest 2:10 pm

February 14, 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 .




MEXICO-FENTANYL-PILLS _ Illicit fentanyl smuggled from Mexico into the Southwest has become a profitable new business for drug gangs, helping push the synthetic opioid to the top spot for fatal U.S. overdoses. By Anita Snow. SENT: 1,190 words, photos.




AMAZON-HQ _ Amazon will not build a new headquarters in New York City, a stunning reversal to an ambitious plan that would have brought an estimated 25,000 jobs to the city. The online retailer faced fierce opposition from some New York politicians who were unhappy with the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives Amazon was promised. Along with thousands of jobs, the Seattle company had planned to spend $2.5 billion building its new offices. By Retail Writer Joseph Pisani. SENT: 350 words, photos, developing.

VENEZUELA-MADURO _ President Nicolas Maduro sits down for an interview with The Associated Press amid mounting pressure by the Trump administration and dozens of nations for him to leave power. The hand-picked successor to the late Hugo Chavez has been called a dictator by his critics and is blamed for driving the oil-rich economy into the ground. For his part, Maduro accuses the U.S. of leading an economic war to undermine his socialist vision and launching a coup aimed at installing a puppet government under opposition leader Juan Guaido. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4:30 p.m., photos.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-MARKING THE DAY _ Hundreds of thousands of students and adults across Florida and beyond observe a moment of silence in memory of the 17 people killed at a high school year ago in the Parkland shooting rampage that inflamed the nation’s gun debate and turned young people into political activists. By Terry Spencer and Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT: 700 words, photos, developing. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, by 3 p.m. WITH: SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-LIFE IN SCHOOL _ Fear, mistrust and disrupted educations: A year after Parkland, the K-12 experience in Florida has been reshaped. SENT: 900 words, photos, video. WITH: SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA-WHERE ARE THEY NOW? _ The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 dead pushed students, parents, officials and others into the national limelight, something most never sought. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY _ Congress steams toward approval of a bipartisan border security deal that ignores most of President Donald Trump’s demands for building a wall with Mexico but would avert a resurrected government shutdown _ assuming he does the expected and signs the measure. By Alan Fram, Catherine Lucey and Andrew Taylor. SENT: 930 words. UPCOMING: 980 words, photos by 5 p.m. with updates from House vote by 10 p.m., timing of Senate vote uncertain. WITH: TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY-HIGHLIGHTS _ What’s in the $330 billion bill. SENT: 620 words, photo.

MCCABE-TRUMP _ Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says in an interview that he worried investigations into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice would be shut down after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 440 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m., photos.

BREXIT _ British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered an embarrassing defeat by lawmakers in a vote that left her bid to secure a European Union divorce deal stuck between an intransigent EU and a resistant U.K. Parliament _ with Brexit just six weeks away. The House of Commons voted 303 votes to 258 against a motion reiterating support for May’s approach to Brexit _ support expressed by lawmakers in votes just two weeks ago. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 700 words, photos.

EUROPE-AIRBUS _ To passengers, the A380 feels immediately different _ spacious, smooth and oddly elegant for a jet so gargantuan. To Airbus, it’s become a burden so super-sized that the European manufacturer is ending its production for good. The A380 is simply too big to sell. Less than 14 years after its maiden flight, barely a decade after it started carrying passengers, the A380 is being mothballed. By Angela Charlton. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.




ODD--BEAR STUCK-TRASH TRUCK _ Drivers were startled to see a hungry bear that got stuck in the back of garbage truck and took a ride across a stretch of North Carolina. SENT: 150 words.

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK _ Chicago police say they’re interviewing two “persons of interest” who surveillance photos show were in the downtown area where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett says he was attacked last month. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BLACK-WHITE CANCER GAP _ Cancer death racial gap narrows, but still higher for blacks. SENT: 150 words, photo.

ITALY-POMPEII DISCOVERY _ Archaeologists have discovered a fresco in an ancient Pompeii residence that portrays the mythological hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. SENT: 200 words, photos.

3D PRINTED GUN-PRISON SENTENCE _ Texas man sentenced to prison after police find him in woods with partially 3-D printed AR-15 rifle, list of federal lawmakers’ addresses. SENT: 250 words.




KUSHNER’S TEST _ Jared Kushner notched a hard-fought win on criminal justice reform but stumbled in efforts to end the government shutdown. Now Kushner is in Warsaw pushing for the elusive goal of Mideast peace and at the same time keeping a foot squarely planted in high-stakes trade negotiations. It’s clear that Kushner holds a premier seat at President Donald Trump’s right side, but the presidential son-in-law also is getting an education in the ways of Washington along the way. By Catherine Lucey, Lisa Mascaro, Jill Colvin and Matthew Lee. UPCOMING: 990 words by 5 p.m., photos.

SENATE-ATTORNEY GENERAL _ The Senate confirms William Barr as attorney general, placing the veteran government official and lawyer atop the Justice Department as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates Russian interference in the 2016 election. SENT: 300 words, photo, developing. SENT: 900 words, photo.

FOREVER CHEMICALS _ Under pressure from Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency says it will move toward setting safety limits for a class of toxic chemicals contaminating drinking water in an increasing number of states. Environmentalists say the agency isn’t moving fast enough. By Ellen Knickmeyer and John Flesher. SENT: 750 words. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4 p.m., photos.

CLIMATE CHANGE-SENATE _ Democrats in the Senate say they welcome Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to force them into difficult votes on the Green New Deal climate change proposal. SENT: 450 words, photos.

JOHN DINGELL _ Former President Bill Clinton, Rep. John Lewis and former House Speaker John Boehner pay tribute to long-serving Rep. John Dingell of Michigan at his funeral. SENT: 350 words. UPCOMING: 550 words by 3 p.m., photos, video.

MELANIA TRUMP _ First lady Melania Trump pays a Valentine’s Day visit to pediatric patients at the National Institutes of Health. UPCOMING: Developing from afternoon visit, 300 words by 6 p.m., photos.

ELECTION 2020-SCHULTZ _ Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz acknowledged the manager of one of the company’s shops in Philadelphia where two black men were arrested last year might not have called authorities if the two men had been white. SENT: 475 words, photos.




EL CHAPO’S FORTUNE _ With El Chapo’s conviction for smuggling tons of drugs into the U.S., some Americans have floated an idea they see as poetic justice: taking as much of the Mexican drug lord’s ill-gotten gains and making him pay for President Trump’s proposed border wall. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m.

COAL PLANT POLITICS _ A federal utility board has voted to close a coal-fired power plant in Kentucky over the objections of President Donald Trump and some state GOP leaders. SENT: 740 words, photo.

WESTERN STORMS _ A storm fueled by a plume of moisture stretching over the Pacific Ocean almost to Hawaii dumped rain on California, boosting the threat of debris flows from saturated slopes and flooding from rising creeks and rivers. The storm made stronger by the phenomenon called an atmospheric river hit Northern California and southern Oregon before moving down the coast overnight and threatening the southwestern corner of California. SENT: 650 words, photos.

CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD _ The wife of a white Chicago police officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald says her husband has been assaulted by inmates in his cell at a Connecticut prison. SENT: 300 words. Developing.

JAIL-CRUELTY LAWSUIT _ Officials in Oregon agreed to lower the number of inmates crammed into a single cell and take other actions after a woman filed a lawsuit saying she was jailed under inhumane conditions. SENT: 650 words, photos.




NIGERIA-ELECTION-BOOMING YOUTH _ Halima Usman is part of a booming new generation in Nigeria, voting for the first time in a presidential election Saturday after being raised during the country’s two decades of civilian rule. A majority of eligible voters in Africa’s most populous nation are now 35 or younger, a demographic that will help double the continent’s population by 2050. SENT: 950 words, photos.

RUSSIA-AFGHAN LEGACY _ The Soviet Union’s withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan in 1989 was once hailed as a much-anticipated end to a bloody quagmire. That view has changed over the years. Now, as Russia prepares to mark Friday’s 30th anniversary of the withdrawal, many see the Soviet war in Afghanistan as a necessary and largely successful endeavor. Just like the ongoing Russian campaign in Syria, the Afghan war is widely perceived as a legitimate action against U.S.-backed militants. SENT: 1,190 words, photos.

KASHMIR-EXPLOSION _ Security officials say at least 33 soldiers have been killed and about 20 others wounded in a car bomb attack on a paramilitary convoy on a key highway in Indian-controlled Kashmir. SENT: 680 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-RESSA-INTERVIEW _ The head of a Philippine online news site who was arrested by government agents in a libel case accused President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration on Thursday of acting like a dictatorship and using the law as a weapon to muzzle dissent. “What we’re seeing ... is a level of impunity that I frankly haven’t seen, and I’ve been a journalist for more than 30 some odd years,” Maria Ressa told The Associated Press on Thursday after posting bail in a Manila court. SENT: 650 words, photos.

ZIMBABWE-MISSING MINERS _ Media in Zimbabwe say several dozen miners are missing after rains flooded the mines. SENT: 600 words, photos.




MED-BRAIN AGING-DEPRESSION _ Memory and thinking skills naturally slow with age but now scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen that decline _ and finding some worrisome clues. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 p.m.

FLU VACCINE _ The flu vaccine is doing a decent job protecting Americans this winter, according to a new report. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m.




STUDENT LOANS-PROBLEMS _ The nine companies and organizations tasked with servicing the accounts of the nation’s 30 million student loan borrowers repeatedly failed to do their jobs properly over a period of years and their regulator neglected to hold them responsible, a new report finds. The report released by the Department of Education’s independent inspector general’s office shows some borrowers weren’t getting the guidance and protection they needed as they sought the best plan for paying off their student loans. The nation’s student loan debt now stands at $1.5 trillion. SENT: 750 words, photos.




BRITAIN-MEGHAN’S MISFORTUNES _ Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is facing an increasingly public tabloid battle with her estranged father as she prepares for her and Prince Harry’s first child, and dealing with speculation that she is feuding with Prince William’s wife, Kate. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FILM-THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING OSCARS _ Ten days to go and the Oscars are in chaos. Many of the film academy’s most respected filmmakers have called on the academy to reverse its decision to remove four categories from the live portion of the broadcast. The academy, desperate to reverse sliding ratings, says a shortened show must go on. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4 p.m. EST, photos.




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