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BC-AP News Digest 2 pm

December 31, 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.




YEMEN-STOLEN AID — An Associated Press investigation reveals that factions and militias on all sides of the war in Yemen have blocked or diverted the delivery of food aid or sold it for profit on the black market. The AP found that large amounts of food are making into the country, but once there, it often isn’t getting to people who need it most. This raises questions about the ability of United Nations agencies and other big aid organizations to operate effectively in Yemen. By Maggie Michael. SENT: 3,335 words, photos, video. An abridged version has also moved. This story is this week’s Tuesday Spotlight.




TRUMP-PENTAGON— Jim Mattis quietly serves his final day as secretary of defense, quoting President Abraham Lincoln in a brief statement of encouragement to employees as he turns over the department to Deputy Secretary Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing Co. executive with no previous government or military experience. His departure comes as President Trump prepares to scale back U.S. military operations in Syria and Afghanistan and shows growing impatience with longtime allies. By Robert Burns. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-TRUMP-DEMOCRATS —The new House majority led by Democrat Nancy Pelosi gavels into session this week with legislation to end the government shutdown, setting up the first big battle with President Donald Trump. Pelosi and Trump both think they have public sentiment on their side in the battle over border wall. By Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — House Democrats are introducing a package of bills that would re-open the federal government without approving money for President Donald Trump’s border wall. By Zeke Miller and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 800 words, photos. Developing.

With: SHUTDOWN IMPACT — The National Park Service closes parts of the iconic Yosemite Valley because of “issues with human waste” at untended restrooms, in the second week of the government shutdown. UPCOMING: 500 words by 3 p.m., photos.

ELECTION 2020-ELIZABETH WARREN — Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the first major step toward launching a widely anticipated campaign for the presidency, hoping her reputation as a populist fighter can help her navigate a Democratic field that could include nearly two dozen candidates. By Elana Schor. SENT: 620 words, photos. Developing.

NEW YEAR-2019 —Revelers around the globe are bidding farewell Monday to a year filled with challenges to many of the world’s most basic institutions, including politics, trade, alliances and religion. Fireworks, spiritual services and political addresses abounded to mark the transition. A look at how people are ushering in 2019. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video. Developing. With NEW YEAR-2019-PHOTO GALLERY — Photos from around the globe. By 5 p.m.

RUSSIA-BUILDING COLLAPSE —Hundreds of rescue workers raced bitterly cold weather in Russia’s Ural Mountains region Monday as they searched for survivors in the hulking concrete blocks from a partially collapsed apartment building where at least four people died. SENT: 700 words, photos.

RUSSIA-US-SPYING — Russia’s domestic security agency said Monday that it has arrested a U.S. citizen on espionage charges. SENT: 250 words.




LION ATTACK — The fatal mauling of an intern at a North Carolina wildlife center shows the need for stricter state laws governing safety and security of dangerous or exotic animals, animal welfare advocates said. SENT: 500 words, photos, video. Developing.

SCI-BEYOND PLUTO — NASA spacecraft hurtles toward tiny, icy world beyond Pluto. SENT: 800 words, photos.

ITALY-VENICE TOURIST CHARGE — A measure in Italy’s 2019 budget law will allow the local government in Venice to charge day-trippers for access to the city’s historic center as a way to help defray the considerable costs of maintaining a popular tourist destination built on water, the mayor said. SENT: 500 words, photos.

NEW YEAR’S EVE SECURITY — The NYPD is adding a fleet of aerial drones this year to the security forces it uses to protect the huge crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve in the city. SENT: 685 words, photos.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-KEVIN SPACEY — Kevin Spacey says his presence at a Massachusetts courthouse on accusations that he groped a young man would “amplify the negative publicity already generated in connection with this case.” SENT: 130 words, photos.




FACT CHECK-WEEK — President Donald Trump twisted circumstances behind the deaths of two migrant Guatemalan children to insulate his administration from any blame, contending without justification that they were in dire health before they reached the border. He also misrepresented what he’s done for military pay in a speech to troops in Iraq and told a faulty story about the Iran nuclear deal. By Calvin Woodward. SENT: 1,800 words, photo.

ATTORNEY GENERAL-BORDER WALL — President Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, William Barr, once questioned the effectiveness of a wall along the Mexican border similar to the one the president has advocated, describing the idea as “overkill.” By Eric Tucker. SENT: 850 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA — President Donald Trump complains that he’s getting “bad press” for his decision to pull American troops out of Syria, saying he’s making good on his campaign promise against U.S. involvement in “never ending wars. SENT: 750 words, photo.




STATE LEGISLATURES-2019 — Health care and education will top the agenda in many state capitols as lawmakers convene for their 2019 sessions with a closer balance between Republicans and Democrats. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos.




NETHERLANDS-TERROR SUSPECT — Dutch police have arrested a 24-year-old man in the port city of Rotterdam on suspicion of involvement in a “terrorist crime.” SENT: 130 words.

PHILIPPINES-BOMBING — Suspected Muslim militants remotely detonated a bomb near the entrance of a mall in the southern Philippines on Monday as people did last-minute shopping ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations, killing at least two and wounding nearly 30, officials said. SENT: 440 words, photos.

SUDAN — Sudanese police on Monday used tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters shortly after they began to march toward the presidential palace in Khartoum to demand that President Omar al-Bashir step down, according to activists and video postings. SENT: 793 words, photos.

FRANCE-NEW YEAR’S SECURITY — France is deploying more than 147,000 security forces nationwide to gird for New Year’s Eve unrest as yellow vest protesters prepare to join the public revelry. SENT: 140 words, photos.

AMOS OZ-FAREWELL —Israel’s embattled peace movement bids a final farewell Monday to one of its most prominent figures, the renowned author Amos Oz, at a memorial service. SENT: 900 words, photos.

CONGO-ELECTION — Congo’s election officials are counting votes Monday in a presidential election that the opposition and observers say has had numerous irregularities. The ballot counting and compiling is taking place across this vast Central African country, after an election day beset by problems but in which many Congolese showed a calm determination to register their votes. SENT: 430 words, photos.




FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks were moving higher on Wall Street Monday as investors held out new hope for progress in U.S.-China trade frictions. SENT: 800 words, photos. Developing.

CHINA MANUFACTURING — An official survey shows China’s manufacturing activity contracted in December, boosting pressure on Beijing to reverse an economic downturn amid trade tension with Washington. SENT: 460 words, photos.





Six NFL head coaches are fired as the NFL season concludes. Four are dismissed on Monday — at Denver, Miami, Cincinnati and Arizona. Two, Mike McCarthy in Green Bay and Hue Jackson in Cleveland, didn’t even make it that far. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m. EST.


Steve Alford is fired as UCLA’s basketball coach after six seasons, with the Bruins mired in a four-game skid that included losses at home to Belmont and Liberty. UCLA is 7-6 and in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament despite a talented roster. By Beth Harris. SENT: 900 words, photos.




MUSIC-ANDERSON PAAK — Grammy-nominated rapper-singer Anderson Paak talks about working with Dr. Dre and his evolving sound on his latest album, “Oxnard.” By Gary Gerard Hamilton. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.




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