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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

March 22, 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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ONLY ON AP

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VENEZUELA-JAILED AMERICANS — When the Trump administration paved the way for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido to name a new board to run the U.S. affiliate of Venezuela’s state oil company, it was a rare glimmer of hope for the American families of six oil executives jailed for over a year without a trial in the politically turbulent South American nation. A month later, the families complain they are still being left to fend for themselves as much as ever by the men’s employer, Houston-based Citgo. By Joshua Goodman. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING — New Zealanders observed the Muslim call to prayer in reflecting on the moment one week ago when 50 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques were slain — an act an imam told the crowd of thousands that had left the country broken-hearted but not broken. By Nick Perry and Juliet Williams. SENT: 760 words, photos. With TURKEY-NEW ZEALAND — NZ’s foreign minister arrives in Turkey for Muslim summit (sent).

UNITED STATES-ISRAEL — President Donald Trump abruptly declared the U.S. will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election. By Matthew Lee and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 1,010 words, video, photos.

SPRING FLOODING-NATIONAL SECURITY — The flooding in Nebraska didn’t damage the headquarters of the U.S. military’s Strategic Command, which plays a central role in detecting and striking at global threats. But it provided a dramatic example of how climate change poses a national security threat, even as the Trump administration plays down the issue. It is also a reminder that the kind of weather extremes escalating with climate change aren’t limited to the coasts. By Margery A. Beck, Ellen Knickmeyer and Robert Burns. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN-LIBERALS — Joe Biden says he has “the most progressive record” of any Democrat running, or mulling a run, in 2020. But many progressive activists disagree. By Elana Schor. SENT: 1,030 words, photo.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-BERNIE SANDERS-CALIFORNIA — Bernie Sanders is campaigning in California this week, hoping to improve on his second-place finish in the state’s 2016 Democratic presidential primary. By Michael R. Blood. SENT: 860 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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PENNSYLVANIA POLICE SHOOTING — An expert in police use of force says a former officer did everything by the book in a fatal encounter with an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh last summer. Retired Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Clifford W. Jobe Jr. testified for the defense at the homicide trial of former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld, who’s charged with gunning down 17-year-old Antwon Rose II. The trial resumes with Jobe back on the stand for cross-examination. SENT: 410 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-MEXICO-ASYLUM — A U.S. judge in San Francisco will scrutinize the Trump administration’s policy of returning asylum seekers to Mexico during a court hearing Friday to help him decide whether to block the practice. SENT: 430 words, photos.

IDITAROD-DOG TEAM QUITS — The Iditarod musher who was hours ahead in the Alaska race when his dogs refused to keep running is dismissing critics who say he ran them too hard. The team stopped last week after Frenchman Nicolas Petit yelled at a dog that was bullying another, but he said they “did not slow down like a tired team would.” He chalked it up to a bad memory of getting lost in a blizzard last year near the same spot along the Bering Sea coast. He faced blowback, including from an animal rights group. SENT: 730 words, video, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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THAILAND-ELECTION-CANDIDATES — More than 70 parties are contesting Sunday’s general election in Thailand, the first since a military coup nearly five years ago. Up for grabs are 500 seats in the House of Representatives, where parties will need to win at least 25 seats to be able to nominate their preferred candidate for prime minister. SENT: 1,030 words, photos. With THAILAND-POLITICAL SYSTEM — New Thai election rules make it hard to trump junta’s pick (sent).

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SPORTS

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BKC--NCAA-TIPPING OFF — The spotlight of the NCAA Tournament shifts to Zion Williamson and No. 1 overall seed Duke. Along with the other 31 teams playing in first-round games Friday. By Basketball Writer Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 870 words, photos by 4 a.m.