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December 26, 2018

Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

GROWING UP DIGITAL-TECH ADDICT — As suburban Seattle has grown into one of the world’s major tech centers, it’s also become a hub for treating “tech addiction” — excessive use of video games, devices and online content that can ruin a person’s life. By Martha Irvine. UPCOMING: 1,700 words by 10 a.m., photos, video. An abridged version is available. By Martha Irvine. SENT: 1,680 words, photos, video. An abridged version also will be available.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks moved broadly higher in early trading, recovering some of their losses from a steep drop ahead of the Christmas holiday that left the benchmark S&P 500 index on the edge of what Wall Street calls a bear market. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 510 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated throughout trading.

HOLIDAY SALES — Holiday sales in the U.S. had their strongest growth in six years, helped by shoppers who were more confident in the economy, according to shopping tracker Mastercard SpendingPulse. By Joesph Pisani. UPCOMING: 400 words by 11 a.m.

ESTONIA-DIGITAL GOVERNMENT — The Baltic nation of Estonia is engaged in the most ambitious project in governance in today’s world, creating a totally digital government designed to reduce bureaucracy, increase transparency and boost economic growth. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

YE--YOUR FINANCES-Q&A — Jobs, gas prices, taxes, interest rates: what the experts say to expect for personal finance issues in 2019. By Sarah Skidmore Sell. SENT: 760 words, photos. Eds: This story will stand for the weekly On the Money personal finance column.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

HOME PRICES — U.S. home price growth slowed in October, a likely consequence of higher mortgage rates having worsened affordability and causing sales to fall. By Josh Boak. SENT: 400 words, photo.

INDUSTRY:

MINIMUM WAGE-NYC — The lowest-paid workers in New York state will have something to look forward to in the new year: a higher minimum wage, with the biggest boost coming to employees in New York City, who will make at least $15 per hour. By Deepti Hajela. SENT: 910 words, photo.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

PAKISTAN-MEDIA — Pakistani journalists, who have taken on military dictators and been beaten and jailed in the pursuit of a free press, say they now face a form of censorship that is more subtle but no less chilling, one spearheaded by the security services. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

BEHIND THE WHEEL-CHEAP LEASES — Edmunds recommends four highly rated vehicles that buyers can buy or lease for under $399 per month. By Cameron Rogers. SENT: 730 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

JAPAN-WHALING — Japan announces that it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years, but said it would no longer go to the Antarctic for its much-criticized annual killings. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 920 words, photos.

KOREAS-DIPLOMACY — North and South Korea break ground on an ambitious project to modernize North Korean railways and roads and connect them with the South, but without progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won’t be crossing the border anytime soon. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 700 words, photos.

HONDURAS-DANGEROUS DIVES-PHOTO ESSAY — Thousands of men across the Mosquitia region of Honduras and Nicaragua depend on lobster fishing to eke out a living. And like Atiliano, hundreds have been stricken with the bends — decompression sickness caused when nitrogen bubbles form in divers’ bodies. By Rodrigo Abd and Moises Castillo. SENT: 850 words accompany photos package.

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