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BC-AP News Digest 7 am

May 17, 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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TOP STORIES

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UNITED STATES-IRAN-TRUMP _ President Donald Trump says he hopes the U.S. is not on a path to war with Iran amid fears that his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for such a conflict with the Islamic Republic. The friction has rattled lawmakers who are demanding more information on the White House’s claims of rising Iranian aggression. By Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee. SENT: 830 words, photo.

IRAN-REGIONAL REACH _ Iran has significantly expanded its footprint over the past decade _ from Lebanon and Syria to Iraq, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip. It has been finding and developing powerful allies in conflict-ravaged countries across the Middle East and has used groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah to strike its regional foes. These allies could be mobilized if the latest tensions with the United States lead to an armed conflict, dramatically expanding the battlefield. By Zeina Karam. SENT: 970 words, photos. With PERSIAN GULF-TENSIONS _ Iran’s top diplomat presses efforts to save nuclear deal. SENT: 410 words, photo, graphic; PERSIAN GULF-TENSIONS-THE LATEST.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE FLYNN _ Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn told the special counsel’s office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress sought to influence his cooperation with the Russia investigation, and he provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, prosecutors say. By Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo. SENT: 600 words, photo.

TAIWAN-SAME-SEX MARRIAGE _ Taiwan’s legislature votes to legalize same-sex marriage, a first in Asia and a boost for LGBT rights activists who had championed the cause for two decades. By Ralph Jennings. SENT: 770 words, photos, video.

ABORTION-MISSOURI _ Missouri’s Republican-led House is expected to pass a sweeping bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy on lawmakers’ final day in session, joining Alabama and several other states that have moved recently to severely restrict the procedure. By Summer Ballentine. SENT: 450 words, photo.

MONTFORD POINT MARINES _ It took an executive order to enable black men to join the U.S. Marine Corps, and even then they still faced obstacles. But the pioneering men who broke the Marines’ color barrier in the 1940s recall how they persevered and prevailed. President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1941 executive order banned discrimination in government and defense industry employment because of “race, creed, color, or national origin.” By Tom Foreman Jr. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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FRANCE-TERROR INVESTIGATION _ The French leader of the 2014 attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels has been transferred to France in relation to the hostage taking of French journalists in Syria. SENT: 130 words.

CHINA-MINE FLOOD _ Chinese authorities say eight people remain trapped in a flooded iron mine in the country’s northeast. SENT: 130 words.

BRITAIN-AMAZON-DELIVEROO _ Amazon is investing in British meal delivery company Deliveroo, expanding its reach into food retailing. SENT: 130 words.

JAPAN-US-TRADE _ Japan’s trade negotiator has said Washington won’t be demanding any quotas on Japanese auto exports to the U.S. SENT: 200 words, photo.

LIBYA-MIGRANTS _ Egypt has deported 33 Sudanese migrants trying to cross into Libya to head onward to Europe. SENT: 130 words.

AFGHANISTAN _ Afghan officials say an airstrike has killed 17 policemen by mistake during battle with Taliban in the southern city. SENT: 120 words.

FIGHTER JET CRASH _ A fire official says it’s ‘a miracle’ there was no explosion after an F-16 fighter jet plowed into a warehouse near a Southern California air base. SENT: 460 words, photos, video.

MUELLER PROBE LAWYER-JURY DUTY _ One of Robert Mueller’s top lieutenants has returned to private life only to get another legal assignment as a juror in a slip-and-fall case. SENT: 370 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-SENATE-ROY MOORE _ Conservative lightning rod Roy Moore of Alabama says he’s considering a fresh run for Senate next year. That’s prompting national Republican leaders to signal that they’ll try again to prevent their party from nominating him. SENT: 960 words, photo.

CONGRESS-LGBT RIGHTS _ Democrats in the House are poised to approve sweeping anti-discrimination legislation that would extend civil rights protections to LGBT people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. SENT: 600 words, photo. UPCOMING: 800 words after vote, time uncertain.

TRUMP-IMMIGRATION _ President Trump aims to upend decades of family-based immigration policy with a new approach that favors younger, “totally brilliant,” high-skilled workers he says won’t compete for American jobs. Trump’s sweeping immigration plan is more a campaign document than anything else. SENT: 1,170 words, photos, video.

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NATIONAL

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BORDER WALL-LAWSUITS _ President Donald Trump is moving fast to spend billions of dollars to build a wall on the Mexican border with money secured under his declaration of a national emergency, but he first must get past the courts. SENT: 640 words, photos.

TEXAS-SCHOOL SHOOTING _ A year after a high school mass shooting near Houston that remains one of the deadliest in U.S. history, Texas lawmakers are on the brink of going home without passing any new gun restrictions, or even tougher firearm storage laws that Gov. Greg Abbott backed after the tragedy. SENT: 880 words, photos.

PREGNANT WOMAN SLAIN-BABY TAKEN _ A Chicago woman who sold baby clothes to a pregnant woman and lured her back to her house with an offer of more clothing has been charged with murder after allegedly strangling the woman with a cord and cutting the infant from her womb, police say. SENT: 590 words, photos, video.

MIGRANT INFLUX-FLORIDA _ Officials in South Florida say they are frantically preparing for an influx of immigrants being sent by the federal government as the number camped along the U.S. Mexico border grows rapidly. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KOREAS-DIPLOMACY _ South Korea has decided to allow its businesspeople to visit their factories at an industrial park in North Korea that was shut down by Seoul’s previous conservative government in 2016 following a North Korean nuclear test. SENT: 390 words, photos.

BREXIT _ Talks between Britain’s government and opposition aimed at striking a compromise Brexit deal broke down without agreement Friday, plunging the country back into a morass of uncertainty over its departure from the European Union. SENT: 450 words, photos. With BREXIT-THE LATEST.

OBIT-IM PEI _ The legacy of American architect I.M. Pei stretches from west to east, from the Louvre museum to his native China, where he helped fuse tradition and modernity as the country opened up after the Cultural Revolution. Pei died earlier this week at the age of 102. He added elegance to landscapes worldwide from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the Louvre. SENT: 820 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-CUBAN INVASION _ For all the bluster coming from Washington about President Nicolas Maduro being a Cuban puppet, there was a time when Cuban troops really did try to take control of Venezuela _ or at least a remote coconut-strewn tropical beach. Fifty-two years ago this month an expeditionary force of 12 guerrillas departed from the communist island and days later landed in this sleepy fishing village with the goal of spreading Fidel Castro’s revolution to South America. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

HAITI-LIGHTS OUT _ As Venezuela’s oil production has collapsed, it’s stopped sending billions in subsidized oil to countries throughout Central America and the Caribbean. But in the hemisphere’s poorest nation, the end of cheap oil means blackouts. Since last year, much of Haiti’s population enjoys electricity for just three hours a day. Nighttime activity has ground to a half as armed robbers hold up street merchants and break into people’s homes in the darkness. And kids strain their eyes to study in dim light. SENT: 840 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-SAHEL FORCE _ The foreign minister of Burkina Faso warned Thursday that terrorist activity in Africa’s volatile Sahel region is gaining ground and there is “a very real risk” of destabilizing much of West Africa. SENT: 670 Words.

RUSSIA-COUNCIL OF EUROPE _ The Council of Europe, the continent’s main human rights body, adopted a declaration Friday that restores Russia’s voting rights following a spat related to its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. SENT: 650 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-ELECTION _ Australia’s opposition leader says he wants to win elections on Saturday for his Australian political hero whose death overshadows the final days of campaigning. SENT: 480 words, phoots. With AUSTRALIA-ELECTION-GLANCE _ Facts and figures in Australian elections; AUSTRALIA-ELECTION-THE ISSUES _ Policy differences at stake in Australian federal election (both sent).

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BUSINESS

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JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN _ Nissan proposes adding Renault’s chief executive, Thierry Bollore, to its board, as well as several outsiders, to strengthen its governance following the arrest of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 320 words, photo.

JAPAN-DOLPHIN KILLING _ A court in central Japan begins hearing arguments over whether dolphin hunting violates animal cruelty laws. The plaintiffs are asking the district court in Wakayama prefecture to stop the permits from being issued. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 280 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-BIG BANG THEORY-FINALE _ “The Big Bang Theory” closed out its run as television’s top-rated comedy with an emotional hour-long final episode that saw some big changes for the show’s group of geeky misfits. By AP Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 420 words, photos.

MUSIC-BET AWARDS NOMINATIONS _ Hip-hop star Cardi B is walking into the 2019 BET Awards as the most nominated act with seven, while late rapper Nipsey Hussle scored a posthumous nomination. BET told the Associated Press that Cardi B’s nominations include two for the top prize _ video of the year _ with her hits “Money” and “Please Me,” with Bruno Mars. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 370 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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GLF--PGA CHAMPIONSHIP _ Brooks Koepka beat up on brawny Bethpage Black for a record-setting start to his title defense in the PGA Championship. With a 40-foot birdie to start his round and a birdie putt from just inside 35 feet at the end, he shot a 7-under 63 to break the course record and become the first player to shoot 63 in the same major twice. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 980 words, photos.

SOF--HALEY’S HOPE _ Haley Harrison was taught all her life to be mentally strong, never show any weakness. It helped the Idaho State senior on the softball field, but wreaked havoc on her mind as she struggled with mental illness. By Sports Writer John Marshall. SENT: 1,380 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Richard Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Courtney Dittmar (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.