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BC-Top Stories Digest

December 14, 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

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ONLY ON AP

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GOOD DEED-DOING PRIEST — A Kentucky-based priest is crisscrossing the United States, spreading the Gospel through acts of kindness. The pope named Father Jim Sichko to a fleet of papal missionaries of mercy three years ago. Pope Francis commanded the missionaries to go forth and bring joy, kindness and forgiveness to the world. Since then, Sichko has been traveling to all 50 states, buying strangers lunch or gas and doing other good deeds. By John Rogers. SENT: 960 words, video, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-LAWYER INVESTIGATION — Shaken and facing a prison term, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer said Friday that Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 campaign because he was concerned their stories of alleged affairs with him “would affect the election.” He said Trump knew the payments were wrong, but he provided no evidence. SENT: 900 words, photo, video.

CHILD DEAD-BORDER PATROL — A 7-year-old girl picked up with her father and dozens of other migrants along a remote stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border suffered seizures and spiked a high fever in immigration custody and later died, federal officials say. Her death raises questions about how apparent her sickness was; her father appears to have signed a form after their apprehension that stated she was in good health. SENT: 790 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 5 p.m.

CHINA-CANADA-DETENTIONS — By detaining Canadians in an apparent act of retaliation, China is looking like the country its toughest critics have said it is: A regime unbound by the rules governing major industrialized economies. China’s tactics could backfire as the U.S. and other major economies are reassessing Beijing’s place in the global economic system. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4:30 p.m.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks stagger after weak economic data from China has investors worrying about the global economy again. China’s government said industrial output and retail sales both slowed in November. SENT: 820 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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CONGRESS-IS IT OVER YET? — Parties and Christmas cookies only soothe so much in the chilly Capitol. Everyone wants to go home, yet both chambers were scheduled to be in session next week over hefty matters, including the budget and criminal sentencing reform. By Laurie Kellman. SENT: 850 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SRI LANKA-POLITICS — A Sri Lankan lawmaker says disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will resign Saturday to end the country’s political crisis. SENT: 370 words, photos.

KOSOVO-ARMY — Serbia talks up the possibility of an armed intervention in Kosovo after the parliament in Pristina overwhelmingly approves the formation of an army. SENT: 780 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a sweeping package of Republican-written legislation that restricts early voting and weakens the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general, brushing aside complaints that he is enabling a brazen power grab and ignoring the will of voters. SENT: 800 words, photos.

PAINKILLERS-LAWSUIT — A Kentucky appeals court rules that secret testimony from a former president of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of dangerously addictive opioid painkillers must be released to the public. SENT: 570 words.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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THE DEBT THREAT — Concerns rise from Washington to Wall Street about the trillions of dollars in debt that U.S. businesses have racked up, particularly companies with relatively weak finances. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, graphics. WITH: DEBT THREAT-GLOSSARY — The corporate debt market can be difficult for the lay investor to parse, with lots of technical definitions. Here’s a look at some of the terms. SENT: 410 words.

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