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BC-AP News Digest 3:15 am

February 24, 2018

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST.

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ONLY ON AP

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SKI-US-TIME TO REBUILD

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml tells the AP his men’s team’s Olympic performance was “disappointing” and acknowledges “we definitely have to rebuild” before the 2022 Beijing Games. By Howard Fendrich. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m., photos.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-BANKERS — Recently filed federal charges against President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort could also pose legal and regulatory risks for the banks that loaned him millions of dollars against his New York real estate in recent years. By Jake Pearson and Jeff Horwitz. SENT: 740 words, photo. With TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — Rick Gates’ guilty plea to federal conspiracy and false-statements charges turns him from defendant to cooperating witness. SENT: 970 words, photos, video.

TRUMP-GUNS-BACKLASH — President Trump could face a backlash from gun rights advocates who fear he’s strayed from his pledge to be a champion for the Second Amendment by voicing support for gun control measures in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida. By Richard Lardner and Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 990 words, photos.

TRUMP-FOREIGN PAYMENTS-LAWSUIT — Attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia expand their lawsuit accusing President Trump of accepting gifts from foreign and state governments, suing him not only as president but in his personal capacity as a businessman. SENT: 770 words, photo.

SKOREA-IVANKA TRUMP — U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter toured the 2018 Winter Olympics on Saturday, the morning after telling South Korea’s president that she would use her visit to the Pyeongchang Games to advocate maximum pressure on North Korea to halt its nuclear program. By Errin Haines Whack. SENT: 920 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing.

SYRIA-CAPITAL UNDER FIRE — As the Syrian government escalates its attacks on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus, rebels in outlying towns are retaliating with volleys of mortar shells and rockets into the capital, killing more than 25 civilians in the past two weeks and spreading fear among its 4 million residents. By Albert Aji and Zeina Karam. SENT: 680 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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IMMIGRATION-MISSION STATEMENT — The head of the federal agency that grants visas has a message for anyone who interprets his new mission statement as anti-immigrant: “A thousand times no.” SENT: 590 words, photo.

USA SWIMMING-OFFICIAL QUITS — Top USA Swimming official quits over failure to disclose. SENT: 700 words, photos.

FBN-JONATHAN-MARTIN-INSTAGRAM-POST — Former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin questioned by Los Angeles police after a threatening Instagram post that mentioned two former teammates who had harassed him. SENT: 310 words, photos.

ASTROS-SCHOOL SHOOTING — MLB honors school shooting victims by wearing their caps, welcoming coach and players to spring training fields. SENT: 900 words, photos.

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MORE ON THE OLYMPICS

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RUSSIAN DOPING-DECISION — Confusion reigns over how the International Olympic Committee will decide what to do with the banned Russian Olympic Committee. They could readmit them, continue the ban or hedge with what the IOC says might be a “partial solution.” SENT: 537 words, photos, video.

HKO-CZECH REPUBLIC-CANADA — Canada finds itself playing for a very different color of Olympic medal in men’s hockey after being stunned by Germany in the semifinals. The Czech Republic isn’t going home with gold but will be happy with taking the bronze on the line Saturday night. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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AP POLL-AMERICAN OUTLOOK — A majority of Americans think the direction of the country has gotten worse over the last year, and they’re not optimistic that things will be better in the next year, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. By Laurie Kellman and Emily Swanson. SENT: 714 words, photos, graphic.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA-FACT CHECK — A look at how President Donald Trump and a top lieutenant described sanctions to punish North Korea for its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles — and how they stack up against past economic restrictions that have been piled on Kim Jong Un’s government in response to its illegal weapons tests. SENT: 770 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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LAW ENFORCEMENT-SELLING ASSAULT RIFLES — When Washington state and other law enforcement agencies across the country sell guns they’ve confiscated during criminal investigations, they’re not just selling pistols and hunting rifles, they’re also putting assault weapons, including AR-15s, back on the street. Sheriff’s offices and police departments across Washington state have sold dozens of AR-15s, AK47s and other assault weapons since 2010, an Associated Press investigation found. Yakima Police Captain Jeff Schneider said it’s “absolutely insane” that police are selling assault weapons. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos.

BILLY GRAHAM-PROCESSION — The Rev. Billy Graham’s body will be brought to his hometown of Charlotte as part of a procession expected to draw crowds of well-wishers. The procession begins late this morning with a ceremonial departure from a mountain chapel at the training center operated by his evangelistic association in Asheville and ends in the afternoon at Graham’s library in Charlotte. SENT: 360 words, photos.

ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE-2018 — Among the candidates facing primaries for the Illinois Legislature is House GOP leader Jim Durkin, who’s being criticized for not stopping an income tax hike that was approved in a deal to end a lengthy state budget stalemate. Former state Rep. Ken Dunkin, a Chicago Democrat, is trying to win back the seat he lost after falling out of favor for siding with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on some issues. A look at some key races. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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AFGHANISTAN — A suicide bomber killed at least two and wounded seven in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group in the diplomatic area of Afghanistan’s capital and at least 18 soldiers died in an attack on a checkpoint by Taliban insurgents in the country’s west, authorities say. SENT: 440 words, photos.

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BUSINESS

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NRA-REACTION — The National Rifle Association is facing a corporate backlash as companies take a closer look at their investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry following the latest school massacre. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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OSCARS-FIVE THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW — The flurry of Oscar information covers the obvious, from nominees to host to the odds of the outcome. But even die-hard Academy Awards fans may have lingering questions, such as whether the audience gets to eat or what happens backstage. Here are the answers. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. SENT: 800 words by 3 p.m., photos. With OSCAR NOMINATIONS-WHERE TO SEE — Where to see the films for a best picture Academy Award; OSCARS-PERFORMERS — The original singers of the year’s five Oscar-nominated songs will reprise their performances live on the Oscar stage (both sent).

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SPORTS

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GYMNASTS ABUSE — They were little girls with dreams of Olympic gold; now they’re women with lifelong injuries. They are the other victims of USA Gymnastics. Thirteen former U.S. gymnasts and four coaches interviewed by The Associated Press describe a win-at-all-cost culture rife with emotional abuse and an insistence on training through injuries. The culture, tacitly endorsed by the sport’s governing body and pushed by husband-and-wife coaching duo Bela and Martha Karolyi, created an atmosphere that helped enable the sexual crimes of the convicted team physician, Larry Nasser, according to a lawsuit and interviews with former gymnasts. SENT: 3,390 words, photos. An abridged version also moved.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Vincent Willis can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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