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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

February 27, 2019

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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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-LAWYER INVESTIGATION-CONGRESS — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, tells Congress that Trump knew ahead of time and embraced the news that WikiLeaks had emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Cohen testifies that Trump is a “racist,” a “conman” and a “cheat.” The damning depiction from a man who once boasted he’d “take a bullet” for Trump prompts the House panel’s top Republican to call Cohen a “fraudster, cheat” and “a convicted felon.” Cohen has pleaded guilty to previously lying to Congress. By Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker and Michael R. Sisak. SENT: 1290 words. UPCOMING: Updates throughout the day, 1290 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP ABROAD — The moment was meant to be a grand diplomatic triumph that could lead to the disarmament of a dangerous nation while delivering a vital political victory. Instead, the opening of President Trump’s high-stakes summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un unfolded as a monumental and distracting betrayal was unfolding half a world away in Washington. By Jonathan Lemire. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos, video

TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT — President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un grinned for the cameras before a dinner on the eve of their more comprehensive nuclear negotiations. But there was growing worry that Trump would give Kim too much and get too little in return. The fear is that Trump could agree to a deal that leaves in place a significant portion of North Korea’s nuclear-tipped missiles while robbing the United States of its negotiating leverage going forward. By Foster Klug, Jonathan Lemire and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, videos, audio. Developing.

PAKISTAN-INDIA — Pakistan’s military says it shot down two Indian warplanes in the disputed region of Kashmir and captured a pilot, answering an airstrike a day earlier by Indian fighter jets inside Pakistan and raising tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals to a level unseen in two decades. By Roshan Mughal and Aijaz Hussain. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, graphic. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

BORDER WALL-PROTOTYPES — The government is demolishing eight prototypes of Trump’s prized border wall that instantly became powerful symbols of his presidency when they were built nine months after he took office. The Trump administration says elements of the prototypes have been melded into current border fence designs and they have served their purpose. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 1,115 words, photos.

WALMART-DISABLED GREETERS — As Walmart phases out the familiar, blue-vested “people greeter” at some 1,000 stores nationwide, disabled workers who fill many of those jobs say they feel like they’re being pushed out the door by a retailer that styles itself as inclusive. UPCOMING by 3 p.m., with photos.

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MORE TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT

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TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT-ONE ON ONE — Only four other ears on the planet heard what President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said to each other Wednesday during a one-on-one chat that began their second nuclear summit. The two leaders’ interpreters were the only others privy to their conversation, raising concerns about why Trump would risk meeting Kim, who has threatened the U.S. with nuclear strikes and has a dismal human rights record, without staff to take notes. By Deb Riechmann and Foster Klug. SENT: 690 words, photos, video.

TRUMP-KIM-SUMMIT-THE PROSPERITY PROBLEM — Trump has been cheerleader for a message of prosperity if North Korea gave up its nuclear weapons, but Kim might like control more. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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SUPREME COURT-CROSS CASE — The Supreme Court seemed inclined to rule that a 40-foot-tall cross that stands on public land in Maryland is constitutional, but shy away from a sweeping ruling. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 690 words, photos.

CONGRESS-GUN CONTROL — The House is set to pass the first major gun control legislation in nearly 25 years, as majority Democrats push to approve a measure requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers. Democrats say the vote — which comes a year after a series of mass shootings, including the deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school. By Matthew Daly. UPCOMING: Developing from House vote, about 3:30 p.m., 750 words by 5 p.m., photos.

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA — A political operative in a disputed North Carolina congressional race has been charged with obstruction, illegal ballot possession in the 2016 and 2018 elections. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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MASSAGE PARLOR PROSTITUTION — The illicit massage parlor sting in Florida that ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is highlighting how authorities in some places are taking new approaches to combating prostitution in spas. UPCOMING: 1,300 words.

CHICAGO-MAYORAL ELECTION — Come April 2, Chicago’s new mayor will join black women across the United States who have gained elected offices once dominated by men. The winner, either one-time federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot or longtime public servant Toni Preckwinkle, will lead a city struggling to combat urban violence and still coping with the brutal and racially-divisive slaying of a black man by a white police officer. By By Corey Williams and Caryn Rousseau. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

WESTERN STORMS — Two California communities north of San Francisco were accessible only by boat after a rain-swollen river overflowed its banks and inundated low-lying areas around them overnight, authorities said. SENT: 450 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS-EXILES — Next year in Caracas? As Venezuela’s opposition rekindles street protests and builds powerful international support, the millions who fled are redirecting their gaze toward their beloved homeland in hopes that their exile will prove short-lived. In the throes of an economic downturn worse than the U.S. Great Depression, Venezuela will need the knowledge, contacts and monetary resources many exiles took with them. SENT: 1,250 words, photos, video.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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HIV GOAL — Just three weeks after President Trump launched a campaign to end the U.S. HIV epidemic by 2030, new data confirms that progress has already stalled. SENT: 375 words.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-NETWORKS FIGHT BACK — As streaming services grow in reach and prestige, the broadcast networks that once defined TV are finding ways to reassert themselves. SENT: 1,175 words, photos.

MICHAEL JACKSON-ACCUSERS DOCUMENTARY — Michael Jackson’s brothers and nephew say they weren’t surprised by a documentary resurrecting allegations of his sexual abuse of children, and they’re prepared to defend him. Jackie, Tito, Marlon and Taj Jackson, gave the first family interviews Tuesday on “Leaving Neverland,” which features two Michael Jackson accusers and is set to air on HBO starting Sunday. By Andrew Dalton. SENT: 940 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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NFL COMBINE — Fans and foes of the New England Patriots get a respite from the headline-dominating champions this week as the annual NFL scouting combine gives everyone a taste of the talent that awaits in 2019. This year’s class features a deep group of defensive linemen. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.

ROCKIES-ARENADO — It may not last long, but for now, Colorado’s Nolan Arenado is the highest-paid position player in baseball on a per-year basis. Arenado’s new eight-year deal is the second big-money signing by a mid-sized NL West team in the past week. By Tim Booth. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.