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BC-Top Stories Digest

December 16, 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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OPPORTUNITY ZONES-KUSHNER — A real estate investment firm founded by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, White House adviser Jared Kushner, is betting big on the administration’s Opportunity Zone tax breaks, but isn’t interested in steering the firm’s investors to the most-downtrodden areas that the program seeks to revitalize. It’s a high-profile example of how early investor interest in the program appears focused on the places that need it the least. By Jeff Horwitz and Stephen Braun. SENT: 980 words, photos.

SPAIN-JAILED CATALANS —As a hunger strike by jailed Catalan separatist politicians enters its third week and begins to take a toll on their health, they say their upcoming rebellion trial will allow them to peacefully promote their cause for independence from Spain. By Aritz Parra. SENT: 1,110 words, photo.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — President Donald Trump and his lawyer unleash a fresh series of attacks on investigators, questioning their integrity while ruling out the possibility of a presidential interview with the special counsel. By Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL — The White House pushes the federal government closer to the brink of a partial shutdown later this week, digging in on its demand for $5 billion to build a border wall as congressional Democrats stand firm against it. By Hope Yen. SENT: 580 words, photos.

CLIMATE — The latest round of United Nations climate talks adopted the rules that will put the principles of the 2015 Paris climate accord into action. The deal reached late Saturday includes an agreement on how countries should report their greenhouses gas emissions and their efforts to reduce them. Negotiators delayed other key decisions until next year. That move frustrated environmentalists and countries that sought more ambitious goals. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 880 words, photos.

CHILD DEAD-BORDER PATROL — Only hours before his daughter died in U.S. custody, Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz signed Form I-779 stating that the 7-year-old was in good health. But it’s unclear how much the Guatemalan man - whose native language is Mayan ‘Q’eqchi’ and second language is Spanish - understood on the form, which was written in English, and read to him in Spanish by Border Patrol agents. The case highlights communication challenges along the border. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3:30 p.m., photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-HERITAGE — A hulking statue of a late 19th century white leader, with a cane and top hat, has been a flashpoint for cultural conflict in South Africa for years. Nearly 25 years after the end of white minority rule, the statue of Paul Kruger still looms in Church Square in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital. The tussle over its fate goes to the heart of a discussion over whether relics of white domination should be scrapped or kept as reminders of a harsh past. By Christopher Torchia. SENT: 890 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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NKOREA-KIM’S ANNIVERSARY - North Koreans are marking the anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il seven years ago with visits to statues and vows of loyalty to his son, Kim Jong Un. SENT: 590 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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NEXT GENERATION GPS - The U.S. Air Force is about to launch the first of a new generation of GPS satellites, designed to be more accurate, secure and versatile. SENT: 860 words, photos.

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS - Legislation quickly passed by North Carolina’s lawmakers would require new primaries in a still-undecided U.S. House race marred with ballot fraud allegations, potentially replacing the Republican nominee at the center of the disputed race. SENT: 660 words, photo.

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