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BC-AP News Digest 3 am

March 12, 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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ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH _ Airlines in Ethiopia, China, Indonesia and elsewhere ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 jetliner after the second devastating crash of one of the planes in five months. But Boeing says it has no reason to pull the popular aircraft from the skies. By Elias Meseret and Yidnek Kirubel. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, graphic. TOP VIDEO: _ US Plane Crash Analyst (CR) _ Expert: expect multiple factors in Boeing crash. With ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-THE LATEST; ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-BOEING _ Second crash renews safety concerns for Boeing’s prized new jet; ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-BOEING-THE LATEST; ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-VICTIMS _ Ethiopian crash victims were aid workers, doctors, academics.

ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-ETHIOPIA’S CROWN JEWEL _ The crown jewel in Ethiopia’s transformation to continental power in recent years is Ethiopian Airlines, the state-owned company that calls itself “the new spirit of Africa.” Sunday’s air disaster that killed 157 people puts a dent in Ethiopia’s grand designs, spurred on by a dazzlingly reformist new leader who vows to turn a strict system of state control into free and fair elections next year. By Rodney Muhumuza. UPCOMING: 680 words by 5 a.m., photos.

TRUMP-AGENDA _ President Donald Trump’s budget proposal doubles down on his border wall and military spending, but showcases few new ideas heading into his re-election campaign. Frustrated by a divided Congress and rifts within his own party, Trump has given little indication of what he hopes to accomplish in the coming two, or six years. By Catherine Lucey and Zeke Miller. SENT: 770 words, photos. With TRUMP BUDGET _ Trump’s “MAGAnomics” gets a thumbs-down from Democrats; TRUMP-BUDGET-HIGHLIGHTS _ Budget request proposes steep cuts to domestic spending.

VENEZUELA _ The United States announces that it is pulling the remaining staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation in the South American nation. By Fabiola Sanchez and Scott Smith. SENT: 1,070 words, photos. With VENEZUELA-THE LATEST.

SYRIA-FAILING TRUCE _ Waves of violence in northwestern Syria have killed dozens of people over the past three weeks and displaced tens of thousands raising concerns that a truce reached six months ago between Turkey and Russia is in danger. The violence comes as the world attention is focused on eastern Syria where U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters are on the verge of defeating the Islamic State group in the last area they control. By Bassem Mroue. SENT: 930 words, photos.

MARIJUANA-NEW MEXICO _ New Mexico would become the first U.S. state to set up its own government-operated marijuana stores and subsidize medical cannabis for the poor under a bill brokered between Republicans and Democrats, as a new wave of states weighs legislation that would legalize recreational sales and consumption. By Morgan Lee. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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CONOR MCGREGOR-ARREST _ MMA fighter Conor McGregor arrested in South Florida. SENT: 280 words, photo, video.

IDITAROD _ French musher was leading Iditarod, but then his dogs quit. SENT: 720 words, photos.

GIRL’S BODY FOUND _ Los Angeles area girl, 9, found in duffel bag ID’d. SENT: 420 words, photos, video.

AUSTRALIA-BAHRAINI REFUGEE _ Refugee soccer player happy he’s now an Australian citizen. SENT: 340 words, photo.

ASH WEDNESDAY-CROSS REMOVED _ Utah teacher apologizes for Ash Wednesday cross incident. SENT: 550 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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INDONESIA-NORTH KOREA _ Relatives and neighbors of the Indonesian woman accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother in Malaysia are preparing an emotional welcome home party after charges against her were unexpectedly dropped. SENT: 640 words, photos.

AUSTRALIA-CARDINAL CHARGED _ Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic to be convicted of child sex abuse, will be sentenced to prison in an Australia landmark case that has polarized observers. SENT: 1,240 words, photos.

ALGERIA BOUTEFLIKA _ Algeria’s longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been known as a wily survivor ever since he fought for independence from France. UPCOMING: 820 words by 5 a.m., photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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MYSTERIOUS DC DEATH _ The Washington Medical Examiner’s office is debating whether to appeal a judge’s order to release all files relating to the 2015 death of Russian oligarch Mikhail Lesin in a Washington hotel room. SENT: 1,040 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-IOWA SENATE _ The liberal candidate for next week’s Iowa state Senate special election is getting loads of attention from Democratic presidential candidates as they seek to build support among Iowa’s grassroots. SENT: 920 words, photo. With ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE _ Beto O’Rourke plans first Iowa visit amid 2020 speculation.

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NATIONAL

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NATIVE AMERICAN CHILD WELFARE _ A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the most significant legal challenge since it was enacted more than 40 years ago. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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OBIT-HAL BLAINE _ Hal Blaine, the Hall of Fame session drummer and virtual one-man soundtrack of the 1960s and ’70s who played on the songs of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys and laid down one of music’s most memorable opening riffs on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” has died at age 90. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

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BUSINESS

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TESLA-CONTEMPT OF COURT _ Tesla CEO Elon Musk should not be found in contempt of court because he has complied with the terms of a securities fraud settlement, his attorneys say. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher. SENT: 750 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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2022 WCUP-EXPANSION _ A FIFA feasibility study concludes the 2022 World Cup can expand to 48 teams by using at least one of Qatar’s neighbors as an additional host, and finds there is a low legal risk to changing the format and an additional $400 million in revenue could be generated. By Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris. SENT: 1,210 words, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Wally Santana (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Dien Magno (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.