AP NEWS
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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

May 2, 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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ONLY ON AP

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SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING-SECURITY — A gunman fired his semi-automatic rifle at Jewish worshippers after walking through a Southern California synagogue’s front entrance — a spot that religious leaders determined last year needed improved security. The Chabad of Poway synagogue applied for a federal grant to install gates and more secure doors to better protect that area. The $150,000 was approved in September but only got awarded in late March. By Julie Watson and Don Thompson. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

AP POLL-GOVERNMENT OVERHAUL — A new survey by the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that 54% of Americans think the U.S. government needs major changes and another 12% believe it should be completely replaced. By Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 988 words, photo.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-BARR UNDER SEIGE — William Barr postured himself as an apolitical elder statesman at his January confirmation hearing. But in a six-week span, Barr has emerged as arguably the most divisive figure in Washington, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accusing him of lying — a charge the Justice Department called reckless and false — and House Democrats poised to hold him in contempt for skipping a scheduled hearing. By Eric Tucker. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP-BARR-HOUSE — Attorney General William Barr skips a House hearing on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report, escalating an already acrimonious battle between Democrats and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggests Barr had already lied to Congress in other testimony and called that a “crime.” By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 890 words, photos, video.

TRUMP-FEDERAL RESERVE-MOORE — Stephen Moore, a conservative commentator whom President Donald Trump had tapped for the Federal Reserve board, withdrew from consideration Thursday after losing Republican support in the Senate, largely over his past inflammatory writings about women. Trump tweeted the news of Moore’s withdrawal even while describing him as “a great pro-growth economist and a truly fine person.” By Economics Writer Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 450 words, photos, developing.

CENSUS-PROTECTING THE COUNT — Many states are spending millions to make sure their residents fill out next year’s census form. One main reason is that activists and others fear that a question about citizenship that the Trump administration wants to add to the form could scare off Hispanics and other immigrants. At stake are billions of dollars in federal money for health care, education and other services, as well as a state’s representation in Congress. By Michael R. Blood and Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

SCHOOL LUNCH — Is white bread about to make a comeback on school lunch menus? After complaints of gritty macaroni and cardboard pizza crusts, the Trump administration rolled back a rule that required foods like pasta and bread be made with whole grains. The cafeteria directors who lobbied for the change say they just want greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread — which are more processed and have less fiber — when whole grains don’t work. By Food & Health Writer Candice Choi. SENT: 950 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-FOREIGN POLICY — Former Vice President Joe Biden is building his argument for the Democratic presidential nomination in no small part on the premise that he needs no on-the-job training to lead the U.S. in an international arena that President Donald Trump has gleefully upended. But his rivals, especially Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, aren’t yielding foreign policy to the 76-year-old front-runner, who has decades on the world stage. UPCOMING: 900 words by 5 p.m., photos.

TRUMP-OFFSHORE DRILLING — The Trump administration is easing safety rules adopted after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon blowout, the worst offshore oil disaster in U.S. history. The Interior Department released a final rule revision in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, a hub of offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The rules pertain to procedures and inspections for offshore oil rigs. Eleven people died in April 2010 when the drilling rig exploded, ultimately releasing more than 3 million barrels of crude. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m., photo.

TRUMP-ABORTION — The Trump administration is putting the finishing touches on regulations to protect the rights of clinicians who object to participating in abortions. They would require hospitals, universities, clinics and other institutions that receive funding from federal programs to certify they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 3 p.m., photo.

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NATIONAL

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CAR-SHARING-REGULATION BATTLES — Car-sharing apps that let people rent out their vehicles to strangers are growing in popularity in the U.S. But the people who rent cars through apps like Turo and GetAround don’t pay the taxes and surcharges that local governments and airports tack onto traditional rental cars. That’s made them a target for rental car companies, airport authorities and others who say the upstart apps should face the same taxes and fees that come with rental cars. SENT: 1,220 words, photos.

OPIOID LAWSUITS-DRUG DATA — Attorneys for news organizations argued Thursday that the U.S. public should be allowed to see federal data about how prescription opioids were distributed as the nation’s overdose crisis was worsening. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 5 p.m.

SUBWAY PLOT-SENTENCING — A man who pleaded guilty nearly a decade ago to plotting a bomb attack on New York City’s subway system is scheduled to be finally sentenced for the crime. Najibullah Zazi has spent recent years serving as a witness in prosecutions of other Islamic militants. SENT: 400 words, photos, developing.

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INTERNATIONAL

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WIKILEAKS-ASSANGE — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a London court that he wouldn’t agree to be extradited to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer. Assange, appearing by video link from a London prison, said he wouldn’t “surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many awards and protected many people.” SENT: 525 words, photos.

IRAQ-RAIN DILEMMA — Iraq has seen unprecedented rains after years of scorching hot summers. The wettest winter in a generation revives its rivers and fills its lakes, bringing welcome relief to a country facing severe water challenges in the era of climate change. The rains also restored the famous freshwater marshes of southern Iraq, which some scholars see as the location of the biblical Garden of Eden. But the deluge has also highlighted the country’s myriad infrastructure problems. SENT: 870 words, photos.

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HEALTH & SCIENCE

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COCAINE DEATHS — U.S. health officials say cocaine overdose deaths have been rising. Drug overdose deaths involving cocaine began rising around 2012, and jumped 34 percent between 2016 and 2017. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 375 words, photo.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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BEYOND MEAT-IPO — The Nasdaq is adding fake meat to its diet. Beyond Meat, the purveyor of plant-based burgers and sausages, made its debut on the stock exchange Thursday. It’s the first pure-play maker of vegan “meat” to go public, according to Renaissance Capital, which researches and tracks IPOs. Beyond Meat raised about $240 million selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each. That values the company at about $1.5 billion. SENT: 900 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS — Mother’s Day is in a couple weeks, but Drake gave his mom an early gift with a heartfelt speech at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, where the rap star also broke Taylor Swift’s record for most wins. By AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 900 words, photos and video. With BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS-LIST.

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW-ROCKETMAN — Elton John himself is behind this biopic of his rise, and just like the iconic performer, it will be far from conventional. Star Taron Egerton talks about his transformation, and signing all those songs himself. By AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. SENT: 900 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-BAFFERT’S FAVORITES — The surprising scratch of Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach leaves trainer Bob Baffert with the top three betting choices in pursuit of a record-tying sixth victory. By Racing Writer Beth Harris. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 3 p.m.

SEMENYA-SPORTS WORLD’S DILEMMAS — The ruling ordering Olympic champion runner Caster Semenya to reduce her testosterone poses a troublesome issue in sports: How to end discrimination while ensuring fair competition? Semenya’s challenges differ from those facing transgender women. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.