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BC-AP News Digest 6 pm

December 19, 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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NEW/DEVELOPING

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Adds ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS, TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FLYNN-QUESTIONS, FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE WATCHDOG, LAWMAKERS SWITCH PARTIES, IMMIGRATION-DENYING ASYLUM, CALIFORNIA-JERRY BROWN INTERVIEW, CLERGY ABUSE-ILLINOIS, CANADA-CHINA, UNITED NATIONS-MIGRATION COMPACT, MLB-CUBA AGREEMENT.

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ONLY ON AP

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IMMIGRATION-CHILDREN’S SHELTERS — Decades after the U.S. stopped institutionalizing kids because large and crowded orphanages were causing lasting trauma, it is happening again. The federal government has placed most of the 14,300 migrant children in its care in detention centers and residential facilities packed with hundreds, or thousands, of kids. By Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza. SENT: 2,400 words, photos. Abridged version also available.

YEMEN-CHILD SOLDIERS — An AP investigation finds that thousands of children have been recruited by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to fight in the country’s civil war. Boys describe being thrown into the heat of battle, amid bombardment and airstrikes, watching friends die. By Maggie Michael. SENT: 2,900 words, photos, video. Abridged version also available.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-SYRIA — President Donald Trump declares victory against the Islamic State in Syria and announces the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, contradicting recent assessments from within his own administration and sparking surprise and outrage among members of his party in Congress who called it a rash and dangerous move. By Lolita C. Baldor, Susannah George and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 1,160 words, photos. With UNITED STATES-SYRIA-GLANCE — A look at U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war, from Obama’s decision to get in to Trump’s decision to get out. SENT: 720 words.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL — The Senate prepares to vote on a short-term measure to fund the government through Feb. 8, a move that eases the risk of a shutdown and comes only after President Trump backed off his demand for border wall funds. By Lisa Mascaro, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 730 words, photos, video.

SENTENCING BILL-FLIPPING McCONNELL — When Mitch McConnell returned to his home state of Kentucky, he couldn’t escape the debate over criminal justice reform. The noise was encouraged and amplified by advocates who embarked on a single-minded campaign to sway the Senate majority leader, recognizing him as a key to unlocking a historic overhaul of federal sentencing laws. By Mary Clare Jalonick. UPCOMING: 1,060 words by 7 p.m., photos. With SENTENCING BILL-MINORITIES — Black leaders forged unusual alliance with Trump on federal sentencing overhaul. SENT: 760 words, photos; CONGRESS-SENTENCING BILL-GLANCE — Highlights of the bill (sent).

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS — North Carolina officials sought criminal charges after the 2016 election against the man now at the center of absentee ballot fraud allegations, but prosecutors didn’t indict him before the now disputed 2018 congressional race, according to newly released documents. By Michael Biesecker, Jonathan Drew and Gary Robertson. SENT: 780 words, photo.

FEDERAL RESERVE — The Federal Reserve raises its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy’s continued strength but signals that it expects to slow its rate hikes next year. Wednesday’s quarter-point increase, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent, lifted the Fed’s benchmark rate to its highest point since 2008. It will mean higher borrowing costs for many consumers and businesses. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 660 words, photos. With FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks skid to 15-month low after Fed raises rates (sent).

SPORTS BETTING-FEDERAL REGULATION — A pair of U.S. senators from opposing parties proposes that the federal government take back control of sports gambling in America, the first formal move by Congress after a Supreme Court ruling reopened a complex debate over fans betting on games and who controls the action. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 870 words, photos.

HEIGHTS & WEIGHTS, HFR — You can hang the mistletoe the same height as every holiday season, but you might want to pick a wider doorway. A new government report shows that U.S. adults are not getting any taller in recent years, but they continue to get fatter. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 390 words, photo. For release at 12:01 a.m.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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ELECTION 2020-REPUBLICAN PRIMARY — Republicans in early voting states are grappling with how — and whether — to protect President Trump from a potential primary challenger in 2020. SENT: 760 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-BETO O’ROURKE — As Beto O’Rourke mulls a 2020 White House run, a small but vocal segment of activists is suggesting he’s not liberal enough. SENT: 990 words, photo.

MOROCCO-TOURISTS KILLED — Lone suspect arrested in the killing of two female Scandinavian tourists is connected to a terrorist group, and three other suspects are on the run, Moroccan prosecutors say. SENT: 530 words, photos.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-SIGN-UPS — Affordable Care Act sign-ups beat expectations and a court ruling that Obama’s health law is unconstitutional. SENT: 470 words, photo.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-WEINSTEIN — If Harvey Weinstein were in charge of the script, he’d be walking out of a court hearing Thursday free of the criminal charges threatening to put him behind bars. SENT: 590 words, photo.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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SPEAKER RYAN’S FAREWELL — Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan decries the outrage and bitterness that he says now color American politics in a farewell speech that also acknowledges his inability to achieve two top goals: controlling surging federal debt and reining in Medicare and other mammoth benefit programs. SENT: 950 words, photos, video.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FLYNN-QUESTIONS — The delayed sentencing hearing for Michael Flynn did more than just postpone his punishment. It also put off by months any chance of getting definitive answers to questions that have shadowed President Trump’s first national security adviser. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

FOR-PROFIT COLLEGE WATCHDOG — The Education Department’s independent watchdog says it plans to investigate Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to reinstate a troubled accrediting agency that was shut down by the Obama administration over allegations of lax oversight. SENT: 640 words, photo.

LAWMAKERS SWITCH PARTIES — Two moderate Republican legislators in Kansas have become Democrats, capping an unprecedented round of GOP defections by Kansas City suburbanite lawmakers who soured on President Trump and a close political ally of his in last month’s governor’s race. By John Hanna. SENT: 700 words, photos. 

CHILDREN-LEAD EXPOSURE — The Trump administration releases a plan to reduce dangerous lead exposure for millions of American children, but it is already drawing criticism. SENT: 310 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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BREXIT — The European Union marks 100 days until Brexit by triggering an action plan to ensure planes can still fly and money can still flow between Britain and the bloc in the increasingly likely event that the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a divorce deal. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — The Taliban say their latest talks with the U.S. envoy on the war in Afghanistan focused on the withdrawal of NATO troops, the release of prisoners and halting attacks on civilians by pro-government forces. SENT: 740 words, photo.

CANADA-CHINA — A third Canadian has been detained in China, the Canadian government says, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the latest case doesn’t seem to the fit the pattern of the previous two. SENT: 600 words.

RUSSIAN SANCTIONS — The U.S. Treasury Department sanctions 15 Russians over hacking, interference in U.S. elections and a nerve agent attack in England. SENT: 130 words.

UNITED NATIONS-MIGRATION COMPACT — The U.N. General Assembly endorses a sweeping accord intended to ensure safe and orderly migration over opposition from five countries, including the United States and Hungary. SENT: 930 words.

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NATIONAL

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IMMIGRATION-DENYING ASYLUM — A federal judge blocks Trump administration policies that prevented some immigrants from seeking asylum due to gang violence in their home countries or domestic abuse. SENT: 640 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-JERRY BROWN INTERVIEW — AP Interview: California Gov. Jerry Brown says Democrats likely to overspend, calls for more blunt talk on wildfire threats. SENT: 860 words, photos.

CLERGY ABUSE-ILLINOIS — The Illinois attorney general says her office has found 500 more Catholic clergy accused of sexually abusing children than the state’s six archdioceses have publicly identified. SENT: 520 words.

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BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY

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FACEBOOK-FACT CHECK — Facebook defines “permission” loosely in saying it didn’t violate users’ privacy when it gave some partners more extensive access to user data. By Technology Writers Barbara Ortutay and Matt O’Brien. SENT: 700 words, photo. With FACEBOOK-DATA PRIVACY — Report: Facebook shared private messages with partners. SENT: 450 words; FACEBOOK-PRIVACY — DC sues Facebook over Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. SENT: 340 words.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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OPIOID ANTIDOTE-PRESCRIBING — The U.S. government tells doctors to consider prescribing the overdose antidote naloxone to many patients who take opioid painkillers. The move could add more than $1 billion in health care costs. By Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson. SENT: 560 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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MLB-CUBA AGREEMENT — Major League Baseball, its players’ association and the Cuban Baseball Federation reach an agreement that will allow players from the island nation to sign big league contracts without defecting, an effort to eliminate the dangerous trafficking that had gone on for decades. SENT: 650 words, photo.

FBC-SIGNING DAY — The second year of college football’s early signing period promises to be busy, with most teams expected to lock up the bulk of their 2019 classes and Alabama working on another recruiting championship. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words by 7 p.m., photos. With SIGNING-DAY THE LATEST.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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YE-OVER IT — Keep your backyard chicken coops, dear 2018, and your vampire facials, too. And that Floss dance from “Fortnite Battle Royale”? Forget about it in the new year. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Mike Stewart 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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