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BC-AP News Coverage Advisory 1430

September 9, 2013

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today’s coverage highlights as we see them at 1430 GMT:

-- UNITED STATES-SYRIA (sent; developing)

--SYRIA-ACCIDENTAL HEIR (upcoming)

--SYRIA-POLITICS OF PERSUASION (upcoming)

-- NETHERLANDS-VAN GOGH (sent; developing)

-- EU-HAMMARSKJOLD DEATH (sent; developing)

-- IRAN-FACEBOOK (sent; developing)

-- FERRIS WHEEL-VEGAS (sent; developing)

PHOTOS: TOKYO 2020-VENUES-PHOTO ESSAY (sent, with text block)

VIDEO: WWII_ITALY_MIAs (sent; with text, photos)

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours:

TOP NEWS

UNITED STATES-SYRIA —Obama speaks on Syria strikes to the reluctant American public and a divided Congress, dispatching top officials to Capitol Hill and giving a series of TV interviews ahead of his Tuesday night speech to the nation. Lawmakers return from a five-week break to plunge into the most consequential national security debate since the Iraq war vote. Assad threatens retaliation either by his forces or by proxy and denies in an interview he used chemical weapons on his own people. SENT: 650 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Senate convenes at 1600 GMT, House at 1800 GMT, Susan Rice speaks at 1630 GMT. Taped Obama interviews available at 2200 GMT transcript MAY be available before then. photos, video, interactive.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA-AP POLL — A majority of Americans want Congress to vote against authorizing military strikes in Syria, according to a new AP-GfK poll. And a majority believe it is likely that any military action taken in Syria would become a long-term commitment of forces, and that it will not have the deterrent effect against chemical weapons use by other despots as the administration claims. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1930 GMT.

SYRIA-ACCIDENTAL HEIR — He doesn’t quite fit the image of the brutal dictator who kills with chemical weapons: He is a soft-spoken, lisping doctor who enjoys Western rock music and electronic gadgets, an accidental heir to power who seems somewhat out of place. Those who know Bashar Assad remember him as a timid man who never wanted to lead. Yet, Assad has proven startlingly resilient, defying every prediction that his end is near and demonstrating he is ready to go as far as it takes to keep his regime in power. UPCOMING: About 1,400 words by 1900 GMT, photos.

SYRIA-POLITICS OF PERSUASION — The tools of persuasion haven’t been cutting it as Obama tries to convince Congress and the country that a U.S. attack on Syria is the right thing to do. His address to the nation Tuesday night, in the midst of an all-out lobbying offensive, gives him his last, best chance to turn opinion around before lawmakers vote on military action. That’s no easy task in a nation barely rested from two long wars. Not when liberal Democrats are joined with conservative Republicans against it, when key intelligence that might shore up the case is kept bottled up, when allies are proving to be little help. It’s a tough sell, according to polls — and by any measure. UPCOMING: 1,200 words by 1900 GMT, photos.

SYRIA — Syrian troops launch an attack on hills overlooking a Christian-majority village near the capital Damascus, two days after rebel forces captured the ancient community, an activist group says. This comes as Kerry says Assad could resolve the crisis surrounding his purported use of chemical weapons by turning “every single bit” of his arsenal over to the international community by the end of the week. Assad, meanwhile, warns in an interview broadcast on CBS that there will be retaliation against the U.S. for any military strike launched in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack. UPCOMING: About 1,200 words by 2100 GMT, photos.

SYRIA-ASSAD INTERVIEW — Assad warns there will be “repercussions” against any U. S. military strike launched in response to a chemical weapons attack in his country. “You should expect everything,” Assad said in an interview with CBS taped in Damascus. “Not necessarily from the government. It’s not only the government ... in this region. You have different parties, you have different factions, you have different ideology.” SENT: 400 words, photo.

EU-HAMMARSKJOLD DEATH — America’s National Security Agency may hold crucial evidence about the cause of the 1961 plane crash which killed United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the Cold War, a commission which reviewed the case said Monday. SENT: 340 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 1530 GMT.

IRAN-FACEBOOK — Iran’s entire Cabinet has opened Facebook pages in what is seen as a move toward greater government openness — even though the social media site is blocked in the Islamic Republic. SENT: 370 words. UPCOMING: About 850 words by 1800 GMT.

RUSSIA-MAYOR’S RACE — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny demanded a recount Monday in Moscow’s mayoral election after official results showed that the Kremlin-backed incumbent barely escaped facing a runoff with him. SENT: 380 words, photos UPCOMING: Covering developments throughout the day, including Navalny rally anticipated at 1500 GMT, 850 words.

EGYPT — Egyptian troops and tanks backed by helicopter gunships sweep through villages in northern Sinai Peninsula as the military targets Islamic extremists in the strategic area that borders Israel and the Gaza Strip. UPCOMING: About 900 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

CHILE-COUP ANNIVERSARY — As Chile marks the 40th anniversary of a coup that ousted the first elected Marxist president in the Americas, the legacy of Salvador Allende is thriving. A socialist is poised to reclaim the presidency and young protesters have taken to the streets to demand the sort of policies that Allender promoted. UPCOMING: 850 words by 1700 GMT, photos.

INDIA-COMMUNAL CLASHES — Security forces are ordered to shoot rioters on sight as sectarian violence spreads in northern India despite an army-enforced curfew imposed after deadly weekend clashes broke out between Hindus and Muslims, killing at least 28 people and leaving many others missing. SENT: 650 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updating from 1400 GMT news conference, 700 words by noon.

PHILIPPINES-CLASH — About 200 Muslim rebels were holding nearly 300 people hostage Monday after clashing with government troops and rampaging through coastal communities in the southern Philippines, leaving at least eight people dead, officials said. SENT: 650 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-ELITE MURDER — The family of a Pakistani student whose death sparked outrage against the abuse of power by the wealthy has decided to pardon the men convicted in his killing, their lawyer said Monday. SENT: 340 words.

NIGERIA-SHELL — Shell officials on Monday will begin talks in Nigeria’s southern city of Port Harcourt with representatives for the Bodo community on compensation and cleanup five years after one of the worst oil spills in Nigeria’s history. SENT: 560 words.

NKOREA-ANNIVERSARY — Kim Jong Un waves to troops marching through central Pyongyang to mark the nation’s 65th birthday, but makes no public comments before leaving the lavish event. North Korea watchers had hoped the young leader might address the crowd to shed some light on the isolated and secretive nation’s politics or diplomatic goals. SENT: 350 words, photos.

NKOREA-KIM’S DAUGHTER — Dennis Rodman reveals the name of Kim Jong Un’s baby daughter and says he is planning a big announcement following his Pyongyang trip. SENT: 380 words, photos.

GANJA TOURS — They’re smoky, mystical - and technically illegal - journeys to some of Jamaica’s hidden cannabis plantations. SENT: 940 words, photos.

ELDERLY MAN-STANDOFF DEATH — Seeking additional details about a 107-year-old man who was shot and killed by police officers during a standoff. Police were called to the home Saturday afternoon about a disturbance and say officers arrived to find Monroe Isadore had threatened two people by pointing a weapon at them. Among the questions: Did police know the man shooting at them was so old? UPCOMING: 400 words by 2130 GMT EDT, photos.

CUBA-SWIMMING TO FLORIDA — Diana Nyad is planning to meet with members of the marathon swimming community who are skeptical about her 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida. SENT: 480 words.

FERRIS WHEEL-VEGAS — The madcap carnival on the Las Vegas Strip is getting another addition: the world’s largest Ferris wheel. The outer wheel of the 55-story High Roller ride is scheduled to be hoisted into place Monday. SENT: 270 words, photo.

ARMING THE BLIND — Iowa law enforcement officials are debating the wisdom of granting gun permits to blind people. SENT: 430 words.

LASKER AWARDS — The philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, as well as five researchers, have won prestigious Lasker Awards for their contributions to medicine. SENT: 100 words, photo

SCIENCE

SOUTH AFRICA-ROBOHANDS — Richard Van As, a South African carpenter, lost four fingers from his right hand to a circular saw two years ago. He was unable to pay the tens of thousands of dollars to get a myoelectric hand, which detects a muscle’s electric impulses to activate an artificial limb. So he decided to build his own artificial hand: Robohand, that uses cables, 3D printing, screws and thermoplastic. The device looks like a robot’s hand in a science fiction movie, costs about $500 to make and can be reproduced using plans on the Internet and a 3D printer. Van As is now on a mission to spread the mechanism to people without fingers or hands all over the world. UPCOMING: 880 words by 1600 GMT, photos.

TECH

APPLE-NEW GADGETS — Apple’s latest iPhones are expected to be unveiled Tuesday. Apple hasn’t said much about its event at its headquarters, but it comes at a time Apple typically shows its latest iPhones. There’s speculation Apple will unveil a cheaper model alongside its regular, premium version. UPCOMING: About 600 words by 1730 GMT, photos planned.

MICROSOFT-XBOX MUSIC — Microsoft is making its Xbox Music streaming service available for free on the Web — even to those who don’t use Windows 8. SENT: 500 words, photo.

EUROPE-GOOGLE ANTITRUST — The European Union says Google has submitted new proposals to address the concerns of the bloc’s antitrust watchdog. Google’s new attempt to overcome fears it is stifling competition in European Internet searches comes two months after the watchdog rejected the company’s proposals as insufficient. SENT: 370 words.

JAPAN-SONY PLAYSTATION — Sony’s next-generation video game machine PlayStation 4 won’t go on sale in Japan until next year, meaning that it won’t be on time for the key year-end holiday or New Year’s shopping season. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BUSINESS

FRANKFURT AUTO SHOW — The world’s automakers are showing off their shiniest, most advanced vehicles at the Frankfurt Auto Show, which opens this week. Among the 70 world premieres are a notable number of new cars powered either by batteries or hybrid gas-electric systems. There are also outlandish concept cars that flaunt technology and design but aren’t intended for sale. SENT: 840 words, photos.With:

— EU-FRANKFURT-AUTO-SHOW-HOT-TEN — Here are 10 of the most eagerly awaited new cars going on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. SENT: 360 words, photos.

SPORTS

TEN--US OPEN — No. 1 Novak Djokovic plays No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open final for the third time in four years. This is their 37th meeting, more than between any men in the professional era. Nadal, who beat Djokovic for the 2010 title at Flushing Meadows, is bidding for his 13th Grand Slam trophy. Djokovic, who beat Nadal in the 2011 final, aims for his seventh. UPCOMING: Match starts at 2100 GMT; with running copy; 900 words, photos.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

NETHERLANDS-VAN GOGH — The Van Gogh Museum says it has identified a long-lost Vincent Van Gogh painting that spent years in a Norwegian attic. It is the first full-size canvas by the Dutch master discovered since 1928. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1700 GMT.

TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL-TORTURE — A year after the controversy stirred by the torture scenes of “Zero Dark Thirty,” several films at the Toronto International Film Festival are taking up issues of prisoner rights with obvious contemporary relevance, including the upcoming kidnapping drama “Prisoners” and the WWII prisoner-of-war film “The Railway Man.” UPCOMING: 600 words by about 2000 GMT, photos.

TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL-DIRECTING WOODY — Not since the forgettable 2000 comedy “Picking Up the Pieces” has Woody Allen stared in a film he didn’t direct. But John Turturro managed to coax Allen back into acting for “Fading Gigolo” with an enticing role: an elderly but novice pimp. UPCOMING: 600 words by 1800 GMT photos.

LIFESTYLES

FASHION WEEK-DAY 5 — New York Fashion Week continues with shows including The Row, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger, Theyskens Theory, Holmes & Yang, Philip Lim, Donna Karan and Thom Browne. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 1800 GMT, to be updated throughout the day with additional designers.

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