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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

December 28, 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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TOP STORIES

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — It’s looking increasingly as if the partial government shutdown will be handed off to a divided government to solve, with agreement eluding Washington in the waning days of the Republican monopoly on power. Now nearly a week old, the impasse is idling hundreds of thousands of federal workers and starting to pinch citizens who count on varied public services. By Juliet Linderman and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 990 words, photos, video.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks stage a strong late-afternoon rally, closing with gains after erasing a 600-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The Dow ends up 258 points, or 1.1 percent, adding to the previous day’s gain of 1,086 points. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 550 words, photos.

WAR ROBOTS — The Army is looking for a few good robots. These robots won’t fight, at least not yet. But they will be designed to help the men and women who do. The companies making them are waging a different kind of battle. At stake is a contract worth almost half a billion dollars for 3,000 backpack-sized robots that can defuse bombs and scout enemy positions. Competition for the award has spilled over into Congress and federal court. By Matt O’Brien. SENT: 1,220 words, photos.

GUATEMALA-CHILD DEATH-BORDER — The stepsister of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody says the boy’s father took his son to the border after hearing rumors that parents and their children would be allowed to migrate to the United States and escape the poverty in their homeland. By Sonia Perez D. SENT: 650 words with photos.

YE--MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — LeBron James, who went to the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year and then changed addresses again, is the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year for the third time. Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, James remained the game’s dominant player, adding even more glitz to a legacy that reached epic status long ago. SENT: 900 words, photos. With list.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-MILITARY RAISES-FACT CHECK — In his first visit to U.S. troops in a conflict zone, President Donald Trump drew cheers when he told troops he won them their first raise in 10 years and suggested it was a whopping one. Neither is true. SENT: 440 words. AP Photos.

ELECTION 2020-IOWA DEMOCRATS — Early supporters of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for the Iowa caucuses admit the charismatic candidate swept them off their feet en route to the presidency. As they size up the 2020 Iowa caucuses, though, they say it’s all about the sheer calculation of who can beat President Donald Trump out of a field of as many as two dozen Democratic hopefuls. “The innocence in us wants to fall in love,” says one such activist. But now, “it’s OK to just fall in like.” SENT: 760 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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INDONESIA-TSUNAMI — Indonesia widens the no-go zone around an island volcano that triggered a weekend tsunami that killed at least 430 people. SENT: 630 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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WWII VET-OBIT — Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who was also believed to be oldest living man in the U.S., dies in Texas at 112, a family member says. SENT: 130 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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ARETHA FRANKLIN-IRS — An attorney representing the estate of the late Queen of Soul says at least $3 million in back taxes have been paid to the IRS since Aretha Franklin’s death last August. SENT: 300 words, photo.

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