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BC-AP News Digest 2:20 pm

May 3, 2019

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 .




VENEZUELA US MILITARY OUTREACH _ On at least two occasions since 2016, the U.S. government missed opportunities to cultivate relations with top military generals that national security adviser John Bolton claimed this week backed out last minute of a plan to topple President Nicolás Maduro. In 2017, a still young Trump administration rejected a visa request for the head of military intelligence so he could bring his 3-year-old son to Boston for brain surgery. Prior to that, the U.S. rebuffed a potential backchannel to the country’s defense minister _ someone long viewed as a potential white knight _ after those brokering an aide’s secret trip to Washington for a meeting with the Defense Intelligence Agency were outed on Venezuelan state TV. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 5 p.m.




TRUMP-ECONOMY _ The undeniable strength of the U.S. economy _ shown anew Friday with remarkable employment figures _ is giving Donald Trump a big advantage as the 2020 presidential campaign begins to intensify, no matter the continuing talk about scandal and Russia. Democrats hoping to deny him a second term are beginning to acknowledge the historical weight of their challenge: Incumbent presidents rarely if ever lose re-election in a thriving economy. By Steve Peoples and Chris Rugaber. UPCOMING: 890 words by 5 p.m., photos, video. WITH: ECONOMY-JOBS REPORT _ U.S. employers added a robust 263,000 jobs in April. SENT: 850 words, photos.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-BARR _ Democrats have found a common enemy in Attorney General William Barr, with House lawmakers now poised to hold him in contempt of Congress unless they receive the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller. The intensifying clash has united Democrats and temporarily shifted attention away from the debate over whether to begin impeaching President Donald Trump, although the question impeachment question seems unlikely to subside for long. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 490 words, photo. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photo.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA _ President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin speak for more than an hour about extending an existing nuclear arms agreement and potentially starting a new one to include China. The White House says the leaders also spoke about Venezuela, North Korea and _ briefly _ special counsel Robert Mueller’s just completed report on Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. By Deb Riechmann. SENT: 360 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

INDIA-CYCLONE FANI _ Cyclone Fani tore through India’s eastern coast on Friday as a grade 5 storm, lashing beaches with rain and wind gusting up to 127 miles per hour and affecting weather as far away as Mount Everest. The India Meteorological Department said the “extremely severe” cyclone in the Bay of Bengal hit the coastal state of Odisha around 8 a.m., with weather impacted across the Asian subcontinent. By Emily Schmall. Sent: 850 words, photos.

SERVICE DOGS-REGULATION _ Like all parents with autistic children, Glenn and Rachel Cummings were desperate to find ways to help their daughter, Sobie, navigate her world. They thought they’d found a solution when they purchased a service dog named Okami. But after Okami attacked one of their pet dogs, they learned just how little oversight there is in the service dog industry. Federal disability law limits local training and certification requirements. As a result, experts say it’s a buyer beware market. By National Writer Allen G. Breed. SENT: 1,960 words, photos. An abridged version of 875 words is also available.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-PREVIEW _ Rain is in the forecast for the Kentucky Derby, where Bob Baffert will saddle the top three choices in pursuit of a record-tying sixth victory. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.




ODD--GERMANY-RACCOON SQUATTER _ A wild raccoon has moved into Heidelberg Zoo in Germany and keepers can’t kick him out. SENT: 150 words.

ODD--WORST TOLL EVADER _ The worst toll evader in Pennsylvania is being ordered to pay up; his name is Stiff and he had $128K in tolls and fines. SENT: 150 words.

ODD--FAMED DERBY POOP _ Just the feces: Kentucky Derby winner poop on sale for $200. SENT: 200 words.

COUPLE DIES SAME DAY _ Family members say a Pennsylvania couple that had been married for almost 45 years passed away within minutes of each other. SENT: 150 words.

SWIMMERS RESCUED-FLORIDA _ Teen swimmers pray for help, rescued by boat called the Amen. SENT: 200 words.




TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-SPYING-NEWS GUIDE _ President Donald Trump says the FBI unlawfully spied on his campaign. But surveillance is a common investigative technique and not inherently illegal. A look at what we know about the surveillance of Trump’s campaign. By Mike Balsamo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3:30 p.m., photo.

ELECTION 2020-SECURITY _ Whether presidential campaigns have learned from the 2016 cyberattacks is a critical question ahead as the next presidential election approaches. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

PENCE-BLACK CHURCHES _ Vice President Mike Pence has come to Louisiana to show his support for members of three black churches burned by an arsonist. SENT: 140 words, photos. Developing.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN _ Joe Biden will have his first chance this weekend to demonstrate whether he can attract the type of diverse coalition that twice sent Barack Obama to the White House. SENT: 880 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-AMY KOBUCHAR _ Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has released a plan to spend $100 billion over a decade to improve mental health care and fight substance abuse, an issue the Minnesota senator has faced firsthand as the daughter of an alcoholic who struggled with addiction for years before getting sober. SENT: 690 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-JAY INSLEE _ As part of his pledge to make combating climate change the top national priority, Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee is calling for the nation’s entire electrical grid and all new vehicles and buildings to be carbon-pollution free by 2030. It’s the first major policy proposal from the Washington governor as he tries to gain a foothold in a field more than 20 candidates. SENT: 820 words, photo.

TRUMP LAWYER-INVESTIGATION-PRISON _ President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer will serve his prison sentence alongside “The Situation” from “Jersey Shore” and the fraudster behind the failed Fyre Festival. Michael Cohen is due to report Monday to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.




REDISTRICTING-OHIO _ A federal court has ruled that Ohio’s congressional map is unconstitutional and has ordered a new one be drawn for the 2020 elections. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati ruled unanimously Friday that district boundaries were manipulated for partisan gain by Republican mapmakers and violate voters’ rights to democratically select their representatives. The ruling blocks Ohio from holding another election under the current map. SENT: 600 words, photo.

HAWAII VOLCANO-ANNIVERSARY _ A year after a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island rained lava and gases in one of its largest and most destructive eruptions in recorded history, people who lost their homes and farms in the disaster are still struggling to return to their cherished island lifestyle. More than 700 homes were destroyed in the historic eruption, and most people will never move back to their land. By Caleb Jones. SENT: 1,220 words, photos, video.

POLICE SHOOTING-MINNEAPOLIS _ The city of Minneapolis is paying $20 million to settle a lawsuit over a police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed woman who approached his squad car. SENT: 370 words, photos.

POLICE SHOOTING-CONNECTICUT _ Videos released Friday show a Connecticut police officer’s fatal shooting last month of an 18-year-old man during an attempted traffic stop and chase, which sparked protests by the teen’s relatives and activists. Wethersfield officer Layau Eulizier is seen on police dashcam and business surveillance videos running in front of a car while it is stopped briefly during the April 20 chase on a busy four-lane road. Eulizier yells, “Show me your hands” several times and fires two shots through the front windshield when the teenager drives at him. SENT: 675 words, photos.

SPRING FLOODING-CITIES ENDURE _ When the Mississippi River reached record levels 26 years ago, it covered 400,000 square miles and caused dozens of deaths in a disaster dubbed “The Great Flood of 1993.” But when the river exceeded those levels this week along parts of the upper river, flooding was relegated to much smaller tracts, thanks to the construction of floodwalls and other steps taken by communities along the river. By Margery A. Beck. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m. With SPRING FLOODING _ The latest round of Midwestern flooding claimed at least three lives, closed hundreds of roads and forced residents of threatened towns to shore up threatened levees with sandbags as waters rose to record levels in some communities. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENT PROTEST-RIOT CASE _ Two more members of a white supremacist group have pleaded guilty to conspiring to riot at a white nationalist rally in Virginia and political rallies in California. SENT: 500 words, photo.




CONGO-EBOLA _ The Congolese Health Ministry confirms more than 1,000 people have now died from Ebola since August. SENT: 380 words, photos. Developing.

MOZAMBIQUE-CYCLONE-CHILDREN _ Isabella Mussa has not set foot in a classroom or read a book for the past week. For the 13-year-old, displaced by a deadly cyclone in northern Mozambique, it feels like a lifetime. Yet she is called one of the lucky ones. More than 1 million children have been affected by a pair of cyclones that ripped into Mozambique in less than two months, the United Nations children’s agency says. Many of the children are without shelter or food. Some saw parents killed or disappeared. SENT: 630 words, photos.

THAILAND-KING’S CORONATION _ Three days of elaborate centuries-old ceremonies begin Saturday for the formal coronation of Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn, who has been on the throne for more than two years. What Vajiralongkorn _ also known as King Rama X, the 10th king of the Chakri dynasty _ will do with the power and influence the venerated status confers is still not clear. By Grant Peck. SENT: 1,080 words, photos. With THAILAND-CORONATION RITES _ Elaborate pageantry and ritual of Thai king’s coronation; THAILAND-CORONATION-AP WAS THERE _ AP Was There: 1950 Coronation of Thailand’s King Bhumibol (both sent).

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS-RIGHT UNITES _ Italy’s right-wing interior minister is uniting like-minded politicians in other countries under an anti-migrant, anti-Islam, anti-bureaucracy banner for this month’s European Union parliament elections. SENT: 800 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-NORTH KOREA-FOOD SHORTAGES _ The United Nations says about 10 million people in North Korea are suffering from “severe food shortages” after the East Asian nation had one of the worst harvests in a decade. SENT: 330 words.

AFGHANISTAN-PEACE TALKS _ An Afghan grand council convened by President Ashraf Ghani ended Friday with a resounding call for peace with the Taliban and a promise from the president to free 175 Taliban prisoners ahead of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that starts next week. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CYPRUS-SLAYINGS _ The president of Cyprus has fired the small island nation’s police chief, saying botched missing person investigations might have allowed a self-confessed serial killer to claim more victims. SENT: 290 words, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-PRIME MINISTER ENGAGED _ New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her longtime partner Clarke Gayford have gotten engaged. SENT: 230 words, photos.




TESLA-RAISING CAPITAL _ Tesla is increasing the amount of money it will attempt to raise to as much as $2.7 billion and CEO Elon Musk more than doubled the amount of stock he would buy from $10 million to $25 million. SENT: 775 words, photo.




SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW-BOOKSMART _ Actress Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with “Booksmart,” a high school comedy about two overachievers who decide to have one wild night, that is poised to be a big summer breakout. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

TONY WATCH-SARAH STILES _ Actress Sarah Stiles puts a history of puppets onstage aside for a musical adaptation of the film “Tootsie” and earns her second Tony Award nomination. AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy. SENT: 700 words, photos and video.




ATH--SEMENYA RUNS _ Caster Semenya easily wins the 800 meters at a Diamond League meet, her first race since losing a high-profile court case against track and field’s governing body. SENT: 200 words, photos, developing.

CAR--NASCAR-SPORTS BETTING _ NASCAR is making its first big play in the world of expanded legal sports betting, hoping a sports data partnership will lead to gamblers being able to bet during races on much more than just who gets the checkered flag. SENT: 750 words, photos.

BOX-ALVAREZ-JACOBS _ Canelo Alvarez owns both big Mexican holiday weekends in this gambling town, along with a contract that could make him one of the richest athletes. He’ll own everything at 160 pounds, too, if he gets past Daniel Jacobs in a middleweight title unification fight Saturday night. By Boxing Writer Tim Dahlberg. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.




At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (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.