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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

April 5, 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 .

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TOP STORIES

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ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN — Former Vice President Joe Biden quips about complaints he’d crossed physical boundaries with women but acknowledges he’d have to change the way he campaigns as he outlines how he could win the presidential nomination of a Democratic party that some argue has moved to his left. At the same time, Biden’s appearance before an enthusiastic union crowd underscores his appeal to blue collar workers who backed Donald Trump in 2016. By Thomas Beaumont and Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 910 words. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP — President Donald Trump visits a section of the southern border in California as he looks to make border security a winning issue in his 2020 re-election campaign. By Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 610 words. UPCOMING: Developing from events starting at 3:10 p.m., 800 words by 6 p.m., photos, video. WITH: ICE DIRECTOR — Mystery surrounds President Trump’s decision to abruptly withdraw the nomination of his pick to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ron Vitiello had been scheduled to accompany Trump on his Friday trip to the border, but Trump says without explanation he’s decided to go in a “tougher direction.” SENT: 730 words, photos.

SOCIAL MEDIA-VACCINE WARS — Like health officials facing measles outbreaks, internet companies are trying to contain vaccine-related misinformation they have long helped spread. So far, their efforts at quarantine are falling short. The digital scrapbooking site Pinterest — which has been a leading online repository of vaccine misinformation — in 2017 took the seemingly drastic step of blocking all searches for the term “vaccines,” affecting even legitimate searches for information. It was part of the company’s enforcement of a broader policy against health misinformation. SENT: 1,150 words, photo.

ETHIOPIA-PLANE CRASH-PILOTS — Pilots of an Ethiopian Airlines flight encountered problems with their new Boeing jetliner from nearly the moment they roared down the runway and took off. For six minutes, they were bombarded by warnings from the plane as they fought for control. A preliminary report by Ethiopian investigators on the March 10 crash that killed 157 people reveals a minute-by-minute narrative of the gripping and confusing scene in the cockpit. By Airlines Writer David Koenig. SENT: 990 words, photos.

ECONOMY-JOBS REPORT — Hiring rebounded in March as U.S. employers added a solid 196,000 jobs, up sharply from February’s scant gain and evidence that many businesses still want to hire despite signs that the economy is slowing. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%, near the lowest level in almost 50 years, the Labor Department reported. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS — Democratic presidential candidates touted their plans on criminal justice reform, the study of reparations and other racial equality issues, highlighting the critical role black voters will play in choosing the party’s 2020 nominee. SENT: 390 words. UPCOMING: Updates expected throughout the day, 600 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

UNITED STATES-SOMALIA-CIVILIAN CASUALTIES — Just weeks after insisting that American airstrikes in Somalia had killed no civilians, U.S. Africa Command says new information reveals that a woman and a child died last April when a U.S. strike targeted al-Shabab militants. SENT: 850 words. UPCOMING: Updates possible, 890 words by 4 p.m., photos.

TRUMP-DINNER — President Donald Trump says he’s got better things to do than attend this year’s “boring” White House Correspondents Association dinner. SENT: 330 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-HOUSE-NEW MEXICO — Former CIA operative, author and activist Valerie Plame said she is considering a 2020 run for an open U.S. congressional seat in New Mexico. Plame told The Associated Press she is spending time with residents and will make a decision soon. The seat is currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who is stepping down to run for U.S. Senate. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY-TESTS — The most brazen abuses of standardized testing in the college bribery scandal could be chalked up to security lapses: the ringer hired to take the SAT, the proctors paid to look the other way, the accommodations for extra time obtained through false diagnoses of disabilities. But the scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed their children’s way into top schools also has highlighted deeper concerns about the fairness of using SAT and ACT tests. SENT: 925 words, photos.

MISSING CHILD INVESTIGATION — A man who authorities say claimed to be an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago was charged Friday with making false statements. The FBI said the suspect had twice before made similar claims in which he falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim. Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio, was jailed in Cincinnati. The FBI has identified Rini as the person who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. SENT: 675 words, photos.

MORMON PRESIDENT-FIRST YEAR — The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has generated buzz in his first year by becoming one of the most visible, active and decisive presidents in modern church history and implementing a number of big changes, including repealing rules directed at same-sex couples and their children. SENT: 750 words, photos.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT — An attorney for Jussie Smollett has written a letter warning that if Chicago follows through on its vow to sue the “Empire” actor for the cost of the investigation into his claim that he was attacked, he’ll demand sworn testimony from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the police chief and others. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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ISRAEL-ELECTION-TRUMP — In a tight race for re-election, Israel’s prime minister has gotten a welcome lift from his friend in the White House. Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign speeches, billboards and social media videos have all heavily featured President Donald Trump’s image, statements and pro-Israel actions as endorsements of the long-seated prime minister. SENT: 975 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-KATHIE LEE GIFFORD — Kathie Lee Gifford wrapped up 11 years with NBC’s “Today” show Friday with laughs, tears, Scripture and — of course — wine. The 65-year-old host received a standing ovation from the audience after rapper Flo Rida opened the program by singing that the studio was “Kathie Lee’s house.” SENT: 450 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BKC--AP PLAYER OF THE YEAR — Duke freshman Zion Williamson is the runaway choice for men’s college basketball player of the year by The Associated Press. The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder made headlines with his overpowering play and highlight-reel dunks. SENT: 800 words, photos.

BKW--FINAL FOUR-OREGON-BAYLOR — No. 1 overall seed Baylor carries a 27-game winning streak into the women’s national semifinals against Final Four newcomer Oregon. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts 7 p.m.