BC-AP Top Stories Digest
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 .
WINTER WEATHER — A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures, triggering widespread closures of schools and businesses, and the canceling of more than 1,600 flights from Chicago’s airports. The cold even prompted the U.S. Postal Service to suspend mail delivery to a wide swath of the region. Hundreds of public schools and several large universities from North Dakota to Pennsylvania have canceled classes, and residents huddled inside as the National Weather Service forecast plunging temperatures from one of the coldest air masses in years. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 850 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos, video.
VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS — Opposition leader Juan Guaido is looking to ratchet up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro with walkouts across Venezuela, just a day after the embattled socialist administration barred Guaido from leaving the country while he is investigated for anti-government activities. SENT: 900 words, photos.
TRUMP-AFGHANISTAN — The surprise announcement that the U.S. has reached “agreements in principle” with the Taliban is facing skepticism even among some of President Donald Trump allies who worry a premature withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan will lead to a return of the conditions that ensnared America into its longest war in the first place. It’s also leading prominent foreign policy experts to accuse Trump of telegraphing his intent to withdraw troops — something he repeatedly accused President Barack Obama of doing by announcing that he would end the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014. By Deb Riechmann. UPCOMING: 990 words by 4 p.m., photos.
TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY— President Trump warns House-Senate negotiators hunting for a border security compromise they’d be “wasting their time” if they don’t come up with money for a wall or physical barrier to win his support. But as talks on the homeland security budget open, Trump and Republicans are in a weakened position just 17 days before the government runs out of money again without a deal. By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: Developing from 1:30 p.m. lawmakers’ meeting, 900 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.
E-CIGARETTES-QUIT SMOKING, HFR — A major study provides the strongest evidence yet that vaping can help smokers kick the cigarette habit, with e-cigarettes proving nearly twice as effective as nicotine gums and patches at getting people to quit. By Matthew Perrone. Eds: Hold for release at 5 p.m. EST. 800 words.
ROBOT LAWN MOWER — Robot vacuums have now been around long enough that you might watch one bump around a living room and think, why isn’t there a robot that could mow my lawn? Turns out, it’s not for lack of trying. For more than a decade, iRobot, the company behind the Roomba vacuumbot, has been working — and working — on robotic lawn mowers. Now it finally has something to show for the effort, though it’s come at a cost. SENT: 900 words, photos.
SCHUMER’S STRATEGY —The White House plan for peeling off Democrats to support President Trump’s demands for billions in border wall ran into one clear obstacle: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s flip phone. Schumer had already been talking with his Democratic caucus - months earlier - and knew they would stand against funding Trump’s wall. While Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the starring role in the shutdown saga, Schumer played no small part shoring up his side of the Capitol in a way that bolstered Pelosi’s position and forced Trump to relent. By Lisa Mascaro. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 p.m., photo, video.
FOXCONN-WISCONSIN — Foxconn Technology Group says it is shifting the focus of its planned Wisconsin campus away from blue-collar manufacturing to a research hub, while insisting it remains committed to creating 13,000 jobs as promised. SENT: 965 words, photos.
TEXAS EXECUTION — A 61-year-old Texas man on death row was set to be executed for killing a Houston police officer more than three decades ago during a robbery. Robert Jennings would be the first inmate put to death this year both in the U.S. and in Texas, which is the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. SENT: 500 words, photo. UPCOMING: 600 words. Execution scheduled for after 7 p.m.
EL CHAPO-PROSECUTION — Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman orchestrated a two-decade campaign to flood the United States with tons of cocaine as a ruthless leader of the Sinaloa cartel, a prosecutor said in closing arguments at Guzman’s U.S. trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg began her argument by recounting the testimony of a former cartel crony who claimed he witnessed Guzman nearly beat to death two men from Sinaloa after paid-off authorities told him they were working for a rival cartel. SENT: 325 words, photo.
BRITAIN-BREXIT-LAMB — Wyn Evans’s family has owned this 200-acre plot in western Wales for generations, a bucolic expanse where 370 sheep and 80 cows feast on the verdant grasses of undulating hillsides. Evans, 55, wants his son to take over the farm that’s been in the family for 500 years. But he’s concerned that may not happen, as the rancorous debate over Brexit increases the risk Britain will leave the European Union without an agreement on future relations that would preserve free trade with the continent. SENT: 964 words, photos.
BRAZIL-DAM COLLAPSE — Under a scorching sun, Tereza Ferreira Nascimento dug through the mud with garden tools and her hands in search of her brother Paulo Giovane dos Santos, resigned to the reality that he was most likely dead six days after a Brazilian dam holding back mine waste collapsed. SENT: 600 words, photos.
FEDERAL RESERVE — With the Federal Reserve considered sure to leave interest rates unchanged, investors will be hoping to hear Chairman Jerome Powell sound a reassuring theme that a pause in the Fed’s rate hikes could last a while. SENT: 870 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated with Fed policy announcement; 130 words at 2 p.m. 500 words by 2:30 p.m., then expanded.
DOCUMENTARY DETERRENTS — Denials and denunciations. Lawsuits and legal threats. Attacks and pushback. What’s a documentarian to do? While the medium is having a powerful cultural moment, documentaries’ paths to the screen can be perilous when they make damning claims about high-profile subjects, like the recent Lifetime television series on R. Kelly or an upcoming film featuring the stories of two men who accuse Michael Jackson of molesting them. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
FBN--SUPER BOWL-CHASING BRADY — The Rams know they’ve got to pressure Tom Brady early and often to have a chance in the Super Bowl, and they’ve been assembling the tools for this job all year long. They signed Ndamukong Suh to a big free-agent deal, wrote a record-breaking contract for Aaron Donald and acquired edge rusher Dante Fowler from Jacksonville down the stretch. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 6 p.m.
SUPER BOWL-ADS-PREVIEW — Sarah Michelle Gellar makes a horror movie parody for Olay. Jeff Bridges and Sarah Jessica Parker tout Stella Artois. Steve Carrell hawks Pepsi. Star power abounds in this year’s Super Bowl ads. Advertisers are hoping to provide some welcome distraction and entertainment as economic fears persist and the nation’s political climate remains sharply divided. By Technology Writer Mae Anderson. SENT: 875 words, photos.