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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

May 22, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.




CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE — President Donald Trump abruptly quits a White House meeting with congressional Democrats shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells Capitol Hill reporters she believes he is engaged in a “cover-up” by stonewalling Democrats’ investigations in the aftermath of the Russia report. “I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump declares, insisting he will no longer work with Democrats unless they drop their investigations. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1100 words. UPCOMING: 1050 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP-DEMOCRATS-3 MINUTES — The curtains in the Cabinet Room were drawn. The Democrats were waiting. President Donald Trump came and went in three minutes. Round 2 of the president’s consultations with congressional Democrats on infrastructure went bust in a flash. By Kevin Freking and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP-TAXES — New York lawmakers gave final passage to legislation that would allow President Donald Trump’s state tax returns to be released to congressional committees that have, so far, been barred from getting the president’s federal filings. The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly both approved the measures Wednesday, sending them to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. A spokesman has said the governor supports the principle behind the legislation but will review the bill carefully before deciding whether to sign it. By Chris Carola and David Klepper. SENT: 550 words, photos.

VIRGINIA POLITICS-BLACKFACE — An investigation ordered up by a Virginia medical school failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam is in a 1984 yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe. Investigators with a law firm hired by Eastern Virginia Medical School said they couldn’t conclusively establish the identities of either person in the 35-year-old picture that nearly destroyed Northam’s career when it came to light in February. By Ben Finley and Alan Suderman. SENT: 600 words, photo.

AMERICAN TALIBAN-RELEASE — John Walker Lindh, the young Californian who became known as the American Taliban after he was captured by U.S. forces in the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, is set to go free after nearly two decades in prison. But conditions imposed recently on Lindh’s release, slated for Thursday, make clear that authorities remain concerned about the threat he could pose once free.By Matthew Barakat. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.

BREXIT — British Prime Minister Theresa May dug in against a growing push by both rivals and former allies to remove her from office as her attempts to lead Britain out of the European Union appeared to be headed for a dead end. May resisted calls to rip up her tattered Brexit blueprint and end her embattled premiership after her attempt at compromise was rejected by both her own Conservative Party and opposition lawmakers. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 875 words, photos.




HOMELAND SECURITY — A Democratic lawmaker blames the Trump administration’s border policies for the deaths of migrant children, prompting the acting Homeland Security secretary to say it was an “appalling accusation.” By Colleen Long. SENT: 620 words. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP-LAWYER INVESTIGATION — Months before the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s office and hotel room, investigators were examining the flow of foreign money into his bank accounts and looking into whether the funds might be connected to a plan to lift Russian sanctions, according to newly unsealed court filings. The five search warrant applications, made in the early weeks and months of the special counsel’s Russia investigation in 2017, were made public in response to requests from The Associated Press and other media organizations. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 590 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS-MATERNAL MORTALITY — Two Democratic women running for president have unveiled plans to improve maternal health care. California Sen. Kamala Harris reintroduced a bill aimed at addressing racial disparities in childbirth care, with black women three to four times more likely than white women to die in childbirth. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Wednesday promised to provide government-sponsored “baby bundles” for new parents, with diapers and other items designed to make newborn nurseries healthier. By Will Weissert. SENT: 460 words, photos.

ELECTION SECURITY — Homeland Security and Justice Department along with representatives of Google. Facebook and Twitter testify before Congress about efforts to protect the U.S. election system from hacking and foreign influence. It comes amid concerns that Russia will re-emerge as a threat in the 2020 election. By Colleen Long and Eric Tucker. UPCOMING: Developing from 2 p.m. hearing, 550 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

Find more coverage on the 2020 U.S. Elections featured topic page on APNewsroom.




INDONESIA-ELECTION PROTESTS — Indonesian President Joko Widodo said authorities have the volatile situation in the country’s capital under control after six people died in riots by supporters of his losing rival in last month’s presidential election. The clashes began Tuesday night when supporters of former Gen. Prabowo Subianto tried to force their way into the downtown offices of the election supervisory agency and have continued unabated since then. More than two dozen vehicles were burned as rioters took over neighborhoods in central Jakarta, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who responded with tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. SENT: 850 words, photos, video.

EUROPEAN ELECTIONS-FIGHTING FAKE NEWS— Disinformation has evolved beyond the playbook used by Russian trolls in the US election. As the European Union gears up for the world’s biggest transnational elections, domestic groups are using social media to push extremist messages in more subtle and nuanced ways, analysts and officials say. SENT: 1,150 words, photo.

ISRAEL-ANCIENT BEER — Israeli researchers raised a glass to celebrate a long-brewing project of making beer and mead using yeasts extracted from ancient clay vessels —some over 5,000 years old. Archaeologists and microbiologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and four Israeli universities teamed up to study yeast colonies found in microscopic pores in pottery fragments. The shards were found at Egyptian, Philistine and Judean archaeological sites in Israel spanning from 3,000 BC to the 4th century BC. SENT: 650 words, photos.




SEA DRAGONS — At first glance, it looks like a branch of kelp, but then an eye moves among its leafy appendages, and ridges of tiny, translucent fins start to flutter, sending the creature gliding through the water like something from a fairy tale. A Southern California aquarium has built what is believed to be one of the world’s largest habitats for the surreal sea dragons, whose native populations off Australia are threatened by pollution, warming oceans and the illegal pet and alternative medicine trades. SENT: 610 words, photos, video.




SEVERE WEATHER — Oklahoma was bracing for more rain, with parts of the state already flooded following days of severe weather that’s blamed for at least three deaths after also battering Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. “The biggest concern is more rain. I mean, there’s more rain in the forecast for Tulsa, for northern Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said during a news conference following an aerial tour with Tulsa Mayor G.W. Bynum and other officials. SENT: 400 words, photos, videos.




US-CHINA-TRADE — China and the United States appear to be bracing for a prolonged standoff over trade. China is airing Korean War movies to arouse patriotic fervor and offering tax cuts to Chinese companies threatened by U.S. export controls. In the U.S., Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he’s spoken to Walmart and other companies about ways to ease the pain for consumers if the Trump administration goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on everything China sends to America. Trade negotiations ended earlier this month, and no new talks have been scheduled. By Paul Wiseman and Joe McDonald. SENT: 750 words. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 p.m.




LIONSGATE THEME PARK — Lionsgate is opening what it calls the world’s first vertical theme park featuring some of the studio’s top films from “Hunger Games” to “Twilight” this summer in China. More than 25 rides and virtual reality experiences will pack a sleek, futuristic bean-shaped building that stands 10 stories high when Lionsgate Entertainment World opens in July on Hengqin island. By Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 800 words, photos.




HKN--STANLEY CUP-LOOKAHEAD — The Bruins and Blues will meet in the Stanley Cup Final, a rematch of the 1970 series that ended with Bobby Orr’s famous goal and leaping celebration. Boston has been in the final three times in the past nine seasons, but this is St. Louis’ first trip in 49 years. Unlike that series, this one is expected to be much more evenly matched. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. SENT: 640 words, photos.

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