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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

March 9, 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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TRUMP-BUDGET DEFICIT — The federal budget deficit is ballooning on President Donald Trump’s watch and few in Washington seem to care. And even if they did, the political dynamics that enabled bipartisan deficit-cutting deals decades ago has disappeared, replaced by bitter partisanship and chronic dysfunction. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 960 words, photo.

TRUMP-BIBLES — Presidents have a long history of signing Bibles, but the way President Trump did it among tornado survivors didn’t sit well with everyone. Others aren’t bothered. By Jennifer McDermott. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3 p.m., photos.

ARGUING OVER ISRAEL — For Congress, the allegations of anti-Semitism directed toward Rep. Ilhan Omar have no precedent. Yet on college campuses, in state legislatures and in many other venues nationwide, the polarized debate about Israel is a familiar conflict and likely to intensify in the months and years ahead. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

CLIMATE CHANGE-VALVE TURNERS — As Enbridge prepared to move climate-damaging tar sands crude through a 40-year-old pipeline in eastern Canada in 2015, environmentalists and indigenous peoples including Vanessa Gray thought about what happened in Michigan just five years earlier: Another of the company’s lines had burst, sending oil into a river in one of the largest spills in U.S. history. With that in mind, Gray and others decided they needed to do more than just speak out. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 950 words, photo.

AP EXPLAINS-FACEBOOK-PRIVATE MESSAGING — Facebook’s announcement emphasized a renewed focus on encrypted messaging and privacy. But what is it really promising? What it didn’t say was at least as important as what it did, namely that Facebook remains highly interested in personal data, even if it won’t be reading people’s messages. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 800 words, photos.Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

R KELLY — R&B singer R. Kelly was released from a Chicago jail after someone paid $161,000 in back child support for him. SENT: 300 words, photo. Developing.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-CANDIDATE SONGS — Presidential candidates have associated their campaigns with theme songs to great effect for years. But using popular tunes to help connect with voters can sometimes cause trouble if musicians object. And that’s what Elizabeth Warren could be finding out with Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” SENT: 920 words, photos.

MELANIA TRUMP — As President Trump shows his eagerness for the coming 2020 re-election battle, the first lady’s fervor for a major public role on the campaign is less clear. . SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

FACT CHECK-WEEK — President Trump heard words from a judge that the judge didn’t speak, as the president reached to denounce the Russia investigation as a hoax and celebrate an exoneration he was not given. Democrats persisted in assailing the Trump administration for putting migrant children in the same holding facilities used when Barack Obama was president. SENT: 1,320 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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NATIONAL

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WILD HORSE PASTURES — If you ever wished to gaze at a stomping, snorting, neighing panorama of Western heritage from your living-room window, now could be your chance. A classic image of the American West — wild horses stampeding across the landscape — not only has endured through the years but has multiplied past the point of range damage. Through May 3, the U.S. government is seeking more private pastures for an overpopulation of wild horses. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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FRANCE-PROTESTS — Thousands of French yellow vest protesters marched for a 17th straight weekend in Paris and other cities, with tensions at times but no signs of the serious clashes or violence that was a hallmark of some past demonstrations. Police fired tear gas and using water cannons at the end of the Paris demonstration. Some in the crowd had their faces covered in black and carried black flags, refusing to leave the Champs-Elysees, the capital’s main avenue where a peaceful march began hours earlier. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BRITAIN-ISLAMIC STATE — British Home Secretary Sajid Javid faces criticism after the death of a U.K. teenager’s baby in a Syrian camp. Shamima Begum, who had left London as a 15-year-old in 2015 to join the Islamic State group, had pleaded with British authorities before her baby was born to let her return to Britain to raise the child. SENT: 450 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS — Venezuelan opposition protesters on Saturday confronted security forces on a main avenue in Caracas, venting their anger over a nationwide blackout, shortages of basic necessities and the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Demonstrators on Avenida Victoria in the Venezuelan capital pushed against the shields of riot police, who later withdrew from the area. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-DELLA DUCK — Della Duck is a brave and resourceful fowl, the sort that refuses to be defeated by a solo crash landing on the moon — even when it costs her a leg. Della, an elusive and lesser-known member of the Donald Duck family, took center stage in Saturday’s episode and quickly proved to be a groundbreaker, one of the few TV characters with a disability who’s part of a children’s series. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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CELTICS-LAKERS — Jayson Tatum and the Celtics go for their third straight win in California when they face LeBron James and the slumping Lakers in the latest edition of this storied NBA rivalry. LA beat Boston on Rajon Rondo’s thrilling basket at the buzzer last month. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Starts 8:30 p.m. PST.