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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

January 4, 2018

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST.

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TOP STORIES

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WINTER WEATHER — A massive winter storm roars into the East Coast, dumping as much as 18 inches of snow from the Carolinas to Maine and unleashing hurricane-force winds that closed schools and offices and canceled thousands of flights. Forecasters expect the system to be followed immediately by a blast of face-stringing cold air that could bring wind chills as low as minus 40 this weekend. By Susan Haigh and Dave Collins. SENT: 900 words, photos, video. Will be updated throughout the day.

LEGALIZED POT — The flourishing movement to legalize marijuana is thrown into uncertainty as the Trump administration rescinds an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where recreational use is allowed. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will leave it up to federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state policies clash with federal drug laws. By Sadie Gurman. SENT: 855 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: New version by 5 p.m.

TRUMP-OFFSHORE DRILLING —The Trump administration is moving to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans, including opening up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 500 words. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos.

VIRGINIA ELECTION RECOUNT — A Republican wins a Virginia state House of Delegates race so close that its outcome was determined when his name is pulled out of a ceramic bowl. The win allows Republicans to maintain a slim majority in the state House despite major Democratic gains in November — though the losing candidate from the drawing could still ask for another recount. By Alan Suderman. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.

IRAN-PROTESTS — Iran blames a CIA official for a week of protests calling for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, as the strength of the demonstrations was uncertain with fewer reports of rallies. he Trump administration denies any hand in the protests, and the CIA declines to comment. By Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach of 800 words, photos by 2 p.m.

TRUMP-BANNON — Steve Bannon’s withering criticism of President Donald Trump, laid bare in an explosive new book, may make permanent the pugilistic strategist’s split from the candidate he helped guide to the White House. By Zeke Miller. UPCOMING: 850 words by 5 p.m., photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — Two Republican House members are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, criticizing the Justice Department for failing to cooperate with Congress and for leaks related to its Russia investigation. UPCOMING: 450 words by 3 p.m., photos.

INSURANCE ACROSS STATE LINES — Striving to fulfill a campaign promise, the Trump administration is moving to facilitate the interstate sale of health insurance policies that cost less but may not provide as much coverage. SENT: 730 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photos.

TRUMP-CONGRESS — With the clock ticking, Trump and Senate Republicans try to hash out a strategy on immigration and a spending deal to keep the government open. By Jill Colvin and Kevin Freking. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 750 words by 5 p.m., photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SOUTH AFRICA-TRAIN CRASH — A passenger train collides with a truck in rural South Africa, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 260 as some are trapped inside. SENT: 270 words, photos. With SOUTH AFRICA-TRAIN CRASH-THE LATEST.

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NATIONAL

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ELECTION COMMISSION-STATES - Voting rights advocates cheered the announcement that President Donald Trump was disbanding his voter fraud commission, but their victory dance could be a short one. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

WISCONSIN PRISON INVESTIGATION — Juveniles will no longer be housed at a Wisconsin youth prison that’s been under federal investigation and the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging inmate abuse. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

AMTRAK TRAIN-DERAILMENT — Three cars on an Amtrak train carrying more than 300 passengers on a route from Miami to New York derailed in snow-covered Savannah after a fierce winter storm, but no injuries were reported. SENT: 350 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY

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AP EXPLAINS-COMPUTER CHIP SECURITY FLAW — Security researchers have discovered serious security flaws affecting computer processors built by Intel and other chipmakers. Here’s a look at what’s affected, what’s being done about it and whether you should worry. By Matt O’Brien. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m., photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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BLACK PANTHER EXCITEMENT — There’s a Black Panther party going on all around the country. Even though the film isn’t out until next month, “Black Panther” viewing parties are already being scheduled around the country for its February release, smack dab in the middle of Black History Month. There are lines of clothing based on the movie’s African style being prepared — the bright colors and Afrofuturism styles of Wakanda are in for the spring. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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TEN--AUSTRALIAN OPEN-MURRAY OUT — Andy Murray needed only a couple of days in Australia to realize the hip problem that has kept him out of competitive tennis since Wimbledon was not going to improve in time for the season’s first major. The five-time finalist withdrew from the Australian Open, two days after pulling out of a tuneup event in Brisbane before his first match. SENT: 700 words, photo.

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