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BC-AP News Digest 7:45 am

December 29, 2018

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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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — President Donald Trump and Democrats are trading blame for the partial government shutdown but doing little substantive talking with each other as the disruption in federal services and public employees’ pay slogs into another weekend. By Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 790 words, photos, video. WITH: SHUTDOWN IMPACT — Museums and galleries popular with visitors and locals in the nation’s capital will close starting midweek if the partial shutdown of the federal government drags on. SENT: 360 words, photos.

CHILD DEAD-BORDER — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visits the Texas border city where an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy was detained with his father before dying in government custody. Felipe Gomez Alonzo was the second Guatemalan child to die in government custody in three weeks. SENT: 400 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Wall Street caps a week of volatile trading with an uneven finish and the market’s first weekly gain since November. Losses in technology, energy and industrial stocks outweigh gains in retailers and other consumer-focused companies. By AP Business Writer Alex Veiga. SENT: 670 words, photos.

COAL PLANTS-MERCURY — The Trump administration targets an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not be worth the cost of the regulation. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 600 words.

SUPREME COURT-AVOIDING CONTROVERSY — The Supreme Court begins its term with the tumultuous confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, followed by a studied avoidance of drama on the high court bench — especially anything that would divide the five conservatives and four liberals. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 960 words, photos.

RETHINKING OLD FAVORITES — Americans have amassed a catalog of entertainment across the decades that now raises a series of contentious but never-more-relevant questions: What, exactly, do we do with this stuff today? Do we simply discard it? Do we give it a free pass as the product of a less-enlightened age? Or is there some way to both acknowledge its value yet still view it with a more critical eye? By National Writer Ted Anthony. SENT: 1,800 words, photos, 1,100-word abridged version.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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BRITAIN-HONORS — British divers who rescued young soccer players trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand are among those being recognized in Britain’s New Year’s Honors List — along with 1960s model Twiggy and Monty Python star Michael Palin. SENT: 400 words, photos.

MUMIA ABU-JAMAL — A court ruling this week puts the police murder case of former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal back in the spotlight years after it drew the attention of Amnesty International, Hollywood celebrities and death penalty opponents worldwide.

EGYPT-EXPLOSION — A roadside bomb hits a tourist bus in an area near the Giza Pyramids, killing two Vietnamese tourists, injuring 12 others. SENT: 250 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-EARTHQUKE — A powerful undersea earthquake caused a tsunami scare in the Philippines, but a warning was lifted hours later, with no casualties or damage reported. SENT: 325 words.

SEARS — Sears is closing 80 more stores as the iconic retailer teeters on the brink of liquidation. SENT: 280 words, photo.

PEOPLE-ARIANA GRANDE — Ariana Grande has canceled a Las Vegas performance days before New Year’s Eve “due to unforeseeable health reasons.” SENT: 130 words, photo.

EXTRA DIAMONDS RETURNED — A Mississippi man says he ordered his wife a $2,000 diamond bracelet for Christmas and was shocked see 48 of the bracelets when he opened the box. SENT: 110 words.

WOODSTOCK ANNIVERSARY — Original Woodstock site to host 50th anniversary concert. SENT: 130 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-CONGRESS — House Republicans say more investigation is needed into decisions made by the FBI and the Justice Department in 2016 as they brought an unceremonious end to their yearlong look at the department’s handling of probes into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails and Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. SENT: 660 words.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-FARM PAYMENTS — The end of 2018 seemed to signal good things to come for America’s farmers, but the government shutdown is getting in the way. SENT: 440 words.

MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signs a law making it harder for groups to put proposals on the Michigan ballot, imposing a geographical-based requirement that could prevent them from gathering signatures for petitions mainly from the most populated areas. SENT: 450 words, photo.

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA — The dissolution of North Carolina’s elections board injects further uncertainty into a still-undecided congressional race as a U.S. House Democratic leader rejects the idea of filling the seat until an investigation of ballot fraud allegations is complete. SENT: 750 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-IOWA DEMOCRATS — As they size up the 2020 Iowa caucuses, though, Democrats say it’s all about the sheer calculation of who can beat President Donald Trump out of a field of as many as two dozen party hopefuls. SENT: 760 words, photos.

JERRY BROWN DEPARTS — California Gov. Jerry Brown will leave office Jan. 7 after a record 16 years leading the nation’s most populous state. SENT: 1,300 words, photos. WITH: JERRY BROWN DEPARTS-ON THE ISSUES, JERRY BROWN DEPARTS-TIMELINE (both sent).

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NATIONAL

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DUI LIMIT-UTAH — New Year’s Eve revelers in Utah could find themselves with more than a hangover as 2019 dawns: If they drink and drive, they could end up on the wrong side of the nation’s newest and lowest DUI threshold. SENT: 860 words, photos.

SEVERE WEATHER — A powerful winter storm that brought blizzard warnings across the Upper Midwest is blamed for at least three fatal crashes while flash flooding from rains in the South sweep away cars and force dozens of water rescues. SENT: 600 words, photos.

POLICE OFFICER KILLED-CALIFORNIA — For a third day, authorities pursue a man accused of killing a California officer during a traffic stop. SENT: 400 words, photos.

PREGNANCY-DRUGS-CHILD ABUSE — Pennsylvania’s highest court says mothers who use illegal drugs while pregnant can’t be considered perpetrators of child abuse against their newly born children under the state’s child protection law. SENT; 600 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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VATICAN-SEX ABUSE — The Vatican has taken testimony from a man who says ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick sexually abused him for years starting when he was 11, evidence that the initial case against the retired archbishop has expanded to include serious allegations of misconduct. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CANADA-CHINA — Canada’s government says a Canadian teacher detained in China over a problem with her work permit has been released. SENT: 130 words.

ASIA-YEAR END REVIEW — Across Asia, there are pockets of optimism but also a pervasive feeling of disquiet as 2018 closes, a lot of which is linked to the twin political behemoths whose presence has been felt this year in every corner of Asia: China and Trump. SENT: 650 words, photos.

ISRAEL-OBIT-OZ — Israeli author Amos Oz, one of the country’s pre-eminent and widely acclaimed writers, died on Friday after a battle with cancer, his family announced. He was 79. His daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, announced her father’s death on Twitter. SENT: 830 words, photos.

KOREAS-HACKING ATTACK — South Korea says it’s responding to a hacking attack that stole the names and addresses of nearly 1,000 North Korean defectors who resettled in the South. SENT: 190 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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ELVIS PRESLEY-COMEBACK SPECIAL — This month marks 50 years since NBC aired what is known as Elvis Presley’s “Comeback Special.” The Associated Press spoke with people associated with the original show. NBC plans to air a tribute to the program in February. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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YE--GAMES OF THE YEAR — From the college football championship to the women’s Olympic gold medal game to an 18-inning marathon at the World Series, this was a year when some of the most memorable contests required working overtime. By National Writer Paul Newberry. SENT: 1,150 words, photos. WITH: YE--SPORTS DEATHS — Sports mourns loss of touchstones from 1960s: Stan Mikita, Jim Taylor, Willie McCovey. SENT: 1,800 words.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Ron DePasquale can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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