AP NEWS
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BC-AP News Digest 3 am

March 1, 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-KIM-SUMMIT-DISPUTED DEAL BREAKER _ President Donald Trump said he walked away from his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Kim demanded the U.S. lift all of its sanctions, a claim that North Korea’s delegation called a rare news conference in the middle of the night to deny. So who’s telling the truth? In this case, it seems that the North Koreans are. And it’s a demand they have been pushing for weeks in lower-level talks. Trump’s meeting with Kim ended abruptly and without any agreements. By Eric Talmadge. SENT: 790 words, photos. With KOREAS-DIPLOMACY _ South Korean President Moon Jae-in says his government plans to discuss with the United States the possibility of restarting joint inter-Korean economic projects to induce nuclear disarmament from North Korea. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 955 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-INDIA _ Pakistan is preparing to hand over a captured Indian pilot as shelling continued for a third night across the disputed Kashmir border even as the neighbors seek to defuse the confrontation. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 850 words, photos. With PAKISTAN-INDIA-THE LATEST.

TRUMP-BORDER SECURITY _ Senate opponents of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border have moved very close to having enough votes to prevail, and one Republican suggests Trump risks a rebuff by the GOP-led chamber if he doesn’t change course. By Alan Fram and Andrew Taylor. SENT: 780 words, photo.

THE BLACK FRIEND _ When a congressman asked a black woman to come forward during a congressional hearing to refute the claim that President Trump is a racist, he immediately stirred up an issue that has been around for decades: People defending themselves against racism by pointing out that they have a black friend. By Terry Tang and Deepti Hajela. SENT: 870 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-EMBATTLED PRIEST _ Monsignor Hector Lunar, a beloved priest in one of Latin America’s largest slums, has come under attack by loyalists of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for using the pulpit to hold the embattled socialist leader accountable for suffering among his poor parishioners. The conflict underscores the critical role played by the Catholic Church as Venezuela’s political crisis crescendos. It also highlights divisions between local clergy and the Vatican on how best to confront Maduro. By Scott Smith. SETN: 1,170 words, photos.

MEXICO-LIFE AFTER THE CARAVAN-PHOTO GALLERY _ Milagro de Jesus Henriquez Ayala rubs her slightly protruding belly and giggles at her unborn son’s constant kicks. The 15-year-old Salvadoran girl is staying at a shelter in Tijuana with her 13-year-old sister, Xiomara — part of an untold number of Central American youths who traveled with a migrant caravan that crossed Mexico and landed in this crime-ridden city in November. SENT: 510 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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SECURITY CLEARANCE-KUSHNER _ The New York Times reports that President Donald Trump last year ordered officials to grant a top-secret security clearance to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. SENT: 365 words, photo.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-KEVIN SPACEY _ Attorneys for Kevin Spacey are seeking surveillance footage, text messages and other records they say they need to defend the disgraced actor against accusations that he groped a young Massachusetts man at a Nantucket bar in 2016. SENT: 150 words, photo.

NEW ORLEANS SHOOTINGS-POLICE _ Three of five people wounded recently when a criminal suspect opened fire on police in downtown New Orleans may have been hit by police returning fire. SENT: 260 words, photo.

BAYLOR-SEXUAL ASSAULT INVESTIGATION _ A Central Texas jury found a former Baylor University football player not guilty of raping another student in 2016. SENT: 370 words, photo.

TV-HBO-CEO EXITS _ HBO’s chief executive says he is exiting the cable channel, a decision that comes less than a year after AT&T acquired HBO’s parent company. SENT: 220 words, photo.

IMMIGRATION-TEMPORARY-STATUS _ Homeland Security officials have formally extended protections that allowed immigrants from four countries to live and work legally in the United States. SENT: 130 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-LAWYER INVESTIGATION-CONGRESS ¬_ After three days of grilling Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Democrats are quickly using his words as a roadmap to open new lines of investigation into the president’s ties to Russia and summon additional witnesses. By Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker and Laurie Kellerman. SENT: 950 words, photos, videos.

CONGRESS-GUN CONTROL _ In passing two bills to bolster background checks on firearms purchases, the House puts on a display of Democratic priorities that shows just how quickly the politics of gun control have turned. By Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 710 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN _ As he weighs launching another presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden is publicly highlighting his relationships with Republicans, a move that risks alienating Democratic primary voters. By Thomas Beaumont. SENT: 440 words, photos.

TRUMP-ISLAMIC STATE _ President Trump asserts that the Islamic State group has now lost 100 percent of the territory it once controlled in Syria _ a claim that does not comport with news reports from the region. By Robert Burns. SENT: 570 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SOLOMON ISLANDS-OIL SPILL _ Australian officials say an environmental disaster is unfolding in the Solomon Islands after a large ship ran aground and began leaking oil next to a UNESCO World Heritage site. By Nick Perry. SENT: 335 words, photo.

MEXICO-NATIONAL GUARD _ Mexico’s lower chamber of Congress has approved constitutional reforms that would allow the creation of a National Guard that the new government wants to lead the fight against rising crime. SENT: 410 words, photo.

VENEZUELA-GUAIDO’S RETURN _ Juan Guaido, the opposition chief who declared himself president of Venezuela, says he’s going home in coming days despite security concerns. His return is another looming flashpoint in his power struggle with Nicolas Maduro, the military-backed president targeted by U.S. oil sanctions aimed at forcing his ouster. SENT: 820 words, photos.

SOMALIA-BLAST _ Police say the death toll from a car bombing near a hotel in Somalia’s capital and ongoing clashes between security forces and gunmen has risen to 18. By Abdi Guled. Sent: 255 words, photos.

ICELAND-BEER DAY _ Icelanders are celebrating the end, three decades ago, of a sobering dry spell in their country’s history. On Friday, Iceland toasts the anniversary of the lifting of a decades-long ban on beer with _ what else? _ a nationwide Beer Day. By Egill Bjarnason. SENT: 585 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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TEXAS EXECUTION _ A Texas inmate was executed for the killings nearly 30 years ago of his estranged wife’s parents and her brother, who was a police officer. SENT: 860 words, photo.

IMMIGRATION-CHILD’S DEATH _ The mother of a migrant toddler who died shortly after being released from the nation’s largest family detention center sued the tiny Arizona city that for years was paid by the U.S. government to run the facility in name only. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-WET WINTER _ California is drenched and its mountains are piled high with snow amid a still-unfolding winter of storms that was unimaginable just a few months ago. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports Thursday that more than 87 percent of California is free of drought conditions or unusual dryness and just over 2 percent remains in the drought category. State water resources officials say the vital Sierra Nevada snowpack is now at 153 percent of average to date. SENT: 780 words, photos.

NEO-NAZI GROUP-BLACK LEADER _ One of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi groups appears to have an unlikely new leader: a black activist who has vowed to dismantle it. SENT: 670 words, photos.

DEEP SOUTH WEATHER _ The Tennessee Valley Authority says rivers in its vast network of waterways are starting to recede, but flood-stricken residents shouldn’t exhale just yet as officials continue to release water from dams amid forecasts of more rain. With DEEP SOUTH WEATHER-THE LATEST. SENT: 610 words, photos.

HAWAII-MARIJUANA _ On the political spectrum, Hawaii is among the bluest of states. But when it comes to legalizing marijuana, Hawaii is out of step with liberal stalwarts such as California and Vermont. A bill that would legalize marijuana in the islands faces significant obstacles from leaders worried about contradicting federal law and jeopardizing Hawaii’s existing medical marijuana program. It faces a Friday deadline to pass committee. By Audrey McAvoy. SENT: 760 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated Friday AM after verifying committees won’t hear marijuana legalization bill.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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SCIENCE SAYS-INFORMANTS _ While Michael Cohen’s testimony Wednesday is an unusual case, psychologists say people tend to believe informants because we have a “truth bias.” Psychologists say we don’t like to think people lie and we like remorse. Research shows that jurors sometimes even disregard their own biases when presented with the testimony of an informant. One psychologist who has studied jailhouse informants says Cohen came across as very credible, whether he is or not. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. SENT: 500 words, photo.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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TESLA-CHEAPER CAR _ Tesla will only sell its electric cars online as it accelerates its cost cutting so it can realize its long-running goal of selling a mass-market sedan for $35,000. By Business Writers Michael Liedtke and Tom Krisher. SENT: 644 words, photo.

GAP-SPLIT _ Gap is splitting into two companies _ low-priced Old Navy and a yet-to-be named firm, which will consist of the iconic Gap brand, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix and Hill City. By Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 570 words.

FEDERAL RESERVE-POWELL _ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the economy is in a “good place” with low inflation and maximum employment. But he says not every American has enjoyed the benefits of the long expansion. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 480 words, photo.

SHELDON ADELSON-HEALTH _ Casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson has cancer and has not been at his company’s offices in Las Vegas since around Christmas Day. Adelson’s poor health was revealed earlier this week by one of his company’s attorneys during a court hearing in a years-old case brought by a Hong Kong businessman. SENT: 400 words, photos.

YOUTUBE-SUSPENDS COMMENTS _ YouTube says it will turn off comments on nearly all videos featuring kids _ potentially affecting millions of posts on the site _ after reports last week that pedophiles were leaving inappropriate comments on innocuous videos of children. By Technology Writer Rachel Lerman. SENT: 370 words, photo.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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PEOPLE-YO-YO MA _ Yo-Yo Ma brought both music and a call for social change to Flint, Michigan. The famed cellist performed for more than 100 fans inside a gymnasium at Berston Field House during his visit to the city that is still feeling the effects of a lead-contaminated water crisis. By Mike Householder. SENT: 350 words.

MARDI GRAS-WALKING PARADES _ From a cute parade of costumed canines to some parades that are more satirical, political and risqué, New Orleans now boasts some 50 walking Carnival clubs that parade throughout the Mardi Gras season. That’s the most ever in the city’s long Carnival history, making Mardi Gras more colorful and diverse than ever before. By Stacey Plaisance. SENT: 560 words, photos, video.

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SPORTS

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PHILLIES-HARPER _ Bryce Harper is kind of a big deal in Philly. No, not just with his colossal contract — Harper and the Phillies agreed Thursday to a $330 million, 13-year deal that is the largest contract in baseball history. But as an attraction. Harper zipped to the top of the list as the city’s most popular athlete, adding a dash of star power while raising payroll, projections and prices to a franchise that has lagged in popularity in the shared sports complex behind Super Bowl champions, a Process and a mascot. By Dan Gelston. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

IDITAROD _ Alaska’s famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race kicks off this weekend. In December, race organizers cleared four-time winner Dallas Seavey of any wrongdoing in a 2017 dog-doping scandal. New members also have been appointed to the Iditarod’s governing board following musher discontent over perceived conflicts. But animal activists are turning up the heat over multiple dog deaths in the history of the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race, which spans mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River and dangerous sea ice along the Bering Sea coast, with village checkpoints staged across the trail. By Rachel D’Oro. SENT: 965 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Vincent Willis 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(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.