BC-AP Top Stories Digest
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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VATICAN-US-SEX ABUSE — The key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors, evidence that the scandal that has convulsed the papacy is now part of the broader U.S. law enforcement investigation into sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church. SENT: 870 words, photo.
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — As the shutdown slipped into the record books as the longest ever, members of Congress were out of town, no negotiations were scheduled and President Donald Trump tweeted into the void. By Jonathan Lemire, Lisa Mascaro, Jill Colvin. SENT: 810 words, photos. WITH: BORDER WALL SPENDING — Past projects show border wall building is complex, costly. SENT: 825 words, photos.
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-PENCE — Undermining tweets. Conflicting messages. Dismissive statement. That’s been the last three weeks in the life of Mike Pence, the loyal soldier dispatched by President Donald Trump to lead negotiations over the partial government shutdown. By Jill Colvin, Lisa Mascaro and Laurie Kellman. UPCOMING: 980 words, photos by 3 p.m.
TRUMP-ATTORNEY GENERAL — When William Barr was attorney general in the early 1990s, he was outspoken about some of America’s biggest problems — violent crime, drug addiction, teenage pregnancy. His rhetoric his own deep-seated beliefs and was typical for a conservative Republican at a time when family values and tough-on-crime stances defined the party. Now, as President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Barr is poised to return to the same job in a dramatically different Washington. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 870 words, photos.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-STATES — Riding the momentum from November’s elections, Democratic leaders in the states are wasting no time delivering on their biggest campaign promise — to expand access to health care and make it more affordable. The first full week of state legislative sessions and swearings-in for governors saw a flurry of proposals. By Sally Ho And Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
FRANCE-EXPLOSION — A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak blew apart a Paris bakery and devastated the street it was on, killing three people and injuring dozens as it blasted out windows and overturned nearby cars, French authorities said. Witnesses described the sound of the explosion as deafening. Firefighters pulled injured victims out from broken windows and evacuated residents and tourists as a fire raged and smoke billowed over Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris. SENT: 650 words, photos.
ZIMBABWE-COLLAPSED HEALTH SYSTEM — A doctors’ strike in Zimbabwe has crippled a health system that was already in intensive care from neglect. It mirrors the state of affairs in a country that was full of promise a year ago with the departure of longtime leader Robert Mugabe but now faces economic collapse. Doctors describe grim conditions: Bare-handed surgeries. Plastic bread bags used to collect patients’ urine. Broken-down machines. Zimbabwe’s health sector, once considered one of the best in Africa, is on its knees. By Farai Mutsaka. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.
MORE ON GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
SOFTENING THE SHUTDOWN — If you’re a sportsman looking to hunt game, a gas company planning to drill offshore or a taxpayer awaiting your tax refund, you’re in luck because the government shutdown won’t affect those plans. In the selective reopening of offices, experts see a willingness to cut corners, scrap prior plans and wade into legally dubious territory to mitigate the pain. By Juliet Linderman. SENT: 1,080 words, photos. WITH: Shutdown-Today’s Briefing — Closure now longest ever, no end in sight. SENT: 490 words, photos.
GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-NATIVE AMERICANS — Fallout from the federal government shutdown is hurting Native Americans as dwindling funds hamper access to health care and other services. The pain is especially deep in tribal communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment, where one person often supports an extended family. The effects were being felt far and wide. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
ELECTION 2020-JULIAN CASTRO — Assailing President Trump for “a crisis of leadership,” former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro joins the 2020 presidential race as the rush of Democrats making early moves to challenge the incumbent accelerates. With anticipation growing around bigger names still considering a White House run, Castro could end up being the only Latino in what is shaping up to be a crowded Democratic field. SENT: 750 words, photos.
FACT CHECK-WEEK — Never mind the chants, the roars, the repetition. President Donald Trump acknowledged this past week he didn’t mean it when he told crowds over and over that Mexico would pay — actually pay — for the wall. A look at Trump’s wall-to-wall rhetoric on the wall, in a week when thousands of federal workers missed their first paycheck from the partial shutdown and the president weighed the option of declaring a national emergency at the border. By Calvin Woodward and Hope Yen. SENT: 2,000 words, photo. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd
TWO DEAD-CHILD MISSING — The grandfather of a northwestern Wisconsin girl whom authorities say was abducted during a home invasion that left her parents dead said that the family has no connection to the suspect and doesn’t understand why he targeted her, deepening a mystery that has captivated the state for months. Someone blasted open the door of James and Denise Closs’ home near Barron with a shotgun in October, gunned the couple down and made off with their 13-year-old daughter, Jayme Closs. SENT: 890 words, photos.
INTERACTIVE HOLOCAUST TESTIMONIES — Max Glauben was 17 and had already lost his mother, father and brother at the hands of the Nazis when U.S. troops rescued him while he was on a death march from one German concentration camp to another. The recollections of the Dallas resident who as a Jew in Poland survived the Warsaw Ghetto and Nazi concentration camps are now being preserved in a way that will allow generations to come to ask his image questions. Glauben, who turns 91 on Monday, is the latest Holocaust survivor recorded in such a way by the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SAUDI-RUNAWAY WOMAN — An 18-year-old Saudi runaway who said she was abused and feared death if deported back home arrived in Canada Saturday arm-in-arm with the country’s foreign minister. Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun smiled broadly as she exited an arrival door at Toronto’s airport sporting a Canada zipper hoodie, capping a dramatic week that saw her flee her family while visiting Kuwait and before flying to Bangkok, where she barricaded herself in an airport hotel to avoid deportation. SENT: 875 words, photos.
CONGO-ELECTION — Congo’s presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has asked the constitutional court to order a recount in the disputed election, declaring that “you can’t manufacture results behind closed doors.” He could be risking more than the court’s refusal. Congo’s electoral commission president Corneille Nangaa has said there are only two options: The official results are accepted or the vote is annulled — which would keep President Joseph Kabila in power until another election. The Dec. 30 one came after two years of delays. SENT: 790 words, photos.
MUSIC-SONGWRITERS HALL — Missy Elliott is making history as the first female rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, whose 2019 class also includes legendary British singer Cat Stevens and country-folk icon John Prine. Other inductees include Tom T. Hall, who Johnny Cash called his “all-time favorite songwriter”; Jack Tempchin, who co-wrote songs for the Eagles and Glenn Frey’s solo albums; and Dallas Austin, the songwriter behind radio hits for TLC, Monica, Pink, Boyz II Men, Madonna and more. SENT: 300 words, photos.
FBN--COLTS-CHIEFS — The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game or reached the AFC title game since the 1993 season. They’ll try to end both droughts when they face Andrew Luck and the surging Indianapolis Colts, a team responsible for much of Kansas City’s postseason anguish. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 4:30 p.m.
FBN--COWBOYS-RAMS — Dak Prescott and the Cowboys attempt to reach their first NFC championship game in 23 years when they visit Jared Goff and the Rams, who haven’t won a playoff game in 14 years. Dallas rolled into the divisional playoff round by beating Seattle while Los Angeles had a bye. By Greg Beacham. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos. Game starts 8:15 p.m.