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BC-AP News Digest 5:30 am

December 24, 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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INDONESIA TSUNAMI — Doctors are working to help survivors and rescuers are looking for more victims from a deadly tsunami that killed at least 222 people as it smashed into beachside buildings without warning in the darkness along an Indonesian strait. By Niniek Karmini. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL — Both sides in the long-running fight over funding President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall appear to have moved toward each other, but a shutdown of one-fourth of the federal government entered Christmas without a clear resolution in sight. By Darlene Superville. SENT: 890 words, photos.

TRUMP-PENTAGON — The sooner-than-expected departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shifts the focus to President Donald Trump’s appointment of an acting Pentagon chief and plans for a permanent replacement. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 940 words, photos.

YEMEN-HIDDEN KILLERS — While Yemen Houthi rebels’ use of Scud and other retrofitted ballistic missiles has drawn attention for striking deep inside Saudi Arabia, their reportedly widespread use of mines represents a risk for generations to come in the Arab world’s poorest country. By Jon Gambrell and Malak Harb. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video by 4 a.m. This story is this week’s Tuesday Spotlight.

JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN-LEGAL SYSTEM — The arrest of Nissan’s former chairman draws attention to the criminal justice system in Japan, where there is no presumption of innocence and accused people can be held for months before trial. By AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 920 words, photos. WITH: JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN — A Japanese court has approved prosecutors’ request to keep Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn in detention for another 10 days. SENT: 500 words, photos.

MIGRANT CARAVAN-THE ESCORTS — An activist group that helped escort thousands of Central Americans to the U.S. border is under fire from former allies and some of the migrants. Critics say Pueblo Sin Fronteras downplayed the dangers of such treks, especially for families and small children, and misled the participants about how long they would have to wait on the Mexican side to apply for asylum. By Elliot Spagat and Julie Watson. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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GINSBURG — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up and working as she recuperates from cancer surgery, Supreme Court spokeswoman says. SENT: 110 words, photo.

TREASURY-BANK CEOS — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the CEOs of six major banks in an apparent attempt to reassure jittery financial markets coming off a turbulent week. SENT: 250 words, photo.

NORAD TRACKS SANTA — Santa tracker will still run despite government shutdown. SENT: 710 words, photos.

ITALY-POMPEII-HORSE — Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a harnessed horse at the stable of an ancient villa on the outskirts of Pompeii. SENT: 130 words, photos.

CAR CRASH-CHURCH — A car smashes through a church wall in Ohio during Sunday morning services, injuring six people and shattering stained glass. SENT: 130 words, photos.

CRUISE SHIP RESCUES FISHERMEN — A cruise ship rescues two Costa Rican fishermen stranded at sea for about three weeks. SENT: 110 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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FACT-CHECK WEEK — Has the Islamic State group been defeated or is it still a fighting force? President Donald Trump had it both ways over the course of several days. SENT: 1,980 words, photos.

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS — Newly released affidavits allege absentee ballots were collected from North Carolina voters by the man at the center of vote fraud allegations or those working for him. SENT: 450 words, photo.

SOMEWHAT TRUMP — A small, but significant slice of the American electorate may hold the key to President Donald Trump’s political future. Call them the Trump reluctant — a group that represents roughly 2 in 10 voters who only “somewhat” approve of the Republican president’s job performance. That’s according to VoteCast, The Associated Press’ nationwide survey from the recent midterm electorate. By Steve Peoples, Hannah Fingerhut and Corey Williams. SENT: 1,250 words, photos, graphic.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CHILD DEAD-US BORDER PATROL — The body of a 7-year-old girl who died while in custody of the U.S. Border Patrol arrives in her native Guatemala to be handed over to family members for a last goodbye. A white coffin containing Jakelin Caal was received in the afternoon at Guatemala City’s international airport by representatives of the country’s Foreign Ministry. By Sonny Figueroa. SENT: 440 words, photos.

LEBANON-SYRIAN REFUGEES — Syria’s war is winding down, but only a small fraction of refugees are willing to return despite the hardships they face in host countries. Some say their homes were destroyed, while others fear they won’t find jobs or education for their children. Of the 1.2 million Syrians who have fled to neighboring Lebanon since 2011, just 114,000 at most have returned despite a Russian initiative to encourage repatriation. SENT: 850 words, photos.

BRITAIN-GATWICK AIRPORT-DRONES — London’s Gatwick Airport was operating without problems Sunday, but the fugitive drone operators who brought incoming and outgoing flights to a standstill over multiple days remained at large — and a potential threat — after police cleared two local residents who were arrested as suspects. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 630 words, photos.

SYRIA — Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, a war monitor said as Turkish media reported new reinforcements crossing the borders. SENT: 830 words, photos.

YEMEN — A U.N. team led by a Dutch officer has arrived at Hodeida to monitor a cease-fire that went into force in the Red Sea port city where Yemen’s civil war rivals been fighting for months, according to security officials and witnesses. SENT: 370 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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SCHOOL BUS-DRIVER SHORTAGE — School districts throughout the U.S. are struggling to find school bus drivers, a challenge that has worsened with low unemployment and a strong economy. SENT: 750 words, photos.

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BUSINESS

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YE--FINANCIAL MARKETS-2019 OUTLOOK — No matter which way the stock market goes in 2019 — and Wall Street has ample arguments for either direction — expect it to be another gut-wrenching ride. The market is facing a long list of challenges this upcoming year, from expectations for slower economic growth to rising interest rates to the global trade war. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-THE CANNABIS BUSINESS — 2018 has been called the ‘year for cannabis’ in South Africa. But there are still hurdles before a legal marijuana industry can flourish in an African economic power deemed ideal for large-scale cultivation. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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ITALY-TINTORETTO’S BIRTHDAY — Venice celebrates the 500th anniversary of the birth of native son Tintoretto with a mega-exhibition that travels soon to Washington, D.C. After a hit run at the lagoon city’s Doge’s Palace, many of his most famous paintings and drawings will go on display at the National Gallery of Art in March. SENT: 870 words, photos.

FILM-BOX OFFICE — “Aquaman” swims ahead of “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Bumblebee” to lead the busy pre-Christmas weekend with an estimated $67.4 million over the weekend. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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FBN--STEELERS-SAINTS — Drew Brees caps a 326-yard passing performance with 2-yard touchdown to Michael Thomas with 1:25 left, and the New Orleans Saints clinch the top seed in the NFC playoffs with a 31-28 victory over Pittsburgh that dealt a significant blow to the Steelers’ playoff hopes. SENT: 550 words, photos.

YE--ME TOO SPORTS — The powerful victim’s impact statements delivered by dozens of women sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University team doctor Larry Nassar did more than provide a much-needed release. It signaled a sea change in the #MeToo movement in sports, one that could have a ripple effect for years to come. By Will Graves. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Sarah DiLorenzo 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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