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BC-AP News Digest 5:30 am

February 3, 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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GOVERNOR-KLAN-BLACKFACE _ Resisting widespread calls for his resignation, Virginia’s embattled governor pledges to remain in office after disavowing a blatantly racist photograph that appeared under his name in his 1984 medical school yearbook. In a tumultuous 24 hours, Gov. Ralph Northam on Friday apologized for appearing in a photograph that featured what appeared to be a man in blackface and a second person cloaked in Ku Klux Klan garb. In a video posted on Twitter, he said he could not “undo the harm my behavior caused then and today.” By Alan Suderman. SENT: 990 words, photos, videos. With TRUMP-VIRGINIA GOVERNOR _ Trump ties racist photo in Virginia to abortion, election; GOVERNOR-KLAN-BLACKFACE-THE LATEST

EMIRATES-POPE _ Pope Francis is seeking to turn a page in Christian-Muslim relations while also ministering to a unique, thriving island of Catholicism as he embarks on the first-ever papal trip to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam. Francis is building on two of his priorities with his visit to the United Arab Emirates _ promoting interfaith dialogue and visiting the Catholic peripheries. But diplomatic protocol will likely dictate that he leaves other concerns behind. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.

EL SALVADOR-ELECTION _ Salvadorans will choose from among a handful of presidential candidates all promising to end corruption, stamp out gang violence and create more jobs with the front-runner hoping to end three decades of two-party rule in the country. Top of the agenda is public safety: roughly 67,000 Salvadorans belong to gangs that terrorize their communities via extortion, murder and other forms of violence. The candidates have touched on ways to generate economic opportunities and restore social values to dissuade Salvadorans from engaging in criminal behavior. By Marcos Aleman. SENT: 390 words, photos.

EL CHAPO-PROSECUTION _ The trial of alleged drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman highlights how pervasive corruption in Mexico complicates U.S. law enforcement’s fight against the cartels. Jurors begin deliberating Monday after months of testimony during which former Guzman associates spoke of multimillion-dollar bribes paid to top Mexican officials. The testimony underscores the challenges U.S. authorities face when working with Mexican partners_ and the measures they took to ensure this case wasn’t compromised. By Jim Mustian and Tom Hays. UPCOMING: 950 words by 11 a.m., photos.

IMMIGRATION-SEPARATING FAMILIES _ The Trump administration says it would require extraordinary effort to reunite what may be thousands of migrant children who have been separated from their parents and, even if it could, the children would likely be emotionally harmed. Jonathan White, who leads the Health and Human Services Department’s efforts to reunite migrant children with their parents, said removing children from “sponsor” homes to rejoin their parents “would present grave child welfare concerns.” He said the government should focus on reuniting children currently in its custody, not those who have already been released to sponsors. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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TRUMP-RONNY JACKSON _ Trump names former doctor as assistant and medical adviser. SENT: 140 words.

SUPER BOWL-PETER BERG _ Berg: Directing NFL 100th season commercial was “emotional.” SENT: 350 words, photo.

RUSSIA-BUS CRASH _ Bus crash in Russia kills seven, including four children. SENT: 110 words.

INDIA-TRAIN DERAILS _ Train derails in eastern India, killing seven people. SENT: 180 words, photos.

BUS CRASH-WEST VIRGINIA _ Officials say all 14 cleared after West Virginia bus crash. SENT: 130 words.

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NATIONAL

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CALIFORNIA STORMS _ The second in a string of powerful storms batters California, shutting key highways after water and mud rushed into lanes from bare hillsides in wildfire burn areas where thousands of residents were under evacuation orders. SENT: 830 words, photos. With CALIFORNIA STORMS-THE LATEST.

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INTERNATIONAL

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AUSTRALIA-ASYLUM SEEKERS _ Australia announces that the last child refugees held on the Pacific atoll of Nauru will soon be sent to the United States, ending the banishment of children under the government’s harsh asylum-seeker policy. SENT: 680 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-AIRPORT EVACUATED _ A man who falsely claimed to have a bomb and menaced a woman with a knife forced the evacuation of Brisbane International Airport for more than two hours in an emergency that police described as elaborate and terrifying. SENT: 530 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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FACT CHECK-WEEK _ Trump claims great progress in building a border wall that hasn’t grown a mile. SENT: 1,520 words, photo, video. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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SPORTS

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SUPER BOWL PREVIEW _ The New England Patriots are seeking their record-tying sixth Lombardi Trophy against the Los Angeles Rams. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner. SENT: 970 words, photos. With NFL HONORS _ Chiefs QB Mahomes honored as MVP and top offensive player.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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JUSSIE SMOLLETT-CONCERT _ “Empire” actor and R&B singer Jussie Smollett was blunt, emotional and defiantly determined at a Southern California concert, saying he had to go on because he refused to let his attackers win. By Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton. SENT: 740 words, photos.

SUPER BOWL-BRUNO MARS-CARDI B _ Bruno Mars may have wrapped up his massive “24K Magic World Tour” last year, but the singer gave one more glimpse into his stellar show the night before the Super Bowl. By Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 360 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva and Leon Drouin-Keith can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Shuji Kajiyama and Jenny Kane (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.

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