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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

May 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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ONLY ON AP

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VENEZUELA US MILITARY OUTREACH — On at least two occasions since 2016, the U.S. government missed opportunities to cultivate relations with top military generals that National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed this week backed out last minute of a plan to topple President Nicolás Maduro. In 2017, a still young Trump administration rejected a visa request for the head of military intelligence so he could bring his 3-year-old son to Boston for brain surgery. Prior to that, the U.S. rebuffed a potential backchannel to the country’s defense minister — someone long viewed as a potential white knight — after those brokering an aide’s secret trip to Washington for a meeting with the Defense Intelligence Agency were outed on Venezuelan state TV. UPCOMING: 1,200 words, photos by 5 p.m.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-ECONOMY — The undeniable strength of the U.S. economy — shown anew Friday with remarkable employment figures — is giving Donald Trump a big advantage as the 2020 presidential campaign begins to intensify, no matter the continuing talk about scandal and Russia,. Democrats hoping to deny him a second term are beginning to acknowledge the historical weight of their challenge: Incumbent presidents don’t lose re-election in a thriving economy. By Steve Peoples and Chris Rugaber. UPCOMING: 890 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-BARR — Democrats have found a common enemy in Attorney General William Barr, with House lawmakers now poised to hold him in contempt of Congress unless they receive the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller. The intensifying clash has united Democrats and temporarily shifted attention away from the debate over whether to begin impeaching President Donald Trump, although the question impeachment question seems unlikely to subside for long. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 490 words, photo. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m., photo.

INDIA-CYCLONE FANI — Cyclone Fani tore through India’s eastern coast on Friday as a grade 5 storm, lashing beaches with rain and wind gusting up to 127 miles per hour and affecting weather as far away as Mount Everest. The India Meteorological Department said the “extremely severe” cyclone in the Bay of Bengal hit the coastal state of Odisha around 8 a.m., with weather impacted across the Asian subcontinent. By Emily Schmall. Sent: 850 words, photos.

SERVICE DOGS-REGULATION — Like all parents with autistic children, Glenn and Rachel Cummings were desperate to find ways to help their daughter, Sobie, navigate her world. They thought they’d found a solution when they purchased a service dog named Okami. But after Okami attacked one of their pet dogs, they learned just how little oversight there is in the service dog industry. Federal disability law limits local training and certification requirements. As a result, experts say it’s a buyer beware market. By National Writer Allen G. Breed. SENT: 1,960 words, photos. An abridged version of 875 words is also available.

RAC--KENTUCKY DERBY-PREVIEW — Rain is in the forecast for the Kentucky Derby, where Bob Baffert will saddle the top three choices in pursuit of a record-tying sixth victory. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-SPYING-NEWS GUIDE — President Donald Trump says the FBI unlawfully spying on his campaign. But surveillance is a common investigative technique and not inherently illegal. A look at what we know about the surveillance of Trump’s campaign. By Mike Balsamo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3:30 p.m., photo.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA — President Donald Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin speak for more than an hour about extending an existing nuclear arms agreement and potentially starting a new one to include China. The White House says the leaders also spoke about Venezuela, North Korea and - briefly --special counsel Robert Mueller’s just completed report on Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. By Deb Riechmann. SENT: 360 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN — Joe Biden will have his first chance this weekend to demonstrate whether he can attract the type of diverse coalition that twice sent Barack Obama to the White House. SENT: 880 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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HAWAII VOLCANO-ANNIVERSARY — A year after a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island rained lava and gases in one of its largest and most destructive eruptions in recorded history, people who lost their homes and farms in the disaster are still struggling to return to their cherished island lifestyle. More than 700 homes were destroyed in the historic eruption, and most people will never move back to their land. By Caleb Jones. SENT: 1,220 words, photos, video.

REDISTRICTING-OHIO — A federal court has ruled that Ohio’s congressional map is unconstitutional and has ordered a new one be drawn for the 2020 elections. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati ruled unanimously Friday that district boundaries were manipulated for partisan gain by Republican mapmakers and violate voters’ rights to democratically select their representatives. The ruling blocks Ohio from holding another election under the current map. SENT: 600 words, photo.

POLICE SHOOTING-CONNECTICUT — Videos released Friday show a Connecticut police officer’s fatal shooting last month of an 18-year-old man during an attempted traffic stop and chase, which sparked protests by the teen’s relatives and activists. Wethersfield officer Layau Eulizier is seen on police dashcam and business surveillance videos running in front of a car while it is stopped briefly during the April 20 chase on a busy four-lane road. Eulizier yells, “Show me your hands” several times and fires two shots through the front windshield when the teenager drives at him. SENT: 675 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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MOZAMBIQUE-CYCLONE-CHILDREN — Isabella Mussa has not set foot in a classroom or read a book for the past week. For the 13-year-old, displaced by a deadly cyclone in northern Mozambique, it feels like a lifetime. Yet she is called one of the lucky ones. More than 1 million children have been affected by a pair of cyclones that ripped into Mozambique in less than two months, the United Nations children’s agency says. Many of the children are without shelter or food. Some saw parents killed or disappeared. SENT: 630 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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TESLA-RAISING CAPITAL — Tesla is increasing the amount of money it will attempt to raise to as much as $2.7 billion and CEO Elon Musk more than doubled the amount of stock he would buy from $10 million, to $25 million. SENT: 775 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW-BOOKSMART — Actress Olivia Wilde makes her directorial debut with “Booksmart,” a high school comedy about two overachievers who decide to have one wild night, that is poised to be a big summer breakout. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

TONY WATCH-SARAH STILES — Actress Sarah Stiles puts a history of puppets onstage aside for a musical adaptation of the film “Tootsie” and earns her second Tony Award nomination. AP Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy. SENT: 700 words, photos and video.

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SPORTS

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ATH--SEMENYA RUNS — Caster Semenya easily wins the 800 meters at a Diamond League meet, her first race since losing a high-profile court case against track and field’s governing body. SENT: 200 words, photos, developing.