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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

December 29, 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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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — President Donald Trump and Democrats are trading blame for the partial government shutdown but doing little substantive talking with each other as the disruption in federal services and public employees’ pay slogs into another weekend. EPA joins the list of agencies idling workers. By Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 790 words, photos, video.

CHILD DEAD-BORDER — Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visit the Texas border city where an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy was detained with his father before dying in government custody. Felipe Gomez Alonzo was the second Guatemalan child to die in government custody in three weeks. SENT: 400 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Wall Street caps a week of volatile trading with an uneven finish and the market’s first weekly gain since November. Losses in technology, energy and industrial stocks outweigh gains in retailers and other consumer-focused companies. By AP Business Writer Alex Veiga. SENT: 670 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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COAL PLANTS-MERCURY — The Trump administration targets an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not be worth the cost of the regulation. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 600 words.

SUPREME COURT-AVOIDING CONTROVERSY — The Supreme Court begins its term with the tumultuous confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, followed by a studied avoidance of drama on the high court bench — especially anything that would divide the five conservatives and four liberals. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 960 words, photos.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-FARM PAYMENTS — The end of 2018 seemed to signal good things to come for America’s farmers, but the government shutdown is getting in the way. Last week USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a second round of payments to farmers to help offset the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. But come next week, those payments could be suspended, leaving farmers in the lurch. SENT: 440 words.

MICHIGAN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signs a law making it harder for groups to put proposals on the Michigan ballot, imposing a geographical-based requirement that could prevent them from gathering signatures for petitions mainly from the most populated areas. SENT: 450 words, photo.

ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA — The dissolution of North Carolina’s elections board injects further uncertainty into a still-undecided congressional race as a U.S. House Democratic leader rejects the idea of filling the seat until an investigation of ballot fraud allegations is complete. SENT: 750 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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MUMIA ABU-JAMAL — A court ruling this week puts the police murder case of former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal back in the spotlight years after it drew the attention of Amnesty International, Hollywood celebrities and death penalty opponents worldwide.

SEVERE WEATHER — A powerful winter storm that brought blizzard warnings across the Upper Midwest is blamed for at least three fatal crashes while flash flooding from rains in the South sweep away cars and force dozens of water rescues. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CANADA-CHINA — Canada’s government says a Canadian teacher detained in China over a problem with her work permit has been released. SENT: 130 words.

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