Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1530 GMT:

-- BUDGET BATTLE (sent; developing)

-- HEALTH OVERHAUL-PROBLEMS (sent; developing)

-- MANDELA INTERPRETER (sent; developing)


-- POLICE SEAT BELTS (upcoming)

-- FDA-ANTIBIOTICS (sent; developing)






VIDEO: PET HOSPICE (sent; with text)

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours (all times GMT):

MANDELA-INTERPRETER - A man who provided sign language interpretation on stage for Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake," the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa says. The scandal is another indication of bad organization of the historic memorial service at a huge soccer stadium. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing on a number of fronts; details TBD.

MANDELA MOURNING - Family members, government officials and world leaders are expected to file past the casket on the first day of viewing. SENT: 700 words, photos, videos, interactive.

MANDELA-GAY RIGHTS - Mandela helped South Africa become a pioneer in legislating against anti-gay discrimination. Yet activists wish there could have been bigger effects. UPCOMING: 1,100 words by 1800 GMT, photos.

UNITED STATES-SAFRICA-MANDELA - The US held him at arm's length, to put it diplomatically, for much of his life and career. SENT: 1,290 words, photo, video.

UKRAINE-PROTESTS - Police pulled back as protesters claimed victory after an overnight face-off in which authorities removed barricades and tents and scuffled with demonstrators occupying Kiev's main square. SENT: 1,080 words, photos..

TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR - Time magazine selected Pope Francis as its Person of the Year, saying he has changed the perception of the church in an extraordinary way in a short time. SENT: 330 words, photo.

BUDGET BATTLE - The bipartisan pact doesn't solve long-term tax and spending issues, leaving liberals and conservatives alike grumbling. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: Developing from lawmakers' news conferences, other developments throughout the day. 950 words by 4 p.m., photos.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-PROBLEMS - The new health insurance markets last month picked up the dismal pace of signups. Meanwhile, Sebelius faces another grilling on Capitol Hill. SENT: 890 words. DEVELOPING.

MIDEAST STORM - A blustery storm dropped torrential rain and snow on Lebanon on Wednesday, forcing aid agencies to scramble to distribute desperately needed winter supplies like blankets and plastic tarps to Syrian refugees who have sought safe haven in the country. SENT: 650 words, photos.

INDIA-HOMOSEXUALITY - India's Supreme Court strikes down a 2009 lower court decision to decriminalize homosexuality. SENT: 620 words, photos.

BANGLADESH-WAR CRIMES - The appeals division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court is reviewing a death sentence for one of the country's opposition leaders. SENT: 610 words, photos.

CHINA-PESTICIDE PROTEST - A dozen people protesting the demolition of their homes in central China drink pesticide in Beijing in a desperate bid for attention that underscores the failures of a decades-old petitioning system. SENT: 580 words, photos.

JAPAN-NATIONAL SECURITY - A near-final draft of a new Japanese national security strategy calls for a stronger military to deal with a rising China and other growing risks close to home. SENT: 560 words, photos.

MYANMAR-GHOST CAPITAL - The sprawling capital is growing and in the spotlight, but many still hope the seat of government reverts to Yangon. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

THAILAND-DEMOCRACY OR NOT - The enemy of the Democrat Party? It's democracy. SENT: 740 words, photos.

SAN FRANCISCO AIRLINER CRASH - The Asiana Airlines captain who crashed a Boeing 777 in July told investigators he was "very concerned" about attempting a visual approach because the runway's automatic warning systems were out of service due to construction, according to an investigative report released today. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: 650 words by 1700 GMT.

AP POLL-POLITICS - Americans hold Congress in strikingly low regard, and nearly two-thirds say they would like to see their House member replaced, a new Associated Press-Gfk poll finds. SENT: 980 words, photo.

MIRACLE RESCUE - He survived three days in an upended tugboat at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, but now the Nigerian faces nightmares and questions on whether he used black magic. SENT: 770 words, photos.


FDA-ANTIBIOTICS - The agency says it will ask pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop marketing drugs that are important for treating human infection for use in animal production. If the companies sign on, prescriptions would also be required to use the drugs. The FDA is hoping to limit antibiotic resistant diseases in humans by decreasing the use of the drugs in animals processed for meat. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

FEMALE SEX PILL - The 15-year search for a pill that boosts sexual desire in women has hit another roadblock, raising questions about the future of efforts to develop a female equivalent to Viagra. SENT: 800 words, photos.

GLOBAL MALARIA REPORT - Global efforts to curb malaria are stalling after a drop in funds to buy bed nets, according to the latest report from the World Health Organization. SENT.


WHAT IS COLOR? - Alan Alda, the actor-turned-part-time professor, has a new question for scientists to consider: How do you explain color to an 11-year-old? SENT: 330 words, photos.


SKOREA-GAME ADDICTION - A proposed law sparks vociferous debate by grouping popular online games such as "StarCraft" with gambling, drugs and alcohol as anti-social addictions the government should do more to stamp out. SENT: 710 words, photos.

DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-TABLETS FOR KIDS - Tablet computers geared toward kids are topping the Christmas lists of many children this year, including very young ones. UPCOMING: 900 words by noon, photos.


VOLCKER RULE-Q&A - About the rule designed to defuse the kind of extreme risk-taking on Wall Street that helped trigger the 2008 financial crisis. SENT: 850 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-GENERAL MOTORS - General Motors Co. says it will stop making cars and engines in Australia by the end of 2017. SENT: 640 words, photos.


CRAFTS-RAINBOW LOOM - In a market glutted with craft products marketed specifically to girls, Rainbow Loom is a rare gender-neutral craft kit, helping boys develop fine motor skills and longer attention spans while they create gifts to share with friends and family. SENT: 800 words, photos.

BOTCHED HOLIDAY SONGS - Milk and spiders? Nine lazy Hansons? Sleep in heavenly peas? It's that time of year: holiday music time. And with holiday music comes all the strange and twisted things we sometimes think we're hearing UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m., photos.


SAG NOMINATIONS - Nominees for the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild awards honoring outstanding film and TV performances of 2013 to be announced. SENT: 130 words by 1830 GMT; 600 words by noon, photos, video.

COMICS-DC'S WEEKLY - Nearly three years after its debut, DC Comics is pushing its New 52 five years into the future with writers Jeff Lemire, Keith Giffen, Brian Azzarello and Dan Jurgens to examine how heroes change with the passing of time and technology. SENT: 440 words, photos.