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BC-AP News Digest 7 am

March 9, 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 .




TRUMP BUDGET _ President Donald Trump will be making a significant request for border wall funds and seeking money to stand up Space Force as a new branch of the military in the White House budget being released next week. By Congressional Correspondent Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 500 words, photo.

MELANIA TRUMP _ As President Trump shows his eagerness for the coming 2020 re-election battle, less clear is the first lady’s fervor for participating in the effort. By Darlene Superville and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 1,120 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-JOE BIDEN _ Former Vice President Joe Biden is weighing at least one daunting challenge that could complicate his path to the Democratic presidential nomination: money. By Steve Peoples and Julie Pace. SENT: 990 words, photos. With ELECTION 2020-CAMPAIGN RDP _ Austin, Texas, hosts a slate of Democratic presidential contenders at the trendy and techie South by Southwest Festival. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 400 words after events begin at noon; updates throughout the day.

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-CHARGES _ A grand jury in Chicago indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on 16 felony counts related to making a false report that he was attacked by two men who shouted racial and homophobic slurs. By Don Babwin. SENT: 590 words, photos.

ISRAEL-ELECTIONS-ARABS _ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slumping in the polls and looking to galvanize his nationalistic base ahead of April elections. He has zoned in on Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi, portraying him as a threat to national security in a charged campaign that critics say questions the loyalty of the country’s Arab citizens. Using his own nickname, Netanyahu has taken to repeating a campaign mantra he says encapsulates the race: “Bibi or Tibi.” By Aron Heller. SENT: 990 words, photos.

FACEBOOK-SECURE MESSAGES _ Mark Zuckerberg’s new “privacy manifesto” is seen by many Facebook watchers as a clever PR justification for the planned merging of the instant-messaging services of WhatsApp, Instagram with its core Messenger app, which will give the social media behemoth more ways to profit off user behavior as it seeks to become “the operating system of our lives.” By Technology Writer Frank Bajak. SENT: 800 words, photos.




BREXIT _ The chairman of Britain’s Conservative Party is urging Parliament to back an unpopular withdrawal agreement as British and European Union officials seek a breakthrough to the Brexit impasse. SENT: 130 words, photo.

KILLED WHILE GIVING MONEY _ A man accused of killing his wife and blaming her death on a Baltimore panhandler had asked his brother to help “get rid” of her, police said in charging documents. SENT: 680 words, photo.

SMALL PLANE CRASH-FLORIDA _ Authorities say five people are dead after a small plane crashed in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. SENT: 110 words.

TEEN STABBING-TEXAS _ Police say a fight over a brownie has left a 14-year-old Houston boy dead of a stab wound to the eye and another 14-year-old boy on the run from authorities. SENT: 130 words.

ESTEBAN LOAIZA _ Former All-Star pitcher Esteban Loaiza, sentenced to 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal drug charges involving 44 pounds of cocaine. SENT: 130 words.

HELPFUL HOMELESS MAN _ A homeless man has pleaded guilty to a state charge in a GoFundMe scheme that prosecutors say netted $400,000 with a made-up story about him aiding a stranded driver. SENT: 270 words, photos. SENT: 270 words, photos.

TRUMP-BRAZIL _ President Donald Trump will welcome Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, to the White House later this month to discuss trade, defense cooperation and other issues. SENT: 120 words.

SPRING FORWARD _ Time to abide by the adage to spring forward, with the shift from standard to daylight saving time coming at 2 a.m. local time Sunday across most of the United States. SENT: 130 words, graphic.




TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS-WHO TO BELIEVE _ It’s a “he said, he said” where the “he” _ no matter who he is _ has a credibility problem. The latest White House legal drama _ whether or not President Trump’s former legal fixer asked him for a pardon _ has pulled back the curtain on a whole cast of characters whose comments can’t always be taken at face value. By Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 990 words, photos.

MEDICARE FOR ALL-LONG-TERM CARE _ Sen. Bernie Sanders is raising the stakes of the “Medicare for All” debate by expanding his proposal to include long-term care, a move that is forcing other Democratic presidential candidates to take a stand on addressing one of the biggest gaps in the U.S. health care system. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 930 words, photos.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-MANAFORT SENTENCE _ Social media erupted over Paul Manafort’s sentence in his tax and bank fraud case, which was much less than what was called for under sentencing guidelines. SENT: 950 words, photos. With TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FACT CHECK _ Trump puts words in the mouth of the judge who sentenced Manafort (sent).




IMMIGRATION-SEPARATING FAMILIES _ A federal judge who ordered that more than 2,700 children be reunited with their parents expanded his authority to potentially thousands more children who were separated at the border earlier during the Trump administration. By Elliot Spagat. SENT: 740 words, photos. With IMMIGRATION-LIBERIA _ Trump administration is sued over Liberian immigrant program (sent).

DOCTOR INDICTED _ A Kansas doctor was sentenced to life in prison for unlawfully prescribing medication blamed for an overdose death, the latest prosecution in a government crackdown on physicians amid an opioid epidemic. SENT: 560 words, photo.

GUN CONTROL -NEW MEXICO _ Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill to drastically expand mandatory background checks on firearms sales in New Mexico, as she shot down opposition against the measure and other proposed gun reforms as being part of a national “misinformation campaign.” SENT: 480 words.

ASH WEDNESDAY-CROSS-REMOVED _ A teacher in the predominantly Mormon state of Utah was placed on administrative leave after she forced a Catholic student to wash off the Ash Wednesday cross from his forehead. SENT: 470 words, photos.




GERMANY-FORBIDDEN CITY _ A military complex in eastern Germany known as the ‘forbidden city’ tells the country’s complicated military history from empire times via the Nazis to the Soviets’ reign during the Cold War. While the place south of Berlin is still off-limits to the public, visitors can book guided tours and roam the vacated officers’ complex and bunker system. SENT: 680 words, photos.

UNITED NATIONS-ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS _ An “overwhelming” number of U.N. Security Council members oppose Israel’s decision to deduct money that Palestinians transfer to the families of people killed, injured or imprisoned for attacks on Israel from their monthly tax revenue, Kuwait’s U.N. ambassador says. SENT: 430 words.

INDIA-PAKISTAN _ India demanded Pakistan take concrete steps against terrorists operating from its territory, while at the same time returning its top diplomat to Islamabad amid an easing of tensions between the nuclear rivals. SENT: 450 words.

NIGERIA-ELECTION _ Nigerians went to the polls to choose governors in 29 of 36 states in Africa’s largest democracy amid reports of heavy military deployment and attacks against electoral facilities in a few areas. SENT: 360 words.

JAPAN-OLDEST PERSON _ A 116-year-old Japanese woman who loves playing the board game Othello was honored Saturday as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records. SENT: 260 words, photos.




FEDERAL RESERVE-POWELL _ Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the healthy U.S. economy and low inflation are allowing the central bank to take a “patient, wait-and-see approach” on interest rates. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 500 words.

FAA-SOUTHWEST AIRLINES _ The Federal Aviation Administration warns Southwest Airlines and its mechanics union that their bitter fight could hurt the airline’s safety program. By Airlines Writer David Koenig. SENT: 520 words, photo.




GENETICALLY MODIFIED SALMON _ U.S. regulators gave the green light to salmon genetically modified to grow about twice as fast as normal, but the company behind it may face legal challenges before the fish can be sold domestically. By Food & Health Writer Candice Choi. SENT: 600 words, photos.

FDA-BREAST CANCER DRUG _ The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first immunotherapy drug for breast cancer. Swiss drugmaker Roche’s Tecentriq was OK’d for treating advanced triple-negative breast cancer, which accounts for about 15 percent of cases. It’s to be given with chemotherapy, the standard treatment. By Medical Writer Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 130 words, photo.




NCAA ATHLETES COMPENSATION _ A judge ruled against the NCAA in a federal antitrust lawsuit, saying football and basketball players should be permitted to receive more compensation from schools but only if the benefits are tied to education. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 580 words, photo.

GLF--REMEMBERING JENKINS _ Dan Jenkins only wanted to be a sports writer, even if that meant turning down the best player he ever saw. Jenkins spent seven decades reshaping American sports writing and creating what the Golf Digest editor calls the modern language of golf. By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Richard Somma 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(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.