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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

December 18, 2018

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT.

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ONLY ON AP

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LIFE EXPECTANCY-THE WAY DOWN — If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, there’s one state that offers clues about what’s happening: West Virginia. Public health problems such as drug overdoses, suicides and obesity became widespread in the state before the rest of the country. There are some signs of hope, but health problems abound. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT: 2,300 words, photos. With LIFE EXPECTANCY-NEIGHBORHOODS — AP analysis: Unemployment, income affect life expectancy. SENT: 460 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — Michael Flynn will probably walk out of a courtroom Tuesday a free man due to his extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors, but the run-up to his sentencing hearing has exposed raw tensions over an FBI interview in which he lied about his Russian contacts. By Eric Tucker and Chad Day. SENT: 980 words, photo. UPCOMING: 1,100 words after 11 a.m. hearing.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-ECONOMY — The greatest threat to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid may not be the slew of investigations closing in on his Oval Office but a possible economic slowdown. And the president knows it. By Jonathan Lemire and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 920 words, photo.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL — The standoff over President Trump’s $5 billion wall funds deepens, threatening a partial government shutdown in a standoff that has become increasingly common in Washington. By Lisa Mascaro, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 740 words, photos.

IMMIGRATION ZERO TOLERANCE — Federal judges in California are putting the brakes on some of the administration’s efforts to curb immigration. Their decision in September to no longer accept pleas at initial appearances led to the dismissal of many cases. That’s because the government deported defendants before they could return to court. SENT: 900 words, photos.

CHINA-FORCED LABOR — Barbed wire and hundreds of cameras ring a massive compound of more than 30 dormitories, schools, warehouses and workshops in China’s far west. Dozens of armed officers and a growling Doberman stand guard outside. Behind locked gates, men and women are sewing sportswear that can end up on U.S. college campuses and sports teams. By Dake Kang, Yanan Wang and Martha Mendoza. SENT: 2,800 words, photos, video. Abridged version also available.

YE-MIDEAST — As the Middle East ushers in 2019, the decade’s ruinous conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq seem to be winding down. Yet the potential for unrest remains high, including in countries that escaped civil war after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Millions of young people in the region remain locked out of economic and political participation as authoritarian governments fail to tackle soaring youth unemployment and other deep-seated problems. By Karin Laub. SENT: 1,100 words, photos. With MIDEAST-YEAR IN PHOTOS.

CBS-MOONVES — Former CBS CEO Les Moonves won’t receive his $120 million severance package after the company’s board of directors determines he was fired “with cause” over sexual misconduct allegations. The board says it reached its decision after finding that Moonves failed to cooperate fully with investigators. By Alexandra Olson. SENT: 900 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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NUNCHUCK BAN — A federal court says New York’s ban on nunchucks, the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee but prohibited in the state since 1974, is unconstitutional. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON

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TRUMP-SPACE COMMAND — U.S. officials say President Trump is expected to sign an executive order soon creating a U.S. Space Command that will better organize and advance the military’s vast operations in space. By Zeke Miller and Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 410 words, photo. UPCOMING: 650 words after 10 a.m. event.

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NATIONAL

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MIGRANT CARAVAN — Several asylum seekers are waiting on a small patch of U.S. soil at a San Diego border crossing, demanding that their claims be processed immediately. SENT: 550 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CHINA-REFORM ANNIVERSARY — Chinese President Xi Jinping says the country will “never seek hegemony” even as it approaches the center of the world stage, in a speech marking China’s 40 years of reform. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FINANCIAL MARKETS — Asian markets fall as traders ready for Fed rate hike amid expectations of slower growth. Investors fear more monetary tightening would weigh on U.S. growth, and eventually, the global economy, that is already expected to slow in 2019 because of trade tensions. By Annabelle Liang. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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