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BC-AP News Digest 2:20 pm

February 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 .




VIRGINIA POLITICS-BLACKFACE _ Calls are mounting for Virginia’s lieutenant governor to resign, at the tail end of an astonishing week that saw the state’s top three elected officials — all Democrats — embroiled in potentially career-ending scandals fraught with questions of race, sex, and power. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. With VIRGINIA POLITICS-BLACK VOTERS _ Black voters in Virginia feel a deep sense of betrayal over two top state leaders admitting they wore blackface and a third accused of sexual assault. They have been left with a less-than-ideal set of choices not even two years after helping Ralph Northam get elected governor in the aftermath of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville. By Errin Haines Whack. SENT: 1,200 words, photos. Eds: This story has moved as the Sunday Spotlight.

TRUMP-SEQUELS _ As President Donald Trump prepares to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for a second time, he’s out to replicate the suspenseful buildup, make-or-break stakes and far-flung rendezvous of their first encounter. Trump will soon learn if the sequel, on this matter and many others, can compete with the original. By Catherine Lucey and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 780 words, photos.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-RED FLAG LAWS _ In the year since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, more and more states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country. Supporters say these “red flag” laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 suicides and homicides by firearm each year in the U.S. Gun advocates, though, say such measures undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations. By Ryan J. Foley. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

TED BUNDY-DEADLY CHARM _ She kept her eyes on the dapper, wavy-haired man who smiled, winked and exuded self-confidence as the courtroom proceedings moved along. “I don’t know what it is he has, but he’s fascinating,” the teenage spectator explained to me at the time. “He’s impressive. He just has a kind of magnetism.” It was that beguiling magnetism that investigators said helped make the object of her interest _ Ted Bundy _ one of the nation’s most prolific serial killers, with at least 30 women and girls’ deaths linked to him in the late 1970s. By Dan Sewell. SENT: 1,165 words, photos. WITH: AP WAS THERE-TED BUNDY (sent).

ELECTION 2020-ELIZABETH WARREN _ Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren charges into the 2020 Democratic presidential race with sharp words against economic inequality, decrying a “middle-class squeeze” that has left Americans crunched with “too little accountability for the rich, too little opportunity for everyone else.” She and her backers hope that message can distinguish her in a crowded field and help her move past the controversy surrounding her past claims to Native American heritage. By Elana Schor. SENT: 810 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words by 4 p.m.

AN AMERICAN WEEK-ANALYSIS _ Anyone hungry for a pinpoint glimpse of early 21st-century America _ a slice to slide under a microscope and reveal things that hide in plain sight _ need only consider the first week of February in 2019. As always these days, there was politics _ bleeding over into most everything and pushing us down uncertain roads. But here’s what you got, too: race and racism, sex and sexual assault, polarization and dark technology and climate change, capitalism and socialism and _ perhaps most American of all _ tabloid sensationalism. By Ted Anthony. SENT: 875 words, photos.




BRITAIN-PRINCE PHILIP _ Buckingham Palace says 97-year-old Prince Philip has decided to stop driving, less than a month after he was involved in a collision that left two women injured. SENT: 130 words.

DOG SHOW _ Whiskey the whippet is on the go and will give it a shot to be America’s top dog at Westminster. SENT: 600 words, photos.

WARNER WOLF ARRESTED _ Sportscaster Warner Wolf, 81, faces a felony charge after police say he damaged a sign outside his Florida community because it included the word “Plantation,” which he considers racist. SENT: 150 words.

BRITAIN-RAPPER KILLED _ U.K. hip-hop stars pay tribute to rising rapper Cadet, who was killed in a car accident on the way to a performance in England. SENT: 200 words.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? _ Police say a woman who couldn’t get a beef patty at a favorite New York eatery smashed the restaurant’s windows with a baseball bat in protest. SENT: 110 words.

MIDDLE SCHOOL-STRIP SEARCHES _ A civil rights group representing parents of girls who claim they were strip searched for drugs in school demands a public apology and other measures from an upstate NY school district. SENT: 200 words.

DRUG DEATHS-OHIO _ Coroners in two of Ohio’s largest counties have issued drug abuse warnings following the reappearance of an opioid so powerful it’s sometimes used to sedate elephants. SENT: 200 words.




PELOSI THE PRAGMATIST _ Republicans have vilified Nancy Pelosi for years as a San Francisco liberal, and now they’re trying to portray her as a captive of resurgent left-wingers, but in her early moves as House speaker, Pelosi is displaying her pragmatic streak. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 870 words, photos.

CONGRESS-CLIMATE PANEL _ House Democrats are confident a special committee they have set up on climate change can lead to “bold action.” But before the committee can get to work, it first needs to find office space, hire staff and await Republican members. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 730 words, photos.

FACT CHECK-WEEK _In President Trump’s estimation, the good times began to roll for the country on the night he was elected, so he doesn’t hesitate to claim progress from the twilight of the Obama era as his own. By Calvin Woodward, Hope Yen and Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 3,900 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd




WINTER WEATHER _ Residents of the Northwest are dealing with a heavy snowfall, and meteorologists say more is likely on the way. SENT: 700 words, photos.

LAS VEGAS SHOOTING-EMERGENCY RESPONSE _ A Las Vegas-area fire chief who warned lawmakers months before a 2017 mass shooting at a music festival that Nevada should bolster its emergency management planning says he wants to bypass state lawmakers to get changes made. Six months before the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that killed 58 and left hundreds injured, Clark County Fire Department Chief Greg Cassell testified before state legislators in favor of a bill that would have required more coordination of emergency medical resources ahead of such a large event. SENT: 700 words, photos.

MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION _ In a scenario playing out in more and more classrooms around the world, a Dallas teenager recently asked her classmate if anything was wrong, noting that she hadn’t been acting like herself. The brusque reply: “Just leave me alone.” The ninth-graders at the Uplift Hampton Preparatory school were role-playing as part of a program that aims to teach teens how to spot the signs of depression in themselves and others. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Americans ages 10 to 18, according to government health statistics, and experts hope the lessons will get help to depressed teens more quickly. SENT: 800 words, photos.




PAKISTAN-BLASPHEMY _ A Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan has been transferred from a secret location near the capital to another in Karachi, but is still unable to leave the country to join her daughters in Canada, a friend said. Aman Ullah, who spoke to Aasia Bibi by telephone Friday, said the 54-year-old Bibi is being held in a room in the southern port city. He said Bibi, who faces death threats by radical Islamists, is frustrated and frightened, uncertain of when she will be able to leave Pakistan. SENT: 600 words, photo.

SYRIA _ U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces said they have launched a final push to defeat the Islamic State group in the last tiny pocket the extremists hold in eastern Syria. Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted that the offensive began after more than 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the IS-held area in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. An SDF statement said the offensive was focused on the village of Baghouz. SENT: 550 words.

BRAZIL SOCCER TEAM-FIRE _ A day after a fire at a large training facility of a top Brazilian soccer club left 10 teenagers dead, questions mount about whether negligence and cutting corners put the young players at risk. Rio de Janeiro officials say the area that burned at Flamengo’s complex was licensed to be a parking lot, not a dormitory. SENT: 500 words, photos. WITH: SOC-SOCCER TEAM-FIRE-SHATTERED DREAMS _ Youth academies from teams like Flamengo, where a fire destroyed a dorm and killed 10, offer Brazilian youngsters a chance to become the next big soccer star. SENT: 880 words, photos.

FRANCE-PROTESTS _ A French yellow vest protester’s hand was ripped apart during violent clashes in Paris as demonstrators tried to storm the French National Assembly in a 13th consecutive week of unrest. SENT: 400 words, photos, video.

TURKEY-BUILDING COLLAPSE _ Turkish officials blamed illegal construction practices for the collapse of an apartment building in Istanbul as they joined hundreds of mourners at a funeral for nine members of one family killed in the disaster. As the overall death toll rose to 18, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there were “many lessons to learn” from the tragedy. SENT: 400 words, photos.

VENEZUELA-BATTLE FOR CITGO-Q&A _ A look at how Houston refiner Citgo has become a valuable chess piece in Venezuela’s power struggle. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.




OSCARS-BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY-BRYAN SINGER _ Director Bryan Singer hasn’t been involved with the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” for over a year, but with a fresh exposé alleging that he sexually assaulted minors and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts “suspending” his nomination, will he be the film’s Oscars Achilles heel? SENT: 800 words, photos.

GRAMMYWATCH-DOLLY PARTON _ Nobody pokes more fun at Dolly Parton _ all hair, sequins, nine-inch nails and five-inch stilettos _ than the country superstar herself. Parton was celebrated for her musical achievements and philanthropic work as MusiCares Person of the Year. SENT: 730 words, photos.




SKI--WORLDS-VONN’S LAST RACE _ Do not expect Lindsey Vonn to take it easy in her last race. Entering Sunday’s downhill at the world championships, Vonn is banged up from a crash _ a black eye and a sore rib to go with her persistent knee pain as retirement nears. “I’m just going to go full throttle,” she says. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.

BKC--T25-DUKE-VIRGINIA _ No. 2 Duke goes for a regular-season sweep of No. 3 Virginia in a showdown between ACC co-leaders. The Blue Devils will have point guard Tre Jones, who missed his team’s victory last month because of a shoulder injury. By Hank Kurz Jr. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 6 p.m.




At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Donald E. King (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (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.

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