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BC-AP News Digest 2:10 pm

July 4, 2018

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. 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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TRUMP — President Donald Trump wished America a happy Fourth of July holiday Wednesday and reserved special praise for the “American heroes” whose sacrifice he said helped the nation win her independence 242 years ago. Trump tweeted a short video that included well wishes from him and first lady Melania Trump. The Trumps were hosting a White House picnic for military families later Wednesday, followed by a concert and viewing of the fireworks on the National Mall. By Darlene Superville. SENT: 230 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developments from 5:10 p.m. White House picnic, 800 words by 7 p.m.

THAILAND-CAVE SEARCH — Their skinny faces illuminated by a flashlight, the Thai soccer teammates stranded for nearly two weeks in a partly flooded cave said in a video released Wednesday that they were healthy, as heavy rains forecast for later this week threatened to complicate plans to safely extract the boys. By Tassanee Vejpongsa. SENT: 875 words, photos, video.

IMMIGRATION-SEPARATING FAMILIES — Attorneys for immigrant parents who have been split up from their children are calling attention to an overlooked effect of the separations. Some immigrants complain that they stumbled through their first asylum interviews when they were deeply distraught over the loss of their children. The interviews can have life-changing consequences because they are critical to establishing why families cannot return home safely. By Elliot Spagat and Emily Schmall. SENT: 1,035 words, photo.

JULY FOURTH — Americans are celebrating Independence Day with backyard barbecues, watching fireworks and participating in time-honored traditions. But the quintessential American holiday will also be marked by some with a sense of a United States divided, as evidenced by competing televised events in the nation’s capital. SENT: 855 words, photos.

MALAYSIA-POLITICS — Two months after a multibillion-dollar graft scandal at a state investment fund led to his stunning election defeat, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been charged with criminal breach of trust and corruption. Najib pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 735 words, photos. With: MALAYSIA-POLITICS-THE LATEST.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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HOT DOG CONTEST — Defending champion Joey Chestnut chomped down a record 74 franks and buns to take home his 11th title at the annual Nathan’s Famous July Fourth hot dog eating contest. Miki Sudo ate 37 dogs and buns to win the women’s competition. SENT: 315 words, photos, video.

BRITAIN-KEVIN SPACEY — British police are investigating six claims of sexual assault or assault by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, three more than previously disclosed. SENT: 290 words, photo.

MEXICO-PRESIDENT-ELECT — Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is promising that jobless youths, the elderly and Mexico’s business sector will be the biggest beneficiaries of his first year in office. SENT: 140 sent.

CHILE-VICTOR JARA — A Chilean judge has sentenced eight retired military officers to 18 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of folk singer Victor Jara and a government official at the start of the country’s military dictatorship. SENT: 350 words.

ARCHIE ILLUSTRATOR-STATUE TRIBUTE — The illustrator of the “Archie” comic strip, Bob Montana, is being honored with a life-size bronze statue of America’s perennial teenager in a New Hampshire town he called home. SENT: 705 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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VENEZUELA-US MILITARY INTERVENTION — A senior administration official says President Donald Trump repeatedly talked of military intervention in Venezuela last year, despite pushback from top aides. The account describes Trump suggesting a “military option” to remove President Nicolas Maduro from power in troubled Venezuela. Then national-security adviser H.R. McMaster and others warned Trump that military action could backfire. By Joshua Goodman. SENT: 1,075 words, photo.

TRUMP-SUPREME COURT — If President Donald Trump chooses federal appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, he might lose the vote of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. A person familiar with the conversations says Paul has told colleagues he may not vote for Kavanaugh, echoing concerns of outside conservative groups. With a 51-49 GOP majority in the Senate, a nominee could need the backing of nearly every Republican. The White House says Trump has spoken to seven potential nominees. By Catherine Lucey, Ken Thomas and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 1,060 words, photos, video.

SUPREME-COURT-KENNEDY-THE-RETIREE — For more than 30 years Justice Anthony Kennedy has lived by the Supreme Court’s predictable calendar: hearing new cases beginning on the first Monday in October, arguments starting at 10 a.m. and near-weekly conferences with colleagues until the court adjourns in June. Soon, he’ll have no fixed schedule. Kennedy, 81, hasn’t said what he’ll do with all his upcoming free time. The three most recent retirees from the court — John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor — each charted somewhat different paths. By Jessica Gresko. SENT: 795 words, photos.

RAND PAUL-ASSAULTED — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he still has trouble breathing since he was tackled in his yard eight months ago by a neighbor who was given a 30-day sentence — a punishment the Kentucky Republican thinks should have been harsher. Paul told his hometown newspaper that too often people “seem to think violence is the answer,” and one way to stop the trend is with punishments that fit the crimes. SENT: 420 words.

MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS: The Trump administration’s drive to wean poor people from government benefits by making them work has been slowed by a federal judge framing a fundamental question: Are poverty programs meant to show tough love or to help the needy? By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 790 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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RENEWABLE ENERGY MANDATE — Arizona’s largest utility is fiercely opposing a push to mandate increased use of renewable energy in the sun-drenched state, setting up a political fight over a measure funded by a California billionaire. Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona aims to ask voters whether they want the state Constitution to require half of Arizona’s electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2030. The group plans to file more than 225,000 signatures Thursday get the question on the November ballot. By Melissa Daniels. SENT: 835 words, photos.

ENDANGERED RESERVATION — he tribe that broke bread with the Pilgrims some 400 years ago is facing the prospect of losing a federal land designation. The Mashpee Wampanoag say an unfavorable decision from the Interior Department would effectively shut down some of its operations and mark the first time in decades a tribe has lost land held in trust by the U.S. By Philip Marcelo and Feliia Fonseca. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

POLICE SHOOTING-OFFICERS WOUNDED — Police fatally shot a suburban Chicago man early Wednesday after he opened fire on officers, wounding three, during an overnight standoff. Police say 52-year-old Frank Dripps immediately fired a shotgun at officers as they responded to a call of shots fired at the condominium building about 40 miles northwest of Chicago late Tuesday. Three officers were hit by gunfire and their injuries were described as not life threatening. Officers didn’t return fire. SENT: 285 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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BRITAIN-POISONING PROBE —British counterterrorism detectives and local police are investigating after a couple in their 40s fell critically ill from exposure to an unknown substance, a few miles from where a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent in March. By Matt Dunham and Jill Lawless. SENT: 950 words, photos. With: BRITAIN-POISONING PROBE-THE LATEST.

KOREAS-BASKETBALL DIPLOMACY — The Koreas have begun two days of friendly basketball games in Pyongyang in their latest goodwill gesture amid a diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea. Women from North and South Korea were mixed into two teams that competed against each other, with a game between the men’s mixed teams scheduled for later Wednesday. The games precede a three-day visit to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for meetings over the future of the North’s nuclear program. By Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 655 words, photos.

EUROPE-MIGRANTS — A rescue ship carrying 60 migrants has arrived in a Spanish port after being refused entry by Italy and Malta. It was the second time in a month that a humanitarian group has been forced to travel for days to unload people rescued in the central Mediterranean. By Renata Brito and Aritz Parra. SENT: 495 words, photos.

ISRAEL-WEST BANK DEMOLITIONS — Israeli police scuffled with activists protesting the planned demolition of a Bedouin hamlet in the West Bank on Wednesday amid international opposition to the razing of the site. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said 11 people were arrested in the “disturbance” including several for throwing stones at officers in Khan al-Ahmar. SENT: 365 words, photos.

POLAND-JUDICIARY — Anti-government protesters rallied in front of the Polish Supreme Court in an act of solidarity with the court’s president, who is being forced to retire under a new judicial overhaul. Protesters are decrying the development as a decisive step in the destruction of Poland’s constitutional democracy. By Vanessa Gera and Monika Scislowska. SENT: 840 words, photos.

GUATEMALA-VOLCANO — Authorities in Guatemala have raised by more than 130 the number of people missing from last month’s deadly eruption of the Volcano of Fire. The country’s disaster agency says in a statement that the new figure is 332, up from 197 previously. SENT: 120 words, photos.

SYRIA — The Islamic State group says the son of its top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed fighting Syrian government forces. The announcement of the death of the al-Baghdadi’s young son appeared on the group’s social media accounts late Tuesday. It included a picture of a young boy carrying a rifle and identified him as Huthaifa al-Badri. By Sarah El Deeb. SENT: 670 words, photo. With: SYRIA-THE LATEST.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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US-CHINA TARIFFS-EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE — European businesses are unsettled as they watch the U.S. and China collide over trade. And for good reason. The nascent global trade war could represent the biggest single threat to the economic upswing that has helped the region get past its financial crisis. By David McHugh. SENT: 1,035 words, photo.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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SAVING THE RHINO — Scientist say they’re several steps closer to perfecting a method for stopping the extinction of northern white rhinos, creating embryos using frozen northern white rhino sperm and eggs from a southern white rhino. SENT: 140 words.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FRANCE-PARIS FASHION WEEK-WATCH — A tardy Naomi Campbell triggered a dangerous media scrum as she entered Jean-Paul Gaultier’s couture ode to smoking in Paris Wednesday. It raised the heat in the already scorching atmosphere on the final day of Paris fall-winter shows. By Thomas Adamson. SENT: 525 words, photos.

FILM-WHITNEY HOUSTON — Making a documentary on Whitney Houston was an emotional journey for her sister-in-law. Patricia Houston was tasked with having to tell Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, about allegations in the documentary that Whitney and her brother were sexually abused as children. Director Kevin Macdonald says it likely was a factor in the superstar’s troubled life, which included an addiction to drugs. By John Carucci. SENT: 530 words, photos, video.

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WORLD CUP

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WCUP-BEST PLAYER — After a decade of duopoly, the FIFA-run vote to crown soccer’s best player finally seems open to third parties after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo left the World Cup early. Whether Neymar can win over enough voters could hinge on his on-field behavior, not just his performance, and on whether Brazil wins the World Cup. By Graham Dunbar. SENT: 550 words, photos.

With URUGUAY-FRANCE, BRAZIL-BELGIUM

Also see separate World Cup digest.

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SPORTS

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WIMBLEDON — Roger Federer and Serena Williams are making it look easy at Wimbledon — again. Caroline Wozniacki is heading home early — again. Federer and Williams cruised into the third round with straight-sets victories on Wednesday. However, Wozniacki still can’t seem to get comfortable at the All England Club, losing to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia after complaining to the chair umpire about the insects that invaded No. 1 court during the second set. By Mattias Karen. SENT: 480 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Ron DePasquale can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Alyssa Goodman (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@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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