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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

August 17, 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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ONLY ON AP

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RUSSIA PROBE-SENATE — In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Sen. Richard Burr opens up about the Russia investigation that has now consumed 19 months of his life. He says it has been “frustrating as hell” and much more difficult than he originally envisioned. But he says the integrity of investigation — and its importance to the institution of the Senate — is something he has labored to protect. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.

PAKISTAN-ISLAMIC STATE THREAT — At age 20, Hafeez Nawaz left his religious school in Karachi to join the Islamic State group in Afghanistan. Three years later he was back in Pakistan to carry out a deadly mission: with explosives strapped to his body, he blew himself up in the middle of an election rally last month, killing 149 people. Nawaz’s trajectory from student to suicide bomber is a familiar one in Pakistan, where security officials say IS is the newest and deadliest front in Pakistan’s decades-old war on terror. By Kathy Gannon. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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MILITARY PARADE — President Donald Trump cancels plans for a big Veterans Day military parade, blaming D.C. officials for the “ridiculously high” price tag. Mayor Muriel Bowser fires back at the “reality star in the White House,” saying local costs amount to far less than the $92 million estimated cost. By Catherine Lucey and Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 960 words, photos. UPCOMING: 900 words by 5 p.m.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-EVANGELICALS — Some of the troubling encounters took place decades ago. But only in recent weeks have several of America’s most prominent evangelical institutions acknowledged the need for a stronger response to sexual misconduct by church leaders who exploited the trust of the faithful. In many ways, the phenomenon is an offshoot of the #MeToo movement, as evidenced by the #ChurchToo hashtag accompanying accounts of church-related abuse. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

TRUMP-SECURITY CLEARANCE — Former U.S. security officials issued scathing rebukes to President Donald Trump, admonishing him for yanking a top former spy chief’s security clearance in what they cast as an act of political vengeance. Trump said he’d had to do “something” about the “rigged” federal probe of Russian election interference. By Jill Colvin and Catherine Lucey. SENT: 1,160 words, video, photos.

TESLA-MUSK —The electric car maker Tesla is at a crossroads, and its board of directors must decide where to go from here. CEO Elon Musk concedes that the stress of his job is getting to him — yet he is the public face and driving force behind Tesla, and trying to lessen his role or get rid of him has its pitfalls. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 920 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach by 4 p.m.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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UNITED STATES-SYRIA — The Trump administration is ending funding for Syria stabilization projects as it moves to extricate the U.S. from the conflict, citing increased contributions from anti-Islamic State coalition partners. By Matthew Lee. SENT: 616 words, photo.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-MANAFORT — President Trump defends Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman on trial for financial fraud, calling him a “very good person” as a jury entered its second day of deliberations. SENT: 560 words, photos, video.

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INTERNATIONAL

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PAKISTAN-POLITICS — Cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan is chosen as Pakistan’s prime minister, elected on a promise to reform a system rife with corruption and traditionally controlled by the country’s powerful landowners. By Munir Ahmed. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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COLORADO-FAMILY KILLED — Shanann Watts’ Facebook page painted a portrait of a happy married life — of a woman dedicated to her husband and their two young children. She called her husband “my ROCK!” and said he was “the best dad us girls could ask for.” That idyllic image was shattered Wednesday when her husband, 33-year-old Christopher Watts, was arrested on suspicion of killing his family in Colorado. SENT: 870 words, photos, video.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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BIRTH CONTROL-APP — The condom, the pill and now, the smartphone? Natural Cycles, a mobile fertility app, this month became the first ever digital contraceptive device to win FDA marketing approval. Women take their temperatures and track their menstrual cycle on the app, which uses an algorithm to determine when they’re fertile and should abstain from unprotected sex or use protection. In effect, it’s a form of the rhythm or calendar method. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 810 words.

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