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BC-AP News Digest 3 am

February 18, 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 .

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-MCCABE _ Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says in an interview that a “crime may have been committed” when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the interview with “60 Minutes” that the FBI had good reason to open a counterintelligence investigation into whether Trump was in league with Russia, and therefore a possible national security threat, following the May 2017 firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 800 words, photo.

ISRAEL-NETANYAHU-HOLOCAUST-HISTORY _ An off-hand comment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Warsaw about Poland and the Holocaust looks to overshadow a summit of central European leaders this week in Israel. Poland’s abrupt decision to downgrade its participation in the upcoming Visegrad conference suddenly cast a pall over the gathering, which Netanyahu has touted as a major milestone in his outreach to emerging democracies in eastern Europe and his broader goal of countering the criticism Israel typically faces in international forums. By Aron Heller. SENT: 980 words, photos.

ELECTION 2020-O’ROURKE-BORDER POLITICS _ Beto O’Rourke clearly hopes to make his personal experience with the border a strength if he runs for president, but the former congressman’s record on border walls is complicated. By Will Weissert. SENT: 950 words, photos.

FACEBOOK-UK REPORT _ British lawmakers issue a scathing report that accuse Facebook of intentionally violating privacy and anti-competition laws in the U.K., and call for greater oversight of social media companies. SENT: 300 words, photo. With NEW ZEALAND-TAXING ONLINE GIANTS _ New Zealand plans new tax for tech giants like Google, Facebook.

NIGERIA-ELECTION-WOMEN IN POLITICS _ Nervous ahead of Nigeria’s election, dozens of first-time female candidates are seeking office in a country where the percentage of women in parliament is one of the lowest in the world, under 7 percent, and the idea of a female president brings a belly laugh from many men. They are trying to break the grip of Nigeria’s two main political parties, which traditionally have been less about issues and more about winning power at all costs. By Cara Anna. UPCOMING: 890 words, photos.

FRANCE-LEARNING LIGHTSABER _ In France, it is easier than ever now to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, after its fencing federation took the radical step of officially recognizing lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga about a galaxy far, far away the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics. By Sports Writer John Leicester. SENT: 950 words, photos. UPCOMING: video.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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AUSTRALIA-BAHRAIN REFUGEE _ Australia police say they didn’t know Bahraini was refugee. SENT: 140 words.

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK _ Chicago police seek follow-up interview with “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. SENT: 730 words, photos.

WAREHOUSE SHOOTING-AURORA-VIGIL _ More than 1,500 attend vigil for Aurora shooting victims. SENT: 350 words, photos.

MAN-UNITED-OWNERSHIP _ Saudis say crown prince doesn’t intend to buy Man United. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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BRAZIL-SPIRITUAL GURU-METOO _ Hundreds of women have accused Brazilian spiritual healer Joao Teixeira de Faria of sexual abuse, turning him into the first major Brazilian figure to do down in the #MeToo era. By Diarlei Rodrigues, Mario Lobao and Peter Prengaman. UPCOMING: 1,180 words by 11 a.m., photos. This is the Tuesday Spotlight.

VATICAN-SEX ABUSE _Organizers of Pope Francis’ summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen survivor-activists who have come to Rome to protest the Catholic Church’s response to date and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders. SENT: 370 words, photo.

JAPAN-ABE-TRUMP _ Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declines to say if he had nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, though he also emphasized he did not deny doing so. SENT: 590 words, photo.

CHINA-POPULATION-THIRD CHILD BLUES _ China’s leaders want the country to have more children, but local bureaucrats following the law and couples following the small-family norm make a baby boom unlikely. SENT: 970 words, photos.

INDONESIA-UNICORNS _ Indonesia’s presidential candidates debate some of the most pressing issues facing the world’s third-largest democracy: dilapidated infrastructure, struggling farmers, forest fires _ and unicorns. SENT: 270 words, photos.

KASHMIR-FIGHTING _ Four Indian soldiers, two suspected militants and a civilian were killed in a gunbattle in disputed Kashmir, officials say, further escalating tensions in the restive region. SENT: 410 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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WASHINGTON-GUERRILLA PROTEST _ If demonstrators want to stand out in the nation’s protest-happy capital, they must be creative. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.

FACT CHECK-WEEK _ Trump is going after the “horror show” known as the diversity visa lottery program. His description of it is pure fiction. By Calvin Woodward and Hope Yen. SENT: 3,680 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

ELECTION 2020-KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND _ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is game to talk about motherhood, leadership, policies and her Democratic campaign for president. SENT: 1,280 words, photos. With ELECTION 2020-ELIZABETH WARREN _ Sen. Elizabeth Warren highlights work on economic crisis in Vegas stop.

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NATIONAL

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ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA _ North Carolina’s elections board is holding a hearing on ballot fraud allegations in the nation’s last undecided congressional election. SENT: 440 words, photos. UPCOMING: Hearing at 10 a.m.

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SPORTS

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ALL-STAR-WADE FAREWELL _ “There will never be another”: The game of basketball is not ready yet to say farewell to Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,040 words, photos. With ALL-STAR-GAME _ Team LeBron rallies to beat Team Giannis, 178-164.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Wally Santana (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 her technical issues, contact apcustomersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.