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BC-AP Newsfeatures Digest

August 11, 2016

Questions about this digest: Contact Christopher Sullivan at 212-621-5435. Reruns of stories are available at http://apexchange.com, from the Service Desk at 800-838-4616, or your local AP bureau.



LITTLETON, N.H. - Prosecutors in New Hampshire and other states plagued by opioid addiction are going after dealers in fatal overdoses, charging them with causing the deaths. A heart-wrenching case that played out in a picturesque New England town shows this strategy, which law enforcement says sends a message of accountability but detractors call misguided. By National Writer Sharon Cohen. 2,300 words, with abridged version, moving Aug. 11 in advance for print release Sunday, Aug. 14; will be re-sent spot on Aug. 11. Will be retransmitted after 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, to link video. Photos, video, graphic.             With:

BC-Prosecuting the Dealers-Q&A.


WASHINGTON — Before it got too overheated, America wasn’t that split by global warming, but now tempers are rising with the temperatures. Democrats (and scientists) have become more convinced that global warming is a real, man-made threat. Republicans and Tea Party activists have become more convinced that it is —  to quote the repeated tweets of Donald Trump — a “hoax.” By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. 1,840 words, with abridged version, moving Aug. 11 in advance for release at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 15. Photos.

NOTE: This is the latest story in AP’s continuing series Divided America, which explores the economic, social and political divisions in American society. Previous stories in the series are listed at the bottom of this digest.

FOR THIS WEEK (for immediate release, except as noted):


Documents from courts and the labor ministry show electronics giant Samsung has repeatedly and as recently as in 2015 blocked access to key information affecting workers’ health and safety by playing the trade secrets card. Claiming concern over confidentiality, the company has evaded scrutiny from South Korea’s labor ministry, the main government department in charge of workers’ health and workplace safety issues. By Technology Writer Youkyung Lee. SENT: 2,270 words on Aug. 11. Photos. An abridged version of 950 words has also been sent.




How should America use its influence in a world where being a superpower doesn’t get you what it once did? As instability and human tragedy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have shown, the U.S. alone cannot impose solutions by force. Part of an AP series examining issues at stake in the presidential election and how they affect people. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. SENT: 630 words on Aug. 8. Photos.


Who should be able to vote and how easy should it be? It’s a question that goes to the core of democracy. By Hope Yen. SENT: 720 words on Aug. 11. Photo. Second in a series.


About 9 in 10 Americans now have health insurance, but progress is incomplete, and the future far from certain. SENT: 540 words, photo, video. The third in a series.


A decade after California voters were promised $400 million worth of parks in some of the state’s poorest neighborhoods, an Associated Press review finds fewer than half of the 126 proposed parks that received the money have been built, as Democratic lawmakers push to add another $1 billion to the program. By Alison Noon. SENT: 960 words on Aug. 9. Photos.


The long-term efforts of China and the U.S. to build trust between their militaries endure amid tensions and a rivalry for dominance in Asia. Though China resents the highly visible presence of the U.S. armed forces in Asia, especially the South China Sea, it has shown a willingness to engage that the sides hope will help avoid conflicts between them. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 600 words on Aug. 9. Photo.


Inside a Nile Delta mosque, an Egyptian cleric held a piece of paper that was causing him concern. For the first time in his 13-year-career, he had to read “word-by-word” a sermon he printed out from a government website. Egypt’s government has begun a controversial campaign to standardize sermons in an effort to preventing mosques from spreading extremism. By Maggie Michael. SENT: 1,000 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


BUILTH WELLS, Wales — More than 70 British food products — from cheese to ale and lamb — enjoy a special origin status from the EU that helps farmers earn more — but is now at risk as the country looks to leave the bloc. By Josh Boak. SENT: 800 words on Aug. 9. Photos.


Men and women are supposed to stand side by side and on equal footing come the Olympics. Yet many people watching the Olympics, reading about them and reacting online aren’t feeling a golden glow over the women’s performances. Fans have taken to social media to slam what they perceive as sexist portrayals of some of the world’s greatest athletes. By Jenna Fryer. UPCOMING: 900 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


It is one of Rio’s most renowned favelas, the Cidade de Deus depicted in the widely acclaimed film “City of God.” It’s a place where ghettos are ruled by drug lords and baby-faced criminals shoot to kill. The favela is mere miles from Olympic Park and is not easily defined. By Mauricio Savarese and Pauline Arrillaga. SENT: 1,400 words on Aug. 11. Photos. Video.


Nadia Comaneci made history 40 years ago when she earned the first perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics. Though the sport is more intricate and varied than ever, perfection has become elusive. And there are those who wonder if that’s was a good thing? By Will Graves. UPCOMING: 800 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


For the last 15 years, U.S. women’s gymnastics national team coordinator Martha Karolyi has molded a once floundering program into a globe-trotting, podium-topping machine. By Sports Writer Will Graves. SENT: 1,200 words on Aug. 8. Photos.


So you’ve trained for years to get to the Rio Games, then your competition happens early in the Olympics and you have nothing to do the rest of the way. There’s plenty of ways for athletes to fill their newfound free time and blow off a lot of steam. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 700 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


Cupping and Coining: AP reporter did it long before Phelps. By Sopheng Cheang. SENT: 880 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


Americans’ love for avocados and rising prices for the highly exportable fruit are fueling the deforestation of central Mexico’s pine forests as farmers rapidly expand their orchards to feed demand. SENT: 650 words on Aug. 11. Photos.


Injured and disabled vets go kayaking, water skiing and sailing at a camp that gets them thinking more about what they can than can’t do. By Jennifer McDermott. SENT: 670 words on Aug. 9. Photos, video.


Several immersive shows are pushing the boundaries of what escape rooms can become, turning the fast-growing — and cheap to produce — hour-long games in which players work together to find the clues to free themselves into a rich, theatrical experience. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. SENT: 660 words on Aug. 8. Photos.


DIVIDED AMERICA - previous stories

Below are stories that moved previously in this continuing election-year series. Note: A separate advisory provides further details. For questions about the project, contact Brian Carovillano at bcarovillano@ap.org or the AP’s Nerve Center at nervecentermanagers@ap.org.


Americans agree on this much: They are disgusted with politics. They look toward Washington and see a broken federal government, a place where politicians seem more interested in self-preservation than in We the People. Things don’t seem much better in state capitals. By Jay Reeves and Robin McDowell. SENT: 1,330 words, with abridged version. Photos, video, interactive.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In cities and towns across the country, a disturbing pattern has emerged: The economic averages that reflect America’s recovery from the Great Recession don’t capture the experience of many typical people in typical communities. That’s because wealth is flowing disproportionately to the rich, skewing the data we use to measure economic health, resulting in an economy on paper that most Americans don’t recognize in real life. Take Memphis, for example. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 1,500 words, with abridged version. Photos, video, interactive.


BENTON, Ky. — Evangelical, conservative Christians feel under siege. Steadily, over decades, they sense that they have been pushed to the margins of American life, attacked for their most deeply held beliefs. Now, many evangelicals say liberals want to seal their cultural victory by silencing the church. By Religion Writer Rachel Zoll. SENT: 2,500 words, with an abridged version. Photos, videos, interactive.


MISSOULA, Mont. — This election year’s heated rhetoric over immigration has found a home on the range, and discouraging words abound. What started as a clash over a single issue — whether to welcome a small number of refugees to a peaceful corner of western Montana — soon erupted into a larger feud over Islam, big government and the idea that Americans should “take care of our own” before worrying about newcomers. Demonstrators took to the streets carrying signs with wildly divergent views. By National Writer Sharon Cohen. SENT: 2,670 words, with abridged version. Photos, video, interactive.


JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — As Virginia’s only Latino state lawmaker, Alfonso Lopez made it his first order of business to push for a law granting in-state college tuition to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally since childhood. The bill failed. Again and again. “If we had a more diverse (legislature) and more Latinos in the House of Delegates,” he says, “I don’t think it would be as difficult.” But truly diverse legislatures are rarity across the United States. While minorities have made some political gains, they remain severely underrepresented in Congress and nearly every state legislature, according to an analysis of demographic data by The Associated Press. The lack of political representation can carry real-life consequences. When the people elected don’t look, think, talk or act like the people they represent, it can deepen divisions that naturally exist in the U.S. By David Lieb. SENT: 2,500 words, with abridged version. Photos, interactive.



NEW YORK -- Meet Peggy Albrecht and John Dearth. Albrecht is a freelance writer and comedian from Los Angeles who loves Bernie Sanders. Dearth, a retiree from Carmel, Indiana, grew up a Democrat but flipped with Ronald Reagan. He’s Trump guy. They live in the same country, but as far as their news consumption goes, they might as well live on different planets. The growth in partisan media over the past two decades has enabled Americans to retreat into tribes of like-minded people who get news filtered through particular world views. Fox News Channel and Talking Points Memo thrive, with audiences that rarely intersect. What’s big news in one world is ignored in another. Conspiracy theories sprout, anger abounds and the truth becomes ever more elusive. By David Bauder. SENT: 2,000 words, with an abridged version. Photos.


Wherever you look in this nation born of a bloody revolution of musket fire, chances are there’s sharp disagreement over firearms. Democrats war with Republicans, and small towns are against cities. Women and men are at odds, as are blacks and whites and old and young. North clashes with South, East with West. By National Writer Matt Sedensky. SENT: 1,440 words, with abridged version.




ROCKY FORD, Colo. -- From where Peggy Sheahan stands, deep in rural Colorado, the last eight years were abysmal. The county where she is steadily losing population, middle-class jobs have vanished, crime is up as heroin use rises. In Denver, 175 miles to the northwest, things are going better for Andrea Pacheco. Thanks to the Supreme Court, the 36-year-old could finally marry her partner, Jen Winters. After months navigating Denver’s superheated housing market, they snapped up a bungalow at the edge of town. It is no coincidence that Sheahan backs Donald Trump, while Pacheco supports Hillary Clinton. Town and country represent not just the poles of the nation’s two political parties, but different economic realities that are transforming the 2016 presidential election. By Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 2,580 words on July 4. Photos. A 960-word abridged version also moved. Highlighting video US DA URBAN RURAL (CR).


NEW YORK — As Americans struggle to make sense of senseless deaths, Staten Islanders have the dubious distinction of being a step ahead. Since Eric Garner’s death during his arrest in July 2014, they have confronted a measure of the anger, pain and alienation that the nation now shares. In this island borough, police and the policed have had to coexist. The highly publicized deaths of black men in encounters with police across the country, and now the sniper killing of five Dallas officers, have focused new attention on the chasm between police and minorities. Years of tension have left people wary in both the policing community and in minority neighborhoods, with many yearning for one another’s respect. But it’s not simple to change the way people see each other. By National Writer Adam Geller, SENT: 3,000 words, with abridged version, moved in advance for release 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 14, and thereafter. Photos. Video.


A woman sleeps in her car, waiting to receive free dental care at a clinic in rural Virginia. Another peers though a fence at the Mexican border to see the grandmother she left behind 18 years before, when she was brought to the United States as a toddler. Health care and immigration are two of the most contentious issues of this most contentious election year, but they are not merely grist for politics and politicians. Americans like these women are dealing with them in nearly every moment of their everyday lives. A team of AP photographers across the country set out to record those moments. Each set out to capture a single, intimate image to illustrate the human side of immigration, the economy, the environment, gun rights, social values like abortion, gay rights and conservative Christian beliefs, and race. Each offers a personal story that illuminates the campaign’s headlines. SENT: 200 words on July 15, with photo gallery and interactive.


LOGAN, W.Va. — There are places like this across America — poor and getting poorer, feeling left behind while the rest got richer. But nowhere has the plummet of the white working class been as merciless as here in central Appalachia. And nowhere have the cross-currents of desperation and boiling resentment that have devoured a presidential race been on such glaring display. The mines are idle, there are no jobs, families are fleeing, drug abuse is rampant. Even cremations are up at the funeral home down the street, because people can’t afford caskets anymore. For many, Donald Trump is their last chance. If this great disrupter can’t make it right, they say, it’s all over. By Claire Galofaro. SENT: 2,000 words, with abridged version, on July 14, in advance for 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 18, photos.


ATLANTA — Hillary Clinton may be closer than ever to shattering what she famously called “the highest, hardest glass ceiling,” but women in the U.S. remain significantly underrepresented at all levels of elected office. Although women comprise half the population, they serve as mayors of 19 percent of all cities with a population of 30,000 or greater and represent just a quarter of all state lawmakers. Just 12 percent of governors are women, and they comprise just one in five seats in Congress. While the election of a female president would be unprecedented in the U.S., at least 52 other countries around the world already had a female leader. By Christina A. Cassidy. SENT: 1,500 words, with an abridged version, for release on Monday, July 25, and thereafter. Photos.


— LOCALIZATION OPPORTUNITY: Spreadsheets were made available ahead of the story’s release date: The number and percentage of women currently serving in each state legislature; All women who have served in the U.S. House of Representatives for each state; All women who have served in the U.S. Senate for each state; All women who have served as governor for each state; All current city mayors nationwide who are women.

— BC-US--Women in Office-Glance, various groupings of female representation in the states. This will include states with the highest and lowest percentage of women in their legislatures, and states that have never elected a woman to Congress, the U.S. senator or as governor.


SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — Outside a flag-making factory here, a summer of discontent is brewing in a nation showing innumerable divides. Workers feel it inside, too — that gulf between rich and poor and left and right. Yet, as giant rolls of nylon take shape as perhaps the most unifying American symbol, the flagmakers sound far more similar than different. Whether for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, when asked if there are things that unite Americans, they instantly say yes. Gesturing to their handiwork, they invoke what it stands for: freedom, opportunity and pride. And across the fractured U.S., opinion surveys and interviews find unity on all kinds of issues, from Americans’ views of other nations and their religiosity to their love of dogs. By National Writer Matt Sedensky. SENT: 2,200 words, with an abridged version, for release beginning Aug. 3. Photos, graphic, video. With:

BC-US--DIVIDED AMERICA-ONE WORD, asked for a single word to define America, poll respondents reflect diversity and dissonance. Word cloud Graphic.


The rest of the world may think Americans eat a lot of burgers, have huge shopping malls and are ruled by an arrogant government. But they’re also seen from afar as generous tippers, friendly, uncomplicated, rich and the standard bearers of freedom, equality, creativity and technological power. Here’s what The Associated Press found when it asked ordinary people around the world about their views of America. By Vijay Joshi. SENT: 2,000 words on Aug. 4. Photos.


LAS VEGAS — It’s a persistent paradox in American politics: Many Hispanic families have an immense personal stake in what happens on Election Day, but despite population numbers that should mean political power, Hispanics often can’t vote, aren’t registered to vote, or simply choose to sit out. Enter Donald Trump, and the question that could make or break the election in key states. By inflaming the anti-immigrant sentiments of white, working-class men, has the Republican nominee jolted awake another group — the now 27.3 million eligible Hispanic voters long labeled the sleeping giant of U.S. elections? By Sergio Bustos and Nicholas Riccardi. 2,200 words, with an abridged version, moving Aug. 4 in advance for release at 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 8. Photos, video, graphic.

The AP

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