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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

January 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 — President Donald Trump’s personal attorney denies as “categorically false: a report that Trump directed his longtime fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project during the 2016 election. Any evidence that Trump directed a witness to lie to investigators would place him in the greatest political and legal jeopardy yet. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Eric Tucker. SENT: 920 words, photo. UPCOMING: 980 words, photos by 4 p.m.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cancels her plans to travel by commercial plane to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan, saying President Trump had caused a security risk by talking about the trip. It was the latest twist in what has become a Washington game of brinkmanship between Pelosi and Trump, playing out against the stalled negotiations over how to end the partial government shutdown. By Zeke Miller and Lisa Mascaro. SENT: 980 words, photo.

CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD — The white officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald in 2014 appears in court for sentencing, a day after a judge rejects allegations that the shocking video of the black teen’s death proves that Chicago police tried to stage a cover-up. By Don Babwin and Michael Tarm. SENT: 1,160 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing from sentencing, now underway.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA — The U.S. and North Korea hold highly anticipated talks aimed at resuming stalled efforts to end the North’s nuclear weapons program by arranging a second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. By Matthew Lee and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 560 words. UPCOMING: Updates expected, 800 words by 5 p.m., photos, video.

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WASHINGTON/ POLITICS

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN-MCCONNELL — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been deferential to President Donald Trump since the partial government shutdown began and is waiting on Trump and Democrats to make a deal to end it. The result is an unusually inactive profile for the GOP leader, who’s often the behind-the-scenes architect of legislative maneuvers to resolve partisan stalemates. SENT: 1,090 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND — Kirsten Gillibrand’s first trip to early-voting Iowa, just days after jumping into the presidential race, will put her budding campaign and message on display in a state that plays an outsized role in picking presidential nominees. By Thomas Beaumont and Juana Summers. UPCOMING: 600 words by 4 p.m., photos.

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NATIONAL

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OPIOID CRISIS-LAWSUITS — The legal pressure on the prominent family behind the company that makes OxyContin, the prescription painkiller that helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic, is likely to get more intense following a legal filing that gave detailed allegations that the company sought to push prescriptions of the drug and downplay its risks. SENT: 900 words, photos.

SCHOOL SHOOTING-FLORIDA — Lawyers for Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz say his confidential medical records were improperly disclosed to a state investigative panel by someone in the Broward Sheriff’s Office. SENT: 420 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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CONGO-ELECTION — Congo’s constitutional court is poised to rule on a challenge to the presidential election results, but the African Union continental body issues a surprise last-minute request for Congo’s government to suspend the announcement of final results, citing “serious doubts” about the vote. SENT: 770 words, photos.

BREXIT — Talks to end Britain’s Brexit stalemate appear to stall, with neither Prime Minister Theresa May nor the main opposition leader shifting from their entrenched positions. Meanwhile, Britain’s political chaos has spurred EU nations to step up preparations for a disorderly British exit. By Jill Lawless and Gregory Katz. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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