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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

May 5, 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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ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS —Gaza militants intensify a wave of rocket fire into southern Israel, striking towns and cities and killing at least four people in one of the bloodiest rounds of fighting since the 2014 war. At least nine Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, have also been killed. By Aron Heller. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

BETSY DEVOS-STAYING POWER — Education, it’s safe to say, is not President Donald Trump’s top priority. Instead, he entrusts that realm to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who’s emerged as one of the most polarizing figures in his Cabinet but also one of its most enduring members. By Education Writer Collin Binkley. SENT: 1,320 words, photos.

IRAQ-RAMADAN DRAMA —The first Iraqi-made TV drama in 7 years is being filmed in Baghdad. As the arts return to life in the capital, they bring with them a touch of hope in a country rebuilding after 16 years of war. By Philip Issa. SENT: 1,020 words, photos. This story has moved as this week’s Monday Spotlight.

RAC--STUMBLING TO PREAKNESS —The next stop in the chase for the Triple Crown is the Preakness, though both Maximum Security and Country House remain noncommittal for the May 18 race following Maximum Security’s disqualification from the Kentucky Derby. Owner Gary West says he is unsure whether to enter Maximum Security in the Preakness as he ponders appealing the historic decision. By Gary B. Graves. SENT: 730 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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RUSSIA-PLANE FIRE — Burning plane lands at Moscow airport; 1 death. SENT: 100 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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ELECTION 2020-RED STATE DEMOCRATS — There are few Democrats in the presidential race from reliably Republican areas, but they’re trying in their own way to convince voters that being familiar with places that backed Donald Trump in 2016 could be an advantage in denying him a second term. By Will Weissert and Hunter Woodall. SENT: 890 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SOUTH AFRICA-ELECTION — Campaigning for South Africa’s upcoming elections reached a climax with mass rallies by the ruling party and one of its most potent challengers, ahead of national polls for president and parliament Wednesday. SENT: 580 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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BRANDED WOMEN — It was called “collateral” — nude photos and other embarrassing material that female members of an upstate New York self-improvement group turned over to their “masters” to ensure obedience, silence and sexual fealty to the organization’s spiritual leader. Now some former members of the group are poised to break their vow of silence for the first time by testifying against Keith Raniere, who has been compared to a cult leader. SENT: 650 words, photos.

HOUSING BIAS-JUDGE — A federal judge who worked until his recent death at age 96 left a historic trail of groundbreaking legal opinions. But one case outlived Damon Keith: the longest-running housing discrimination lawsuit in the United States. SENT: 710 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BETTMAN’S PARITY — There’s nothing NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman likes to trumpet more than his league’s parity, what he repeatedly calls “competitive balance.” It was the goal of the implementation of the salary cap back in 2005 to even the ice between big- and small-market franchises, and the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs is the culmination of that. By Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m.