AP NEWS
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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

March 19, 2019

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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RECORD-BREAKING HEAT — An Associated Press data analysis shows that in weather stations across America, hot records are being set twice as often as cold ones. Scientists say this is a sure sign of global warming. All parts of the country are setting more hot records than cold in the 21st century. Nowhere is it more obvious than in Pasadena, California, which set 142 hot records in a row until a record cold day in February. Experts say your chances of more dangerous record heat are rising. By Seth Borenstein and Nicky Forster. SENT: 930 words, photos, video.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP LAWYER-INVESTIGATION — Special counsel Robert Mueller began investigating President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, for fraud in his personal business dealings and for potentially acting as an unregistered foreign agent at least nine months before FBI agents in New York raided his home and office, according to documents released Tuesday. By Jim Mustian and Larry Neumeister. SENT: 800 words, photo.

MUELLER-ROLE REVERSAL — It’s a witch hunt, a vendetta, the worst presidential harassment in history. That’s what Donald Trump has shouted for two years about the special counsel’s Russia-election probe. Now, with Robert Mueller’s report expected any day, Trump and his allies are starting to see it as something potentially very different: a political opportunity. By Mary Clare Jalonick. UPCOMING: 800 words by 5 p.m., photos.

NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING-LONE TERRORISM — In his manifesto, the white supremacist charged with attacking two New Zealand mosques praised fellow “freedom fighters” as his role models. In reality, all were terrorists — most notable for acting alone. By Adam Geller. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 4 p.m. WITH: NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTINGS-WHITE SUPREMACISTS — Before mosque shootings, Christchurch was the center of New Zealand’s small but persistent white supremacist movement. SENT: 1,500 words, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING-SOCIAL MEDIA — Facebook says none of the 200 or so people who watched live video of the New Zealand mosque shooting flagged it to moderators, underlining the challenge tech companies face in policing violent or disturbing content in real time. The social media giant released new details about its response to the video in a blog post. It said the gunman’s live 17-minute broadcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and the first user report didn’t come in until 12 minutes after it ended. Fifty people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch. By Business Writer Kelvin Chan. SENT: 750 words, photos. WITH: NEW ZEALAND-MOSQUE SHOOTING — New Zealand leader vows to deny notoriety to mosque gunman. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.

MOZAMBIQUE-CYCLONE — Aid workers rushed to rescue victims clinging to trees and crammed on rooftops against rapidly rising waters after a cyclone unleashed devastating floods in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. More than 238 were dead, hundreds were missing and thousands more were at risk. “This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Mozambique’s recent history,” said Jamie LeSueur, head of response efforts in Beira for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. At least 400,000 people were left homeless. By Farai Mutsaka and Andrew Meldrum. SENT: 990 words, photos.

ANGELS-TROUT — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels are close to finalizing a $432 million, 12-year contract that would shatter the record for the largest deal in North American sports history. Trout would top the new $330 million, 12-year contract between Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies, and his $36 million average annual value would surpass Zack Greinke’s $34.4 million in a six-year deal with Arizona that started in 2016. By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum. SENT: 700 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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UNITED STATES-BRAZIL — President Donald Trump welcomes Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, known as the “Trump of the Tropics” to the White House. Trump says he’s “very strongly” looking at U.S. support for Brazil’s effort to gain certain NATO privileges. By Jill Colvin. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: Developing from 1:45 p.m., news conference, 790 words by 4 p.m., photos, video.

UNITED STATES-MIDEAST PEACE — The Trump administration’s much touted but still mysterious Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will remain a mystery as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pays a visit this week to Israel, shunning the Palestinians entirely with nary a word of the president’s “deal of the century” in the offing. By Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 p.m., photos.

TRUMP-MCCAIN — President Trump, who drew criticism over the weekend for tweeting insults about the late Sen. John McCain, passes up an opportunity to hold his fire, flatly declaring in an Oval Office appearance with Brazil’s leader: “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.” SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words by 4 p.m., photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SYRIA — U.S.-backed Syrian forces on Tuesday seized control of an encampment held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, after hundreds of militants surrendered overnight, a spokesman said, signaling the group’s collapse after months of stiff resistance. A group of suspects involved in a January bombing that killed four Americans in northern Syria were among militants captured by the Kurdish-led forces. SENT: 1,075 words, photos.

NETHERLANDS-SHOOTING — Investigators probing the deadly tram shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht sharpened their focus on a possible extremist motive, as judicial authorities revealed that the main suspect was released from jail this month and faces a rape trial in July. The nature of the Monday’s attack and a note found in a suspected getaway car suggest a possible terror motive, prosecutors said in a statement, but they add that other possible reasons also are being investigated. By Aleksander Furtula and Mike Corder. SENT: 730 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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WINTER WEATHER-FLOODING — Vice President Mike Pence heads to the Midwest to view flooding damage as farmers raise concerns that busted levees won’t be fixed before the traditional spring flood season. Flooding is expected through the week as high water levels flow down the Missouri River. SENT: 375 words photos, developing.

ADDICTION TREATMENT-PRISONS — Advocates for better addiction treatment want New York state to invest millions of dollars in a program to put methadone, suboxone and other medications used to treat addiction in all county jails and state prisons. They say the drugs would give inmates the care they need and save money in the long run by reducing recidivism. Former addicts recount hellish stories about going through withdrawal in jail and say providing the drugs is the humane thing to do. Upcoming: 800 words by 5:30 p.m.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE

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MARIJUANA PSYCHOSIS, HFR— Smoking high-potency marijuana on a daily basis could increase your chances of psychosis by about five times, according to a European study. Eds: For release at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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FED-3 THINGS TO WATCH FOR — The Federal Reserve is considered sure to leave its key short-term interest rate unchanged Wednesday and to stress its new watchword — “patient”— in conveying its intention to leave rates alone for the foreseeable future. The Fed has made clear that with a dimmer economic picture in both the United States and globally, it no longer sees the need to keep raising rates as it did four times in 2018. SENT: 975 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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FILM-THE LITTLE MERMAID-ANNIVERSARY: Ariel is all grown up. ‘The Little Mermaid’ is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and Jodi Benson, who voiced the mermaid, and co-director Ron Clements are looking back at the film that changed their lives. By Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy. UPCOMING, 900 words by 2 p.m. Photos and video.

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SPORTS

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NCAA-WHAT ADVANCED STATS SAY — Come March, everyone’s looking for an edge. How to simplify the brackets and make it a little easier to pick a champion from the field of 68. Go with the experienced coaches? The hot teams? Maybe even the mascots. Thanks to the proliferation of advanced stats, there is another way. SENT: 900 words, photos.