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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

March 29, 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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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP — Presenting himself as both vindicated and vindictive, a fired-up President Donald Trump turns the findings of the Russia investigation into a political weapon at a Michigan rally that was part victory lap, part 2020 campaign push. Trump deemed the inquiry “the greatest hoax in the history of our country” and warned that those behind it “would be held accountable.” By Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin. SENT: 960 words, photos. With TRUMP-FACT CHECK — Trump brags about a surging auto industry that isn’t surging, a Republican rescue for health care that has yet to take shape, and a “total” exoneration that was not offered; CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE — Democrats intensify their demands for Robert Mueller’s full report after learning the special counsel’s findings run to more than 300 pages (both sent).

CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE — Democrats intensified their demands for Robert Mueller’s full report after learning the special counsel’s findings from his Trump-Russia investigation run to more than 300 pages, while President Donald Trump boasted of total exoneration based on a four-page summary by his attorney general. By Lisa Mascaro, Laurie Kellman and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,050 words, video, photos, audio.

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-FBI — The FBI was already investigating Jussie Smollett before President Donald Trump tweeted that the agency and the Department of Justice would review the case, which the president called “an embarrassment” to the nation. Trump’s tweet came two days after a surprise decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop all charges against the “Empire” actor, who was accused of orchestrating a fake attack involving two men who beat him on a downtown Chicago street. The president did not specify what aspect of the case would be probed, and Department of Justice officials declined to comment. By Legal Affairs Writer Michael Tarm. SENT: 920 words, video, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE SERVICE — A man who survived New Zealand’s mosque attacks told a crowd of about 20,000 people he forgives the terrorist who killed his wife and 49 others. By Nick Perry. SENT: 460 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-FOREIGN POLICY — A series of announcements — on Israel, Syria and North Korea — by President Trump in a 72-hour span last week upended planning on three of the administration’s most important foreign policy initiatives, leaving stunned aides scrambling to explain the moves. By Matthew Lee and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 990 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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HAWAII-FLAVORED E-CIGARETTE BAN — The first state to limit tobacco and electronic cigarette sales to people 21 and older is contemplating a new nicotine crackdown: outlawing flavored electronic cigarette liquids and flavored tobacco to combat a spike in teenage vaping. SENT: 940 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KOREAS-US-DIPLOMACY — South Korean President Moon Jae-in will travel to the United States in two weeks for a summit with President Donald Trump on stalemated North Korean nuclear diplomacy. SENT: 460 words, photo.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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CHINA-HUAWEI — Chinese tech giant Huawei’s deputy chairman defended its commitment to security Friday after a stinging British government report added to Western pressure on the company by accusing it of failing to repair dangerous flaws in its telecom technology. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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PEOPLE-CARDI B — Rappers bragging about crimes from their pasts — or warning about those they may commit in the future — are part of the genre’s lore. From Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg to Future, street cred for rappers has often been solidified by detailing their grimy acts in everything from raps to interviews. So it would seem that Cardi B’s recently discovered admission to drugging and robbing men during her stripper past would be just another example of that. But in the era of #MeToo, some are wondering whether it’s time to Cancel Cardi B in the same way R. Kelly has been largely muted following allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused young women and girls. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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BKC--NCAA-TIPPING OFF — Duke got by a giant Tacko to reach the Sweet 16. Waiting for the Blue Devils in Washington will be a familiar foe. Five days after escaping Central Florida and 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, the Blue Devils play fellow ACC-er Virginia Tech on Friday. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4 a.m.