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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

December 27, 2018

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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ONLY ON AP

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BLOWOUT-CLIMATE-EXPORT BOOM — The boom in U.S. fossil-fuel production has been matched by a rush on the other side of the Pacific to build the tankers needed to respond to Asia’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for energy. Backers of U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas argue that the boom will produce environmental benefits because it will help China and other industrial nations wean themselves from coal and other dirtier fossil fuels. Environmentalists counter that ramping up to use more natural gas will slow the push to move to green sources of electricity such as solar and wind. With an abridged version and AP photos. By Michael Biesecker and Kim Tong-Hyung. SENT: 1,700 words, photos. An abridged version has also moved.

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TOP STORIES

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GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN — Federal workers were feeling the stress of uncertainty as the partial government shutdown stretched into its sixth day. For those without a financial cushion, even a few days of lost wages could have dire consequences. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump showed little sympathy for their plight, suggesting without evidence that most of the affected federal workers are Democrats. By Juliet Linderman. UPCOMING: New approach of 800 words by 5 p.m.

LATINO VOTE — More Latinos reliably vote Republican than many think and the GOP’s position among Latinos has not weakened during the Trump administration, despite the president’s rhetoric against immigrants and the party’s shift to the right on immigration issues. In November’s elections, 32 percent of Latinos voted for Republicans, according to AP VoteCast data. By Nicholas Riccardi. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks are down sharply, unable to build on the prior day’s strong performance, as Wall Street’s wild Christmas week rolls on. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 630 words, photos.

GUATEMALA-CHILD DEATH-BORDER — The stepsister of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy who died in U.S. custody says the boy’s father took his son to the border after hearing rumors that parents and their children would be allowed to migrate to the United States and escape the poverty in their homeland. By Sonia Perez D. SENT: 650 words with photos.

RAPE INVESTIGATIONS — The national reckoning over sexual assault has come amid a trend in which police investigations of rape are increasingly unlikely to result in an arrest. The clearance rate of sexual assault fell to its lowest point on record last year, according to FBI data obtained by The Associated Press, a nadir that experts say raises questions about the resources police are devoting to sexual assault. SENT: 900 words, photos.

YE--VATICAN-SEX ABUSE — It has been a wretched year for Pope Francis, whose blind spot on clergy sex abuse conspired with events beyond his control to threaten his legacy and throw the Catholic hierarchy into a credibility crisis not seen in modern times. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 1,330 words, photos.

YE--MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR — LeBron James, who went to the NBA Finals for the eighth straight year and then changed addresses again, is the AP’s Male Athlete of the Year for the third time. Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, James remained the game’s dominant player, adding even more glitz to a legacy that reached epic status long ago. SENT: 900 words, photos. With list.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-KEVIN SPACEY — Court records detail Spacey’s encounter with teenager. SENT: 350 words, photos.

POLICE OFFICERS-DEATHS — Deaths of police officers on duty on the rise in the US. SENT: 200 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-IRAQ — President Donald Trump once opined that it wasn’t “overly necessary” for him to visit troops in danger zones abroad. But with the lights of Air Force One out and window shutters drawn, the president did just that, slipping into Iraq at night to greet U.S. service members and show that his norm-busting presidency would hew at least to this tradition. SENT: 1,150 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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SAUDI ARABIA — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has issued a wide-ranging overhaul of top government posts, including naming a new foreign minister, following international fallout from the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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SCIENCE

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BEYOND PLUTO — The spacecraft team that brought us close-ups of Pluto will ring in the new year by exploring an even more distant and mysterious world. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the scrawny, icy object nicknamed Ultima Thule soon after the stroke of midnight. SENT: 830 words, photos. UPCOMING: Flyby scheduled for 12:33 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

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BUSINESS/TECHNOLOGY

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LIGHTER LAUNDRY DETERGENT — Amazon’s rise is forcing laundry detergents to shrink. Soap makers Tide and Seventh Generation have introduced redesigned, lighter packaging to please Amazon and other online stores: lighter packaging means those retailers will pay less to ship the detergent to shopper’s doorsteps, making each sale more profitable. By Joseph Pisani. UPCOMING: About 600 words by noon, photos.

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