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BC-AP Top Stories Digest

December 7, 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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YEMEN-HOUTHI TORTURE — An Associated Press investigation has uncovered evidence of torture at detention sites run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Former prisoners recount being beaten, burned with acid, having nails pulled out and being hung by the wrists from ceilings for weeks. The Houthis have detained thousands in crackdowns aimed at silencing dissent during Yemen’s four-year civil war. By Maggie Michael. SENT: 2,215 words, photos, video. An abridged version will be upcoming.

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — Robert Mueller is set to reveal more details about his Russia investigation as he faces court deadlines in the cases of two men who worked closely with President Donald Trump. The special counsel and federal prosecutors in New York are filing memos in court Friday detailing the cooperation of longtime Trump legal fixer Michael Cohen. And Mueller’s team will also be disclosing what they say former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied about when his plea deal fell apart last month. By Chad Day and Eric Tucker. SENT: 620 words, photo. With: TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-CONGRESS — House Republicans are preparing to interview James Comey behind closed doors, hauling the former FBI director to Capitol Hill one final time before they cede power to Democrats in January. By Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 565 words, photo.

CHINA-HUAWEI — The dramatic arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive illustrates why it will be so hard for the Trump administration to resolve its deepening conflict with China. Washington and Beijing are locked in a clash over which of the world’s two largest economies will command economic and political dominance for decades to come. By Paul Wiseman and Frank Bajak. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

GEORGE HW BUSH — Thousands wave and cheer as funeral train 4141 — for the 41st president — carries George H.W. Bush’s remains toward their final resting place in Texas, his last journey as a week of national remembrance takes on a decidedly personal feel in an emotional home state farewell. By Nomaan Merchant, Juan A. Lozano and Will Weissert. SENT: 1,190 words, photos, video. With: GEORGE HW BUSH-FUNERAL TRAIN — George H.W. Bush’s presidential funeral train will be first in nearly 50 years; GEORGE HW BUSH-VIGNETTES (both sent)

TRUMP-UN AMBASSADOR — State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is expected to be chosen the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Two administration officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement, confirmed President Donald Trump’s plans. Trump has previously said Nauert was under serious consideration to replace Nikki Haley, who announced in October that she would step down from the U.N. post at the end of this year. By Catherine Lucey, Matthew Lee and Zeke Miller. SENT: 560 words, photo.

BALLOT HARVESTING — A North Carolina congressional race being investigated for irregularities has cast a spotlight on a practice called ‘ballot harvesting.’ It allows political parties or special interest groups to collect and submit the ballots of voters they believe are favorable to their candidates. Backers of the process contend it improves participation. Critics say it creates the opportunity for fraud. By Matt Volz. SENT: 1,120 words, photos. With: ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS — The trailing Democrat in the race for a North Carolina congressional seat withdrew his previous concession as state election officials continued to investigate alleged ballot fraud; PELOSI-NORTH CAROLINA — Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the House could take the “extraordinary step” of calling for a new election in a North Carolina congressional district if the winner is unclear amid allegations of voter fraud (sent).

OSCARS-KEVIN HART-HOMOPHOBIC TWEETS — Just two days after being named host of the Academy Awards, Kevin Hart has stepped down following an outcry over past homophobic tweets by the comedian. By Jake Coyle. SENT: 535 words, photo.

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WASHINGTON/ POLITICS

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TRUMP RESORT-ILLEGAL WORKERS — Two women who cleaned rooms set aside for President Donald Trump at one of his golf resorts in New Jersey say they used false papers to get hired, their supervisors knew it and that many employees there also lack legal documents. By Bernard Condon. SENT: 550 words, photos.

PELOSI-SPEAKER-REPUBLICANS — Wondering if Republicans will push Nancy Pelosi over the top in her drive to become House speaker next year? Despite supportive words from President Donald Trump, it’s implausible. By Alan Fram. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-DEMOCRATS — Democrats are hitting fast forward. The first major presidential campaign announcements could come before year’s end, and the Democratic National Committee plans to announce a debate framework by then featuring as many as 20 candidates. By Steve Peoples, Bill Barrow and Will Weissert. SENT: 1,250 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK-ATTORNEYS GENERAL — Republicans pushing to hang on to power in Wisconsin and Michigan aren’t stopping at curbing the authority of incoming Democratic governors. They’re also trying to hamstring Democrats who are about to take over as attorneys general. SENT: 760 words, photos. With: WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE-LAME DUCK — Gov. Scott Walker weighs whether to sign or veto bills that would weaken the powers of the Democrat who beat him last month. Bipartisan voices were pressuring the outgoing governor to reject the measures, asking him to think about what his recently deceased father, who was a pastor, and former President George H. W. Bush would do. By Scott Bauer. SENT: 850 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA STORM — Authorities are keeping a worried eye on fire-scarred hillsides in Southern California after a storm brought flooding and prompted evacuation orders for hundreds of homes. By Christopher Weber. SENT: 725 words, photos, video. With: CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE-LIVING ON THE EDGE — The future is uncertain for many of those driven out by the deadly wildfire in Northern California, but it’s uniquely challenging for the many who were living on the edge, homeless or nearly so, even before the flames swept through and took what little they had. By Jonathan J. Cooper. SENT: 880 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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NORTH KOREA-US-WHAT NEXT? — Since President Donald Trump claimed in June he can make peace with North Korea, there have been recriminations, simmering bad blood and very little progress in getting rid of nuclear weapons. By Foster Klug and Matthew Lee. SENT: 1,240 words, photos. With: CHINA-NORTH KOREA — The foreign ministers of China and North Korea have met in Beijing amid a lack of progress in efforts to persuade Kim Jong Un’s regime to halt its nuclear weapons program. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 355 words, photos.

BRAZIL-CLASHING MINISTERS — With his inauguration just weeks away, Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro is assembling a Cabinet of ministers with starkly different views on key issues like climate change, the economy and China that is raising questions about the direction the far-right leader will take Latin America’s largest nation. By Diane Jeantet. SENT: 1,015 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY

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CHINA-SPACE — Rising space power China is preparing to launch a ground-breaking mission to soft-land an unmanned spacecraft on the far side of the moon. If successful, the mission planned for early Saturday will propel the Chinese space program to a leading position in one of the most important areas of lunar exploration. The moon’s far side faces away from Earth and remains comparatively unknown, with a different composition from sites on the near side, where previous missions have landed. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 495 words.

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SPORTS

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SEATTLE EXPANSION-WHAT’S NEXT — Seattle can now begin plotting the course of its hockey future after the NHL awarded the city an expansion franchise that begins play in 2021. Longtime coach Dave Tippett will be in charge of building a hockey operations department. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 715 words, photos.

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