BC-AP News Digest 3 am


Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST.

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ONLY ON AP

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CHINA-DEADLY NEW DRUGS — The proliferation of rapidly evolving synthetic opioids has become so fierce that the Drug Enforcement Administration says they now constitute an entire new class of drugs, which are fueling the deadliest addiction crisis the United States has ever seen. Forensic chemists at the DEA’s Special Testing and Research Laboratory are on the front line of the war on drugs, teasing out molecular structures of mystery drugs so they can be named, tracked and regulated. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: 2,350 words, photos, video. An abridged version of 760 words also moved.

NEPAL-MIGRANT DEATHS — The number of Nepalis working abroad has grown significantly in recent years, yet the number of those who come home dead has risen far more dramatically. Over 5,000 workers from this small country have died working abroad since 2008 — more than the number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq War. Often, relatively young men simply die in their sleep. It’s a phenomenon researchers have seen before in Asians working abroad. By Martha Mendoza. SENT: 2,830 words, photos, video. A 1,050-word abridged version also moved.

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TOP STORIES

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MEXICO-FIREWORKS EXPLOSION — The San Pablito fireworks market was especially well stocked for the holidays and bustling with hundreds of shoppers when a powerful chain-reaction explosion ripped through the stalls, killing at least 29 people and casting a pall over Mexico’s Christmas season. By Christopher Sherman and Peter Orsi. SENT: 830 words, photos, video.

GERMANY-CHRISTMAS MARKET — German investigators are searching for the perpetrator or perpetrators of Monday’s attack on a crowded Berlin Christmas market after a man arrested soon after the rampage was released for lack of evidence and the Islamic State group claimed responsibility. By Geir Moulson. SENT: 130 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing. With GERMANY-CHRISTMAS-MARKET-THE LATEST.

TRUMP-BUSH — The Bush family and its Republican allies are finding common cause with Donald Trump over his pick to lead the State Department, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 780 words, photos. With TRUMP — Trump meets with his incoming national security adviser (sent).

LGBT RIGHTS-NORTH CAROLINA — Lawmakers consider a repeal of the widely derided North Carolina law known as the “bathroom bill.” But will they follow through on a full repeal as expected? By Gary D. Robertson and Jonathan Drew. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing from 10 a.m. legislative session. With LGBT RIGHTS-NORTH CAROLINA-NEWS GUIDE (sent).

SYRIA — Delays hamper the last evacuations of Syrian rebels and civilians from what’s left of the rebel enclave in Aleppo as the city awaits the arrival of 20 U.N. observers meant to monitor the final exodus from the eastern sector of the city. By Philip Issa. UPCOMING: 300 words by 6 a.m., photos.

TOP 10 STORIES — The top 10 stories of 2016, as determined by the Associated Press’ annual poll of editors. By National Writer David Crary. UPCOMING: 800 words at 6 a.m., photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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HIJAB PULLED-STATE EMPLOYEE — State employee accused of pulling off Muslim woman’s hijab. SENT: 140 words.

PHILIPPINES-JAMES TAYLOR — James Taylor cancels Manila concert over Duterte’s drug war. SENT: 280 words, photo.

PEOPLE-RICHARD MARX — ‘Right Here Waiting’ singer Richard Marx says he’s no ‘big hero’ after plane incident. SENT: 210 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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AFGHAN TRANSLATORS-LEFT BEHIND — Scores of combat veterans are lobbying to get their Afghan translators visas to the United States because they face death threats in Afghanistan for helping American troops. SENT: 850 words, photos.

INDONESIA-TERROR RAID — Indonesian police say three suspected militants who were planning a holiday season suicide bombing are killed in a raid on the outskirts of Jakarta in the second imminent attack to be foiled in less than two weeks. SENT: 500 words, photos.

UGANDA-JEWISH COMMUNITY — A new synagogue is a source of pride for this tiny hamlet of Jews in eastern Uganda that suffered years of prejudice and once was outlawed in this Christian-dominated country. The community that grew from a single convert a century ago has just seen one of its members elected to Parliament. SENT: 840 words, photos.

PALESTINIANS-MADE IN CHINA — Christmas is approaching and pilgrims and tourists have begun to arrive, crowding souvenir shops in Bethlehem, the biblical town revered as Jesus’ birthplace. But when visitors choose to take a piece of the Holy Land back home with them, they better check the labels. Many souvenirs are imported from abroad, mainly China. SENT: 850 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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TRUMP-NEW YORK RUSSIANS — In oceanfront stretch of Brooklyn that’s home to tens of thousands of conservative Russian-speaking immigrants, it’s not surprising many people dismiss talk Russia was trying to sway the election results as nothing more than Democratic excuse-making. SENT: 600 words, photos.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-FIFTH FATALITY? — Boston’s mayor and others are pressing for recognition for a police officer who died a year after being hurt in a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. By Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie. SENT: 460 words, photo.

DEATH PENALTY DECLINE — Only 30 people are sentenced to death in the United States this year, the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in use of the death penalty. SENT: 510 words.

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BUSINESS

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BRAZIL-UBER FAST GROWTH — Uber sees tremendous potential in Brazil, Latin America’s most populous nation, but pushes to regulate and even ban the company make its future uncertain. SENT: 970 words, photos.

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SPORTS

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JAZZ-WARRIORS — Stephen Curry scores 25 points with four 3-pointers, Kevin Durant has 22 points and the Golden State Warriors whip the Utah Jazz 104-74 after a slow start. By Sports Writer Janie Mccauley. SENT: 690 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Alina Heineke can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.