BC-AP News Digest 3 am


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

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ONLY ON AP

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UN PEACEKEEPERS-CHILD SEX RING — An Associated Press investigation of U.N. missions during the past 12 years found nearly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by peacekeepers and other personnel around the world — signaling the crisis is much larger than previously known. More than 300 of the allegations involved children. By Paisley Dodds. SENT: 2,760 words, photos. TOP VIDEO: — UN Haiti Abuse (CR) — Probe shows sex abuse by peacekeepers. An abridged version of 850 words will be sent later in the day.

EL FARO’S FINAL HOURS— Amid howling winds, blinding squalls and massive waves, the freighter El Faro and its crew struggled for survival — unaware that their course was taking them directly into the path of Hurricane Joaquin. This run was to be the El Faro’s last before a major retrofit, but instead it ended with the cargo ship sinking, no bodies ever recovered — and it would be months before search crews found the wreckage. By Jason Dearen. SENT: 3,800 words, photos. TOP VIDEO: — US FL El Faro Widow (CR HFR) — Widow uses grief to push for safer ships. With EL FARO’S FINAL HOURS-HOW IT WAS DONE; EL FARO’S FINAL HOURS-WIDOW; EL FARO’S FINAL HOURS-INVESTIGATOR.

CALIFORNIA SNOWPACK SKI TREK — An AP reporter joins a California snow survey crew to ski high mountain passes in a quest to measure the depths of a near-record snowpack — an age-old technique that endures even as new technology tries to gauge the state’s expected water supply. By Brian Melley. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

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TOP STORIES

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UNITED STATES-RUSSIA — Early expectations of an easy rapport between the Trump administration and Russia crash into reality as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a fraught meeting with his Russian counterpart amid mounting tensions over Syria. By Josh Lederman. UPCOMING: 600 words by 5 a.m., photos.

CHINA-US-NKOREA — Chinese President Xi Jinping tells President Donald Trump in a phone call that Beijing is willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program but wants a peaceful solution. SENT: 410 words, photo.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA — The Trump administration deploys an aircraft carrier near North Korea — but if the North proceeds with a ballistic missile or nuclear test and the U.S. does nothing in response, America’s deterrence will appear diminished. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 820 words, photo.

UNITED-PASSENGER REMOVED — After people were horrified by video of a passenger getting dragged off a full United Express flight by airport police, the head of United’s parent company says the airline is reaching out to the man to “resolve this situation.” By Don Babwin. SENT: 950 words, photos, videos.

EGYPT-DEALING WITH INSURGENCY — This past weekend’s deadly bombings of two churches left Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi grappling with the question of how to defeat a tenacious insurgency by Islamic State group militants that three years of fierce fighting has been unable to crush. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 950 words, photos.

MOSUL-DEVASTATED STREET — Two houses are all that remain standing on this street with no name in western Mosul, just blocks from the front lines of the battle to retake Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State group — a once-bustling neighborhood reduced to rubble, its sidewalks piled high with a jumble of concrete, bricks and metal. Freed of the militants, the war is far from over for the few residents who remain: Food is scarce and fighting rages nearby. By Mstyslav Chernov and Felipe Dana. SENT: 700 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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OBIT-JOHN GEILS — J. Geils Band founder dies at 71. SENT: 450 words.

OBIT-LETTERMAN’S MOM — David Letterman’s mom, who became unlikely star, dies at 95. SENT: 370 words, photos.

NUGGETS-MAVERICKS — Tony Romo basks in honorary day with NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. SENT: 890 words, photos.

LIL BOOSIE-ASSAULTS — Mississippi police department denies taking rapper’s jewelry. SENT: 150 words, photos.

TAIWAN-ANIMAL WELFARE — Taiwan bans sale, consumption of dog and cat meat. SENT: 220 words, photo.

NEPAL-EVEREST OCTOGENARIAN — At 85, Nepali aims to regain title of oldest Everest climber. SENT: 460 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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PHILIPPINES-FIGHTING — Philippine troops battling militants in a central province kill a key Abu Sayyaf commander who had been blamed for the beheadings of two Canadians and a German hostage and was apparently attempting another kidnapping mission, the military chief says. SENT: 810 words, photo. With PHILIPPINES-FIGHTING-THE LATEST.

GERMANY-SOCCER-EXPLOSIONS —German police say they are investigating “in all directions” after three explosions went off near Borussia Dortmund’s team bus ahead of a Champions League quarterfinal match, injuring one of the soccer team’s players. SENT: 300 words, photos.

FRANCE-ELECTION — France’s presidential campaign keeps throwing out surprises — and now, with 11 days left to voting day, far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is disrupting the electoral calculus by surging in the polls, thanks to a message that sounds a lot like his far-right rival Marine Le Pen: dump the EU, stop trade deals and down with the old establishment. UPCOMING: 500 words by 9 a.m., photos.

TURKEY-MUSTACHES — Neatly trimmed mustaches, similar to those worn by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have become increasingly popular among government ministers from his Islamic AKP party as the country nears a crucial referendum on expanding the president’s powers. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 a.m., photos.

NIGERIA-CHILD BOMBERS — Boko Haram extremists are increasingly using children as suicide bombers, with the number of attacks since January already nearly the total for all of last year, UNICEF reports. SENT: 350 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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KANSAS-CONGRESS-SPECIAL ELECTION — Republicans pull out a victory in Kansas in the first of four U.S. House special elections to replace GOP congressmen named to top jobs in Trump’s administration, but the next contest for a seat in Georgia could be tougher to hold. SENT: 620 words, photos.

FEDERAL HIRING FREEZE — The federal government hiring freeze implemented by Trump as one of his first acts in office is being lifted. SENT: 480 words, photo.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY

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JAPAN-TOYOTA ROBOT — Toyota is introducing a wearable robotic leg brace designed to help partially paralyzed people walk. By Business Writer Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 580 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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IMMIGRANT IDENTIFICATION-VERMONT — The Vermont motor vehicle department gave federal officials information on immigrants living in the country illegally, documents show, giving life to longstanding fears that programs providing such immigrants with documentation could be used against them. SENT: 780 words, photos.

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BUSINESS

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AUTO SHOW-HORSEPOWER HOUR — Super cars, speedy coupes and even a 700-horsepower SUV will give this year’s New York auto show some serious get up and go. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher. SENT: 600 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Updates throughout day as embargoes expire on details of cars. AUTO SHOW-WHEELS TO WATCH — Dodge to unleash Demon with 840 horsepower.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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TV-FOX-BILL O’REILLY — Bill O’Reilly is taking a vacation from his Fox News Channel show amid sponsor defections triggered by sexual harassment allegations. By Television Writer Lynn Elber. SENT: 300 words, photo.

TRAVEL-AMERICAN REVOLUTION MUSEUM — Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution sweeps visitors up in the dramatic founding of the nation, through artifacts large and small, interactive exhibits and re-created environments. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

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SPORTS

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WHAT’S AT STAKE — The last night of the NBA regular season isn’t just about playoff spots. It’s also about lottery seeds, so not every team will be looking to go out on a winning note. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 600 words, photos.

AROUND THE NHL — The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win consecutive Stanley Cups. By Sports Writer Will Graves. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Hiroshi Otabe (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Dien Magno (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.