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BC-AP News Digest 5:30 am

February 24, 2019

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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NEW/DEVELOPING

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NIGERIA-ELECTION _ Nigeria counts votes as nation awaits election outcome. SENT: 120 words, photos.

SYRIA _ Mine left by Islamic State militants kills at least 20 in Syria. SENT: 240 words.

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TOP STORIES

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VENEZUELA-POLITICAL CRISIS _ A U.S.-backed drive to deliver foreign aid to Venezuela meets strong resistance as troops loyal to President Nicolas Maduro blocked the convoys at the border and fired tear gas on protesters in clashes that left two people dead and some 300 injured. As night fell, opposition leader Juan Guaido refrained from asking supporters to continue risking their lives trying to break through the government’s barricades at the Colombian and Brazilian borders. Instead, he said he would meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday in Bogota at an emergency meeting of mostly conservative Latin American governments to discuss Venezuela’s crisis. By Christine Armario and Luis Andres Henao. SENT: 1,330 words, photos, videos.

VATICAN-SEX ABUSE _ Pope Francis closes out his extraordinary summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize the victims of this “brazen, aggressive and destructive evil.” By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 340 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be expanded. With VATICAN-SEX ABUSE-THE LATEST.

NKOREA SUMMIT-SUCCESS AS FAILURE? _ The nightmare scenario heading into the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un isn’t so much “fire and fury” and millions dead. Rather, some experts fear the meeting could result in an ill-considered deal that allows North Korea to get everything it wants while giving up very little, even as the mercurial leaders trumpet a blockbuster nuclear success. By Foster Klug. SENT: 1,210 words, photos. With VIETNAM-SUMMIT-KIM’S ROUTE _ Kim boards train to summit; VIETNAM-SUMMIT-PHOTO GALLERY. For comprehensive coverage: https://apnews.com/Trump-KimSummit

IRAN-ROUHANI’S FUTURE _ As Iran marked the 40th anniversary of its Islamic Revolution, a white-turbaned Shiite cleric at one commemoration targeted President Hassan Rouhani, a fellow clergyman, with this sign: “You who are the cause of inflation; we hope you won’t last until spring.” Already lashed by criticism over his collapsing nuclear deal and renewed tensions with the U.S., the relatively moderate Rouhani faces anger from clerics, hardline forces and an ever-growing disaffected public that now threatens his position. By Nasser Karimi. SENT: 970 words, photos. This is the Monday Spotlight. With IRAN _ Iran launches cruise missile from submarine during drill; IRAN-US _ Iran: Detained American not held on security charges.

OHIO STATE-TEAM DOCTOR-WHISTLEBLOWER _ Among the 150-plus men alleging sexual misconduct by a former Ohio State team doctor, ex-wrestler Mike DiSabato has been the loudest. His allegations helped spur the ongoing investigation about the late Dr. Richard Strauss. But DiSabato’s pit-bull defense of his own claims, character and motives has alienated allies and even landed him in jail recently before he pleaded no contest in a tangentially related harassment case. Even so, he tells The Associated Press he doesn’t regret his approach. By Kantele Franko. UPCOMING: 890 words by 9 a.m., photos.

R KELLY-LEGACY _ R. Kelly is regarded as one of music’s all-time hit makers, but the R&B star’s career is being seriously tested again after new criminal charges were brought against him. The 52-year-old Grammy winner is charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse involving four female victims, including three minors. By Entertainment Writer Jonathan Landrum Jr. SENT: 1,020 words, photos. With R KELLY-INVESTIGATIONS _ R. Kelly met underage girl while on trial for child porn.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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CHINA-FACIAL RECOGNITION _ China to use facial recognition to thwart scalpers. SENT: 280 words.

BRECKENRIDGE TROLL _ Giant wooden troll is returning to Colorado ski town. SENT: 150 words, photo.

INDIA-TAINTED LIQUOR _ At least 150 die from tainted liquor in India’s northeast. SENT: 290 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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EUROPEAN ELECTIONS-BATTLE LINES _ Battle lines are drawn between anti-EU populist forces and traditional political parties at the beginning of a three-month election campaign that could turn into a tipping point in post-war European history. SENT: 940 words, photos.

MOLDOVA-ELECTIONS _ Moldovans are voting in a parliamentary election in the former Soviet republic, a ballot that could deepen the split between pro-Western and pro-Russian forces. SENT: 370 words, photos. UPCOMING: Polls close at 2 p.m.; first results expected Monday.

SENEGAL-ELECTION _ Senegalese voters are choosing whether to give President Macky Sall a second term in office as critics accuse the incumbent leader of having blocked the strongest opposition candidates from running against him. SENT: 480 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN-CIVILIAN DEATHS _ More civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year than in any of the previous nine years of the increasingly bloody conflict, according to a U.N. report, which blamed the spike in deaths on increased suicide bombings by the Islamic State group and stepped up aerial attacks by U.S.-led coalition forces. SENT: 540 words, photos.

SAUDI ARABIA-US _ Saudi Arabia appoints its first female ambassador to serve as its top diplomat in the United States, pulling a son of King Salman back to the kingdom to serve as deputy defense minister amid deteriorating ties with America after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. SENT: 570 words.

KASHMIR-CRACKDOWN _ Shops and businesses are closed in Kashmir to protest a sweeping crackdown against activists seeking the end of Indian rule in the disputed region. SENT: 440 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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MUELLER REPORT-IN PLAIN SIGHT _ Indictment by indictment, special counsel Robert Mueller has stitched together a Russia report in plain view. SENT: 3,340 words, photos. With TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS-THINGS TO KNOW.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-MANAFORT _ Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort committed crimes that cut to “the heart of the criminal justice system” and over the years deceived everyone from bookkeepers and banks to federal prosecutors and his own lawyers, according to a sentencing memo filed by the special counsel’s office. SENT: 650 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-SHERROD BROWN _ Democrat Sherrod Brown brings a pro-worker message to Las Vegas casino workers who are members of what’s considered Nevada’s most powerful labor union, declaring that if he decides to run for president, he will be “the most pro-union candidate.” SENT: 580 words, photo. With ELECTION 2020-IOWA _ Democratic hopefuls mingle with voters at Iowa church.

FACT CHECK-WEEK _ The political fallout from President Donald Trump’s push for his border wall is giving rise to overwrought rhetoric from Republicans and Democrats alike. By Hope Yen, Calvin Woodward and Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 2,230 words, photos. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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NATIONAL

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DEEP SOUTH WEATHER _ A tornado smashes into a commercial district in the small Mississippi city of Columbus, shattering businesses as severe storms rake the South on a weekend of drenching rains and a rising flood threat. SENT: 830 words, photos. With DEEP SOUTH WEATHER-THE LATEST.

JACKPOT MYSTERY _ Nearly everyone in the small South Carolina town of Simpsonville has a theory for its billion-dollar mystery: Who won the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot announced last October? UPCOMING: 940 words by 10 a.m., photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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MOBILE SHOW-HUAWEI PHONE _ China’s Huawei is set to take the wraps off a new folding-screen phone, joining the latest trend for bendable devices as it challenges the global smartphone market’s dominant players, Apple and Samsung. By Business Writer Kelvin Chan. SENT: 660 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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AWARDS SEASON-END IS NEAR _ Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of the James Baldwin novel “If Beale Street Could Talk” tops the 34th Film Independent Spirit Awards, winning best film, best director and best supporting female for Regina King. By Entertainment Writer Mike Cidoni Lennox. SENT: 630 words, photos. With OSCARS-STARS IN SNEAKERS _ Oscars: Stars and stand-ins rehearse for the big show. UPCOMING: 91st Academy Awards begins at 8 p.m.

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SPORTS

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PENGUINS-FLYERS _ Claude Giroux scores 1:59 into overtime and the Philadelphia Flyers scored three straight goals in the rain to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on a soggy night at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Eagles. By Sports Writer Dan Gelston. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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