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BC-AP News Digest 3 am

March 29, 2019

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org .

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TOP STORIES

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TRUMP _ Presenting himself as both vindicated and vindictive, a fired-up President Donald Trump turns the findings of the Russia investigation into a political weapon at a Michigan rally that was part victory lap, part 2020 campaign push. Trump deemed the inquiry “the greatest hoax in the history of our country” and warned that those behind it “would be held accountable.” By Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin. SENT: 960 words, photos. With TRUMP-FACT CHECK _ Trump brags about a surging auto industry that isn’t surging, a Republican rescue for health care that has yet to take shape, and a “total” exoneration that was not offered; CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE _ Democrats intensify their demands for Robert Mueller’s full report after learning the special counsel’s findings run to more than 300 pages (both sent).

CONGRESS-RUSSIA PROBE _ Democrats intensified their demands for Robert Mueller’s full report after learning the special counsel’s findings from his Trump-Russia investigation run to more than 300 pages, while President Donald Trump boasted of total exoneration based on a four-page summary by his attorney general. By Lisa Mascaro, Laurie Kellman and Mary Clare Jalonick. SENT: 1,050 words, video, photos, audio.

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-FBI _ The FBI was already investigating Jussie Smollett before President Donald Trump tweeted that the agency and the Department of Justice would review the case, which the president called “an embarrassment” to the nation. Trump’s tweet came two days after a surprise decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop all charges against the “Empire” actor, who was accused of orchestrating a fake attack involving two men who beat him on a downtown Chicago street. The president did not specify what aspect of the case would be probed, and Department of Justice officials declined to comment. By Legal Affairs Writer Michael Tarm. SENT: 920 words, video, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-NATIONAL REMEMBRANCE SERVICE _ A man who survived New Zealand’s mosque attacks told a crowd of about 20,000 people he forgives the terrorist who killed his wife and 49 others. By Nick Perry. SENT: 460 words, photos.

ARAB SUMMIT-ELUSIVE UNITY _ Arab leaders meeting in Tunisia on Sunday hope to project unified opposition to the Trump administration’s acceptance of Israeli control over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem, but as with past Arab League summits, the gathering is likely to expose their own bitter rivalries. By Bouazza and Samy Magdy. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

ARGENTINA-THE HOMELESS _ Families living on the streets outside shopping malls, bus stations and parks have become an increasingly common sight in Argentina’s capital. An economic crisis, soaring inflation and a spike in utility bills fueled by government austerity measures have left more people unable to afford a home in the South American country. The long-running crisis sharpened in 2018 when the Argentine peso lost about half its value following a run on the currency. By Debora Rey. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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PHILIPPINES-MEDIA _ A Philippine online news site critical of President Rodrigo Duterte says its CEO has been arrested again, this time over an alleged investment violation. SENT: 290 words, photo.

CHINA-NEW ZEALAND _ A rights group is urging New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to raise concerns about reported Chinese government abuses of Muslims during her visit to Beijing. SENT: 330 words, photo.

HONDURAS-JOURNALIST ARRESTED _ Honduran police broke down the door of a radio station and arrested a journalist known as a strong critic of President Juan Orlando Hernandez who had holed up inside. SENT: 330 words.

BRAZIL-GANG RAPE _ Rio de Janeiro’s civil police are arresting two more suspects in a gang rape case where “around 11 men” raped a 12-year-old girl at a party during carnival celebrations. SENT: 260 words.

AUSTRALIA-BREAKING WIND _ An Australian court has dismissed a bullying case brought by an engineer who accused his former supervisor of repeatedly breaking wind toward him. SENT: 320 words, photo.

FOUNDING FATHERS’ CHURCH _ The steeple at Philadelphia’s landmark Christ Church is leaning, and its supporting tower needs serious structural support. SENT: 500 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TRUMP-FOREIGN POLICY _ A series of announcements _ on Israel, Syria and North Korea _ by President Trump in a 72-hour span last week upended planning on three of the administration’s most important foreign policy initiatives, leaving stunned aides scrambling to explain the moves. By Matthew Lee and Deb Riechmann. SENT: 990 words, photo.

DEVOS-SPECIAL OLYMPICS _ President Donald Trump says he is backing off his budget request to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics, reversing course on a proposal that was unlikely to be approved by Congress after days of bipartisan criticism. SENT: 750 words, photos.

FEDERAL RESERVE-MOORE _ Stephen Moore, President Trump’s latest pick to help lead the Federal Reserve, has gotten a rocky reception. SENT: 950 words, photo. With SENATE-NOMINATIONS _ Senate Republicans, frustrated at Democratic stalling tactics on President Trump’s appointments, move to change Senate rules. SENT: 460 words, photo.

ELECTION 2020-O’ROURKE-IOWA _ A former Iowa Democratic Party official is facing criticism for jumping from the party to work for Beto O’Rourke _ and bringing with him inside information his opponents say could give the former Texas congressman an advantage. SENT: 820 words, photos.

TRUMP-SAUDI ARABIA _ The Trump administration approves six applications for U.S. companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia. SENT: 760 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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HAWAII-FLAVORED E-CIGARETTE BAN _ The first state to limit tobacco and electronic cigarette sales to people 21 and older is contemplating a new nicotine crackdown: outlawing flavored electronic cigarette liquids and flavored tobacco to combat a spike in teenage vaping. SENT: 940 words, photos.

UNDERWATER HOMEOWNERS _ The “Underwater Homeowners Association” sounds like a sad joke about the future of real estate in flood-prone Miami. It’s conceptual artist Xavier Cortada’s title for a a block-by-block effort to get neighbors talking about climate change. Cortada repurposes “for sale” signs with painted numbers showing exactly how many feet above sea level each house stands. The idea is to encourage neighbors act locally. What happens next is up to each group. SENT: 990 words, video, photos.

HARRY REID-INJURY LAWSUIT _ Former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid told a Nevada jury Thursday that his career was cut short by injuries he suffered when a TheraBand exercise device slipped from his hand and he fell in his home bathroom in 2015. SENT: 540 words, video, photos.

POLICE SHOOTING-WICHITA _ A California man faces decades in prison when he’s sentenced for making hoax emergency calls, including one that led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: Sentencing set for 11 a.m.

BUMP STOCK BAN _ A nationwide ban on bump stocks has taken effect. That’s the devices that were used by the gunman in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre to make his weapons fire rapidly like machine guns. How many of the estimated half-million bump stocks are still in circulation is anyone’s guess, but in there have been signs in recent weeks that many were destroyed or turned in as required. SENT: 480 words, video, photos. With SUPREME COURT-BUMP STOCK BAN _ Supreme Court won’t stop enforcement of bump stock ban. SENT: 320 words.

FORMER-GOVERNOR-SEXUAL-HARASSMENT-ALLEGATIONS _ A Virginia student who worked with the nation’s first elected African-American governor is accusing him of sexually harassing her by kissing her without consent. SENT: 570 words, photo.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KOREAS-US-DIPLOMACY _ South Korean President Moon Jae-in will travel to the United States in two weeks for a summit with President Donald Trump on stalemated North Korean nuclear diplomacy. SENT: 460 words, photo.

EGYPT-ACTIVIST RELEASED _ One of Egypt’s most prominent pro-democracy activists was released from prison after serving a five-year sentence for inciting and taking part in protests, his family and lawyer said. SENT: 350 words.

BANGLADESH-FIRE _ A fire in a high-rise office building in Bangladesh’s capital has been brought under full control with the death toll remaining at 19, fire officials say. SENT: 260 words, video, photos.

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BUSINESS/TECH

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CHINA-HUAWEI _ Chinese tech giant Huawei’s deputy chairman defended its commitment to security Friday after a stinging British government report added to Western pressure on the company by accusing it of failing to repair dangerous flaws in its telecom technology. By Business Writer Joe McDonald. SENT: 850 words, photos.

WELLS FARGO-CEO STEPS DOWN _ Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan is stepping down, effective immediately, after less than four years on the job during which a wave of scandals beset the troubled bank. SENT: 560 words, photos.

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ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

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PEOPLE-CARDI B _ Rappers bragging about crimes from their pasts _ or warning about those they may commit in the future _ are part of the genre’s lore. From Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg to Future, street cred for rappers has often been solidified by detailing their grimy acts in everything from raps to interviews. So it would seem that Cardi B’s recently discovered admission to drugging and robbing men during her stripper past would be just another example of that. But in the era of (hash)MeToo, some are wondering whether it’s time to Cancel Cardi B in the same way R. Kelly has been largely muted following allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused young women and girls. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.

PEOPLE ROBERT TOWNSEND _ Some understand the heartbreak of finding out our favorite band has broken up, but few can actually turn that dismay into a cult classic. That’s what Robert Townsend did with “The Five Heartbeats.” Unfortunately, the film tanked in theaters. Turns out all it needed was some time and the Internet to help. Fans of the film begged for a sequel, but Townsend opted to produce, “Making the Five Heartbeats,” a documentary outlining the journey. Now he’s nominated for an NCAAP Image Award. SENT: 610 words, photo.

PEOPLE-LIL NAS X _ Billboard told rapper Lil Nas X to take his horse and giddy up when they decided to remove his viral hit “Old Town Road” from their country charts because they determined it wasn’t country enough. SENT: 350 words, photo.

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SPORTS

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BKC--NCAA-TIPPING OFF _ Duke got by a giant Tacko to reach the Sweet 16. Waiting for the Blue Devils in Washington will be a familiar foe. Five days after escaping Central Florida and 7-foot-6 center Tacko Fall, the Blue Devils play fellow ACC-er Virginia Tech on Friday. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 850 words, photos by 4 a.m.

OPENING DAY _ Bryce Harper bowed to his new fans, Mookie Betts and the World Series champion Boston Red Sox drew cheers far from Fenway Park and the great Mariano Rivera threw one more strike from the mound at Yankee Stadium. Then it was time to play Home Run Derby on a record-setting opening day. By Baseball Writer Ben Walker. SENT: 830 words, photos.

SPORTS BETTING SUMMIT _ A year ago, major U.S. sports leagues were still fighting states and casino companies in court over legal gambling. Now, league and casino executives are sharing laughs during panel discussions and striking deals that will integrate gambling into the fan experience. By Sports Writer Bill Nuckols. SENT: 880 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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