BC-AP News Digest 2 pm


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

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NEWS& DEVELOPING

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SOMALIA: Al-Shabab gunmen attack hotel in the Somali capital. Developing.

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ONLY ON AP

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ISLAMIC STATE-CYBERWAR – U.S. officials tell The Associated Press that the military has launched a newly aggressive campaign of cyberattacks against Islamic State militants. It’s a targeted effort to erode the group’s abilities to use social media and the Internet to recruit fighters and inspire followers. By Lolita C. Baldor. SENT: 800 words, photos. (Also see NUCLEAR-MISSILE TEST.)

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TOP STORIES

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CAMPAIGN 2016 — Front-runner Donald Trump picks up an unexpected endorsement from former rival Chris Christie as a wild Republican presidential race barrels toward Super Tuesday. Marco Rubio redoubles his blistering attacks on Trump. By Steve Peoples. SENT: 775 words, photos. WITH:CAMPAIGN 2016-THE LATEST; GOP 2016-TRUMP-TAXES — A look at Trump’s explanation that he won’t yet release copies of his recent tax returns. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos by 3 p.m.; MEXICO TRUMP — Mexicans are backing former President Vicente Fox in his salty language spat with Trump. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.

SYRIA — Warplanes unleash airstrikes against rebel-held positions outside the Syrian capital and in Aleppo hours before a cease-fire brokered by the United States and Russia goes into effect. If the partial truce holds, it would be the first time international negotiations have brought any degree of quiet in the five-year civil war. By Zeina Karam. SENT: 900 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated when ceasefire begins at 5 p.m. with 900 words, photos. WITH: SYRIA-THE-LATEST; SYRIA-TIMELINE; SYRIA-DAMASCUS MOOD — The normalcy that prevails in the Syrian capital underscores the success of Bashar Assad in insulating his seat of power from the devastation that surrounds; RUSSIA-SYRIA-ANALYSIS — Putin has a chance to cash in by scaling down his bombing blitz so he can emerge as a peace broker with international stature. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SHOOTING-KANSAS BUSINESS — A man with a lengthy criminal record who stormed into a Kansas factory and shot 15 people, killing three, had just been served with a protective order that probably triggered the attack. SENT: 850 words with photos and video. WITH: SHOOTING-KANSAS BUSINESS-TIMELINE; SHOOTING-KANSAS BUSINESS-SUSPECT; SHOOTING-KANSAS BUSINESS-VICTIMS; WORKPLACE VIOLENCE-GLANCE.

APPLE ENCRYPTION — Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company’s opposition to a government iPhone-hacking plan at its annual shareholder meeting, one day after the tech giant formally challenged a court order to help the FBI unlock an encrypted iPhone used by a murderous extremist in San Bernardino, California. By Brandon Bailey. SENT: 530 words, photo. With APPLE ENCRYPTION-BOSSING BUSINESS AROUND – Apple claims the federal government lacks the authority to tell it how to design its products and defeat their security. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m., photo.

FIFA ELECTION —European soccer executive Gianni Infantino is elected president of FIFA, and he promises to “restore the image” of the sport’s world governing body that has been shaken by a growing bribery and corruption crisis. By Graham Dunbar and Rob Harris. SENT: 800 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by 4 p.m. WITH: FIFA ELECTION-THE LATEST; FIFA ELECTION-INFANTINO — The new FIFA president like the substitute who came off the bench to score the winning goal in a cup final. SENT: 570 words, photos; FIFA-EXTRADITION — Ex-Venezuela soccer boss Esquivel accepts U.S. extradition. SENT: 340 words, photo.

OSCAR’S WORTH — The actual worth of the 13½-inch golden boy known as Oscar is about $500. But it can be worth many millions to the careers of its lucky recipients. Not a bad ego booster, either. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr. UPCOMING: About 600 words, photos, video. WITH: OSCARS-MEXICO — Mexico is abuzz with the possibility that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu could snag an unprecedented third in a row directing Oscar by Mexicans. SENT: 820 words, photos; OSCARS-COSTUME DESIGN — How the craft of costume design can help dress up a film for a date at the Oscars. UPCOMING: AP Photo Gallery, 600 words.

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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT

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UBER VS TAXI-SAFETY — The deadly shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, raises anew a question: Uber rides may be cheaper and more convenient than a cab, but are they as safe? UPCOMING: 750 words, photos, by 3 p.m.

CHEESE IMITATION-PLEAS — A woman whose family controls several Pennsylvania cheese-making firms will plead guilty to charges that their grated cheese had too little cheese and too much wood pulp. SENT: 400 words.

TOM BRADY’S PUPPY —’Lion King’ video of Tom Brady’s new pup gets 2M-plus views. SENT: 130 words.

MEXICO MONARCH BUTTERFLIES — Experts release the annual estimate of how many Monarch butterflies wintered in Mexico. UPCOMING by 4 p.m. EST: 600 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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DEM 2016-SOUTH CAROLINA — Hillary Clinton is barnstorming across South Carolina, while Bernie Sanders draws crowds far to the north. His schedule is an admission of her edge among blacks in the south. By Bill Barrow and Meg Kinnard. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video by 4 p.m. WITH: DEM 2016-CLINTON AND RACE — Clinton addressing race in increasingly blunt terms. SENT: 820 words, photos, video; AP POLL-DEM 2016 (sent.)

NUCLEAR MISSILE TEST — An unarmed Minuteman 3 nuclear missile roars out of its underground bunker amid growing worry about North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. SENT: 820 words, photos, video.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT-ATTORNEY INVESTIGATED — A Justice Department lawyer admits improperly sending sensitive information to her personal email account, a reminder of the legal perils as Clinton scrutinized on emails. SENT: 580 words.

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NATIONAL

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FLINT WATER — Gov. Rick Snyder’s newest release of state emails indicates that his own mismanagement, the reluctance of aides to brief him, or both, led to delays in addressing the public health threat in Flint’s water. A year before the lead contamination was exposed, two top advisers were advocating reconnecting to Lake Huron, with one calling the Flint situation “downright scary.” UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, audio by 6 p.m.

TEACHER KILLED-MASSACHUSETTS — Philip Chism, the teenager convicted of raping and killing a popular math teacher, faces up to life in prison at his sentencing. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m. WITH: TEACHER KILLED-MASSACHUSETTS-THE LATEST.

ARKANSAS-JUDICIAL RACES-MONEY — Two state Supreme Court races that become Arkansas’ most fiercely fought contests thanks to outside conservative groups that have poured more than $600,000 into the state. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 2 p.m.

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INTERNATIONAL

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IRELAND ELECTION — Prime Minister Enda Kenny is in an uphill struggle to retain power as his Fine Gael party’s coalition partner, the left-wing Labour, faces heavy losses to Sinn Fein and hard-line socialist candidates. SENT: 500 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing from vote. Polls close at 5 p.m., vote count starts Saturday. WITH: AP EXPLAINS-IRELAND’S ELECTION — A look at the peculiarities of Ireland’s democracy. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 p.m.

IRAN-ELECTIONS — Iranians vote in parliamentary elections, the country’s first since its landmark nuclear deal with world powers last summer. SENT: 500 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing. Polls close at 1:30 p.m. WITH: IRAN-ELECTIONS-WHO’S WHO; IRAN-ELECTIONS-GLANCE.

BULGARIA-SLAYING — A Palestinian militant wanted by Israel for the 1986 killing of a Jewish student falls to his death at the Palestinian embassy in Bulgaria in mysterious circumstances, with Palestinians saying Israel killed him and Israel denying involvement. SENT: 530 words, photos.

COLOMBIA-MASS GRAVES — Colombian investigators are digging up the bodies of 464 people buried in unmarked graves in a former rebel stronghold, the first step in an effort to find tens of thousands of such remains. Identifications could play a crucial role helping Colombians heal as a peace deal nears. SENT: 985 words, photos.

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HEALTH

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ZIKA VIRUS-PREGNANT WOMEN — Zika infections have been confirmed in nine pregnant women in the United States. Three babies have been born, one with a brain defect. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe. SENT; 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words, developing from CDC press briefing, photos.

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BUSINESS

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INSURANCE EXCHANGES-CLOUDY FUTURE — Health insurers are reporting steep losses from their business on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges and some are considering dropping the business. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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MUSIC-PHIL COLLINS — Singer and drummer Phil Collins is taking one tentative step out of musical retirement by offering up huge chunks of his past. By Entertainment Writer Mark Kennedy. SENT: 700 words, photos, video. WITH: MUSIC-PHIL COLLINS-EXTRAS.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Mike Stewart 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.

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