Good morning! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change; see the 2 p.m. News Digest for updates. You can find our contact info at the bottom of this advisory. All times EST.
Among today’s coverage highlights as we see them at 10:30 a.m. EST:
–BRITAIN-OBIT-GEORGE MICHAEL (sent)
–RUSSIA-MILITARY PLANE (sent, developing)
–ELECTION 2016-HACKING THE VOTE (sent)
–TRUMP-ISRAEL AMBASSADOR (sent)
–OBAMA-JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (developing)
–WNBA SECURITY APP (sent)
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT:
–CANCER PATIENT-PIZZA DONATION (sent)
–WINTER WEATHER (sent)
Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today (all times EST):
HEALTH OVERHAUL-GOP FACTIONS-ANALYSIS — Republicans are united on repealing President Barack Obama’s health care but in different camps over replacing it. Getting the factions together won’t be easy. SENT: 970 words, photo.
TRUMP-ISRAEL AMBASSADOR — If President-elect Donald Trump wanted to show he planned to obliterate President Barack Obama’s approach to Israel, he may have found his man to deliver that message in David Friedman, his pick for U.S. ambassador. SENT: 1,080 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m. EST.
ELECTION 2016-HACKING THE VOTE — Recount efforts after the presidential vote have highlighted major vulnerabilities in the U.S. election system. Paperless electronic machines used by about 1 in 5 voters make it almost impossible to have a meaningful recount and raise the danger of a rigged result. SENT: 1,900 words, and 920-word abridged, photos, interactive.
RUSSIA-MILITARY PLANE — A pilot error or a technical fault — not terrorism — is likely to be the cause of the plane crash into the Black Sea, Russian officials say as the nation holds a day of mourning for the victims. By Nataliya Vasilyeva and Veronika Silchenko. SENT: 950 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing. With RUSSIA-MILITARY PLANE-THE LATEST.
CUBA-YEAR OF UNCERTAINTY — 2017 could be President Raul Castro’s toughest year in office since he took power in 2006. He faces a possible recession alongside a hostile new U.S. administration promising to undo measures that gave many Cubans expectations of a better future. By Andrea Rodriguez. SENT: 1,030 words, photos.
AFRICA-CHEETAH DECLINE — Amid population declines for many wildlife species in Africa, conservationists are sounding alarm bells for the cheetah, the fastest animal on land. UPCOMING: 575 words by 3:05 p.m. EST, photos.
SOUTH SUDAN-REFUGEE BOOM — About 440,000 have fled South Sudan’s spiraling civil war into Uganda this year alone, creating refugee settlements that have become some of the world’s largest in just six months. SENT: 600 words, photos.
JAPAN-PEARL HARBOR-YOSHIDA — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will visit Pearl Harbor with U.S. President Barack Obama, wasn’t even born when his predecessor Shigeru Yoshida visited just six years after Japan’s surrender. Archival writings and photos unearthed by the AP reconstruct his 1951 visit, from his aim to win U.S. trust to how he was put at ease by the U.S. Navy commander’s dog. SENT: 750 words, photos.
PHILIPPINES-CHRISTMAS STORM — A powerful typhoon that spoiled Christmas Day in parts of the Philippines, leaving at least four people dead and destroying homes, roars over a congested region near Manila with slightly weaker but still-fierce winds, officials say. SENT: 570 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.
GERMANY-ABBEY’S END — When art historian Eva Lindqvist Sandgren entered the Bridgettine Order’s library in Altomuenster Abbey, off limits to all but the monastery’s nuns for more than five centuries, she knew she was looking at a treasure. But before Bridgettine scholars could return, the Vatican ordered the abbey closed and locked down the library. SENT: 1,270 words, photos.
AP POLL-NEW YEAR’S HOPES — Emotionally wrenching politics, foreign conflicts and shootings at home took a toll on Americans in 2016, but they are entering 2017 on an optimistic note, according to a new poll that found that a majority believes things are going to get better for the country next year.
HOLIDAY STORM — Travel conditions remain hazardous across much of the northern Great Plains as a winter storm continues to sweep across the region. SENT: 360 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.
KILLER TURNED CEO — A man who served 16 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend’s rapist takes over soon as CEO of YouthBuild USA, which helps inner-city dropouts reclaim their lives and learn skills. By Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie. SENT: 740 words, photos.
SCRAPPY SKI AREAS — The ski industry skews big, with megaresorts adding terrain and attractions. Smaller resorts can’t compete with the big guys, so they tout authenticity. SENT: 750 words, photo.
CANCER PATIENT-PIZZA DONATION — Cancer patient donates years’ worth of pizza to food bank. SENT: 140 words.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING-GETTING BY — For many low-income families, buying gifts for the holiday season is a constant struggle. They weigh whether to put food on the table or spend on an extra gift for their kids. In comparison, high-income families can spend with abandon on $300 dolls or $500 play kitchen sets. The increasingly wide gap in incomes between the wealth and the poor highlight the struggles during the holiday season. By Anne D’Innocenzio. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos.
NEW HOME SALES — The Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in November. By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m., 350 words by 10:45 a.m.
FIAT-CHRYSLER-RECALL — Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 50,000 small SUVs worldwide because the engines could stall while being driven. SENT: 140 words.
FREE STARBUCKS DRINKS — Starbucks aims to drum up holiday sales with promises of free espresso drinks this season — as long as you’re in the right store. SENT: 130 words, photos.
OIL TRAIN ACCIDENTS — The nation’s largest freight railroad has agreed to more thorough inspections and maintenance improvements after a fiery oil train derailment in Oregon and the discovery of more than 800 potential safety violations across its sprawling network. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 510 words, photos.
CHINA-GM FINE — General Motors Co.’s main joint venture has been fined 201 million yuan ($29 million) for violating anti-monopoly rules, adding to a string of penalties imposed on foreign auto brands over the past two years. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 550 words.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
BRITAIN-OBIT-GEORGE MICHAEL — British pop superstar George Michael, who led a troubled life despite his magnificent voice and enduring popularity with fans around the world, has died at the age of 53. Michael’s manager, Michael Lippman, says that the cause of death is heart failure. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 1,070 words, photos, video. With OBIT-GEORGE MICHAEL-REACTIONS (sent).
WNBA SECURITY APP — The Women’s National Basketball Association is offering a security app to its players to help them stay safer while they are overseas this offseason. By Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg. SENT: 640 words, photos.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, Mark Davies and Trenton Daniel can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Alyssa Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-836-9477.
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