BC-AP News Digest 7 am

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




TRUMP-RUSSIA — President Donald Trump, facing a fresh wave of questions about his ties to Russia, is signaling to advisers and allies that he believes the time has passed to strike a grand bargain with Moscow on Syria, Ukraine and nuclear arms control. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. With ATTORNEY GENERAL-RUSSIA —A longtime federal prosecutor in line to oversee a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election has experience in politically fraught investigations; (sent).

PIVOTING JUSTICE DEPARTMENT — The political cloud over Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to step back from any investigation touching the Trump campaign may have a silver lining for a law enforcement officer who appears preoccupied by issues such as violent crime. Now that Sessions will no longer oversee any probe into the election, his path is cleared to more quickly refashion the Justice Department and chip away at key priorities of the Obama administration. By Eric Tucker. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 11 a.m. This story is moving as the Sunday Spotlight.

MALAYSIA-NORTH KOREA — A North Korean chemist deported from Malaysia accuses police of threatening to kill his family unless he confessed to the assassination of the half-brother of North Korea's leader, calling it a plot to tarnish his country's honor. By Eileen Ng. SENT: 680 words, photos. With NORTH-KOREA-MYSTERIOUS ASSASSINATIONS —Is North Korea about to get away with another murder? From Seoul's point of view, Pyongyang has for decades shown a willingness to silence its critics, sending assassins after South Korean government officials, North Korean defectors and anti-Pyongyang activists. By Kim Tong-hyung. SENT: 750 words, photos.

CHINA-POLITICS-MILITARY —China will raise its defense budget by about 7 percent this year, a government spokeswoman said, continuing a trend of lowered growth amid a slowing economy despite regional tensions over the South China Sea and other issues. By Gerry Shih And Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 800 words, photos. WITH: CHINA-POLITICS-CENSORSHIP CRITIC — A senior Chinese government adviser is warning that the country's internet censorship is hampering scientific research and economic development, in a rare public criticism of a sensitive government policy. SENT: 400 words, photos.

JEWISH GROUPS-THREATS — A former journalist fired for making up details in stories is accused of threatening eight Jewish institutions nationwide and New York's Anti-Defamation League. By Colleen Long. SENT: 810 words, photos, video. With JEWISH GROUPS-THREATS-GLANCE (sent).

KENYA-DROUGHT — BANDARERO, Kenya — The scorched earth and scrubland in this semi-arid region of Kenya are littered with livestock carcasses in various stages of decomposition. Vultures wait patiently, waiting for nearby humans to leave. Kenya has declared the drought that affects nearly half of its counties a national disaster. The problem is regional, with neighboring South Sudan facing famine. By Tom Odula. SENT: 500 words, photos, video.




UBER-DODGING AUTHORITIES — Uber deploys secret weapon against undercover regulators. SENT: 140 words.

SNAP IPO-HIGH SCHOOL — Silicon Valley high school makes $24 million from Snap IPO. SENT: 470 words, photos.

COLLEGE SPEAKER CONTROVERSY — A libertarian author who's been called a white nationalist says Vermont college students who protested his guest lecture were "scary." SENT: 300 words, photos.

LAKERS-FAMILY FIGHT — Jeanie Buss went to court to stop what her attorneys call an attempt by brothers Jim and Johnny Buss to oust her as controlling owner and president of the LA Lakers. SENT: 600 words, photos.

SCHWARZENEGGER-APPRENTICE — Schwarzenegger on 'Celebrity Apprentice': I quit. SENT: 450 words, photo.

PEOPLE-NATALIE PORTMAN — Natalie Portman welcomes her second child, a daughter named Amalia. SENT: 130 words, photo.




CONGRESS-HEALTH OVERHAUL — Top Republicans think this is the week when Congress starts voting on legislation scuttling the Obama-era health care law, but party leaders must figure out what to do about rebellious conservatives who remain unhappy over the plan's tax and Medicaid proposals. UPCOMING: 765 words by 3:30 a.m., photos.

ATTORNEY GENERAL-CIVIL RIGHTS — Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been on the job less than a month but has already made some civil rights groups nervous by indicating the Justice Department will likely soften its focus on protecting voter rights and monitoring troubled police departments. SENT: 500 words, photos.




FRANCE-LE PEN'S CONVERTS — Ex-communists and others who converted from the political left are among those campaigning for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in France's presidential election. Her party is highlighting their switch of sides to push home its argument that traditional left-right politics are dead and to convince more voters to make a similar leap. SENT: 750 words, photos.

NORTHERN IRELAND-ELECTION — Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party, has fallen just short of becoming the largest party in elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

JORDAN-EXECUTIONS — Jordan executes 10 men convicted of terrorism charges, including deadly attacks on tourists, Jordanian security forces and a local writer. SENT: 200 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

IRAQ — The United Nations warns that the alleged use of chemical weapons in Mosul, if confirmed, would be a serious violation of international humanitarian law and a war crime. SENT: 400 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Afghan officials say that at least eight Afghan civilians, including four children, have been killed in an attack in western Farah province. SENT: 350 words.

IRAN-AIR DEFENSE TEST — Iran tests sophisticated Russian-made air defense system. SENT: 200 words.




MARIJUANA FESTIVAL-US ATTORNEY — A big cannabis festival set to be held on a tribe's reservation will go off without pot after the U.S. attorney in Nevada said federal laws prohibited its use, raising questions of whether the Trump administration's promise to crackdown on marijuana prompted the intervention. SENT: 650 words, photos.

BRACERO HISTORIC SITE — A Texas border town is working to restore crumbling white adobe buildings that were once a processing site for millions of Mexicans who came to the U.S. as temporary guest workers for more than two decades starting in World War II. Local officials and preservationists want to create a site that will tell the stories of the "braceros" who worked on farms and railroads. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 1 p.m.




TRUMP KEYSTONE — The Keystone XL oil pipeline won't use American steel in its construction, despite pledges from President Donald Trump. SENT: 150 words, photos.




OBIT-PAULA FOX — Paula Fox, prize winning author, dies at 93. Out of print for several years, she enjoyed a late-life revival thanks to the admiration of Jonathan Franzen and other younger authors. SENT: 800 words, photos.




BKN--CAVALIERS-HAWKS — Kyrie Irving scored 43 points, LeBron James had 38 and the Cleveland Cavaliers set the NBA regular-season record with 25 3-pointers as they turned back Atlanta's late rally to beat the Hawks 135-130. SENT: 700 words, photos.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS — Khabib Nurmagomedov's UFC interim lightweight title bout with Tony Ferguson has been canceled one day before UFC 209 after Nurmagomedov was hospitalized due to problems making weight. SENT: 550 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Ron DePasquale 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.