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BC-AP News Digest 2 pm

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

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NEW/ DEVELOPING

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TRUMP-BOOK — President Donald Trump lashes out against criticisms leveled at him in a new "phony book" that recounts back-biting and maneuvering within his White House. The president takes particular aim at ousted senior adviser Steve Bannon, saying the aide "not only lost his job, he lost his mind." SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING 800 words by 5 p.m.

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TOP STORIES

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IRAN-PROTESTS — Tens of thousands of government supporters take to the streets across Iran as authorities try to project a sense of stability after a week of nationwide protests sparked deadly clashes and calls for the downfall of the Islamic Republic. But even as state television broadcast swooping helicopter shots of the rallies, videos emerged showing the anti-government unrest that has swept major cities had now spread to the countryside. By Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell. SENT: 800 words. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 p.m. WITH: With IRAN-PROTESTS-THE-LATEST; IRAN-2009 AND NOW — How Iran's 2009 protests, when millions demanded change, compare to the new wave of protests blazing around the country. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

TRUMP VS WORLD — President Donald Trump has stormed into 2018 in an exceptionally aggressive mood, picking fresh fights with Pakistan and the Palestinians, and touting the size of his "nuclear button" in a threat to North Korea. Is it a new, even brasher Trump on the world stage for Year 2? By Matthew Lee and Josh Lederman. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photo.

PALESTINIANS-TRUMP-CUTTING AID — With a Twitter post threatening to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinians, President Trump has expressed his frustration over the lack of progress toward Mideast peace. Things could deteriorate further if Trump follows through on the threat. A cutoff in aid would harm the Palestinians, and could also damage U.S. credibility and force Israel to fund services to millions of Palestinians. By Josef Federman. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 3 p.m.

CONGRESS-BUDGET BATTLE — After pushing thorny issues to 2018, White House officials and congressional leaders from both parties meet at the Capitol to try to avert a threatened government shutdown over spending. By Andrew Taylor. UPCOMING: Developing from 3 p.m. meeting, 750 words by 5 p.m., photos. WITH: SENATE-NEW FACES — The Republican majority in the Senate narrows as two new Democrats are sworn in. SENT: 650 words. UPCOMING: 650 words by 4 p.m. Photos.

DEEP FREEZE — A brutal winter storm dumps snow on Tallahassee, Florida, for the first time in nearly three decades before marching up the coast and smacking Southern cities such as Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina, with a rare blast of snow and sleet. Forecasters warn that the same system could soon strengthen into a "bomb cyclone" as it rolls up the East Coast, bringing hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding and up to a foot of snow. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 800 words, photos, video. Developing.

BLINDNESS TREATMENT-PRICE — The maker of a first-of-a-kind treatment for blindness announces a $850,000 price tag, an amount that is sure to fuel debate about the high cost of novel therapies. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 830 words, photos.

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

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ODD--SPAIN-IMPATIENT PASSENGER — A Ryanair passenger who apparently got fed up waiting to get off a plane, surprised fellow passengers by taking the emergency exit to jump onto a wing. SENT: 230 words, photos.

GIRLS STABBING PLOT-MOVIE — Sony Pictures plans to release a movie this spring featuring Slender Man, the horror character that inspired two Wisconsin girls to nearly kill their classmate. SENT: 500 words.

WORLD WAR II VET-ELECTED — Vito Perillo, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, is sworn in as mayor of Tinton Falls, New Jersey. SENT: 130 words, photos.

POWERBALL JACKPOT — The estimated Powerball jackpot climbs to $460 million, making it the nation's 10th largest lottery prize. SENT: 130 words.

ITALY-JEWEL THEFT — Thieves steal precious Indian jewels from the famed Al Thani Collection that were on show in a Venetian palace, making off with a brooch and a pair of earrings by mixing in with the crowd. SENT: 350 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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SENATE-HATCH RETIREMENT — Sen. Orrin Hatch's decision to step down at the end of his term allows him to go out on a high note after helping to push through the tax overhaul and getting two sprawling national monuments downsized. It also preserves a legacy that could have been tarnished by running again and breaking his promise that this would be his final term. UPCOMING: 600 words with photos by 5 p.m.

2018-STATE ELECTIONS — Buoyed by a string of electoral victories during President Donald Trump's first year in office, Democrats will be waging a renewed battle to wrest control of Congress from Republicans in 2018. Yet the contests with the greatest long-term consequences for Congress could be listed elsewhere on the ballot —for governors and state legislators who will shape the boundaries of congressional districts for the next decade to come. 900 words. Photos.

CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR — Democrat Joe Ganim, an ex-convict who mounted a political comeback with his 2015 election as mayor of Connecticut's largest city, files paperwork to run for governor. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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INTERNATIONAL

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KOREAS-TENSIONS - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopens a key cross-border communication channel with South Korea for the first time in nearly two years as the rivals explore the possibility of sitting down and talking after months of acrimony and fears of war. SENT: 690 words, photos. With KOREAS-TENSIONS-Q&A - Q&A: Is there a chance for a breakthrough with the Koreas?

EUROPE-STORM - A violent storm packing winds of up to 100 miles per hour batters parts of western Europe, wreaking havoc on transport and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France, Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power. SENT: 530 words, photos.

IRELAND-FATAL STABBING — A Japanese man is stabbed to death and two other people are wounded in separate attacks in Ireland. Police say terrorism is one line of inquiry. SENT: 320 words, photos.

ETHIOPIA-POLITICAL PRISONERS — In a surprise move, Ethiopia's leader announces plans to drop charges against all political prisoners and close a notorious prison camp. SENT: 415 words.

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NATIONAL

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NEXT MORMON PRESIDENT — The man set to become the next Mormon church president is a 93-year-old former heart surgeon who who had a solid conservative track record during his three decades on the church's top leadership panel. By Brady McCombs. UPCOMING: 650 words by 4 p.m., photos.

EXPLOITED IN PARADISE-HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWSUIT — Two Indonesian fishermen who say they were enslaved on an American fishing boat have settled their lawsuit against the vessel's owner seven years after escaping and getting special U.S. visas as victims of human trafficking, their lawyers told The Associated Press. By Caleb Jones. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach of 850 words, photos by 6 p.m.

DEPUTIES DOWN-COLORADO — Revelations that a veteran who shot five Colorado officers, killing one, escaped from a psychiatric ward years earlier is creating a clearer picture of an increasingly mentally ill man who descended from law school dean's list to a threat police felt compelled to warn others about. By Dan Elliott. UPCOMING: 450 words, photos by 5 p.m.

RED CROSS-FIRE VISITS — The American Red Cross of Wisconsin says it will no longer visit some parts of Milwaukee to offer assistance to fire victims — meeting them at police stations or its offices instead in order to use volunteers more efficiently and ensure meetings in warm locations. Some critics say the changes have racial overtones. SENT: 650 words, photos.

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HEALTH/SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY

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FIRST AMERICANS — DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years ago is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of today's native peoples of the Americas. SENT: 465 words, photo.

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BUSINESS

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TAX OVERHAUL-GAUGING THE IMPACT - If Trump and his Republican allies are right, the $1.5 trillion tax cut plan will make individuals and businesses more prosperous. Paychecks will grow. Stocks will surge further. Consumers will spend more. Economic growth will accelerate. Or will they? Here are five ways to gauge whether the tax plan is beginning to deliver on its promises in the coming months. SENT: 900 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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KARDASHIAN BABY BOOM - They Dream. They Reign. One points North and another is a Saint. We're talking about the Kardashians 2.0 and their numbers are rising. UPCOMING: 650 words by 3 p.m., photos.

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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, Alyssa Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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