BC-AP News Coverage Highlights 1445 GMT

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today’s coverage highlights as we see them at 1445 GMT:

– KENYA MALL ATTACK (sent; developing)

– OBAMA-UN (sent; developing)

– PREGNANCY-CHEMICALS (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT)

– VICIOUS HORSES (upcoming)

– GAY RIGHTS-SMALL TOWN (sent)

PHOTOS: KENYA MALL ATTACK coverage (sent; developing). SYRIA (sent; developing)

VIDEO: KENYA MALL ATTACK coverage; SYRIA (sent; developing)

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours (all times EDT):

TOP NEWS

KENYA-MALL ATTACK – Four large blasts rocked Kenya’s Westgate Mall today, as military forces sought to rescue an unknown number of hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants. Not known yet what caused the explosions. Kenyan officials said two hostage takers, part of “a multinational collection from all over the world,” had been killed. Pursing on all fronts in Washington. Note: There are several purposed al-Shabab accounts but most appear to be false. SENT: 770 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing.

ISRAEL-KENYA — Story will look at Israel’s business and security connection with Kenya, which is part of a broader longstanding Israeli presence in African countries especially Christian areas of eastern and western Africa where Israeli science and technology are respected and where Israel, in its years of ostracization, has tried to exercise soft power. Israeli advisers are on the scene in Nairobi and there are indications of Israeli or Jewish ties to the mall that was attacked. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 1800 GMT.

KENYA-MALL ATTACK-AL-SHABAB-ANALYSIS – The White House is under pressure to ramp up counterterrorism action against al-Shabab in Somalia following the al-Qaida-linked group’s deadly attack. SENT: 1,040 words.

-KENYA-MALL ATTACK-VICTIMS

OBAMA-DIPLOMACY – He heads to the UN to pursue diplomatic opportunities on three vexing issues: Iran’s disputed nuclear program, Syria’s chemical weapons use, and elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians. SENT: 950 words. UPCOMING: Story will be updated after Obama and first lady arrive in New York at 1635 GMT. Photos.

ISRAEL-IRAN-NUCLEAR – Netanyahu provided the UN with a memorable moment with a cartoon bomb a year ago, and he can be expected to again call for a hard line against Iran’s nuclear program backed by the credible threat of force. But the goalposts have moved a little. SENT: 1300 words, photo.

EGYPT — An Egyptian court bans the Muslim Brotherhood and orders its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Morsi. The ruling will have a ripple effect through the Brotherhood’s vast network, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group’s grassroots support and helping its election victories. SENT: 350 words. UPCOMING: developing; 1,100 words by 2000 GMT.

SYRIA — Assad says international experts will be given access to its chemical weapons sites, but cautions that rebels might block them from reaching some of the locations. SENT: 680 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 2000 GMT. photos.

PAKISTAN – Pakistani Christians denounced the deadliest attack ever in this country against members of their faith as the death toll from the church bombings the day before climbed to 85. SENT: 660 words, photos.

GERMANY ELECTION — With Merkel’s bloc five seats short of a parliamentary majority, likely new partners aren’t rushing to join her in a new governing coalition. Despite her popularity, Merkel’s allies in her two previous coalitions ended up worse for the experience — with her latest partner kicked out of parliament in Sunday’s vote. SENT: 690 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach of 700 words by 1800 GMT.

BANGLADESH-WORKERS PROTEST — Police fire rubber bullets and tear gas in the third day of clashes with thousands of garment workers demanding better minimum wages amid escalating tension over the country’s main export business. SENT: 460 words, photos.

ASIA STORM — Torrential monsoon rains hit the northwestern Philippines on Monday, triggering landslides and killing 20 people in areas already weakened by a powerful typhoon, and raising the death toll to 47 from storms across Asia. SENT: 360 words, photos.

SYRIAN AID-DISTRIBUTION WOES- As the Syrian crisis rages, U.S. officials are fighting a quieter battle: The delivery of nearly $1.3 billion in assistance in a war zone so chaotic that ambulances are used for target practice and aid is halted by armed men at random checkpoints. SENT: 1100 words, photos

ITALY-SHIP AGROUND – The captain on trial for the Costa Concordia shipwreck blames his helmsman for botching a crucial maneuver that he contends would have avoided the cruise ship’s deadly collision SENT: 800 words, photos.

CAMBODIA-POLITICS – The Cambodian opposition boycotted the opening of parliament over alleged widespread cheating in the July elections, putting the country’s political crisis at a critical juncture. SENT: 600 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-REBEL STANDOFF — A group of Muslim rebels opposed to peace talks with the Philippine government storms a southern town and seized several hostages while battling security forces. SENT: 300 words, photos.

CUBA-OBIT- ESPINOSA CHEPE – Oscar Espinosa Chepe, a high-level Cuban economist and diplomat who broke with Fidel Castro’s government in the 1990s and was imprisoned for dissident activities, died in Spain on Monday. He was 72. SENT: 760 words, photo.

AUSTRALIA-SNAKE-GROUNDS-PLANE – Tiny snake aboard Qantas airliner grounds 370 Tokyo-bound passengers in Sydney overnight. SENT: 300 words.

RUSSIA-PUSSY RIOT – One of the imprisoned members of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot says she is beginning a hunger strike to protest harsh working conditions and threats to her life. SENT: 110 words, photos.

BUDGET BATTLE — With time running out to hammer out a deal, Republican and Democratic leaders are already for blaming each other for a partial U.S. government shutdown that some are treating as inevitable. SENT 570 words, photos. NOTE: Little to no spot developments expected today; standoff likely to develop toward the end of the week and the weekend.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – How has the fragile economic recovery affected illegal immigration, which dropped sharply during the recession? A new report out Monday from the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project is expected to provide some answers. UPCOMING from release of figures at 1600 GMT: 500 words by 1700 GMT.

GAY RIGHTS-SMALL TOWN — Eight months after a tiny Appalachian town took a stand against gay-based discrimination, it’s enjoying a flurry of notoriety and even an infusion of much needed cash. SENT: 520 words, photos.

WIPE WOES – Increasingly popular bathroom wipes – thick, premoistened towelettes that are advertised as flushable – are creating clogs and backups in sewer systems around the U.S. nation. 600 words by 1600 GMT.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING – Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhkar Tsarnaev will ask a judge to address procedure for federal prosecutors to let them know if they will seek the death penalty. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing from 1400 GMT hearing; 500 words by 1700 GMT, photos.

HEALTH

PREGNANCY CHEMICALS (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT) — From mercury to pesticides, Americans are exposed to a list of environmental chemicals that can harm reproductive health, the nation’s largest groups of obstetricians and fertility specialists declared Monday. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also is urging doctors to start asking mothers-to-be about chemical exposures during their first prenatal visit, and to teach women steps to avoid some that are particularly worrisome during pregnancy. HOLD FOR RELEASE 2100 GMT. EDT. 750 words.

SCIENCE

UN CLIMATE PANEL — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s expert panel of climate scientists, convenes for a week-long conference to fine-tune a key assesment of the pace and impacts of climate change. SENT: 510 words, photo.

TECH

MICROSOFT-NEW SURFACE — Microsoft Corp. is expected to announce new Surface tablet computers, including a version with a smaller screen to compete with Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini. SENT: 380 words. UPCOMING: Developing from1430 GMT event, photos.

TECH TEST – ITUNES RADIO – Now that iTunes Radio has shipped to millions of iPhone and iPad owners, does that mean you should delete Pandora? Not so fast, I say. SENT: 1,070 words.

POP CULTURE / LIFESTYLES

BRAZIL-END OF THE VW VAN – The long run of the Volkswagen van is ending. SENT: 860 words, photos.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

ZIMBABWE-DEBUT NOVELIST — Profile of author NoViolet Bulawayo, first African woman and first Zimbabwean shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker prize for her novel, “We Need New Names.” UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 1500 GMT.

CHINA-TYCOON’S FILM STUDIO – China’s richest man plans to spend $8.2 billion to build the country’s version of Hollywood in the northeastern city of Qingdao. SENT: 610 words, photos.

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