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.
Among today’s coverage highlights as we see them at 10:15 a.m. EST:
— SCHOOLS-GLOBAL TEST (sent; new version upcoming)
— PLASTIC GUNS (sent; new version upcoming)
— HEALTH OVERHAUL-USER EXPERIENCE (sent; new version upcoming)
— DETROIT BANKRUPTCY (sent; developing)
— ILLINOIS PENSIONS (sent; developing)
— NYC TRAIN DERAILMENT (sent; new version upcoming)
— NKOREA-DETAINED AMERICAN (sent; new version upcoming)
— BATTLING BURNOUT (sent)
— EUROPE SYRIA FIGHTERS (upcoming)
— FBN-CHIP’S SIGNS OF SUCCESS (upcoming)
PHOTOS: THAILAND POLITICS coverage (sent); INDIA BHOPAL ANNIVERSARY (sent)
VIDEO: SHARK ATTACK (sent; with text); BLIND TOUCH TOURS (sent; with text); US-WALKER (sent; with text)
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 EST):
SCHOOLS-GLOBAL TEST – Teens from Asian nations dominated a global exam given to 15-year-olds, while U.S. students showed little improvement and failed to reach the top 20 in math, science or reading. SENT: 1,040 words, graphic. UPCOMING: Developing; details TBD.
NYC TRAIN DERAILMENT – We’ll focus today’s coverage on engineer William Rockefeller, specifically looking at his experience on the route and anything we can find out about what he has told investigators.SENT: 1,140 words, photos, video. UPCOMING:
– NYC TRAIN DERAILMENT-METRO-NORTH – New York City train derailment is most recent problem for Metro-North in a year plagued by safety issues. SENT: 600 words, photo.
DETROIT BANKRUPTCY – A judge is expected to announce today whether Detroit can come up with a plan to get rid of $18 billion in debt in the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. SENT: 750 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing from morning hearing.
ILLINOIS PENSIONS – Illinois lawmakers are poised to vote on a plan to solve the state’s $100 billion pension crisis – a proposal that could deeply reduce the retirement benefits of hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees. SENT: 670 words, photos. UPCOMING: Story will be updated throughout the day with votes in each chamber.
– ILLINOIS PENSIONS-NEWS GUIDE – A look at the Illinois pension crisis. SENT: 600 words.
MISSING WOMEN FOUND-SUICIDE – Two corrections consultants have concluded that Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro committed suicide in his prison cell and didn’t die by accidentally killing himself while attempting to achieve a sexual thrill. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.
SILO COLLAPSE — A Washington state farm worker is missing after a grain silo collapsed at a feed mill. SENT: 170 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m., photos.
POLICE FUNERAL-BOY – A New Jersey town plans a full police funeral for a 10-year-old boy who had been named honorary police chief this year as he battled cancer. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words by 3 p.m., photos.
OBAMA’S UNCLE (tentative) — President Barack Obama’s uncle, Onyango Obama, has a hearing in immigration court to determine whether he should be deported to his native Kenya 50 years after he first arrived in the United States. UPCOMING: Afternoon hearing, timing unclear but possibly 3 p.m., photos, video.
NATIVITY SCENE-CAPITOL — A private group is erecting a nativity scene inside the Florida capitol, the first such display inside the building in decades. . UPCOMING: 500 words from noon ceremony, photos, video.
WASHINGTON AND POLITICS
PLASTIC GUNS— Congress is racing toward renewing a 25-year-old prohibition against firearms that can evade metal detectors and X-ray machines. But with 3-D printers increasingly able to produce plastic weapons, many say the restrictions must be tightened. SENT: 870 words. UPCOMING, possible vote by 3 p.m. EST. 1,000 5 p.m.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-USER EXPERIENCE – Ease of signup varies by state.But the pressure to get it right mounts with each day, with just three weeks to go before the Dec. 23 deadline for consumers to buy an insurance policy that will start in the new year or face a federal tax penalty. SENT: 850 words, photo.
OBAMA-HEALTH OVERHAUL – The Obama administration is launching a two-pronged health care strategy aimed at avoiding enrollment snafus come January while also trying to refocus the public’s attention on broader benefits of the sweeping law. SENT: 610 words, photo. UPCOMING: Remarks at 2:30 p.m.; 700 words by 4:30 p.m.
NATO-AFGHANISTAN — Diplomats vexed over Afghanistan’s future pressure the war-torn nation’s leaders to allow thousands of foreign troops to remain there beyond next year — or risk no international military assistance at all. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m.
COMMON CORE-POLITICS – To say that new academic standards have yielded strange bedfellows would be an understatement. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos.
CUBA-IMPRISONED AMERICAN – An American man who is marking four years in prison in Cuba is asking Obama to get personally involved in securing his release. SENT: 530 words.
KOREAS-KIM’S UNCLE – South Korea’s spy agency believes that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful uncle may have been dismissed from his posts last month and that two of his aides were executed, two lawmakers say. SENT: 400 words, photo.
NKOREA-DETAINED AMERICAN – Six decades before he went to North Korea as a curious tourist, Merrill Newman supervised a group of South Korean guerrillas during the Korean War who were perhaps the most hated and feared fighters in the North, former members of the group say. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.
EUROPE SYRIA FIGHTERS – A new wave of Europeans is heading to Syria as tales of easy living and glorious martyrdom draw them to the rebellion against Bashar Assad. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.
UKRAINE-PROTEST – Ukraine’s government survives a no-confidence vote, leaving political tensions unresolved over an abrupt decision to reject a cooperation agreement with the European Union which brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets on Sunday. SENT: 500 words, photos.
– RUSSIA-EYES ON UKRAINE – Ukraine’s protests look different through the eyes of the Kremlin and its opponents. SENT: 640 words, photos.
BIDEN-ASIA – Biden voices strong opposition to China’s new air defense zone above a set of disputed islands, showing a united front with an anxious Japan as tension in the region simmers. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
– PHILIPPINES-CHINA AIRSPACE – Envoy says China has right to establish air defense zone in another disputed region. SENT: 470 words, photos.
RUSSIA-BOLSHOI ATTACK – A Bolshoi star dancer was sentenced to six years in prison over an acid attack on the ballet’s director that exposed vicious backstage bickering and intrigue at the renowned theater. SENT: 420 words, photos.
BELGIUM-HIGHWAY CRASH – About 100 cars and trucks were involved in three pile-ups at a highway in western Belgium in a dense morning fog, leaving at least one dead and 54 injured. SENT: 200 words, photos.
POLAND-CIA PRISON – The secret network of black site prisons across Europe that the CIA used to interrogate terror suspects got a rare public hearing today at Europe’s human rights court. SENT: 700 words, photos.
THAILAND-POLITICS – Anti-government protesters swarm into the Thai prime minister’s office compound as police stand by and watch, allowing them to claim a symbolic victory after three days of bitter clashes. SENT: 670 words, photo.
EGYPT-MORSI AND JIHADIS – Investigators are considering putting Morsi on trial for links with Islamic radicals. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.
SYRIA – Mother superior at Syrian convent says rebels abduct 12 nuns. SENT: 250 words.
CHINA-NOBEL -The wife of Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, depressed from being forcibly sequestered at home alone for the past three years by state security, is issuing a few requests. SENT: 560 words, photos.
CHINA-BRITAIN – With British Prime Minister David Cameron in the country on an official visit, a Chinese state-run newspaper labeld Britain a fallen great power worthy now only as a destination for tourists and students. SENT: 530 words, photos.
INDIA-DELHI ELECTION – When India’s capital goes to the polls Wednesday, its newest political party could play spoiler in a fight between traditional rivals. SENT: 800 words, photos.
AUSTRALIA-GAY MARRIAGE – Australia’s first same-sex weddings can take place this weekend. SENT: 300 words.
PERU-UNEARTHING THE BODIES – In this isolated corner of Peru, the government is conducting the biggest exhumation to date of victims of the nation’s 1980-2000 internal conflict. . SENT: 780 words, photos.
ISRAEL-NICKNAME NATION – Despite its macho, militaristic image, the world of Israeli politics is filled with tough characters bearing – and even flaunting – their diminutive childhood nicknames. SENT: 830 words, photos.
FRANCE-HOPI MASKS — The Native American Hopi tribe has taken a Paris auction house to court to try to block the upcoming sale of 32 sacred tribal masks, arguing they represent ancestral spirits and cannot be treated as merchandise. SENT: 800 words, photos.
BATTLING BURNOUT – After years in which the ease of instant communication via email and smartphones allowed bosses to place greater and greater demands on white-collar workers, some companies are beginning to set limits, recognizing that successful employees must be able to escape from work. SENT: 1,180 words, photos.
NO SHOPPING – The reason some Americans aren’t buying this holiday season are varied and not so easily addressed in one weekend. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos.
CYBER MONDAY – How big was Cyber Monday this year. UPCOMING: Report expected after 5 p.m.; 600 words by 6 p.m., photos.
MINIMUM WAGE-DC — The D.C. Council takes the first of two votes on whether to increase the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, one of the highest in the nation, by 2016. UPCOMING: 450 words by 6 p.m.
AUTO SALES – Black Friday deals brought out car buyers, and sales for November are estimated to have topped strong numbers from the same month a year ago. SENT: 590 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4:30 p.m., photos.
— RV REBOUND — Led by sales growth for towable RVs and pricier stand-alone motor homes, recreational vehicle makers expect to produce more than 300,000 units this year for the first time since the economic downturn. UPCOMING: 600 words by 2 p.m.
BIOTECH IPOS-SLOWDOWN – Initial public offerings of biotech companies have gone from hot to cold. UPCOMING: TBD.
WTO-TRADE TALKS – Top trade officials begin talks that will either produce a deal that could boost the global economy by $1 trillion or possibly spell the end of the World Trade Organization’s relevance as a forum for negotiations. SENT: 860 words, photos.
JAPAN-ENDANGERED FOOD – The younger generation is increasingly eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts and McDonald’s, not rice. ENT: 900 words, photos.
DIGITAL LIFE-TECH TEST-CHEAP MOTOROLA SMARTPHONE – You’re not getting the best or the latest technology with Motorola’s $179 Moto G smartphone, but you’re getting a great price for the things you do get. UPCOMING: 900 words by noon, photos.
FBN–CHIP’S SIGNS OF SUCCESS – Chip Kelly has brought his unique way of disguising play calls to the NFL. The Eagles’ rookie coach has chosen some Philly icons like Rocky Balboa, the Phillie Phanatic and cheesesteaks for his infamous placards that communicate plays and speed up his lightning-fast offense. UPCOMING: 750 words by 4 p.m., photos.
POP CULTURE / LIFESTYLES
MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S WORD OF THE YEAR – Oxford dictionaries can have “selfie,” Merriam-Webster goes with “science” as word of the year. SENT: 530 words, photos.
TUMBLR TRENDS – Tumblr’s year-end retrospective highlights eclectic tastes of service’s younger audience. SENT: 570 words, photo.
BLIND TOUCH TOURS – Accommodations for the blind and visually impaired have increased as museums have shifted their missions from mere storage of artifacts to audience interaction. SENT: 610 words, photos, video.
FRANCE-BOB DYLAN – French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Bob Dylan over a 2012 interview in which he is quoted comparing Croatians to Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. SENT: 250 words, photos.
PAUL WALKER-INTERVIEW – In a Nov. 14 interview with the AP, the late “Fast & Furious” star shared his thoughts on fatherhood. SENT: 440 words, photos, video.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, Barbara Whitaker, Caleb Jones, Marco Mulcahy, Nina Sen and Kellen Henry can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Dan Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Nathan Griffiths (ext. 7636). Expanded AP Content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact email@example.com or call 877-836-9477.