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:
— DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing)
— CONGRESS-UNEMPLOYMENT (sent; developing)
— SENATE-YELLEN (sent)
— OBAMA-IMMIGRATION (sent)
— INDIA-RAPE RESPONSE (sent)
— SYRIA (sent; developing)
— IRAQ (sent; developing)
— OIL EXPORT-BAN (developing)
— SKI-VONN OUT (sent; developing)
PHOTOS: DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing); BRITAIN-STORMS (sent)
VIDEO: DEEP FREEZE (sent; developing); BCS CHAMPIONSHIP-FSU (sent)
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):
DEEP FREEZE – The frigid air mass that turned the Midwest into an icy mess has crept from the nation’s northernmost reaches, turning the Deep South into a deep freeze. SENT: 950 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 800 words with new approach, photos, video by 4 p.m.
DEEP FREEZE ROAD SALT COCKTAILS — Transportation officials are getting creative to find cheaper and less corrosive ways to make winter roads safer. In Wisconsin, road crews spread “cheese brine” on roads in an attempt to melt ice. In other states, beet juice does the trick. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos by 2 p.m.
DEEP FREEZE-ONE FROZEN TOWN – We take a walk after dark through one frozen town on the banks of the Ohio River, observing the people and places as dangerously frigid temperatures sweep in from the Midwest. SENT: 700 words, photos.
5 THINGS TO KNOW-DEEP FREEZE – It’s hard to escape the polar air mass, as more than half of the nation is under a wind chill warning or advisory. SENT: 800 words, photos.
DEEP FREEZE-AMTRAK – Most of the 500 Amtrak passengers who spent the night onboard three trains stranded in snow in northern Illinois are finally heading to Chicago, rail line officials said. SENT: 400 words.
MARDI GRAS-TWELFTH NIGHT — Frigid temperatures that dipped below freezing overnight didn’t stop costumed revelers from ushering in the Carnival season in New Orleans. SENT: 520 words, photos.
PENN STATE-ABUSE – Video appearance expected by Jerry Sandusky as hearing begins on whether he can keep his public pension. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Hearing starts at 9 a.m.; 500 words by 2 p.m.
GERMAN SOCIALITE SLAIN — A German man who masqueraded as a well-connected Army general goes on trial on charges of murdering his 91-year-old wife, a fellow expatriate and socialite journalist. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by noon, then 700 words by 5 p.m.
FLORIDA EXECUTION — A man convicted of abducting and killing a Miami couple and later stabbing a prison guard to death is to be executed. UPCOMING: Execution is scheduled for 6 p.m.; 700 words by 9 p.m.
SUPREME COURT-GAY MARRIAGE – More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples in Utah have exchanged wedding vows over the past two weeks, but the rush on same-sex marriage licenses has come to an end after the U.S. Supreme Court put a halt to them. SENT: 1,080 words, photos, video.
GUN SALES-CHICAGO – Chicago’s ban on gun sales and transfers is ruled unconstitutional by federal judge. SENT: 630 words.
CHINESE CONSULATE FIRE – A Chinese national accused of starting fire at San Francisco consulate says he heard voices. SENT: 560 words, photos.
PRIEST SLAYING – A beloved priest who was killed in the Northern California city of Eureka was beaten to death with a wooden stake and a metal gutter pipe, his autopsy shows. SENT: 400 words, photo.
POLICE-HOMELESS DEATH – Closing arguments are set to begin in trial of California officers accused of killing homeless man. SENT: 850 words, photos.
TONSILLECTOMY-BRAIN DEAD GIRL – Calif. family wins battle over ‘brain dead’ teen but experts say it may be just a matter of time before her body functions shut down completely. SENT: 920 words.
INDIA-RAPE RESPONSE – The furious response to the latest rape case suggests that with general elections just months away, politicians are anxious to show voters they are taking action. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.
FRANCE-GOODYEAR-BOSSES HELD – Two Goodyear managers freed under French police protection after being held captive by workers for two days. SENT: 280 words, photos.
SYRIA – An al-Qaida group fighting in Syria against rebels trying to dislodge it from opposition-held parts of the country has killed at least four activists it held captive in the area, their colleagues said. SENT: 680 words, photo.
BANGLADESH-POLITICS – Police in Bangladesh have detained three opposition officials after a violent general election. SENT: 450 words, photos.
CONGO-CELLMATE DEATH – The trial of a British-Norwegian citizen accused of killing his Norwegian cellmate last year while they both served time for murder is underway, Congolese officials said. SENT: 350 words.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN – U.S. ambassador to Israel says a framework proposal on all issues at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be presented to both sides soon. SENT: 130 words, photo.
JAPAN-FOOD POISONING – A report says more than 350 people have been sickened across Japan after eating frozen food products that may have been tainted with a pesticide. SENT: 300 words.
THAILAND-POLITICS – Thailand’s state anti-corruption body rules that 308 pro-government lawmakers acted illegally in seeking to pass a bill to make Parliament’s upper house an all-elected body. SENT: 500 words.
ANTARCTIC-ICEBOUND SHIP – Chinese state media say the country’s icebreaker has broken free from heavy sea ice in Antarctica after becoming trapped last week. SENT: 150 words.
IRAQ – Fierce clashes have erupted between Iraqi special forces and al-Qaida-linked militants outside the city of Fallujah, a flare-up in a days-long standoff in the Sunni-dominated western province of Anbar, Iraqi officials said. SENT: 450 words, photos.
JAPAN-TURKEY – Japan and Turkey have agreed to begin talks on an economic partnership agreement, part of a drive to build closer ties as they also step up cooperation on nuclear technology. SENT: 360 words.
CHINA-PEOPLE-CUI JIAN – Chinese rocker Cui Jian, who fell out of favor with the government after he sided with demonstrating students during the 1989 Tiananmen protests, has been invited to sing on state television. SENT: 400 words.
CHINA-CORRUPTION – A former Chinese provincial official has been accused of accepting large amounts of jade in bribes. SENT: 400 words.
MUNICH RE-DISASTERS REPORT – German insurance company Munich Re says some 20,000 people died in natural disasters last year, about twice as many as in 2012. SENT: 130 words.
CHINA-PRIVATE BANKS – China will allow the creation of up to five privately financed banks this year to support economic growth by gradually opening the state-run industry, the country’s banking regulator says. SENT: 600 words.
UN-SYRIA – UN rights office says it can no longer update Syria death toll because of lack of access. SENT: 270 words.
TURKEY-CORRUPTION PROBE – Turkey removes some 350 police officers from posts as it continues to battle graft scandal. SENT: 130 words.
GERMANY-UNEMPLOYMENT – German unemployment rises in December as seasonal factors weigh on jobs market. SENT: 140 words.
SOCHI-SECURITY – Russia has begun implementing stringent security measures in its southern resort of Sochi, one month before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Among them: No strange cars. SENT: 340 words, photo.
SPAIN-ROYAL FAMILY-CORRUPTION – Spanish court subpoenas king’s daughter as suspect in tax fraud and money laundering probe. SENT: 400 words, photo.
BRITAIN-STORMS – British coast lashed by high winds, huge waves following month of wintry weather. SENT: 130 words, photos.
WASHINGTON AND POLITICS
SUPREME COURT-AVERSE TO TECHNOLOGY – As the legal fight over the mass collection of Americans’ telephone records by the NSA gets closer to the Supreme Court, some justices have already said the court should be wary about taking on big questions of technology and privacy. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 4 p.m.
CONGRESS-UNEMPLOYMENT – The Senate heads to a showdown over a bill extending long-term unemployment benefits. SENT: 760 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developments from 10:30 a.m. Senate test vote and Obama statement at 11:40 a.m.; 850 words by noon.
– UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS-STATES – A look at unemployment benefits currently available and with an extension by state. SENT: 420 words.
BUDGET BATTLE – After weeks of secretive work, senior lawmakers on Capitol Hill are trying to put the finishing touches on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would lay to rest last year’s budget battles. SENT: 960 words, photo.
SENATE-YELLEN – She will take the helm of a Federal Reserve facing a significantly different economic landscape than the one that dominated Ben Bernanke’s tenure as chairman, confronting her with different decisions as well. SENT: 750 words, photo.
– YELLEN-GLANCE – Three challenges awaiting Yellen. SENT: 510 words.
– YELLEN-BIOBOX. SENT: 170 words.
OBAMA-IMMIGRATION – His agenda tattered by last year’s confrontations and missteps, Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws. SENT: 1,000 words, photo.
NSA SURVEILLANCE-DUELING RULINGS – Opposing court rulings on the National Security Agency’s massive phone record surveillance – one threatening the program and the other supporting it – are stirring fast legal footwork. SENT: 840 words, photo.
IRAN-BRITAIN – A British Parliament delegation has made the first visit by U.K. lawmakers to Iran in years, as the two countries work to improve relations, Iranian media reported. SENT: 220 words, photo.
PAKISTAN-MUSHARRAF – Pakistani judges examine medical report on former President Musharraf who remains in hospital. SENT: 130 words.
GERMANY-NUCLEAR SWITCHOVER – The share of electricity generated from coal rose in Germany last year as the country seeks to achieve its ambitious aim of switching off all nuclear power plants by 2022. SENT: 130 words.
ART-MARS ROVERS — The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum marks the ongoing Mars rover mission with a new exhibit of photographs taken by the rovers, including hills, dunes and rock formations. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos by 4 p.m.
GADGET SHOW-TVs – Television manufacturers are taking small steps toward making a new technology, Ultra HD, more viable for mainstream consumers. UPCOMING: 700 words by 3 p.m.
MADOFF FRAUD-JPMORGAN – JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle criminal charges accusing the bank of ignoring obvious warning signs of Bernard Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, federal authorities said. SENT: 420 words. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video by 34 p.m.
TRADE GAP – The U.S. trade deficit fell in November to its lowest level in four years, an encouraging sign for economic growth. SENT: 560 words.
OIL EXPORT-BAN – U.S. oil companies haven’t been allowed to export crude for 40 years. But some are calling for that to change because of a surprising surge in domestic production of a particular type of oil that foreign refiners covet. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m.
OIL PRICES – Crude oil rises to near $94 a barrel as severe US cold snap expected to boost demand. SENT: 350 words.
HOME PRICES – U.S. home prices barely rose in November from the previous month and year-over-year gains slowed, reflecting declines in sales in the fall. SENT: 130 words.
REMOTE TESLA STATION – Tesla plans more supercharger stations across the middle of the continent in the months ahead to make coast-to-coast travel by electric car more feasible. SENT: 700 words, photos.
SKI-VONN OUT – Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury, leaving the Winter Games without one of its biggest stars. SENT: 550 words, photos.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP FOLO – Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston led the undefeated Seminoles 80 yards in the final 79 seconds, flicking a 2-yard TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin to give FSU a 34-31 victory against Auburn in the last BCS championship game. SENT: 1,020 words, photos, video.
-BCS CHAMPIONSHIP-REACTION – Florida State fans celebrate raucously after BCS win; Auburn fans stunned in the final seconds. SENT: 730 words, photos.
-COLLEGE FB POLL — Florida State breaks SEC’s record run of seven straight AP national titles; Auburn second. SENT: 240 words, photos, interactive.
CAR-SCHUMACHER – Michael Schumacher’s wife says the racing legend’s family wants to be left in peace as doctors treat him after a brutal ski crash. SENT: 130 words.
HONG-KONG-OBIT-RUN-RUN-SHAW – Run Run Shaw, the Hong Kong movie and TV mogul who popularized kung fu genre, has died. He was 107. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.
FRANCE-CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – Director Jane Campion, the only woman to have won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, will lead the jury for the prestigious event this year. SENT: 130 words.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, news producers Barb Whitaker and Karen Mahabir are at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Swayne Hall (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