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:
— CHRISTIE-TRAFFIC JAMS (sent; developing)
— OBAMA-NSA SURVEILLANCE (sent; developing)
— HAGEL-NUCLEAR FORCES (sent; developing)
— IRAQ (sent; developing)
— WOUNDED TROOPS (upcoming)
— FOOD STAMPS (upcoming)
— TURKEY-DOCTORS UNDER FIRE (sent)
— AIRLINES-NEW PLANE BINGE (sent)
— RODMAN-NKOREA (sent; developing)
— HEALTH OVERHAUL-ENROLLMENT ORPHANS (upcoming)
— SUPER BOWL 2014-THE TICKETS (upcoming)
— FILM-2014 PREVIEW (upcoming)
— GAMES-2014 PREVIEW (upcoming)
PHOTOS: IRAQ (sent; developing)
VIDEO: CHRISTIE-TRAFFIC JAMS (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 EST):
CHRISTIE-TRAFFIC JAMS – He plans a news conference one day after his administration was linked to what appears to the deliberate creation of highway traffic jams as political retribution for a mayor who didn’t endorse him. Meanwhile, one of the former officials implicated goes to court to try to block having to testify before lawmakers about the growing scandal. SENT: 1000 words. UPCOMING: updates from court hearing at 930a; news conference at 11a, then 800 words by 4 p.m.; photos, video.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-ENROLLMENT ORPHANS – Insurance companies are still trying to sort out so-called “orphaned” customer files, in which the government has a record of a patient enrolling but the insurer does not. UPCOMING: 800 words.
DEEP FREEZE-THE COST – Homeowners, airlines, companies and municipal budgets were all forced to spend money to combat the cold. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.
MISSOURI TEEN-SEXUAL ASSAULT — A special prosecutor assigned to re-examine a Missouri teen’s claims that she was sexually assaulted at age 14 by an older schoolmate is expected to address the media after a hearing with a judge. UPCOMING: Court hearing begins at 2:30 p.m.
LIBRARY-HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS – The Los Angeles Public Library is teaming up with a private online learning company to offer diplomas to high school dropouts. SENT: 630 words.
CONGO ADOPTIONS – Dozens of American are in limbo after Congolese authorities suspended foreign adoptions and ordered reviews even of already finalized cases. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos.
WTC SECURITY — An extensive police plan to safeguard the World Trade Center site has creatred outrage in the community that surrounds the site. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m., photos.
DISABILITY FRAUD CASE-CONSULTANTS – When dozens of former police officers and firefighters sought disability benefits, advisers provided a playbook for faking mental illness, prosecutors say. SENT: 870 words, photos.
STOCKBROKER’S MURDER TRIAL. – Prosecutors say Carol Kennedy’s ex-husband bludgeoned her to death to avoid $6,000 in monthly alimony payments. More than five years after the killing, the case is drawing closer to an end. SENT: 980 words, photo.
HELICOPTER CRASH — The search continues for a sailor who has been missing since a Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed in the ocean off the Virginia coast. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated as new information is available. Pursuing conditions of two survivors, status of missing sailor, and details about the training mission they were on.
WASHINGTON AND POLITICS
OBAMA-NSA SURVEILLANCE – The president is expected to restrict NSA access to Americans’ phone records and rein in spying on foreign leaders, according to people familiar a White House review of the government’s surveillance programs. Obama could unveil his highly anticipated decisions as early as next week. SENT: 860 words, photos. UPCOMING: 450 words by 2 p.m., photos.
HAGEL-NUCLEAR FORCES – Hagel is making a rare visit to an Air Force nuclear missile base, hoping to boost morale among the Air Force men and women who operate, maintain and safeguard the nation’s Minuteman 3 nuclear missiles. SENT: 760 words, photo. UPCOMING: 850 words by 5 p.m., photos.
WOUNDED TROOPS — With the number of seriously wounded and ill soldiers at a six-year low, the Army is closing down and reorganizing some of the special units set up to care for troops. UPCOMING: 790 words by 4 p.m.
FOOD STAMPS – Doctors are warning that the federal government could be socked with a bigger health bill if Congress cuts food stamps — maybe not immediately, they say, but when the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m, photos, interactive.
US-SOUTH SUDAN —Two-and-a-half years after midwifing South Sudan’s birth, the United States may be powerless to prevent the world’s youngest nation from falling apart. UPCOMING: 300 words by 11:30 a.m.
UNITED STATES-IRAN-SANCTIONS BATTLE – A summary of arguments for and against new sanctions against Iran. SENT: 1,070 words, photos.
REPUBLICANS-COMPASSION – GOP leaders are using the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty to offer a series of policy proposals that would shift anti-poverty programs to the states, promote job training and offer tax incentives for low-income workers. SENT: 870 words, photo.
OBAMA-PROMISE ZONES – Obama to unveil first 5 “Promise Zones,” explain how government can help struggling communities. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 3:30 p.m., photos.
IRAQ – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military recruiting center in Baghdad today, killing at least 21 people in an attack likely meant to send a message to the government and would-be army volunteers over the Iraqi troops’ ongoing push to retake two cities overrun by al-Qaida militants.
AP EXCLUSIVE: TURKEY-DOCTORS UNDER FIRE – While some medics this summer complained of mistreatment as they treated protesters against the Turkish government, the extent of the harassment has now become much clearer in interviews with the AP. SENT: 1,960 words, photos.
CHINA-FORCED ABORTION – Although China has recently announced an easing of its one-child policy, local governments are still ordered to comply with population quotas, and continue to meet them though forced abortions. SENT: 1,040 words, photos, video.
– CHINA-ZHANG YIMOU – Chinese director Zhang Yimou fined $1.2 million for flouting one-child family planning rule. SENT: 400 words, photo.
RODMAN-NKOREA – He apologizes for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players. SENT: 600 words, photos, video.
– DETAINED AMERICAN-SEATTLE – Sister of detained man says Rodman hurting efforts to free her brother. SENT: 630 words.
SYRIA – A powerful car bomb exploded near a school in a central province today, killing at least 16 people and causing massive damage to a residential area, Syrian state media and an opposition watchdog said. SENT: 700 words, photos.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS – Palestinians threw rocks Thursday at a West Bank hotel, shattering windows and breaking up a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian peace activists. SENT: 550 words, photos.
CUBA FIDEL CASTRO – Cuban news media say former President Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time since April. SENT: 130 words.
RUSSIA-CAR KILLINGS – A series of unexplained killings in southern Russia involving booby-trapped bombs has further heightened security fears ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. SENT: 510 words.
IRAN-NUCLEAR – Nearly seven weeks after signing a landmark nuclear deal, representatives of Iran and six world powers hope to reach agreement this week on its implementation. SENT: 900 words.
LEBANON-BOOKSTORE FIRE – Thousands of books that lined the walls of the Saeh Library became the latest victim of Lebanon’s swelling tensions, largely a result of the civil war in neighboring Syria. SENT: 900 words, photos.
AUSTRALIA-HEAT WAVE – While North America freezes, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing other weather extremes as heat records are being set around Australia after the hottest year ever. SENT: 760 words, photos.
ITALY-KNOX – Amanda Knox’s appeals trial continues with ex-boyfriend’s defense team giving final summations. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by noon, photos.
ITALY-KNOX TRIAL-PRIMER — A look at the history of the Kwhat’s ahead in the Knox trial. SENT: 890 words.
DENMARK-CINNAMON ROLLS – Some tasty pastries were found to violate the European Union’s spice rules, which put limits on an ingredient that can cause liver damage. SENT: 420 words, photos.
GADGET SHOW-SMART CARS – At the International CES gadget show this week, a French company is starting to sell a driverless shuttle in the U.S., and Harman is showing off how drivers can make use of Google Glass while behind the wheel. Ford, too, is displaying a solar-powered hybrid that it says will get 100 miles to the gallon. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m.
GADGET SHOW-GADGET WATCH-BLACKBERRY CLONE – If you love your iPhone but would prefer a physical keyboard, Typo could be for you. But you might want to order soon. SENT: 480 words, photos.
IBM-WATSON – One of the most famous “Jeopardy!” champs of all time is moving to Manhattan. IBM said it’s investing over $1 billion to give its Watson supercomputer its own business division. SENT: 450 words, photos.
AIRLINES-NEW PLANE BINGE – Airlines are on the largest jet buying spree in the history of aviation. SENT: 1,190 words, photos, video.
OIL DRILLING-STATE REGULATIONS – After environmentalists, lawmakers and the oil industry got together last year to draft Illinois’ first regulations for hydraulic fracturing, the rest was supposed to be easy. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2 p.m., photos.
FRANCE-AMAZON – If the French Senate gets its way, retail giant Amazon and its online peers won’t be able to offer free book deliveries in France anymore. SENT: 310 words.
SUPER BOWL 2014-THE TICKETS – A look at where the race for tickets is as we get closer to the big game just outside the Big Apple. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos by 6 p.m.
FILM-2014 PREVIEW -The plot of the coming movie year . It will begin with mostly the dregs of Hollywood’s output, then swell with the super hero blockbusters of summer, and finally enter the annual autumn twilight of awards contenders. But Hollywood always has a few tricks up its sleeve. UPCOMING: 1200 words by 1 p.m., photos.
GAMES 2014 PREVIEW – The usual suspects are back in new video game installments in 2014 — but this year they’ll also be joined be some shadowy newcomers. UPCOMING: 800 words by 1 p.m., photos.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, Karen Mahabir, Barbara Whitaker, Marco Mulcahy and Kellen Henry can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Swayne B. 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.