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:
— CHEMICAL SPILL-WVA (sent; developing)
— ECONOMY (sent; developing)
— CHRISTIE-TRAFFIC JAMS (sent; developing)
— SYRIA (sent; developing)
— MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT-ACADEMIES (sent; developing)
— TARGET-DATA BREACH (sent; developing)
— FRANCE-PRESIDENT’S SEX LIFE (sent; developing)
— IRAQ (sent; developing)
— ISRAEL-BOYCOTT HITS HOME (upcoming)
— SYRIA (sent; developing)
— INDIA-DIPLOMAT ARREST (sent; developing)
PHOTOS: CHEMICAL SPILL (sent; developing); INDIA-MUMBAI AIRPORT (sent)
VIDEO: CHEMICAL SPILL (sent; developing); HOTEL SLAYING-911 CALL (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):
CHEMICAL SPILL-WVA – A chemical spill in the Elk River shuts down much of Charleston. SENT: 750 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing throughout the day on a variety of fronts; we’re looking at how it happened; at the chemical and what it will take to remediate the effects; the company’s safety record; inspection record; environmental impact; government response.
MENTAL HEALTH – SCHOOL SCREENINGS – Federal health officials recommended mental health screenings for students nearly a decade ago, but the use and types of screenings varies widely not only state to state, but within each school district. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by noon, photos.
HOTEL SLAYING-911 CALL – A woman’s death inspired her father to launch a national push to require hotels and other businesses to do away with dialing 9 or anything else before calling 911. SENT: 780 words, photos, video.
NEIGHBORHOOD BULLY – Among his supporters, Dan Scott is practically a savior. His critics call Scott a volatile bully who relies on fear and intimidation and stokes racial unrest. He’s to be sentenced today on a misdemeanor harassment conviction. SENT: 900 words, photos. UPCOMING: Update from Friday hearing.
DEATH PENALTY-OHIO – A federal judge in Ohio will again weigh competing testimony from experts over the effects of a lethal injection method. SENT: 530 words. UPCOMING: Update from 9 a.m. hearing, then 600 words by 2 p.m.
SCHOOL SHOOTING-GOVERNOR — The commission created by Gov. Dannel Malloy in the wake of the Sandy Hoook massacre is meeting for the first time since state police released about 7,000 pages of documents from its investigation. UPCOMING: Developing from 10:15 a.m. meeting.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING-CHARITY — Organizers of the coast-to-coast One Run for Boston relay race say hundreds of people have signed up for a monthlong race whose ending is intended to coincide with the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. UPCOMING: 400 words by 3 p.m.
GAS PIPELINE-PINELANDS — Commission votes on agreement clearing way for 22-mile natural gas pipeline through forest-zoned areas of the Pinelands National Reserve in New Jersey. UPCOMING: Hearing starts at 930a, then 450 words by 4 p.m.
FAMU HAZING — The remaining six defendants charged in the hazing death of former Florida A&M drum major Robert Champion are set to appear in court today for a status hearing. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words after 10 a.m. hearing.
RUN TO DEATH — An Alabama woman has been denied bond on charges she forced her 9-year-old granddaughter to run until she collapsed and died. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 4 p.m.
RENOIR PAINTING-FLEA MARKET — A federal judge will hear arguments on whether a napkin-sized painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir should go to a Baltimore museum or a Virginia woman who says she bought it at a flea market for $7. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words after hearing scheduled for 10 a.m.
DEADLY BREAKUP — A California man could be sentenced to death for killing the father and sister of his ex-girlfriend and assaulting her mother. UPCOMING: Developing from 3:30 p.m. sentencing.
CHRISTIE-TRAFFIC JAMS – He is working to move beyond the most challenging test of his political career, while his critics promise to keep probing the traffic scandal. Thousands more internal documents related to the scandal are scheduled for release. SENT: 890 words. UPCOMING: documents may be out by mid-morning, then 800 words by 4 p.m.
CHRISTIE-FORT LEE – To people who live in this community defined by both a feisty pride and frustration over the mixed blessings of its chokepoint locale, the scandal is the reminder they did not need of how the bridge dictates the rhythm of everyday life. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.
VIRGINIA POLITICS —Virginia isn’t a lock for the GOP anymore. That transformation will be on display Saturday when Terry McAuliffe is sworn in as governor, capping a noteworthy run of Democratic victories. UPCOMING: 900 words by 3 p.m. , photos.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-CONGRESS – Obama’s health care law is back in Republicans’ legislative crosshairs as the GOP-led House weighs a bill that would impose new requirements on the administration. The House was expected to approve the measure today as emboldened Republicans kick off an election-year challenge to law. SENT: 970 words, photo; UPCOMING: House votes mid-morning, 600 words by 3 p.m.
MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT-ACADEMIES – Students at the U.S. military academies often believe they have to put up with sexist and offensive behavior, a Pentagon report finds. SENT: 670 words. UPCOMING: 750 words by noon following release of report at 10 a.m., photo, graphic.
ISRAEL-BOYCOTT HITS HOME – An international campaign to boycott Israeli settlement products has rapidly turned from a distant nuisance into a harsh economic reality for Israeli farmers in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley. The export-driven income of growers in the valley’s 21 settlements dropped by more than 14 percent, or $29 million, last year, largely because Western European supermarket chains are increasingly shunning the area’s peppers, dates, grapes and fresh herbs. UPCOMING: 1,100 words by 1 p.m., photos.
IRAQ – With al-Qaida linked fighters and allied tribal gunmen camped on the outskirts, a tentative calm takes hold over Fallujah and residents start to return to the besieged city west of Baghdad. The picture painted by residents, officials and international groups suggests that both the militants and government forces are preparing for a long standoff with civilians caught in the middle. SENT: 370 words, photos. UPCOMING: 950 words with more details by 3 p.m.
SYRIA – Rebel-on-rebel fighting between an al-Qaida-linked group and an array of more moderate and ultraconservative Islamists has killed nearly 500 people over the past week in northern Syria, an activist group said today, in the most serious bout of violence among opponents of Assad since the civil war began. SENT: 690 words, photos. UPCOMING: 850 words with a new approach by 4 p.m.
FRANCE-PRESIDENT’S SEX LIFE – French president threatens legal action over magazine photos suggesting he has secret lover. SENT: 350 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing, including theme that this doesn’t create total shock in French society; media approach.
ISRAEL-HOLOCAUST-GAY MONUMENT – Israel’s cultural and financial capital unveils a memorial honoring gays and lesbians persecuted by the Nazis during World War II, the first specific recognition in Israel for non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust. SENT: 750 words, photos.
INDIA-DIPLOMAT ARREST India asked the United States on Friday to withdraw a diplomat from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, the latest retaliation in a smoldering diplomatic dispute touched off by the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York. SENT: 1300 words, photos.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS – Israel announced plans today to build 1,400 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territory the Palestinians claim for their future state. Though it was no surprise, the announcement is likely to anger Palestinians and could cast a shadow on U.S.-led peace efforts. SENT: 590 words, photos.
POLAND-JEWISH TOWNS ROUTE- Historians are preparing a virtual and real-life tourist route leading through about 60 old Jewish towns along Poland’s border with Belarus and Ukraine. SENT: 240 words.
EGYPT – Officials say police have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of Islamists rallying in Cairo and other cities against an upcoming constitutional referendum. SENT: 120 words.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who seized control of Central African Republic only to see the desperately poor country tumble toward anarchy and sectarian bloodshed, agreed to resign today along with his prime minister. SENT: 560 words, photos.
INDIA-MUMBAI AIRPORT – India’s overcrowded financial capital unveils its long-awaited $2 billion new airport terminal, an ambitious, art-filled space that developers hope will be a showcase success in a country struggling to modernize inadequate infrastructure that is holding back economic growth. . SENT: 780 words, photos.
INDONESIA-SYRIA-NEW JIHAD – When Muhammad Fakhri Ihsani left Indonesia to study in Pakistan, the lure of jihad proved inescapable. But the 21-year-old didn’t sneak into nearby Afghanistan. He and three other young Indonesians flew to Turkey. SENT: 1,350 words, photos.
ISRAEL-UNWANTED ARABS – Israel’s foreign minister has enraged the country’s Arab minority by proposing that some of its towns and villages be handed over to a future Palestine in exchange for parts of the West Bank where Jewish settlers live. SENT: 950 words, photos.
CONGO-COLONEL KILLED – A man who was supposed to be beyond death died, and with him died some of the first faint stirrings of hope the people of the troubled east Congo have dared to feel in years. SENT: 990 words, photos.
MEXICO-BOATS SEIZED – US and Canadian boat owners are left in limbo after an armed raid on marinas by Mexico tax officials — 338 boats seized because officials said their owners lacked a $70 permit. SENT: 750 words, photos.
BRITAIN-MINISTER’S OUTBURST – A British policeman admitted lying about witnessing a senior politician insult police officers and pleaded guilty today to misconduct in public office. SENT: 240 words.
ITALY-SHIP AGROUND – Italian officials say the shipwrecked Costa Concordia will be removed from its watery graveyard off Tuscany in June and taken to a port to be dismantled, the final phase of an unprecedented 600 million-euro ($817 million) salvage effort. SENT: 500 words.
GADGET WATCH-SMART DESK – Sitting down all day is bad for you, or so the doctors say. A company says it has the answer: a table that will nudge you to stand up, with a gentle, one-inch rise and fall of its surface. If you take the suggestion, the table rises to standing height. UPCOMING: 300 words by 11 a.m., photo.
GADGET WATCH-IPHONE HEAT CAMERA – FLIR Systems Inc. is launching its first consumer product, an iPhone jacket that contains a heat camera. UPCOMING: 300 words by 2 p.m., photo planned
GADGET SHOW-GADGET WATCH-SONY VIDEO HEADSET — A virtual-reality headset from Sony almost puts you inside a video by allowing you to widen your view when you turn your head up, down or side to side. SENT: 400 words, photo.
ECONOMY – U.S. employers added a scant 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years. The disappointing gain ends 2013 on a weak note and could raise questions about the economy’s recent strength. SENT: 380 words. UPCOMING: Developing.
ECONOMY-HIRING TRENDS-INDUSTRIES — An industry-by-industry look at job growth in 2013. UPCOMING: Noon.
— ECONOMY-DEMOGRAPHICS-GLANCE — A snapshot of the unemployment rates of varying demographic groups during 2013 points to the unevenness of the job market’s recovery. UPCOMING: Noon.
— ECONOMY-JOB CREATION-GLANCE — A year-by-year look at annual job growth from 2004 through 2013. UPCOMING: noon.
TARGET-DATA BREACH – Target says that personal information was stolen from as many as 70 million customers in its pre-Christmas data breach. That was substantially more customers than Target had previously said were affected. SENT: 480 words. UPCOMING: Developing.
PORK PRODUCERS-PRACTICES – The yearslong call by animal rights groups to improve conditions on American hog farms advances considerably. SENT: 680 words, photos.
CHINA-OIL PIPE EXPLOSION – Chinese authorities are holding the chief of China’s largest oil refiner responsible for a November pipeline explosion that killed 62 people and injured scores of others. SENT: 380 words.
COMICS-MARVEL’S ULTIMATES – With world-altering events in play, Marvel sees big changes for its ‘Ultimate universe’ line. SENT: 620 words, photos.
PEOPLE-AMANDA BYNES — A lawyer for Amanda Bynes will be in court today on her New York bong-throwing case. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m.
HOW TO REACH US
At the Nerve Center, Barbara Whitaker can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Mike Musielski (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Dien Magno (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-836-9477.