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BC-AP News Coverage Advisory 1515 GMT
Associated Press
2013-12-23 11:42 PM

Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change. You can find our contact info at the bottom of this advisory.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1515 GMT:

-- GAY MARRIAGE-UTAH (sent; developing)

-- RUSSIA-PUSSY RIOT (sent; new angles focused on Putin upcoming)

-- HOLIDAY TRAVEL-WEATHER (sent; developing)

-- HOLIDAY HEARTS (upcoming)

-- BRAZIL-POLICE VIOLENCE (upcoming)

-- WALL STREET-2014 PREVIEW (upcoming)

-- FIG-TONYA AND NANCY (sent)

PHOTOS: HOLIDAY TRAVEL (sent; developing)

VIDEO: PANCHO CLAUS (with text, photos)

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 GMT):

WASHINGTON AND POLITICS

OBAMA-NATIONAL SECURITY AIDE -- State Department official Jake Sullivan interrupted a trip with Hillary Clinton last summer, when he secretly jetted to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman to meet with officials from Iran, people familiar with the trip said. The meeting is one of the Obama administration's earliest known face-to-face contacts with Iran and reveals the administration's outreach to the Islamic republic started far earlier than had been reported. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, by 1800 GMT.

US

GAY MARRIAGE-UTAH - A federal judge decides whether to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday in Utah after a ruling declared the state's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. SENT: 300 words; UPCOMING: 500 words, expected by 2000 GMT after court hearing, photos.

HOLIDAY TRAVEL-WEATHER --A steady diet of freezing rain and cold temperatures means parts of the country socked by a weekend storm will be covered with ice through Christmas and beyond. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2100 GMT, photos.

APOLLO 8 ANNIVERSARY - Re-enactment of Apollo 8's Christmas Eve broadcast from December 1968 set to begin at 1600 GMT. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2100 GMT.

GULF OIL SPILL-TRIAL -- Lawyers for BP and Gulf Coast residents and businesses will file briefs summing up their arguments for the second phase of a civil trial over the nation's worst offshore oil spill. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2130 GMT.

WORLD

RUSSIA-PUSSY RIOT - Two jailed members were released today following an amnesty law that both described as a Kremlin public relations stunt ahead of the Winter Olympics. SENT: 510 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing with a piece on Putin controlling the messaging; details TBD.

THAILAND POLITICS - Anti-government protesters surround a Bangkok stadium trying to physically block political parties from registering for February polls. SENT: 500 words, photos.

BRAZIL-POLICE VIOLENCE - American Liz Martin is raising the alarm for the millions of visitors set to flood into Brazil for the World Cup and Olympics: Watch out for the police, who are notoriously ruthless and corrupt UPCOMING: 1000 words by 1700 GMT, photos.

IRAQ - A new wave of attacks across Iraq killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens today as the government pressed on with its offensive to hunt down al-Qaida-linked militants in the country's volatile western desert. SENT: 430 words.

SYRIA - Government forces widened a bombing campaign in rebel-held areas of northern Syria today, striking one of the main border towns near Turkey and killing 15 people, said activists. SENT: 580 words.

ISRAEL-TRAINING MANDELA --- Israel's state archive publishes a 50-year-old letter that says Mossad spy service unwittingly offered paramilitary training to a young Nelson Mandela in 1962, and releases documents showing a tense relationship between the Israel and apartheid-era South Africa. UPCOMING: 900 words by 2100 GMT.

DUBAI- AMERICAN ARRESTED - An American man detained for months in the United Arab Emirates and seven co-defendants were fined and sentenced to jail today after being convicted in connection to a satirical video about youth culture in Dubai. SENT: 450 words.

DUBAI-CHRISTMAS - Just days before Christmas, an artificial snow company is doing brisk business delivering faux flurries to Dubai homes, and Christmas trees and Santas are out in force. SENT: 900 words, photos.

CHINA-MAO ANNIVERSARY - Mao Zedong remains revered 120 years after his birth as a hero who restored national pride even as China moves ever further from his vision of a communist society. SENT: 860 words, photos.

CHINA-CHURCH CRACKDOWN - Lawyers and Christian churchgoers say they were blocked from meeting in a central Chinese county to commemorate Christmas and draw attention to the detention of a pastor and his aides. SENT: 460 words.

NKOREA-RODMAN - He leaves North Korea without answering questions from the media on whether he met with leader Kim Jong Un. SENT: 160 words, photos.

HEALTH

HOLIDAY HEARTS - Not to dampen any spirits, but studies show heart troubles spike this time of year. UPCOMING: 850 words by 1700 GMT.

NUT ALLERGIES (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT) - A new study gives reassurance that women who eat nuts or peanut butter during pregnancy are not raising the risk that their children will have nut allergies. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE at 2100 GMT, 410 words, photo.

BUSINESS

FED-100th ANNIVERSARY - Here are five ways the Fed has evolved over the past century. UPCOMING: 700 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

TECH

APPLE- CHINA - Apple and China Mobile announced a long-anticipated agreement today to bring the iPhone to the world's biggest phone company. SENT: 620 words, photos. UPCOMING: New angles, details TBD.

LIFESTYLES

PANCHO CLAUS - This Tex-Mex Santa is now an adored Christmas fixture in many Texas cities. SENT: 500 words, photos, video.

ENTERTAINMENT

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR - Jennifer Lawrence edged out Miley Cyrus by one vote in THE AP's annual survey for Entertainer of the Year. SENT: 510 words, photos, video.

PHOTOGRAPHY

BOLIVIA-CHOLITA TRAFFIC COPS-PHOTO GALLERY - A city in Bolivia's highlands has hired Aymara women dressed in traditional multilayered Andean skirts and brightly embroidered vests to work as traffic cops and bring order to its road chaos. SENT: photos, 280 words.

HOW TO REACH US

At the Nerve Center, Kellen Henry and Marco Mulcahy can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Dan Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Jen Magno, ext. 7636. Expanded AP Content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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