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BC-AP News Coverage Advisory
Associated Press
2014-02-26 11:42 PM

Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1530 GMT:

-- NSA SURVEILLANCE (upcoming)

-- UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN (sent; developing)

-- UKRAINE (sent; developing)

-- ARIZONA-GAY RIGHTS (sent; developing)

-- LEBANON-ISRAEL (sent; developing)

-- PRENATAL GENETIC TESTS (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2200 GMT)

-- JUSTIN BIEBER ARREST (sent; developing)

-- PETS-DOG SHAME (sent)

PHOTOS: VATICAN-POPE (sent)

VIDEO: WOMEN IN COMBAT (sent); AVALANCHE RISKS (sent); JUSTIN BIEBER (expected, assuming it's released)

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):

WASHINGTON

NSA SURVEILLANCE - A man serving a 15-year terrorism sentence may have the opportunity to challenge his conviction after the Justice Department revealed it had obtained evidence against him using one of the NSA's secret surveillance programs that sweeps up electronic communications like email. The notification -- the third of its kind -- comes as a result of a new government policy to provide a clearer picture to terrorism defendants about how evidence used against them was obtained and could reopen dozens or hundreds of cases already closed over the last decade. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2200 GMT, photos.

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN - Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey tells the AP that the impasse over a security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan has emboldened the Taliban, and encouraged some Afghan troops to realign with the enemy as a bet toward future survival. Dempsey got that grim assessment from commanders in the field a day after Obama warned Karzai that the US was preparing to pull all troops out in December if the agreement wasn't signed. Dempsey said the military must know by June what the administration's plans are for a postwar presence so it can get its forces out in time. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

NATO-HAGEL - Hagel is starkly warning European allies that they must bear more of the burden of modernizing NATO or risk it becoming irrelevant. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

WORLD

LEBANON-ISRAEL - Israel has opened a new front in its attempts to halt weapons smuggling to Hezbollah, striking one of the group's positions inside Lebanon for the first time since the Syrian conflict erupted three years ago. The airstrike, meant to prevent the heavily armed Islamic militant group from obtaining sophisticated missiles, is part of a risky policy that could easily backfire, and Israeli officials acknowledge Hezbollah may already have some of these weapons. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: 900 words, photos.

UKRAINE Fistfights broke out between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators in Ukraine's strategic Crimea region on Wednesday as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered massive military exercises just across the border. SENT: 870 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing on many fronts.

UKRAINE-PARTIES OF PROTEST - The movement is far from monolithic. It includes pro-Western intellectuals, wealthy businessmen, students, radical far-right groups and priests. A look at some of the main groups . UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 12 p.m.

UKRAINE-RIOT POLICE - A look at the Berkut force in the wake of the order by authorities to disband the force. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 1900 GMT.

UKRAINE - 5 THINGS - Five reasons Americans should care about the unrest in Ukraine. UPCOMING.

SYRIA - State media in Syria says army troops have killed 175 rebels in an ambush south of the capital, Damascus. SENT: 420 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

JORDAN-ISRAEL - Jordan's parliament voted unanimously to expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own envoy on Wednesday. SENT: 470 words.

EL CHAPO IN HIDING - Mexico's most powerful drug cartel leader employed the very latest high-tech communications gadgetry and sophisticated counterespionage practices to elude an international manhunt for 13 years. SENT: 690 words, photo.

BRITAIN-SOLDIER KILLED - Self-styled "soldier of Allah" Michael Adebolajo and accomplice Michael Adebowale are scheduled to be sentenced for the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby. UPCOMING: 300 words by 1600 GMT, photos.

VATICAN-BENEDICT - Benedict XVI denies he was pressured to resign on eve of anniversary, says it was free choice. SENT: 330 words, photos.

VATICAN-POPE - Francis kisses 'mini-me' pope as children in Carnival costumes flock to Vatican. SENT: 180 words, photos.

BRITAIN-PHONE HACKING Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks denies telling a lunch companion that wealthy people were stupid not to change the voicemail access codes on their mobile phones to prevent hacking. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: Developing.

EGYPT-MILITARY INVENTION - Egypt's military leaders are widely ridiculed after unveiling what they claim is a "miraculous" device that cures AIDS, Hepatitis and other viruses -- a rare dent in the army's carefully managed image as protector of the nation. Many dismiss the invention as an illusion and the president's science adviser warns it will tarnish Egypt's image. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 4 p.m.

EGYPT - An Egyptian court convicted 26 people Wednesday of forming a terrorist group to launch an attack on the country's vital Suez Canal waterway, with almost all receiving death sentences in absentia. SENT: 310 words.

HONG KONG-EDITOR ATTACKED - The former editor of a Hong Kong newspaper whose abrupt dismissal in January sparked protests over press freedom is in critical condition after being hacked y an assailant with a meat cleaver. SENT: 310 words, photos.

THAILAND-POLITICS - Supporters of Thailand's embattled prime minister chain shut the headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. SENT: 600 words, photos.

VIETNAM-DISSIDENT BEATEN - A Vietnamese dissident says suspected government agents assaulted him and his wife this week as they were heading to a meeting with an Australian diplomat to talk about the human rights situation in the country. SENT: 320 words.

INDIA-SUBMARINE ACCIDENT - Two Indian navy sailors are missing and seven others are hospitalized after being overcome by smoke on board a diesel-powered submarine during a training exercise off Mumbai's coast. SENT: 320 words.

CHINA-JAPAN - China's Foreign Ministry says it supports Chinese plaintiffs who are seeking to sue two Japanese companies over forced labor during World War II. SENT: 460 words.

SWEDEN-EMAIL BLUNDER - Police say they were called in to restore order in downtown Stockholm after Sweden's public employment service accidentally sent an email invitation for a recruitment event to 61,000 jobseekers instead of 1,000. SENT: 130 words.

US

ARIZONA-GAY RIGHTS - Gov. Jan Brewer faces a pressing decision about a bill on her desk that has prompted a national debate over religious and gay rights. The Arizona Legislature passed a bill last week allowing businesses whose owners cite sincerely held religious beliefs to deny service to gays. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: Developing, timing and length uncertain.

HEROIN OVERDOSES-ANTIDOTE - As the number of heroin overdoses skyrockets nationwide, local police, treatment centers and state legislators are calling for first responders to carry Naloxone, a powerful drug that reverses heroin overdoses. UPCOMING: 1000 words by 1900 GMT, photos.

POLICE-CAR THEFT SCHEME - A scheme involving police officers stealing cars from poor Hispanic residents shocks a small farming town that discovers a third of the police force may have been involved. It's also further strained the relationship between the community, which has a large immigrant population wary of law enforcement, and the police department. UPCOMING: 850 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

FLORIDA EXECUTION -- Paul Howell is scheduled to be executed for the murder of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper James Fulford. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Execution scheduled for 2300 GMT.

WOMEN IN COMBAT- By spending their days lifting 65-pound missiles and .50-caliber machine guns, all while wearing 70 pounds of body armor and other fighting gear, women at Georgia's Fort Stewart are helping make history. SENT: 1,000 words, video, photos.

KERRY KENNEDY - Kerry Kennedy to take stand at NY drugged-driving trial; lawyer says prosecution helping. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

HEALTH

PRENATAL GENETIC TESTS (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2000 GMT) - A simple test that uses fetal DNA from a pregnant woman's blood is more accurate than current methods of screening for Down syndrome and other common disorders, new research suggests. If further studies bear this out, it could transform prenatal testing by giving a non-invasive way to detect these problems very early in pregnancy. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2000 GMT; 700 words.

OLDER DADS (HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT) - The largest study of its kind suggests older fathers face higher risks than previously thought for having children with psychiatric problems. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2100 GMT.

SNACK MAKERS TEACH DIETITIANS - The same snack and soda makers that often are blamed for fueling the nation's obesity rates play a role in educating the dietitians who advise Americans on healthy eating. SENT: 1,600 words, photos.

DIABETES DRUGS (HOLD FOR RELEASE) - A review by the FDA and European regulators finds no compelling evidence of a link between certain diabetes drugs and pancreas problems. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE, 2000 GMT, 400 words.

SCIENCE

CLIMATE CHANGE (HOLD FOR RELEASE) --Two of the most prestigious science issue joint report on global warming, causes and link to extreme weather. Not new science, but new effort at explaining warming. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE at 0000 GMT Thursday, 300 words.

ALIEN PLANETS - NASA holding press conference on new discoveries by planet-hunting Kepler telescope. Will write on merits. 1800 GMT.

TECH

WIRELESS SHOW-FINGERPRINT SECURITY - Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone will be at least the third to have a fingerprint sensor for security but it's alone in letting you use that for general shopping, thanks to a partnership with PayPal. SENT: 840 words, photo.

WIRELESS SHOW-MOBILE PAYMENTS - Mobile payments haven't caught on in recent years. Will they finally take off as offering more security protections in the face of high-profile breaches at Target and elsewhere? UPCOMING: 800 words by 10 a.m.

WIRELESS SHOW-DIGITAL LIFE-SONY PHONES -- A first-hand look at Sony's new Xperia Z2 smartphone. By Anick Jesdanun. UPCOMING: 400 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

BUSINESS

EARNS-TARGET - Target Corp. will be feeling the financial pain for a while from the theft of credit card numbers and other information from millions of its customers. SENT: 690 words, photo.

DELTA-FREQUENT FLIERS -- Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles. SENT: 360 words.

POP CULTURE/LIFESTYLES

PETS-DOG SHAME - No matter how guilty your dog looks, it doesn't know what your rant is about. Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look is a reaction to the tantrum you are throwing now over dog damage committed hours earlier. SENT: 840 words. UPCOMING: photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

JUSTIN BIEBER-ARREST -- Video of pop star Justin Bieber at a Florida police station after his January arrest is expected to be made public, with some sensitive parts omitted. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 0000 GMT Thursday, photos, video.

SPAIN-OBIT-PACO DE LUCIA - Paco de Lucia, one of the world's greatest guitarists who dazzled audiences with his lightning-speed flamenco rhythms and finger work, has died in Mexico, Spanish officials said Wednesday. He was 66. SENT: 630 words, photos.

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