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BC-AP News Coverage Advisory 1430 GMT
Associated Press
2013-08-21 10:42 PM

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

We are introducing this advisory as a beta, and we seek your feedback. Please send any thoughts to: NerveCenterManagers@ap.org

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1430 GMT:

-- SYRIA (sent; developing)

-- EGYPT (sent; developing)

-- MANNING-WIKILEAKS (developing)

-- FORT HOOD SHOOTING (developing)

-- FACEBOOK-GROWTH (developing)

-- HAITI ON ICE (sent, photos)

-- IRAQ VETS-BREWERY (sent, photos)

PHOTOS: SYRIA; EGYPT; MANNING; FORT HOOD; HAITI ON ICE

VIDEO: SYRIA online package upcoming.

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past eight hours (all times EDT):

TOP NEWS

SYRIA: Syrian anti-government activists accused the regime of carrying out a toxic gas attack that killed at least 100 people, including many children, during intense artillery and rocket barrages Wednesday on the eastern suburbs of Damascus, part of a fierce government offensive in the area. The attack coincided with the visit by U.N. chemical weapons team to investigate three sites where chemical weapons attacks allegedly occurred over the past year. Their presence raises questions about why the regime -- which called the claims of the attack "absolutely baseless" -- would employ chemical agents at this time. Pursuing these angles among others. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, audio. UPCOMING: Developing through the day; 1,400 words by 1900 GMT, photos, audio, video.

With: AP EXCLUSIVE: U.S.-MILITARY-SYRIA: The Obama administration is opposed to even limited U.S. military intervention in Syria because it believes wouldn't support American interests if they were to seize power right now, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says in a letter to a congressman obtained by The Associated Press. SENT: 900 words, photo. UPCOMING: Developing further today.

EGYPT: Court orders the release of Mubarak more than two years after he was detained. An appeal is possible, and it is not known when -- or if -- Mubarak will be freed. Two more Islamists arrested. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. UPCOMING: 1100 words, photos by 1800 GMT.

EUROPE-EGYPT: European Union foreign ministers are seeking to forge a joint response to the crisis in Egypt to push for an end to the violence and a return to negotiations, with discussions expected on proposals to halt some aid programs and suspend arms shipments. SENT: 600 words. UPCOMING: Developments expected after end of 1400 GMT meeting.

UNITED STATES-EGYPT: The U.S. is in a bind. While it wants to continue aiding Egypt to maintain ties with the military-run government and assert its influence in the region, the Obama administration and lawmakers do not want to appear to be condoning the bloody crackdown. UPCOMING: by 1600 GMT.

PAKISTAN-US: The United States has placed unprecedented sanctions on an Islamic school in northwest Pakistan for allegedly training and financing fighters from al-Qaida and other militant groups. SENT: 600 words, photos.

CHINA-POLITICAL SCANDAL: China's most anticipated trial in years begins here Thursday when Bo Xilai, former Communist Party leader in the megacity of Chongqing, faces charges of corruption and abuse of power. But the venue presents a rare opportunity for a few dozen people, fans of the fallen politician and government critics alike, to let off steam in front of a gaggle of international reporters. SENT: 830 words, photos. WITH: CHINA-POLITICAL SCANDAL-GLANCE. SENT: 700 words, photo.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR: The Japanese nuclear watchdog says it is taking the leakage of highly radioactive water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant seriously, and proposes raising the rating to describe it from "an anomaly" to a "serious incident." SENT: 725 words, photos

PAKISTAN-FLOODS: Pakistan's government says flooding caused by torrential rains has killed 139 people and affected nearly a million others. SENT: 130 words.

THAILAND-ELEPHANTS SEIZED: Thai police said they seized more than a dozen elephants Wednesday in raids after busting a gang that allegedly provided the animals' owners with false identification papers. SENT: 340 words.

MYANMAR-BIG TOBACCO FRONTIER: As some of the world's biggest companies trumpet their arrival in Asia's hottest frontier market, the tobacco industry has a different strategy: It's slipping into Myanmar without fanfare. SENT: 1100 words, photos.

SOUTH SUDAN-VIOLENCE: The U.S. turns up the heat on an African ally that American politicians spent decades trying to help create: South Sudan. A visit by the commander of the military's Africa Command, a phone call by Secretary of State John Kerry and a stern warning from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are all a shot across the bow to get South Sudan to stop widespread ethnic violence. Doctors Without Borders says Wednesday that 90,000 people are still missing following July violence. UPCOMING: 650 words by 1500 GMT.

MEXICO-EARTHQUAKE: A moderately strong earthquake shook Mexico's capital Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of major injuries or damage. SENT: 200 words, photos. UPCOMING: TBD by developments.

MALAYSIA-BUS ACCIDENT: A passenger bus plunges into a deep ravine while traveling downhill near a Malaysian resort, killing 33 people, an official says SENT: 200 words. WITH: INDONESIA-CHURCH BUS CRASH. SENT: 200 words.

TAIWAN STORM: Tropical Storm Trami struck Wednesday in heavily populated northern Taiwan, prompting schools and offices to close down as heavy rains triggered landslides and other disruptions throughout the island. SENT: 370 words, photos.

CHINA-FLASH FLOOD: A flash flood sweeps through a construction site in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai, killing at least 21 workers, state media say. SENT: 150 words.

AUSTRIA-BARE CHESTED ELECTIONEERING: Austria's general election campaign is heating up: Two high-profile contenders have gone way beyond rolling up their shirt sleeves -- they've taken the shirts right off. SENT: 420 words, photo.

MANNING-WIKILEAKS: Judge sentences Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving US secrets to WikiLeaks. UPCOMING: Developing

-- MANNING-WIKILEAKS-WHAT'S NEXT -- A look at what the sentence means for future leakers and future leak prosecutions.

-- MANNING-WIKILEAKS-NEWS GUIDE -- A look at the court-martial from start to finish, including the key issues and major players.

Photo gallery, video coverage, updated interactive planned.

FORT HOOD SHOOTING: Hasan rests his case after calling no witnesses. SENT: 770 words, photos, interactive. UPCOMING: URGENT moving with Hasan resting his case. Will be updated throughout the day; by 2130 GMT, photos, video, updated interactive. If a verdict is announced (may not come until tomorrow), we will have a glance on the death penalty phase process, updated NewsGuide.

AFGHANISTAN MASSACRE. Afghan victims continue emotional testimony against the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 civilians on a solitary, midnight rampage. SENT: 1,030 words, live photos. UPCOMING: by 1830 GMT.

BURNED BODIES KIDNAPPED GIRL: We are pursuing reports that the family of James Lee DiMaggio, the kidnapper, is claiming that Hannah Anderson is his biological daughter. Developments, timing uncertain.

GEORGIA SCHOOL SHOOTING. We pursue a fuller profile of the man accused of firing shots at an Atlanta-area elementary school. Media reports say he had a history of mental problems, and the 20-year-old had been arrested previously for making terroristic threats. UPCOMING: Story length/ETA determined by reporting.

AUSTRALIAN PLAYER-RANDOM SHOOTING. Seeking more information about what happened the day of the shooting and if the teens had been plotting to do something like this for some time. We also are looking into whether gun control comments made by a former deputy prime minister in Australia resonate and have any impact going forward. SENT: 1,00 words, photos. UPCOMING: Story length/ETA determined by reporting.

BLACKLISTED MUSLIMS. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says it has uncovered a government program to screen immigrants for national security concerns that has blacklisted some Muslims and put their U.S. citizenship applications on hold for years. SENT: 500 words. UPCOMING: Update with more reaction expected by 1930 GMT.

NIXON TAPES: The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon's White House will be released today along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials expected to span everything from the U.S.-Soviet relationship to the implementation of the Vietnam peace settlement and the return of U.S. prisoners of war. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: Files posted online at 1700 GMT, first update by 1800 GMT. photos, video.

TECH

FACEBOOK-GROWTH: Facebook announces plan to cut the cost of delivering basic Internet services on mobile phones and spread online services to the billions across the world who have no Internet service. Zuckerberg went to competitors in mobile and social media to create the partnership and boost its power in the mobile market. SENT: 370 words. UPCOMING: by 1830 GMT, photos.

POP CULTURE/LIFESTYLES

MARCH ON WASHINGTON-GAYS The 50th anniversary commemoration of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington will differ in at least one key way from the original demonstration with an unprecedented inclusion of gays and lesbians. UPCOMING: by 1830 GMT., photos.

HAITI ON ICE: Doubters said it was crazy to try to put on an ice show in the blazing Caribbean heat that bakes the hemisphere's poorest country. Yet, after nearly a year of postponement after postponement, it looks as if the "Haiti on Ice" show will actually happen. This weekend. Maybe. If the ice doesn't melt. SENT: 630 words, photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

FILM-GAY-LESBIAN ROLES: The silver screen lags well behind the TV screen in portrayals of gay and lesbian characters, an advocacy group says in a new report. SENT: 720 words, photos.

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