Boats move through the water as the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patrick's Day Saturday, March 17, 2018, in Chicago. Thousands of people lined the riverfront downtown Chicago to see the dyeing, a tradition for the holiday that dates to 1962. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune via AP)

BC-AP News Digest 2:30 pm

March 17, 2018 - 2:37 pm

Here are the AP's latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EDT.

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TOP STORIES

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CLINTON EMAILS-INSPECTOR GENERAL — Andrew McCabe, the onetime FBI deputy director long scorned by President Trump and just fired by the attorney general, kept personal memos regarding Trump that are similar to the notes compiled by dismissed FBI chief James Comey detailing interactions with him, The Associated Press learns. By Eric Tucker. SENT: 970 words, photo; UPCOMING: 870 words by 3 p.m.

UNIVERSITY BRIDGE COLLAPSE — As crews removed more cars and bodies from beneath a collapsed pedestrian walkway, victims' relatives decried what they see as "complete incompetence" and "a colossal failure" that allowed people to drive beneath the unfinished concrete bridge. But engineers say the construction method is generally very safe, and that it's too early to tell whether human error or flawed materials caused the failure. By Jennifer Kay and Allen G. Breed. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: New 1,000-word approach by 5 p.m.

SCHOOL WALKOUTS-GUN VIOLENCE — The walkouts to protest gun violence that mobilized students nationwide also created tensions in hallways and classrooms. In some cases, personal relationships have been strained as classmates take different views of the protests and calls for tighter gun restrictions. Administrators and student leaders are also sorting through the fallout as some schools hand out discipline for some who defied school instructions and participated in the walkouts Wednesday. By Carolyn Thompson and Michael Melia. SENT: 780 words, photos. This story is this week's Sunday Spotlight.

RUSSIA-PUTIN PROFILE — As a kid in a dismal Soviet communal apartment, Vladimir Putin was a scrapper who dreamed of being an operator — diligently training in martial arts and boldly walking into a KGB office to inquire about how to become a spy. As Russia's leader in the 21st century, he's been the epitome of both traits — fighting Chechen rebels, directing the annexation of Crimea and, allegedly, approving an extensive and devious campaign to undermine American democracy. By Jim Heintz. SENT: 740 words, photos. With RUSSIA-PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION — Russian voters gear up for a presidential election that Vladimir Putin is guaranteed to win. They are facing unusually intense pressure to vote, to grant him a convincing new mandate to pursue his nationalist strategy. By Nataliya Vasilyeva and Angela Charlton. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FACEBOOK-CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SUSPENSION — Facebook suspends Cambridge Analytica, a data-analysis firm that worked for President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, over allegations that it held onto improperly obtained user data after telling Facebook it had deleted the information. By David Hamilton. SENT: 580 words, photo. Developing.

AIR BAG FAILURES — Air bags in some Hyundai and Kia cars failed to inflate in crashes and four people are dead. Now the U.S. government's road safety agency wants to know why. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it's investigating problems that affect an estimated 425,000 cars made by the Korean automakers. By Tom Krisher. SENT: 600 words, photos.

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

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PEOPLE-MATT DAMON — A publicist for Matt Damon is batting down reports that the actor is moving to Australia with his family, and that such a move would have been inspired by anger over President Donald Trump. SENT: 170 words, photos.

SUNKEN SCHOONER DISCOVERED — Michigan shipwreck hunters say they've found the remains of a schooner that sank in Lake Michigan in 1873. The Michigan Shipwreck Research Association announced this past week that the Lizzie Throop was found in 280 feet (85 meters) of water along western Michigan's coastline some 15 miles (25 kilometers) northwest of the city of South Haven. SENT: 150 words. Developing.

ANIMAL SACRIFICE-TEXAS — Authorities in Texas have arrested at least a dozen people for animal cruelty after interrupting what they believe was ritual sacrifice. SENT: 140 words.

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WASHINGTON/POLITICS

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TAX OVERHAUL-ENTERTAINMENT EXPENSES — U.S. companies spend millions each year to entertain customers and clients at sporting events, tournaments and arts venues. But the new tax law means they no longer can partially deduct the expense, so is a clampdown on corporate schmoozing coming? By Marcy Gordon. SENT: 730 words, photo.

BUDGET BATTLE — It's a critical stage for top-level congressional talks on a $1.3 trillion spending bill as negotiators try to settle differences on immigration, abortion-related issues and rail project pushed by the president's chief Democratic adversary. By Andrew Taylor. SENT: 710 words, photo.

FACT CHECK-WEEK — Were Japanese regulatory authorities really dropping bowling balls on American cars as part of a dark plot to keep the autos out of the Japanese market? No, the White House acknowledged. That story was just President Donald Trump being Trump. By Calvin Woodward. SENT: 980 words, photo. Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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INTERNATIONAL

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SWEDEN-NORTH KOREA — Sweden's foreign minister concludes three days of talks with her North Korean counterpart, saying they discussed the "opportunities and challenges for continued diplomatic efforts to reach a peaceful solution" to the Koreas' security dispute. Minister Margot Wallstrom stopped short of saying whether North Korean Ri Yong Ho's trip to Sweden had led to any further developments concerning a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. By Jan M. Olsen and David Keyton. SENT: 440 words, photos.

BRITAIN-SPY — Russia announces it is expelling 23 British diplomats and threatens further measures in retaliation in a growing diplomatic dispute over a nerve agent attack on a former spy in Britain. Britain's government said the move was expected, and that it doesn't change the British conviction that Russia was behind the poisoning of ex-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury. By Angela Charlton and Jill Lawless. With BRITAIN-SPY-TIMELINE — 550 words, photos.

CHINA-POLITICS — China's rubber-stamp legislature approves the reappointment of Xi Jinping as president with no limit on the number of terms he can serve. The National People's Congress also appointed close Xi ally Wang Qishan to the formerly ceremonial post of vice president. By Christopher Bodeen. With CHINA-POLITICS-MR FIX-IT — Wang Qishan is known as China's "Mr. Fix-It," a trustworthy official deployed to tackle the thorniest of crises — from crumbling banks to deadly illness to high-level corruption. By Christopher Bodeen. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

KOREAS-MOON'S NUCLEAR DIPLOMACY — Surprisingly, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is clearly steering diplomacy aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program. It was Moon's envoys who visited Pyongyang and came back with the surprise announcement that North Korea's Kim Jong Un had agreed to meet Moon and President Donald Trump in separate summit talks. By Kim Hyung-Jin. SENT: 980 words, photos.

EMIRATES-US SCHOOL SHOOTING —Student survivors of the worst high school shooting in U.S. history take their message abroad for the first time, calling for greater gun safety measures and sharing with educational professionals from around the world their frightening experience. By Aya Batrawy. SENT: 700 words, photos.

GREECE-MIGRANTS — A smuggling boat sinks off a Greek island, killing at least 16 migrants including children, and a search-and-rescue operation was underway to find two others believed missing. By Elena Becatoros and Demetris Nellas. SENT: 380 words, photos.

WWI-BELGIUM REMEMBRANCE-PHOTO GALLERY — A special remembrance installation of 600,000 crouching clay figures is opening to the public soon in Ypres, Belgium, seeking to help visitors from around the world reflect on what happened during World War I a century ago. By Virginia Mayo. SENT: 360 words, photos.

MAURITIUS-PRESIDENT RESIGNS — The president of the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius, Africa's only female head of state, has resigned amid a financial scandal. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim Gurib-Fakim submitted her resignation in the "national interest," her lawyer Yousouf Mohamed said, according to local news reports. SENT: 200 words, photo.

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NATIONAL

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ST PATRICK'S DAY-NEW YORK — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar joins along as Manhattan's Fifth Avenue comes alive with the sound of bagpipes, trumpets and lots of green Saturday during the 257th running of New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a "day of inclusion" and added, "We're all immigrants." By David Jeans. SENT: 500 words. Photos upcoming. With PENCE-ST PATRICK'S DAY — Vice President Mike Pence walks a short leg of the St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah, Georgia, shaking hands with supporters as he's followed by protesters. By Russ Bynum. SENT: 600 words.

FRED MEYER-GUNS — Superstore company Fred Meyer, which has stores in the Northwest and Alaska, says it will stop selling guns and ammunition. SENT: 300 words, photo.

KANSAS-SOMALIS TARGETED — Months before the 2016 general election, members of a Kansas militia group that prosecutors say came to be known as the "the Crusaders" met in an office to pick the targets of bombings that they hoped would inspire a wave of attacks on Muslims throughout the U.S. Three of them didn't know that the fourth was wearing a wire as part of a federal investigation that would thwart their alleged plot. By Roxana Hegeman. SENT: 770 words, photos.

NUKE REPOSITORY-PLUTONIUM — The U.S. Department of Energy has commissioned a national group of scientists to study the viability of diluting surplus weapons-grade plutonium and storing it permanently at the federal government's underground repository in New Mexico. SENT: 680 words, photo.

USS COLORADO COMMISSIONING — The U.S. Navy's newest attack submarine, the USS Colorado, joins the fleet. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer says it's a "marvel of technology and innovation." SENT: 310 words. Photos upcoming.

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SPORTS

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BKC--NCAA-UMBC-BACKCOURT — Not many people knew who UMBC was before the Retrievers made NCAA Tournament history, but now their backcourt is the buzz of March Madness. The sharpshooting Jairus Lyles and his diminutive 5-foot-8 sidekick, point guard KJ Maura, are a big part of Kansas State's game-plan for Sunday's matchup. By Steve Reed. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 7 p.m. With BKC--NCAA-VIRGINIA'S STUNNING EXIT— Top-seeded Virginia left to make sense of historic NCAA loss. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 820 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Richard A. Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Don King, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://newsroom.ap.org. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact [email protected] or call 877-836-9477.

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