Iranian protesters chant slogans at a rally in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017. Iranian hard-liners rallied Saturday to support the country's supreme leader and clerically overseen government as spontaneous protests sparked by anger over the country's ailing economy roiled major cities in the Islamic Republic. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

BC-AP News Digest 5:30 am

December 31, 2017 - 5:31 am

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

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ONLY ON AP

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LOCKED UP FOR LIFE-TESTING THE RULING — Nearly two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prison inmates who killed as teenagers are capable of change and may deserve eventual freedom, the question remains unresolved: Which ones should get a second chance? Now the ruling — which came in the case of a 71-year-old Louisiana inmate still awaiting a parole hearing — is being tested again in that same state, where prosecutors have moved in recent months to keep about 1 in 3 former juvenile offenders locked up for the rest of their lives. By Adam Geller. SENT: 1,760 words, photos. An abridged version has also moved.

WITH:

LOCKED UP-BEYOND REDEMPTION? — When is an inmate beyond redemption? A Michigan inmate serving life without parole for the murder of his father says he is a changed man and worthy of a second chance. But he's among more than 200 juvenile lifers Michigan prosecutors are fighting to keep locked up. By Sharon Cohen. SENT: 1,190 words. LOCKED UP-A VICTIM'S STORY — The daughter of a murder victim describes in her own words the pain she has lived with since her mother was killed more than 20 years ago. As she faces the resentencing of a man who was 17 when he was ordered to serve life without parole for her mother's death in California, she says she knows juveniles make stupid mistakes and deserve a second chance. But not in this case. "When is the crime too horrendous to count as a mistake?" she asks. SENT: 1,000 words.

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TOP STORIES

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IRAQ-THE MISSING — Thousands of mostly men and teenage boys, including 3,000 from Mosul alone, remain missing in the wake of Iraqi victories against the Islamic State group. Some are believed to have been killed by IS during the group's extremist rule, while others were detained by security forces on suspicion of extremist ties. By Susannah George. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos by noon.

IRAN-PROTESTS — A wave of spontaneous protests over Iran's weak economy sweep into Tehran, with college students and others chanting against the government just hours after hard-liners held their own rally in support of the Islamic Republic's clerical establishment. The demonstrations appear to be the largest to strike the Islamic Republic since the protests that followed the country's disputed 2009 presidential election. By Amir Vahdat and Jon Gambrell. SENT: 1,140 words, photos.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA — In the first month of Donald Trump's presidency, an American foreign policy scholar quietly met with North Korean officials and relayed a message: The new administration in Washington appreciated an extended halt in the North's nuclear and ballistic missile tests. It might just offer a ray of hope. North Korea responded defiantly. Two days later, it tested a new missile. The February launch heralded a year of escalating tensions that have left the U.S. and North Korea closer to hostilities than at any time since the Korean War ended in 1953. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

MYANMAR-LOVE IN A TIME OF HATE — Setara Begum and her husband cannot walk hand in hand, or share a meal with her family, or dip their toes into the Bay of Bengal. That's because Setara was born an ethnic Rakhine Buddhist, and her husband a Rohingya Muslim. Their love story is extraordinarily rare — and risky at a time when Myanmar's security forces have launched what the United Nations has described as an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against the Rohingya. By Todd Pitman and Esther Htusan. SENT: 1,300 words, photos. This story is this week's Sunday Spotlight.

NEW YEAR — A country-by-country and city-by-city look at plans and celebrations. UPCOMING: Developing through the day, with 2,200 words in chunky text by 5 a.m. Monday, photos, video. WITH: NYC NEW YEAR — New Yorkers, celebrity entertainers and tourists from around the world gather in Times Square for what's expected to be a flashy but frigid start to the new year. Mariah Carey will perform again after a bungled song last year. The event, always held under tight security, will have its largest police presence yet this year. By Colleen Long, Rebecca Gibian and David Jeans. UPCOMING: 400 words by noon Sunday, updating throughout the day and evening as the celebration develops, with photos and video.

BANNED WORDS — Northern Michigan's Lake Superior State University on Sunday released its 43rd annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness. The tongue-in-cheek, non-binding list includes "let me ask you this," ''unpack," ''drill down," ''impactful," ''nothingburger," ''tons," ''dish," and the top vote-getter, "fake news." By Jeff Karoub. UPCOMING: SENT: 600 words, photo. WITH: BANNED WORDS-LIST (sent).

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

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OBIT-KING BROTHER IN LAW — The brother-in-law of Martin Luther King Jr. and a founding member of The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change has died at 83. SENT: 230 words.

OBIT-ERICA GARNER — The daughter of Eric Garner who became a voice against police brutality after his death dies after a weeklong hospital stay following a heart attack. SENT: 230 words, photo.

TERRORISM CHARGE — Federal authorities say they have arrested a Virginia man and charged him with attempting to obstruct a terrorism investigation. SENT: 130 words.

TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE — An Australian diplomat's tip appears to have helped persuade the FBI to investigate Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, The New York Times reports. SENT: 280 words.

PENCE-ASPEN — Neighbors of the home where Vice President Mike Pence has been staying in Colorado this week have a message: "Make America Gay Again." SENT: 130 words.

BABY SEAL RESCUE — A baby seal that wandered onto a wintry Cape Cod highway is returned to the ocean with the help of some police officers and animal rescue workers. SENT: 130 words.

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WASHINGTON AND POLITICS

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SUNSHINE YEAR-MEDIA LITERACY — Alarmed by the proliferation of misinformation on the internet, state lawmakers around the country are pressuring public schools to step up their efforts to teach media literacy skills. By Ryan J. Foley. SENT: 800 words. Photos.

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NATIONAL

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LAS VEGAS-SECURITY GUARDS KILLED — Two Las Vegas security guards are fatally shot while investigating a disturbance in a room at a hotel-casino, and the suspected shooter suffers critical injuries after turning the gun on himself, police say. SENT: 350 words, photo.

TEXTING AND DRIVING-FLORIDA — Florida, with some of the nation's deadliest roads, is one of the last states to not fully ban texting while driving, but the Legislature will soon consider a bill that would — although studies conflict over whether such bans have any effect. By Terry Spencer. SENT: 880 words, photos.

FOUR DEAD IN HOME — Two men have been arrested on murder charges in the deaths of two women and two children in their upstate New York apartment; police say one defendant knew a victim. SENT: 300 words, photos.

CALIFORNIA-MARIJUANA-THINGS TO KNOW — California on Monday becomes the nation's largest state to offer legal recreational marijuana sales. In general, the state will treat cannabis like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot and grow six marijuana plants at home. By Michael R. Blood. SENT: 800 words, photos. WITH: NEW LAWS-CALIFORNIA — Other new laws affect immigrants, ex-convicts and college education. By Don Thompson. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.

CONTAMINATED WATER-MICHIGAN — Michigan, where the large city of Flint continues to recover from a lead-contaminated water supply, is now racing to combat a new threat to tap water at sites across the state: chemicals long used in firefighting, carpeting and other products. By David Eggert. SENT: 1,090 words.

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INTERNATIONAL

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GERMANY-MERKEL — Germans have rarely been so divided about the changes taking place in their society, the country's long-time leader Angela Merkel acknowledges, adding in her New Year's address that she is committed to helping tackle the challenges of the future by swiftly forming a new government. SENT: 300 words, photos.

MEDIA DEATHS — At least 81 reporters were killed doing their jobs this year, while violence and harassment against media staff has skyrocketed, the world's biggest journalists' organization says. SENT: 370 words.

EGYPT-CHURCH ATTACK — Video clips circulating on social media show the gunman who opened fire outside an Egyptian church in an attack that killed at least nine people walking armed and unchallenged on a residential street for nearly 10 minutes. By Hamza Hendawi. SENT: 870 words, photos.

EGYPT-MORSI — An Egyptian court convicts former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and 19 others on Saturday of insulting the judiciary, sentencing them to three years in prison in a court session aired on TV. By Menna Zaki. SENT: 500 words, photo.

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ENTERTAINMENT

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BRITAIN-NEW KNIGHTS — A Beatle and a Bee Gee are among the celebrated citizens who have been selected for knighthood and other awards given in the name of Britain's monarch. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

OBIT-DANIEL TALBOT — Daniel Talbot, a force in the independent film world who distributed art house movies and co-founded New York City's Lincoln Plaza Cinema, dies after months of declining health. SENT: 260 words.

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SPORTS

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FBC--T25-ROSE BOWL — Oklahoma's Dimitri Flowers calls himself a fullback but often lines up all over the field. Georgia fullback Christian Payne spends most of his time blocking. How these fullbacks are deployed underlines the different offensive philosophies that will be on display at the Rose Bowl. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 910 words, photos.

FIESTA BOWL — Trace McSorley throws for 342 yards and hits DaeSean Hamilton for two touchdowns on third-down plays, helping No. 9 Penn State outlast No. 12 Washington 35-28 in the Fiesta Bowl. By John Marshall. SENT: 800 words, photos.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Rich Somma can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Shoun Hill, 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 apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

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