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BC-AP News Digest 3:15 am

BC-AP News Digest 3:15 am

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The world at 3:15 a.m. Times are EST.

At the Nerve Center, Suzanne Boyle McCrory and Mike Stewart can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from . For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact or call 877-836-9477.


— NETS-COLLINS — Bulls-Nets game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.



KIEV, Ukraine — The United States and its allies in Europe attempt to pressure Russia to reverse its military incursion into Ukraine, even as Moscow's troops dig in in parts of this former Soviet country after Kiev decided to oust the pro-Russia president. By David McHugh. UPCOMING: 130 words by 4 a.m., 1,000 words by 7 a.m., photos, videos.

— UNITED STATES-RUSSIA — Kerry says world leaders 'are prepared to go to the hilt in order to isolate Russia with respect to this invasion.' SENT: 1,260 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates expected, time uncertain.

— RUSSIA-MARKETS — Russian markets and currency plummet because of crisis in Ukraine. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 5 a.m.


PRETORIA, South Africa — The mother of the woman Oscar Pistorius shot to death appears at the Pretoria courthouse to watch the opening of his murder trial. June Steenkamp, mother of model Reeva Steenkamp, arrives dressed in black after saying that she wants to look Pistorius in the eyes when he comes into the courtroom. By Gerald Imray. SENT: 1,000 words, photos. UPCOMING: Updates through the day, photos, video.

— PISTORIUS-MAIN PLAYERS — A look at the judge and other main players in the Pistorius trial. SENT: 800 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — After the budget gurus in Congress failed to find a grand bargain to reduce the U.S. debt, they decided to go small instead. But that's not working, either. Vague bromides and promises about deficits and spending are easy for politicians. Real spending cuts aren't. By Charles Babington and Andrew Taylor. SENT: 1,080 words, photo.


WASHINGTON — Seeking to keep a pair of delicate diplomatic efforts afloat, President Barack Obama will personally appeal for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move forward on peace talks with the Palestinians, while also trying to manage Israel's deep suspicion of his pursuit of a nuclear accord with Iran. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 820 words, photos. UPCOMING: 990 words after 1:45 p.m. meeting.


LOS ANGELES — The Oscars are always colorful, but this year, it wasn't just the hues of the dresses on the red carpet or edgy stage banter. Diversity was perhaps the biggest winner at the 86th annual Academy Awards. For the first time, a film directed by a black filmmaker won best picture and a Latino took home best director. In a ceremony presided over by a lesbian host and overseen by the academy's first black woman president, Sunday's Oscars illustrated like never before that times are changing at the historically staid Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. By Film Writers Jake Coyle and Jessica Herndon. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4 a.m.



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court in 2002 barred the execution of mentally disabled inmates, but until now the court has left it up to the states to determine who's mentally disabled. A new case is testing whether states can rely solely on the result of an intelligence test to conclude a death row inmate isn't mentally disabled — and therefore eligible to be executed — despite other evidence of mental deficits. In arguments Monday, a Florida inmate is challenging that state's use of a rigid IQ cutoff to determine mental disability. Florida is among the few states that use a threshold score of 70, as measured by IQ tests, to conclude an inmate is not mentally disabled, even if other evidence indicates he is. By Mark Sherman. SENT: 890 words, photo. Eds: Also moved in previous cycle.



NEW YORK — With only a week to catch our breath after the lengthy cavalcade of Winter Olympics coverage, this year's Oscarcast may have seemed a refreshingly zippy handout of awards. After all, it lasted only slightly more than three and a half hours and was emceed by the comfortably reliable Ellen DeGeneres. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. SENT: 650 words, photos.

— OSCARS-FASHION-FIVE —That's a wrap, Lupita Nyong'o, but may all the best dresses keep coming your way. With a supporting actress Oscar now in her possession, a tearful Nyong'o concluded a red-carpet season Sunday night as a fashion darling for sexy silhouettes and colors that wow. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

— OSCARS FASHION-PHOTO GALLERY — UPCOMING: 100 words by 3:30 a.m., photos.

— OSCARS-SHOW BITS-PACKAGE — A collection of lively briefs and quotes by the AP's Oscar reporting team from a variety of perspectives, including the red carpet, onstage, backstage, pressroom, audience and after-parties. SENT: 3,000 words, photos.

— OSCARS-ELLEN'S SELFIE — Ellen DeGeneres' goal of setting a retweet record with her star-studded selfie was achieved before the Oscars telecast was even over. SENT: 120 words, photos.

— OSCARS-LIST — List of winners at the 86th Academy Awards. SENT: 200 words, photos.



WASHINGTON — Schools are canceled, buses halted and federal government workers told to stay home Monday as the nation's capital braces for a storm expected to dump a foot of snow on parts of the East Coast. It's the latest blast of a harsh winter. By Brett Zongker. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4:30 a.m., photos; updates through the day.



ISLAMABAD — A group of armed men, including two suicide attackers, storms a court complex in the Pakistani capital in a rare terror attack in the heart of Islamabad that kills 11 people and wounds dozens. One of the attackers blows himself up outside the office of the lawyers' union president and the other outside the door of a judge's office, according to the city's police chief. By Zarar Khan. SENT: 710 words, photos.


BEIJING — Xi Jinping looks more powerful than any Chinese leader in recent decades as his government prepares to deliver its first one-year report card Wednesday, but a deadly weekend slashing spree by alleged separatists was a reminder of the serious challenges facing his administration. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 960 words, photos.


CUTUSUMA, Bolivia — For centuries, farmers in the fragile ecosystems of the high Andes have looked to the behavior of plants and animals to figure out what crops to grow and when. But increasingly erratic weather that scientists attribute to global warming is rendering their age-old methods less reliable, endangering harvests in a region where life is hard in the best of times. By Carlos Valdez. SENT: 975 words, photos.



NEW YORK — Jason Collins has been warmly received in his historic return to the NBA, and he hasn't even seen his own fans yet. The Brooklyn Nets are finally finished with their road trip, and the league's first openly gay player will play at home for the first time Monday against Chicago. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m., photos; updates from the game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


— KOREAS-TENSION — SKorea says NKorea fires 2 more suspected short-range missiles amid SKorea-US military drills. SENT: 450 words.

— CALIFORNIA STORMS — Evacuation orders lifted in California foothill communities as powerful storm moves out. SENT: 470 words, photos.

— BOY SCOUTS-DISNEY — Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts through volunteer program over ban on gay adult leaders. SENT: 200 words.

— NKOREA-AUSTRALIAN DETAINED — North Korea says it will deport Australian missionary detained for spreading Bible tracts. SENT: 560 words, photos.

— CHINA-MANUFACTURING — Survey shows Chinese manufacturing weakened in February, employers cut staff. SENT: 270 words.

— BRAZIL-CARNIVAL — Brazil's Carnival turning attention to Rio de Janeiro's glitzy parades at famed Sambodrome. SENT: 300 words, photos.

— STUDY ABROAD — International education group seeks to double number of US students studying abroad in 5 years. SENT: 360 words.

— PEOPLE-PHARRELL — Arby's gets Pharrell's famous hat for $44k in eBay bid. SENT: 130 words, photos.



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