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BC-AP News Digest 3 am

BC-AP News Digest 3 am


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Estimated read time: 9-10 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

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

At the Nerve Center, Dien Magno, Suzanne Boyle McCrory, Mike Stewart and Barbara Whitaker 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 http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact apcustomersupport@ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

DEVELOPING

— ECONOMY — Report to be released at 8:30 a.m.

— CONSUMER BORROWING — Federal Reserve reports on consumer borrowing in January. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 3 p.m., 350 words by 3:45 p.m., photo.

— TRADE GAP — Commerce Department reports on the U.S. trade deficit for January. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 8:30 a.m., 350 words by 9:15 a.m., photo.

— CONSERVATIVES — Rick Perry's speech at 9 a.m.

— SHARPER-RAPE CHARGES — Hearing at 4:30 p.m.

TOP STORIES

UKRAINE

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, occupied by Russian troops, begins preparations for a referendum on joining Russia. In Kiev, Ukraine's acting president denounces the referendum as illegitimate and says he will seek to have the Crimean regional parliament dissolved. By Yuras Karmanau. UPCOMING: 450 words by 4 a.m., video, photos.

OBAMA-RUSSIA

WASHINGTON — One by one, President Barack Obama's warnings to Russia are being brushed aside by President Vladimir Putin, who appears to only be speeding up efforts to formally stake his claim to Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. SENT: 880 words, photo.

— UKRAINE-SANCTIONS — Economic complications cause worries that sanctions levied against Moscow could backfire on the U.S. and Europe. SENT: 1,010 words, photo.

AP EXCLUSIVE: BITCOIN FOUNDER-DENIAL

LOS ANGELES — Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto says that he is not the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be. The denial, in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, comes after Newsweek published a 4,500-word cover story claiming Nakamoto is the person who wrote the computer code underpinnings of bitcoin. By Business Writer Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 900 words, video, photos.

— TOP VIDEO — ca bitcoin: Man denies he created bitcoin.

MILLENNIALS-POLITICS

WASHINGTON — Young adults like to think of themselves as independent, but when it comes to politics, they're more likely than not to lean to the left. Half of American adults ages 18 to 33 are self-described political independents, according to a new survey, but at the same time, half of these so-called millennials are Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, the highest share for any age group over the last decade. By Jesse J. Holland. SENT: 720 words.

GAS DRILLING-PIZZA

BOBTOWN, Pa. — Critics are raging after an energy giant offered pizza coupons to a community near a natural gas well that exploded last month, killing a worker. News stories, TV shows and blogs — many sarcastic or outright scornful — spread the word far and wide. "Shame on you," one person wrote about the offer by Chevron Corp. "How insulting!" said another. Comedy Central's satirical "The Colbert Report" skewered it. But the 750 or so residents of the hamlet of Bobtown? Not one has signed an online petition demanding an apology for the pizza offer. In fact, during a recent visit, the AP found that the talk of the town is more the furious response by outsiders. By Kevin Begos. SENT: 800 words, photos.

PAKISTAN-WOMEN LABOR FOR LIFE-PHOTO ESSAY

MANDRA, Pakistan — Amna Bhatti has spent half a century, ever since she was 10 years old, shaping mud into bricks in a huge kiln in this Pakistani town, first paying off a debt of her parents, and now one of her late husband. Tens of thousands of poor Pakistanis work in such so-called "bonded labor." An AP Photo Essay looks at some of their lives. By Muhammed Muheisen. SENT: 300 words, photos.

WASHINGTON

CONSERVATIVES

OXON HILL, Md. — The early auditions for the Republican Party's next presidential contest are in full swing at the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists, where some of the GOP's most prominent religious conservatives are facing off. By Steve Peoples and Ken Thomas. SENT: 570 words, photos. UPCOMING: 750 words by noon to update with Rick Perry's speech at 9 a.m., photos.

MORE ON UKRAINE

UKRAINE-OLIGARCHS TO THE RESCUE

KIEV, Ukraine — In a surprising move after Russia flexed its military might in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine's new leadership has reached out to oligarchs for help — appointing them as governors in eastern regions where loyalties to Moscow are strong. With their wealth, influence and self-interest in preventing further conflict, the oligarchs could be the key to calming tensions and maintaining Ukraine's control in areas where pro-Russian activists have stoked separatist tensions. By Maria Danilova. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 6 a.m., photos.

INTERNATIONAL

PISTORIUS-TRIAL

PRETORIA, South Africa — A doctor who says he saw Oscar Pistorius weeping over his dead or dying girlfriend after he shot her has resumed testimony in the murder trial of the double-amputee runner. By Gerald Imray and Christopher Torchia. SENT: 110 words. UPCOMING: Updates through the day, photos.

NKOREA-ELECTIONS

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korean voters will make a choice Sunday when they elect a new national legislature. Not for a candidate; there's only one of those per district. They get to vote "yes" or "no," and virtually all pick "yes." Going to the polls, however, is not a choice but a requirement, which effectively makes North Korean elections a national head count, and a powerful tool for checking up on the people. By Eric Talmadge. UPCOMING: 750 words by 3:30 a.m., photos.

BRITAIN-UNEARTHING WWI

GOSPORT, England — Two lines of trenches face off across No Man's Land. A soldier marches, rifle in hand, along a ditch. These are instantly familiar images of World War I — but this is Britain, a century on and an English Channel away from the battlefields of the Western Front. This overgrown and oddly corrugated patch of heathland on England's south coast was once a practice battlefield, complete with trenches, weapons and barbed wire. Thousands of troops trained here to take on the German army. After the 1918 victory — which cost 1 million Britons their lives — the site was forgotten, until it was recently rediscovered by a local official with an interest in military history. By Jill Lawless. UPCOMING: 780 words by 3:30 a.m., photos.

COLOMBIA-FREEING THE PARAMILITARIES

BOGOTA, Colombia — One veteran of Colombia's disbanded far-right militias admitted to ordering or taking part in at least 3,000 killings, mostly targeting leftists. Another ordered a hit on a prominent intellectual who had been unjustly accused of backing insurgents. Those two men and about 400 other right-wing paramilitaries are due to walk free this year after serving eight-year sentences for crimes that normally carry more than triple the prison terms. By Libardo Cardona. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

EGYPT-ENTREPRENEURIAL ECONOMY

CAIRO — In Egypt's newest reality television show, contestants sold fruit juice from push carts in Cairo's busiest market and later organized a desert safari for tourists, hustling to make sales in the capital's crowded streets. The program, called "The Project" in Arabic, highlights entrepreneurship and small business acumen — something experts say is more crucial than ever as Egypt tries to claw its way out of tough economic times. By Maggie Hyde. SENT: 720 words, photos.

NATIONAL

ARMY GENERAL-SEX CHARGES

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — Opening statements are set to begin in the court-martial of an Army general accused of sexually assaulting a captain under his command with whom he had a three-year affair. Prosecutors will begin making their case Friday against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair. By Michael Biesecker. UPCOMING: 900 words by 4:30 a.m., photos; updates through the day from court session, beginning at 9 a.m.

REGULATING RIDESHARING

DENVER — A legislative dispute in Denver pitting taxi drivers against emerging tech companies mirrors similar fights playing out across the nation. State lawmakers and city government officials in various states are considering how to regulate Web-based businesses such as Uber and Lyft, which allow passengers to hail rides with the swipe of a smartphone. By Ivan Moreno and Ray Henry. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

ICE SAILING

BARRYTOWN, N.Y. — Sharp winds lash up the river as sailors launch boats onto the ice. Sails whip furiously as the long blades slide across a white sheet that spread for miles. Finally, a frigid winter has created excellent conditions for ice sailing on the river, as more than a dozen boats hit a wide stretch of the Hudson north of New York City. Many are one-person craft, while two are reconditioned 19th-century ice yachts, made of heavy lumber and fitted with tall sails. By Michael Hill. SENT: 620 words, video, photos.

BUSINESS

ECONOMY

WASHINGTON — The government issues the February jobs report. Forecast is that employers added 145,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate remained 6.6 percent. Harsh winter weather is likely to have affected the numbers. In January, employers added a slight 113,000 jobs after an even weaker 75,000 in December — far below last year's average monthly gain of 194,000. Yet solid hiring in manufacturing and construction in January pointed to some underlying strength. By Christopher S. Rugaber. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 8:30 a.m., 350 words by 9:15 a.m., photo.

SPORTS

SHARPER-RAPE CHARGES

LOS ANGELES — Attorneys for Darren Sharper argue against extraditing him to New Orleans, one of several jurisdictions where the former NFL safety is under investigation on suspicion he drugged and raped women. By Anthony McCartney. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: 400 words after 4:30 p.m. court hearing.

GETTING ATTENTION

— BADLY BURNED BOY — While prosecutors have convinced a judge that a Texas man can be tried as an adult for allegedly burning a boy when he was a teenager, securing a murder conviction in a case where the victim died 13 years after the attack will be difficult, experts say. SENT: 670 words, photos.

— COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN-CONDUCT — Cummings says Issa apologized for conduct at hearing on IRS scandal. SENT 220, photo.

— OBAMA-FLORIDA — Obama plan for weekend family vacation in south Florida thrown into doubt because of Ukraine. SENT: 380 words, photo.

— FAA-DRONES — Judge dismisses FAA fine against commercial user for flying a small drone, citing a lack of regulations. SENT: 430 words.

— NUKE REPOSITORY-RADIATION — New Mexico residents, officials want more information on nuclear dump radiation release. SENT: 640 words, photo.

— NEW ZEALAND-DOG ATTACK — New Zealand doctors say 7-year-old Japanese girl was bitten about 100 times during dog attack. SENT: 330 words.

— MALAYSIA-ULTRAMAN BOOK BANNED — Malaysia bans Ultraman comic book for equating the Japanese action hero with Allah. SENT: 320 words.

— JAPAN-DEAF COMPOSER — Scandal-ridden Japan's Beethoven apologizes before cameras clean-shaven, bows for troubles. SENT: 250 words.

— MACAU-LAGERFELD HOTEL — Macau developer, Karl Lagerfeld announce plans for Chanel designer to create first hotel. SENT: 290 words.

— OBIT-JOBE — Frank Jobe, pioneer of elbow surgery that resurrected careers of baseball pitchers, dies at 88. SENT: 800 words, photos.

___

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