Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes
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The world at 3 a.m. Times are EDT.
At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva, Barbara Whitaker, Suzanne Boyle McCrory and Dien Magno 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://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-836-9477.
CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE — Powerful earthquake strikes off Northern California coast, but no reports of significant damage. SENT: 120 words, graphic.
LILING, China — The local Chinese official remembers all too clearly the panic he felt in Room 109. He had refused again and again to confess to bribery, and his four Communist Party interrogators were forcing his legs farther apart than they could go. Zhou Wangyan begged them to stop. But the men taunted him and kept pushing. Then, with a loud "ka-cha," his left thigh bone snapped. Zhou, land bureau director for the city of Liling, was trapped in secret detention in a compound in central Hunan touted by the party as a model center for anti-corruption efforts. Nobody on the outside could help him, because nobody knew where he was. In rare first-hand, on-the-record accounts to The Associated Press, Zhou and three other party members in Hunan described the months of abuse they endured while in detention. All said they talked to The Associated Press despite the risk of retaliation because they want justice. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 2,830 words, photos, video. An abridged version of 1,230 words is available.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Dozens of ships and aircraft fail to find any piece of the missing Boeing 777 jet that vanished more than two days ago above waters south of Vietnam as investigators pursue "every angle" to explain its disappearance, including hijacking, Malaysia's civil aviation chief says. A sample from oil slicks found in the South China Sea has been set to a lab to see if it came from the plane. By Eileen Ng and Jim Gomez. UPCOMING 1,000 words by 3:30 a.m., photos.
MALAYSIA-PLANE-HANDLING A DISASTER
BEIJING — As relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight boarded a shuttle bus at the Beijing airport bound for a nearby hotel, they had already begun to fear the worst. But when they got to the Lido Hotel, the family members wandered around lost and distressed before hotel staff — apparently unprepared — escorted them into a private area. It would be several more hours before an airline spokesman would make a brief statement to reporters, even then providing little information. As much as the ongoing uncertainty over the plane's whereabouts is frustrating relatives, it is also hindering the carrier's ability to respond to an emergency in which it has precious little information to respond. By Giillian Wong. UPCOMING 1,000 words by 6 a.m., photos, video.
TANOHATA, Japan — Tens of thousands of people on Japan's northeastern coast who were left homeless in the March 2011 tsunami are shivering their way through yet another winter in cramped temporary housing, with perhaps several more to go. Reconstruction plans are taking shape after three years of debate and red tape, but shortages of skilled workers and materials are delaying the work. As Japan's over-stretched construction industry begins gearing up to build venues and revamp aging infrastructure for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, shortages of skilled carpenters and heavy equipment operators, cement and other materials, are frustrating residents and local officials. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
MEXICO CITY — Cartel kingpin Mazario Moreno Gonzalez had two lives. One ended in late 2010 when the leader of a vicious drug gang ruling the Michoacan state was supposedly killed by federal police. The second ended just after his 44th birthday, when he died in a shootout with marines early Sunday morning. The federal government has something missing the first time — his body. By Adriana Gomez Licon and Katherine Corcoran. SENT: 1,200 words, photo.
WASHINGTON AND POLITICS
WASHINGTON — With just three weeks left to sign up under President Barack Obama health care law, a major survey tracking the rollout finds that the uninsured rate keeps going down. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, released Monday, found that 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured thus far in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last three months of 2013. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. SENT: 600 words, photo.
EYES ON SPIES
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials are planning a sweeping system of electronic monitoring that would tap into government, financial and other databases to scan the behavior of many of the 5 million federal employees with secret clearances, current and former officials told The Associated Press. The system is intended to identify rogue agents, corrupt officials and leakers, and draws on a Defense Department model under development for more than a decade. By Stephen Braun. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, graphic.
WASHINGTON — Sometimes it's easier to explain what something isn't rather than what it is. So let's talk about what Black Twitter isn't: It isn't a secret location on the Internet, a special app for your smartphone or a hidden group on social media giant Twitter. It isn't just for black folks, it isn't representative of what all black people think, it isn't just the hashtag #blacktwitter and it doesn't just concern itself with the latest episode of "Scandal" or the latest iteration of "Real Housewives." So what is Black Twitter? It's simply a small — but powerful — corner of social media where tweeters serve up an unabashedly black spin on life, 140 characters at a time. Those who know Black Twitter define it as simply the way black culture appears and gets expressed on Twitter. By Jesse J. Holland. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 10 a.m., photos.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — El Salvador's too-close-to-call presidential runoff election raises competing claims of victory from a former fighter for leftist guerrillas and the once long-ruling conservative party that fought a civil war from 1980 to 1992. Norman Quijano, the candidate of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance, or ARENA, says his party is on "a war footing" to defend what he claims was his victory. But preliminary returns from nearly all polling stations show him a few thousands votes behind Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the leftist candidate. SENT: 590 words, photos.
— COLOMBIA-ELECTIONS — Former President Alvaro Uribe is back in elected office, and his winning of a Senate seat could potentially complicate efforts by Colombia's government to make peace with leftist rebels. SENT: 245 words, photos.
NOME, Alaska — As mushers battle it out for the lead in the last stages of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the town famous for the finish line is getting ready for the teams to come in. By Mark Thiessen. SENT: 400 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: 600 words updated throughout the day.
— AP PHOTOS-IDITAROD — A look at 5 memorable finishes to the 1,000-mile cross-Alaska race over the years. SENT: 150 words, photos.
— IDITAROD-5 THINGS — In the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, there's always a heart-pounding thrill at the finish line in Nome, a rollicking frontier city on Alaska's western coast. By Rachel D'Oro. SENT: 600 words.
ALSO GETTING ATTENTION
— PERU-VAN DER SLOOT — Peru's government says it will extradite Joran van der Sloot to the U.S. in 2038 to face charges related to the disappearance of a young American woman in Aruba. SENT: 210 words.
— BLARNEY BLOWOUT-ARRESTS — UMass is the latest college forced to deal with out-of-control St. Patrick's parties; 73 arrested. SENT: 700 words, photos.
— BIN LADEN SPOKESMAN — Shoe-bomb witness set to testify from London at New York terrorism trial of bin Laden son-in-law. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated from Monday's testimony.
— BOSTON MARATHON-SECURITY — Public safety officials are to release details about enhanced security for the April 21 Boston Marathon. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 500 words by 2 p.m., following news conference.
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