AP News Digest 3:25 am

Here are the AP’s latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at https://newsroom.ap.org.

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TOP STORIES

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UKRAINE-TENSIONS — A long-feared Russian invasion of Ukraine appeared to be imminent, if not already underway, with Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering forces into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. A vaguely worded decree signed by Putin did not say if troops were on the move, and it cast the order as an effort to “maintain peace.” But it appeared to dash the slim remaining hopes of averting a major conflict in Europe that could cause massive casualties, energy shortages on the continent and economic chaos around the globe. By Vladimir Isachenkov, Yuras Karmanau and Lorne Cook. SENT: 1,480 words, photos, videos. With UKRAINE-TENSIONS-THE-LATEST; UKRAINE-TENSIONS-THINGS-TO-KNOW. For full coverage of Ukraine.

UKRAINE TENSIONS-GLOBAL REACTION — World leaders scrambled to condemn Putin — and to signal possible sanctions — after he ordered his forces into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. By Foster Klug. SENT: 870 words, photos. With PAKISTAN-RUSSIA — Pakistani PM to visit with Russia’s Putin as war fears loom.

ANALYSIS-UKRAINE-TENSIONS-PUTIN SPEECH — Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out his version of Ukraine’s history, saying essentially that Ukraine was always part of Russia. While that serves his purpose, it is also a fiction. Ukraine has its own thousand-year history. By John Daniszewski. SENT: 910 words, photos.

SYRIA-RAQQA MIGRATION — Once the capital of the Islamic State group, Raqqa is now free but its residents are fighting to leave. Those with capital are selling their property to save up for the journey to Turkey. On the surface, the city’s recovery is evident. Cafes and restaurant buzzed with patrons. Gone were any remnants of IS insignia, though bombed-out buildings and bullet-holed walls still serve as painful reminders of the militant group’s rule. But poverty is rampant. Water and electricity are limited, and many still live among ruins. By Samya Kullab. SENT: 1,020 words, photos.

BEIJING-AFTER THE GAMES — The just-concluded Winter Olympics weren’t China’s big event of the year — internally, at least. For the Communist Party, that comes this fall at a major meeting that will likely cement Xi Jinping ’s position as one of the nation’s most powerful leaders in its seven decades of Communist rule. By Ken Moritsugu. SENT: 940 words, photos.

NIXON IN CHINA-AN AMERICAN TALE — The family of Associated Press journalist Ted Anthony was one of the earliest American families to come to China after relations with the United States were established at the beginning of 1979, an outgrowth of Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit. He recounts that China through 11-year-old eyes. By National Writer Ted Anthony. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.

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TRENDING NEWS

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TRUMP-SOCIAL MEDIA — Trump’s social media app launches year after Twitter ban. SENT: 750 words, photo.

LAKE TAHOE BEAR BREAK-INS — Huge Lake Tahoe bear breaks into homes as it eludes capture. SENT: 360 words.

MICHIGAN-HOWARD — Michigan coach Juwan Howard suspended five games for melee. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

KENTUCKY-DERBY-MEDINA-SPIRIT — Medina Spirit stripped of Kentucky Derby victory. SENT: 720 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON

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BIDEN-MINISTRATION VACANCIES — Vacant high-ranking positions across the executive branch could be taking a toll on the Biden administration. SENT: 1,280 words, photos.

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NATIONAL

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GEORGE FLOYD-OFFICERS-CIVIL RIGHTS — Closing arguments were expected in the federal trial of three former Minneapolis police officers charged with violating George Floyd’s civil rights, with jurors to get the case after a month of testimony. SENT: 600 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing from 10:30 a.m. court session.

AHMAUD ARBERY-HATE CRIMES — The hate crimes trial of three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery is now in the hands of the jury. SENT: 700 words, photo.

BREONNA TAYLOR-EX OFFICER’S TRIAL — Lawyers in the trial of a former Kentucky police officer involved in the deadly narcotics raid that left Breonna Taylor dead will return to court to finish an extended jury selection process. SENT: 250 words, photos.

BEEHIVE THEFTS — The start of almond pollination season in California’s agricultural heartland also signals the start of a rising crime: beehive theft. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

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INTERNATIONAL

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NEW ZEALAND-PROTEST — One protester drove a car toward a New Zealand police line, narrowly avoiding officers, while other protesters sprayed officers with a stinging substance, police say, as they tightened a cordon around a convoy that has been camped outside Parliament for two weeks. SENT: 550 words, photos.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-PROTESTS — Canadian lawmakers voted to extend the emergency powers that police can invoke to quell any potential restart of blockades by those opposed to COVID-19 restrictions. SENT: 850 words, photos.

DUBAI-AIRPORT — Dubai’s main airport has retained its top place as the world’s busiest for international travel with around 29 million passengers making their way through the global gateway last year. SENT: 680 words, photo.

BURKINA-FASO-MINE-EXPLOSION — A strong explosion near a gold mining site in southwestern Burkina Faso killed 59 people and injured more than 100 others Monday, the national broadcaster and witnesses reported. SENT: 290 words.

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BUSINESS/ECONOMY

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FINANCIAL MARKETS — Shares fell sharply in Asia after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, suggesting a long-feared invasion was possibly underway. By Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT: 550 words, photos.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE — The Conference Board reports on U.S. consumer confidence for February. By Business Writer Matt Ott. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m., then expanded, photo.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Jerome Minerva can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Shuji Kajiyama (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 844-777-2006.