Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who said last week he'll step down in the coming weeks due to mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, attends a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

BC-AP News Digest 2 pm

December 12, 2017 - 1:59 pm

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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CHILDREN OF OPIOIDS — The opioid crisis sweeping the U.S. has hidden victims: Tens of thousands of children forced from their homes. The share of kids entering the foster care system due to a parent's addiction reaches a high, fueled by skyrocketing use of heroin, painkillers and other drugs. Courts, social service agencies and advocates for children are struggling to keep up with the onslaught of cases. By Matt Sedensky and Meghan Hoyer. SENT: 2,490 words, photos, graphics. TOP VIDEO: — US IN Opioids Foster Care (CR) — Opioid crisis strains families and foster system. An abridged version of 920 words will also be sent. Sent in advance for print points and for use by midnight EST on Dec. 13. With CHILDREN OF OPIOIDS-Q&A.

CHILDREN OF OPIOIDS-ONE FAMILY'S STORY — Kim Silvers' three daughters had begged her to stop using opioids and heard her promise to do so, only to break that vow repeatedly. They'd cried when she abandoned them, and again when they were split apart and sent to foster homes. Then their mother signed on for a rigorous court-run treatment program — her best, last chance to avoid the permanent loss of her children. By National Writer David Crary. SENT: 1,700 words, photos.

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TOP STORIES

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ALABAMA-SENATE — The bitter Senate race in deeply conservative Alabama went to the voters Tuesday as they chose between an embattled but well-known Republican accused of child molestation and a Democrat who hopes to break the GOP's lock on the state and uphold "decency." By Bill Barrow and Kim Chandler. SENT: 900 words, photos, video, interactive. UPCOMING: Developing; voter voices throughout the day, new version after polls close at 8 p.m. and race is called; With ALABAMA SENATE-THE LATEST; ALABAMA SENATE-THINGS TO WATCH; ALABAMA SENATE-CAMPAIGNS PAST — Wild Senate race has nothing on past Alabama elections (sent); ALABAMA SENATE-MOORE'S WIFE — Moore's wife: 'One of our attorneys is a Jew'. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.

Editors note — The following will move after the race is called: ALABAMA SENATE-ANALYSIS — What it means for Republicans, Trump, the Senate, the midterms; ALABAMA SENATE-MOORE/ALABAMA SENATE-JONES— Things to know about the new senator from Alabama.

TRUMP-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT — President Donald Trump triggers a chorus of condemnation with his tweet saying Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a vocal Trump critic, would "do anything" to get his campaign contributions. Gillibrand says she's won't be silenced on the sexual harassment issue as other Democrats lace into Trump for making crude insinuations. By Jonathan Lemire and Richard Lardner. SENT: 780 words. UPCOMING: 850 words by 5 p.m., photos. Will incorporate TRUMP-GILLIBRAND.

NYC SUBWAY EXPLOSION — The Bangladeshi immigrant accused in a botched suicide bombing in the New York subway mocked President Donald Trump on Facebook on his way to carry out the attack, writing, "Trump you failed to protect your nation," authorities say. By Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays. SENT: 900 words. UPCOMING: New approach, 700 words, photos, by 3 p.m. With BANGLADESH-US-SUBWAY-EXPLOSION — Bangladesh condemns U.S. attack in which citizen is suspect (sent).

TAX OVERHAUL-WILDFIRE VICTIMS — If the House Republican tax bill became law, victims of hurricanes in Texas and Florida could deduct their losses on next year's taxes. But victims of the California wildfires no longer could. If the Senate version became law, fire and storm victims could both deduct their losses. The changes show how political decisions are shaping the Republicans' tax legislation. By Nicholas Riccardi. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3:30 p.m., photos. With CONGRESS-TAXES — The Republican tax plan will deliver a swift adrenaline shot to the economy that will send hundreds of billions pouring into federal tax coffers, the Trump administration asserts in a new analysis. But nonpartisan analysts make a less rosy projection of new revenue from the tax legislation now before Congress. SENT: 800 words, photos.

CLIMATE SUMMIT — French President Emmanuel Macron's global climate summit was designed to bypass Donald Trump, but the U.S. president ended up playing a starring role. Trump became the unwitting villain as world leaders, investors and other Americans assailed him for rejecting the Paris climate accord, as they announced more than $1 billion in investments to make it easier for countries and industries to give up oil and coal. By Thomas Adamson and Philippe Sotto. SENT: 840 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: New approach by 3 p.m. With CLIMATE SUMMIT-LATEST; CLIMATE SUMMIT-FINANCE — Follow the money: investors lead charge on climate change (sent).

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WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT

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ARCTIC PERMAFROST — A new report finds permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever before. SENT: 500 words, photos.

GIANT PENGUIN — A fossil from New Zealand reveals a huge penguin, roughly the size of the current captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team. SENT: 430 words, photos.

LITHUANIA-BALL BROTHERS — LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball turn pro with club team in Lithuania. SENT: 130 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

BRITAIN-STAR WARS - Princes William, Harry set for 'Last Jedi' London premiere. SENT: 300 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing.

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MORE ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

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NFL NETWORK-LAWSUIT — Hall of Fame football player Marshall Faulk and two other NFL Network analysts were suspended after a woman who worked as a wardrobe stylist at the network accused them of sexual misconduct in a lawsuit. SENT: 350 words.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-RESTAURANT WORKERS — Five female kitchen workers in Boston are detailing a sexual harassment lawsuit they're filing against a national restaurant chain. SENT: 400 words, photos.

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WASHINGTON & POLITICS

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TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE-FLYNN — Days before he admitted to lying to the FBI, Michael Flynn was enjoying the pleasures of having a new grandchild and lamenting to friends the deep personal burden of a criminal investigation into him. People close to Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, described to The Associated Press the emotional pressures as investigators zeroed in on him. By Eric Tucker, Jennifer McDermott and Chad Day. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

TILLERSON — Amid low State Department morale and rumors he may leave, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveils changes he says will help employees and advance U.S. interests. SENT: 440 words.

CONGRESS-TAXES — House and Senate Republicans rush to finalize a sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax code, with changes to the state and local tax deduction for individuals. SENT: 800 words. UPCOMING: 800 words by 4 p.m., photo.

FRANKEN — Democratic Sen. Al Franken is the Senate's dead man walking, still doing his day job despite his status as soon to be gone. UPCOMING: 700 words by 4 p.m., photos.

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NATIONAL

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SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR-DEATH — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who oversaw a technology-driven economic boom that brought sky-high housing prices despite his lifelong commitment to economic equality, died at age 65. By Janie Har. SENT: 950 words, photos. UPCOMING: New approach of 800 words, photos. With SAN FRANCISCO-ACTING MAYOR - A look at the city's first African-American female mayor. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m., photo.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES — The fifth-largest wildfire in California history expanded, ripping through dry brush atop a coastal ridge as crews struggled to keep flames from roaring into neighborhoods. SENT: 540 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing.

EL FARO-FINAL REPORT — Federal investigators probing the deaths of 33 mariners on the doomed El Faro said Tuesday that open lifeboats would not have protected the crew had they been able to launch them. They recommend replacing these old-style lifeboats on any vessel still using them. By Jason Dearden. SENT: 740 words, photos.

NEWTOWN SHOOTING-TOWN RECOVERY — Five years after shocking school massacre, residents of Newtown, Connecticut, wrestle what it means to be from a place whose name is synonymous with tragedy. SENT: 830 words, photos.

TEN COMMANDMENTS-ARKANSAS — An Arkansas commission has cleared the way for the installation of another Ten Commandments monument outside the state Capitol, months after a prior marker was destroyed by a man who crashed his car into the statue while livestreaming it on Facebook. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 350 words by 2 p.m.

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INTERNATIONAL

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ISRAEL-BAHRAINI VISITORS — An interfaith group from the Gulf state of Bahrain is paying an unprecedented public visit to Israel this week, receiving a warm welcome locally but generating an uproar across the Arab world. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video by 4:30 p.m.

RUSSIA-PUTIN'S SECRET ARMY — Russian news outlets say thousands of Russians have been deployed in Syria by a shadowy, private military contractor since 2015. By Nataliya Vasilyeva. SENT: 1,520 words, photos. With SYRIA — Syrian opposition says government obstructing Geneva talks.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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YE-BIG MOMENTS-TV — It's been a wild and wearying year in the world of TV, from Sean Spicer and his comedic doppelganger Melissa McCarthy to the botched Oscars envelope. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. SENT: 870 words by 2 p.m., photos. With YE-TOP 10 TV — By one count, there have been 500 scripted series to watch in 2017. Picking the 10 best among them might seem an impossible task. Among this year's best are a Russian spy drama, an epic 18-hour docuseries and a look back at 1970s-era Times Square. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. UPCOMING: 850 words by 2 p.m., photos.

YE-BREAKTHROUGH ENTERTAINER-DANIEL KALUUYA — When Daniel Kaluuya read Jordan Peele's script for "Get Out," he had one question: "Are you allowed to make films like this?" Peele proved that you are; Kaluuya, a 28-year-old British actor, landed the lead role. Ever since then, his life hasn't been the same. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. UPCOMING: 340 words by 3 p.m., photos, video. With YE-BREAKTHROUGH ENTERTAINER-BROOKLYNN PRINCE — Seven-year-old Brooklynn Prince is sitting in a darkened TV studio with lights, cameras and control panels all around her. "Mission to Mars, mission to Mars," she says. "This is Apollo." Brooklynn, the cheerful star of "The Florida Project," has indeed lifted off. UPCOMING: 320 words by 3 p.m., photos, video.

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HOW TO REACH US

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At the Nerve Center, Ron DePasquale can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Alyssa Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, Phil Holm (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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