Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today. Some plans are subject to change.

HIGHLIGHTING:

Among today's coverage highlights as we see them at 1430 GMT:

-- UNITED STATES SYRIA and SYRIA-MILITARY STRIKES (chunky text)

-- FAST FOOD PROTESTS

-- DRIVING IN AMERICA (sent)

— TV-RELATIONSHIPS (upcoming)

PHOTOS: FAST FOOD PROTEST coverage; SYRIA coverage.

Here are details of those stories, plus others we have in the works for today and notable pieces that we sent in the past 10 hours (all times GMT):

TOP NEWS

SYRIA — Assad vows his country will defend itself if the West carries out military strikes over last week's chemical attack. U.N. inspectors tour another rebel-held area struck in the attack. SENT: 800 words, photos, video. UPCOMING: Developing throughout the day; 1200 words expected by 2000 GMT, photos, video.

UNITED STATES-SYRIA — Obama faces pushback on potential strike against Syria. Congress wants answers, intelligence reports to justify attack are described as not a sure thing, allies are facing position to a strike. White House expected to release today an unclassified version of the intelligence, and members of Congress are being briefed by phone at 2200 GMT. UPCOMING.

SYRIA-MILITARY STRIKES — Chunky text laying out what's known and what's unclear about how it might unfold. SENT: 1420 words, photos, video.

IRAN-SYRIA-CHEMICAL QUANDARY — For more than a generation, the announcements appear regularly in Iranian newspapers: Another veteran from the 1980s war with Iraq has died of complications blamed on exposure to chemical weapons from Saddam Hussein's arsenal. The claims now that Iran's Syrian allies used similar battlefield tactics forced Tehran's leaders into perhaps their most difficult juncture of the nearly 30-month civil war: How much to stick by Assad if the Western allegations are backed by UN inspection teams. UPCOMING: 1100 words by 2000 GMT, photos.

ALSO: A glance on the latest developments, and a chunky text Newsguide with background, key issues, key players, etc. Slugs, ETAs and length TBD.

PHILIPPINES-CHINA — The Philippines and China, already locked in a territorial dispute, engage in a diplomatic tussle, with the Philippine president canceling a visit to a trade fair in China after being told to stay away, and Beijing saying it never invited him in the first place. SENT: 700 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-CORRUPTION — A wealthy businesswoman at the center of a corruption scandal has surrendered to President Benigno Aquino III three days after a large protest in Manila to condemn large-scale graft allegations in a country long mired in poverty. SENT: 400 words, photos.

THAILAND-RUBBER PROTEST — Hundreds of rubber farmers blockade a major road and railway leading to Thailand's south to pressure the government to shore up declining rubber prices. SENT: 300 words, photos.

SWEDEN-ANCIENT LANDS: A British mining company's plans to open an open pit mine on ancient lands pits the lifestyle of Europe's only indigenous people — the Sami of northern Sweden — against job creation in an area suffering population decline. SENT: 1060 words, photos.

CAMBODIA-ELECTION —Prime Minister Hun Sen's ruling party criticizes the opposition's plan to hold a massive protest against last month's election results, saying a disruptive demonstration is not in the country's interest. SENT: 500 words.

INDIA-TERROR ARREST — Indian intelligence agencies have arrested a leader of a domestic terror group blamed for a series of bombings in the nation's cities, an official says. SENT: 300 words.

CHINA-SINGER'S SON — The teenage son of a well-known Chinese military singer pleads not guilty to an alleged gang rape, in a case that has focused attention on what the public often sees as spoiled behavior among the children of the country's elite. SENT: 440 words.

BAY AREA BIKE SHARE — The San Francisco Bay area launches a new choice bike share program, with 700 bikes available to commuters for easy check out at 70 different stations. UPCOMING: Developing from 1700 GMT launch, photos.

VEGAS NIGHTCLUB-OBSCENITY COMPLAINT —The Palazzo hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip is trying to evict a 10-month-old nightclub for shows it says are so raunchy that they violate obscenity laws. The club is seeking a restraining order to halt the closure, arguing that simulated sex acts don't constitute obscenity. SENT: 460 words, photos.

WASHINGTON AND POLITICS

GUN CONTROL — Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations. SENT: 420 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated from 1415 GMT Biden speech.

WASHINGTON-MOSCOW HOTLINE — The Washington-Moscow hotline, conceived during the Cold War, remains a useful link for crisis communications even in today's world of instant, endless chatter, foreign relations experts say. Officials are marking the 50th anniversary of the system's first transmitted test message. UPCOMING: Developing from 1800 GMT event.

SCIENCE

POOR BRAINS (HOLD FOR RELEASE 1800 GMT) — Being short on cash makes you a bit slower in the brain. Study in journal Science finds that when we are having financial worries — like 150 million Americans — our minds are so preoccupied that they don't work as well, essentially trimming 13 IQ points from you. Scientists looked at rich and poor New Jersey mall shoppers and Indian farmers who get paid once a year. UPCOMING: HOLD FOR RELEASE, 1800 GMT.

BUSINESS

FAST FOOD PROTESTS: Organizers say thousands of fast-food workers are set to stage walkouts in dozens of cities Thursday, part of a push to get chains such as McDonald's, Taco Bell and Wendy's to pay workers higher wages. SENT: 550 words, photos. UPCOMING: Developing through day; length TBD on merits.

ECONOMY-GDP— The U.S. economy grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate from April through June, much faster than the previously estimated 1.7 percent. The steep revision was largely because U.S. companies exported more goods and imports declined. SENT: 675 words.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits remained near the lowest level in more than five years last week, a sign that companies are cutting few jobs. The Labor Department says weekly applications for benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000. SENT: 360 words.

LIFESTYLES

DRIVING IN AMERICA: Driving in America has stalled, leading researchers to ask: Is the national love affair with the automobile over? SENT: 600 words, graphic.

 

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