REUTERS AMERICA NEWS PLAN FOR TUESDAY DEC 19

REUTERS AMERICA MORNING NEWS PLAN FOR TUESDAY DEC 19

LATEST AND PLANNED U.S. NEWS COVERAGE (ALL TIMES ET)

Top stories as of 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday.

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BREAKING

U.S. single family housing starts, permits hit 10-year high

WASHINGTON - U.S. single-family homebuilding and permits surged to more than 10-year highs in November, in a hopeful sign for a housing market that has been hobbled by supply constraints (USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1, GRAPHIC), moved at 9 a.m., 383 words)

TOP STORIES

Congress poised to approve biggest tax overhaul in 30 years

WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled Congress will begin voting on Tuesday to pass the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax system in more than 30 years with little standing in the way of the party's first major legislative triumph under President Donald Trump. The House of Representatives, which introduced initial tax legislation barely six weeks ago on Nov. 2, was poised to act first with a Tuesday afternoon vote (USA-TAX/ (PIX), moved at 6 a.m., by David Morgan and Amanda Becker, 530 words, will be led through the day)

Amtrak safety record under scrutiny even before deadly derailment

-- The fatal derailment of an Amtrak train south of Seattle on Monday is likely to intensify scrutiny of the national passenger rail company's safety record, which was already under the microscope following a series of fatal incidents (WASHINGTON-TRAIN/AMTRAK (PIX, TV), moved at 6 a.m., 660 words)

OTHER TOP NEWS

Japan, South Korea urge China to do more to halt North Korea's weapons programs

TOKYO - U.S. allies Japan and South Korea urge China to do more to get North Korea to end its nuclear and missile programs, Japan's foreign minister says amid a tense standoff between North Korea and the United States (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/ (WRAPUP 2), moved at 5:30 a.m., 490 words, will be led)

U.S. blames North Korea for 'WannaCry' cyber attack

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration publicly blames North Korea for unleashing the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe this year (USA-CYBER/NORTHKOREA (UPDATE 4, PIX, CORRECTED), moved at 9:12 a.m., by Dustin Volz, 680 words)

Researchers say cyber attacks net North Korea millions in virtual currencies

SINGAPORE/SEOUL - A series of recent cyber attacks has netted North Korean hackers millions of dollars in virtual currencies like bitcoin, with more attacks expected as international sanctions drive the country to seek new sources of cash, researchers say (SOUTHKOREA-CYBER/HACKERS, moved at 5 a.m., by Jeremy Wagstaff and Josh Smith, 690 words)

Pope, Jordan's King Abdullah, discuss Trump's Jerusalem move

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah on Tuesday discussed President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that both say is dangerous to Middle East peace. Abdullah and the pope spoke privately for about 20 minutes at the start of the king's visit to the Vatican and France (POPE-JORDAN/ (PIX, TV), moved at 9 a.m., 263 words)

German cartel office says Facebook abused dominant position

FRANKFURT - Germany's cartel office has found that Facebook abused its dominant market position in a ruling that questioned the American social network's model of monetizing the personal data of its 2 billion users through targeted advertising (FACEBOOK-GERMANY/DATAPROTECTION (UPDATE 2, PIX), moved at 7:23 a.m., 587 words)

TRUMP

Court orders Trump to give immigrant teens abortion access

WASHINGTON - A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday that President Donald Trump's administration must allow access to abortion for two pregnant teenagers who are in the country illegally, escalating a high-profile legal fight (USA-IMMIGRATION/ABORTION, moved at 9:47 p.m., 340 words)

Iran says Trump cannot cause collapse of nuclear deal

ANKARA - Iran says President Donald Trump cannot cause its nuclear deal with six major powers to collapse (IRAN-NUCLEAR/USA (UPDATE 1, TV), moved at 4 a.m., 170 words) See also: France, U.S. "determined" to up pressure on Iran over ballistic missiles (IRAN-NUCLEAR/FRANCE, moved at 5 a.m., 310 words)

Trump cabinet officials visit Puerto Rico to assess recovery

WASHINGTON - Two members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet are set to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday to assess the U.S. territory's rebuilding in the three months since Hurricane Maria devastated homes, businesses and the power grid (USA-PUERTORICO/, expect by 3 p.m., 400 words)

WASHINGTON

Cuba boosts trade ties with Cold War ally Russia as U.S. disengages

HAVANA - Boxy Russian-built Lada automobiles still rattle around Cuba, growing more decrepit by the year, a reminder of vanished Soviet patronage for the Communist-led island (CUBA-RUSSIA/ (ANALYSIS, PIX, TV), moved, by Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta, 1,190 words)

Kremlin denies that Russia poses threat to United States

MOSCOW - The Kremlin cannot agree that Russia poses a threat to the United States, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters after the administration of President Donald Trump presented a new national security strategy (USA-TRUMP/NATIONALSECURITY-KREMLIN (UPDATE 1), moved at 6 a.m., 290 words)

China urges cooperation after U.S. brands it a competitor

(USA-TRUMP/NATIONALSECURITY-CHINA (UPDATE 2, TV), moved at 4 a.m., 500 words)

Tillerson to meet Justin Trudeau for North Korea talks

OTTAWA - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday for talks on how to address the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons, an Ottawa source says. Tillerson is also set to meet Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/CANADA (PIX), expect by 3 p.m., 400 words)

OTHER U.S. NEWS

South Carolina capital poised to be first U.S. city to ban gun bump stocks

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's capital on Tuesday could become the first U.S. city to ban the use of bump stocks, a gun accessory that has drawn national scrutiny after being found among the Las Vegas mass shooter's arsenal of weapons in October (SOUTH CAROLINA-GUNS/, moved, by Harriet McLeod, 390 words)

Ohio politicians call for inquiry into jail stun-gun abuses cited by Reuters

COLUMBUS, Ohio - In one video, Sergeant Mychal Turner stunned a mentally ill inmate with a Taser multiple times after the inmate defied an order to stand in his cell at Ohio’s Franklin County jail (USA-TASER/OHIO (TV, PIX), moved at 7:30 a.m., by Jason Szep and Linda So, 1,200 words)

Sexual misconduct outcry makes American lawyers rethink confidentiality

-- The wave of sexual misconduct allegations made against dozens of powerful men in recent weeks is causing lawyers to rethink how they handle such cases, including the longstanding use of confidentiality agreements (USA-MISCONDUCT/AGREEMENTS (ANALYSIS, PIX), moved at 7 a.m., by Daniel Wiessner, 920 words)

'Ticking time bomb' as Pacific children bear mental scars of climate disasters

SOUTH RIVER, Vanuatu - Each time teenager Freddy Sei hears the rumble of thunder, sees rains pound the earth in his small coastal village or watches strong winds whip palm trees, he is gripped with fear. Two years ago his island was ravaged by monster cyclone Pam with Freddy watching as huts were blown away and water rushed in to submerge his village (CLIMATECHANGE-PACIFIC/CHILDREN-TRAUMA (FEATURE, PIX), moved, by Lin Taylor, 687 words)

SPOTLIGHT: JOURNALISM

At least 65 media workers killed doing their jobs in 2017

BERLIN - At least 65 media workers around the world have been killed doing their jobs this year, media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders says (MEDIA-CASUALTIES/, moved, 180 words)

After a week, Myanmar silent on detained Reuters journalists

YANGON - As two Reuters journalists near the end of a week in detention in Myanmar, there was no word on where they are being held as authorities investigate whether they violated the country's colonial-era Official Secrets Act (MYANMAR-JOURNALISTS/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), moved at 8 a.m., 722 words)

Reuters reporters held in Myanmar face old junta tactic

(MYANMAR-JOURNALISTS/DETENTION, moved, 836 words)

Arrested Myanmar reporters: Two book lovers

(MYANMAR-JOURNALISTS/PROFILES (PIX, TV), moved, 1,265 words)

Myanmar reporters fear Reuters arrests show "it could've been me"

(MYANMAR-JOURNALISTS/MEDIA, moved at 6 a.m., 919 words)

MIDDLE EAST

Macron slams Assad accusations France sponsors terrorism

PARIS - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Bashar al-Assad was the enemy of millions of his own people and in no position to lecture France, after the Syrian leader accused Paris of supporting terrorism (MIDEAST CRISIS/SYRIA-FRANCE-ASSAD (UPDATE 2), moved at 7:46 a.m., 383 words)

As Syrian couples say "I do," Lebanon says "No, not quite"

BEKAA, Lebanon - In a tent in Lebanon surrounded by snow, Syrian refugees Ammar and Khadija were married by a tribal leader from their homeland in a wedding they would soon come to regret (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-LEBANON-MARRIAGE (TV, PIX), moved at 3 a.m., 1,000 words)

WORLD

Honduran president claims victory, sidesteps OAS call for new vote

TEGUCIGALPA – Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez declared himself president elect on Tuesday despite a call for new elections by the Organization of American States that followed allegations of fraud and deadly protests (HONDURAS-ELECTION/ (PIX), moving shortly, 350 words, will be led)

Britain's new $4 billion warship has a leak

LONDON - Britain's biggest ever warship, the new $4.2 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has a leak and needs repairs, the Ministry of Defense says (BRITAIN-AIRCRAFTCARRIER/LEAK (UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved at 6:40 a.m., 454 words)

Uganda parliament debate on presidential age cap adjourned in uproar

KAMPALA - Uganda's parliament abruptly adjourned a debate on Tuesday over extending President Yoweri Museveni's decades in power after a lawmaker said soldiers had entered the building and members of parliament scuffled with police (UGANDA-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 2, TV), moved at 7:15 a.m., 442 words)

HEALTH AND SCIENCE

U.S., Russian, Japanese crew arrive at space station

CAPE CANAVERAL - A trio of U.S., Japanese and Russian astronauts arrived at the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast shows (SPACE-LAUNCH/DOCKING (UPDATE 1), moved, 100 words)

Exercise, pills, brain training show little hard evidence of slowing dementia

--- An extensive review of research on exercise, nutritional supplements, drugs and brain-training techniques concludes there is no definitive evidence that any of them protect against Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia (HEALTH-DEMENTIA/INTERVENTIONS-EVIDENCE, moved, by Gene Emery, 900 words)

Prenatal and early childhood fructose tied to asthma in kids

(HEALTH-ASTHMA/FRUCTOSE, moved, 600 words)

ENTERTAINMENT AND LIFESTYLE

'Downsizing' puts microscope on environment, immigration and humanity

LOS ANGELES - When filmmaker Alexander Payne came up with the idea in 2006 of a future in which humans could opt to be five inches tall to live better lives, little did they know how timely the story would be in 2017. "Downsizing," out in U.S. theaters on Friday and starring Matt Damon, shows a world in which people get "downsized" to live in environmentally friendly micro-communities only to end up with their dreams shattered (FILM-DOWNSIZING/ (TV, PIX), moved at 8:30 a.m., by Piya Sinha-Roy, 367 words)

Replacing Spacey, Plummer turns on the charm in reshot 'All the Money in the World'

LOS ANGELES - When director Ridley Scott decided to remove Kevin Spacey from his film "All the Money in the World" and reshoot it with Christopher Plummer, he did not just pull off an extraordinary feat. Plummer's performance as U.S. oil billionaire J. Paul Getty also subtly changed the tone of the movie about the sensational 1973 kidnapping of Getty's 16-year-old grandson (FILM-ALL THE MONEY/ (PIX, TV), moved, by Jill Serjeant, 500 words)

Meryl Streep Responds to Rose McGowan's Criticism: 'I Wasn't Deliberately Silent'

(VARIETY/ (ENTERTAINMENT-BIX/NEWS), moved, 494 words)

BBC Orders 'Definitive' Documentary on Harvey Weinstein From Oscar-Winning Producer

(VARIETY/ (ENTERTAINMENT-TV/GLOBAL), moved, 566 words)

Pistorius to appeal increased sentence at South Africa's highest court

(SAFRICA-PISTORIUS/ (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved at 7:30 a.m., 234 words)

Work hard, play hard: Life lessons from Sammy Hagar

(MONEY-LIFELESSONS/SAMMYHAGAR (PERSONAL FINANCE), moved, by Chris Taylor, 720 words)

Tavis Smiley: 'PBS Made a Huge Mistake Here and They Need to Fix It'

(VARIETY/ (ENTERTAINMENT-TV/NEWS), moved, 411 words)

BUSINESS AND MARKETS

S&P, Dow open higher as tax bill vote draws near

NEW YORK - The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average opened higher on Tuesday amid rising hopes that the Congress will vote in favor of the proposed massive tax overhaul favorable to corporations (USA-STOCKS/, moved at 9:33 a.m., 90 words, will be led through the day)

Packaging company Crown Holdings to buy Signode in $3.91 billion deal

-- Consumer packaging company Crown Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would buy Signode Industrial Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd, which specializes in transit packaging, from Carlyle Group LP in a deal valued at $3.91 billion (SIGNODE-M&A/CROWN HOLDINGS, moved at 9:20 a.m., 58 words, will be led)

Greenyard targets U.S. market with talks to acquire Dole

BRUSSELS - Belgian fresh and frozen foods company Greenyard NV says it is in advanced talks to acquire Dole Food, the world's largest fruit and vegetable producer, confirming a Reuters report (DOLE FOOD-M&A/GREENYARD (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, 338 words)

Hershey, Campbell bet nearly $6 billion on healthy snacks makers

NEW YORK - Campbell Soup and Hershey unveil deals totaling nearly $6 billion to buy healthy packaged snacks makers, the latest example of big U.S. food companies trying to cater to an increasing American preference for healthy foods (AMPLIFY SNACK-M&A/HERSHEY (UPDATE 4), moved, 536 words)

Roche touts Swiss-led R&D after years in Genentech's shadow

(ROCHE-SWISS RESEARCH/, moved, 761 words)

Japan says bitcoin not yet proven as credible currency

(MARKETS-BITCOIN/JAPAN-FINMIN (UPDATE 1), moved, 159 words)

12/19/2017 9:48

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