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BC-AP Americas Digest

March 4, 2015

TOP STORIES:

UNITED STATES-ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands before Congress and bluntly warns the U.S. that an emerging nuclear agreement with Iran “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” President Barack Obama pushes back sternly, saying the U.S. would never sign such a deal and Netanyahu was offering no useful alternative. By Deb Riechmann and Aron Heller. AP Photos.

With: NETANYAHU-FACT CHECK; UNITED STATES-ISRAEL EXCERPTS; CONGRESS-IRAN.

UNITED STATES-IRAQ

WASHINGTON — Iran’s direct support for an Iraqi push to dislodge the Islamic State group from the northern city of Tikrit could turn out to be “a positive thing” if it does not inflame sectarian tensions, the top U.S. general says. By National Security Writer Robert Burns. AP Photo.

With: UNITED STATES-MOSUL.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON-EMAILS

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton is facing questions about ethics and transparency — the sort that have dogged her and former president Bill Clinton for decades. The latest disclosure, that Clinton used a personal email account while serving as secretary of state, comes on the cusp of her likely second bid for president. AP Photo.

KILLINGS BY POLICE-FERGUSON

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Justice Department investigation finds sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson, Missouri, police department — with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report. By Eric Tucker. AP Photos.

CONGRESS-HOMELAND

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House of Representatives backs down in a dispute that could have led to a partial shutdown of the agency overseeing U.S. borders, handing a major victory to President Barack Obama. AP Photos.

OBAMA-CONGRESS-TUG OF WAR

WASHINGTON — An elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and President Barack Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. On some fronts, Obama has held his ground, but lawmakers are challenging his authority on foreign policy. By Josh Lederman. AP Photos.

SUPREME COURT-HEALTH OVERHAUL

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a major test of President Barack Obama’s health overhaul that threatens insurance coverage for millions of people. AP Photos.

LOS ANGELES POLICE SHOOTING

LOS ANGELES — A homeless man killed by Los Angeles police had been released last May from a federal prison after serving roughly 14 years for bank robbery, and was wanted for violating probation, a law enforcement official says. By Tami Abdollah. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-PETROBRAS INVESTIGATION

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s attorney general asks the Supreme Court for permission to investigate 54 people, the majority top political figures, for alleged involvement in what prosecutors say is the country’s largest corruption scandal yet uncovered. By Brad Brooks. AP Photos.

PETRAEUS CHARGED-PLEA AGREEMENT

RALEIGH, North Carolina — Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose once-bright political future was all but destroyed over an affair with his biographer, has agreed to plead guilty to charges he shared classified material with her for her book. By Michael Biesecker and Eric Tucker. AP Photo.

VENEZUELA-US

CARACAS, Venezuela — The United States pushes back against Venezuela’s demand for a dramatic cut in the American diplomatic mission in Caracas. By Hannah Dreier and Bradley Klapper. AP Photos.

GEORGIA-EXECUTION

ATLANTA — Georgia state prison officials who postponed the execution of Kelly Renee Gissendaner late Monday night were indecisive about whether to proceed with a cloudy lethal injection drug, according to court documents. By Kate Brumback. AP Photos.

With: NITROGEN GAS-DEATH PENALTY.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING

BOSTON — In the two years since twin bombs tore through crowds at the Boston Marathon finish line, the case against suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has focused on arguments over where his trial should be held, who should sit on the jury and what evidence prosecutors should be allowed to use. By Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-ITALIAN FUGITIVE

SAO PAULO — A Brazilian judge orders the deportation of former Italian militant Cesare Battisti, reversing a 2010 ruling granting him asylum in Latin America’s biggest country. By Stan Lehman. AP Photos.

GAY MARRIAGE-ALABAMA

The Alabama Supreme Court orders the state’s probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, a decision that flies in the face of numerous rulings by federal judges in Alabama and other states across the country who have said banning gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. By Jay Reeves.

MEXICO-PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENT

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Pena faces new pressure, this time for his choices for attorney general and to fill a vacant seat on Mexico’s highest court. AP Photos.

MATERNITY TOURISM

IRVINE, California — Federal agents search more than a dozen homes in a crackdown on so-called maternity tourism operators who arrange for pregnant Chinese women to give birth in the U.S., where their babies automatically become American citizens. By Amy Taxin. AP Photos.

CANADA-NORTH KOREA-MISSING PASTOR

TORONTO — A senior pastor at a Canadian church has been missing in North Korea since late January, officials say. Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim travelled to North Korea on Jan. 31 as part of a regular humanitarian mission where he supports a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage, said Lisa Pak, a spokeswoman for the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto. Pak said his family and church have not heard from him since.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

AP ECONOMIC SURVEY

WASHINGTON — From the United States to Asia to Europe, the global economy will defy fears of a widespread slowdown and prove resilient enough to thrive. That’s the strikingly sunny view of economists surveyed by The Associated Press who think low oil prices, low-rate policies of central banks, a potential U.S.-Pacific trade deal and even a gridlocked U.S. Congress will help fuel economic growth. By Christopher S. Rugaber. AP Photos.

WORLD ECONOMY-FED

WASHINGTON — The world’s central banks are injecting a new complication into the Federal Reserve’s decision on when to raise interest rates from record lows: They’re cutting their own rates. By Economics Writer Paul Wiseman.

With: FED-YELLEN.

EXECUTIVES-ECONOMY

WASHINGTON — Top U.S. business executives are pressing Congress to give President Barack Obama greater authority to negotiate international trade deals, citing the potential for increased hiring in the United States and greater competitiveness for their companies overseas. In a report by the lobbying group Business Roundtable, the chief executives say their expectations for the economy have improved but that business needs more confidence to increase hiring. By Jim Kuhnhenn.

SAN FRANCISCO AIRLINER CRASH-SETTLEMENT

SAN FRANCISCO — More than 70 passengers aboard an Asiana Airlines flight that crashed in San Francisco two years ago have reached a settlement in their lawsuits against the airline, attorneys for the passengers and airline say in a court filing. By Sudhin Thanawala. AP Photo.

TARGET-INVESTORS

NEW YORK — Target Corp. is cutting several thousand jobs as part of a plan to eliminate $2 billion in costs over the next two years. By Anne D’Innocenzio and Marley Jay. AP Photo.

WIRELESS SHOW-MOBILE PAY

NEW YORK— Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are launching card services aimed at Africa’s growing mobile payment industry. By Business Writer Ken Sweet.

AUTO SALES

DETROIT — February threw snowstorms and other roadblocks at the auto industry, but U.S. sales of new cars and trucks are still poised to hit their highest level in more than a decade this year. By Auto Writers Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin. AP Photos.

With: AUTO SALES-TOP SELLERS; AUTOS-2014 RECALLS.

SILICON VALLEY-SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION

SAN FRANCISCO — A legendary billionaire investor defends his Silicon Valley venture capital firm while testifying in a high-profile sex discrimination lawsuit that has accused the firm of being an all-boys club where women were denied chances to advance and treated as second-class citizens. By Sudhin Thanawala. AP Photos.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

THEATER-BLACKBURN PRIZE

NEW YORK — Tena Stivicic was still buzzing a day after winning the oldest and most prestigious playwriting prize for women with her sweeping play about four generations of women growing up in Croatia after World War II. The London-based author of “3 Winters,” which was produced at the National Theatre in London in December 2014, was awarded the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and $25,000 on Monday night at a ceremony at Playwrights Horizon. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy.

NBC-LACK

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC Universal is in talks to bring back Andrew Lack to its troubled news operation, which would be the first high-level shake-up following several rough months culminating in the six-month suspension of “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams for misleading viewers about his experiences covering the Iraq War. By Television Writer David Bauder.

THEATER-Q&A-CHILINA KENNEDY

NEW YORK — The last time Broadway theatergoers got to see Chilina Kennedy, she was portraying Mary Magdalene. Now she’s returned to play someone much more contemporary — songwriter Carole King. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. AP Photos.

FEATURES:

TRAVEL-TRIP-AFFORDABLE MAUI

KAANAPALI, Hawaii — The perception of Maui as a destination for the rich is only partially true. Flights and hotels can be pricey. The only down season is for about two weeks at the start of December. But the island has many affordable options for food, lodging and entertainment, and some attractions — the beach, beautiful drives — are free. By John Marshall. AP Photos.

With: TRAVEL-TRIP-ROAD TO HANA.

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