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BC-AP Americas Digest

February 20, 2015

TOP STORIES:

NSA SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON — Britain’s electronic spying agency, working with the U.S. National Security Agency, hacks into the networks of a Dutch company to steal codes that allow both governments to seamlessly eavesdrop on mobile phones worldwide, according to the documents given to journalists by Edward Snowden. By Ken Dilanian.

AP photo.

VENEZUELA-CARACAS MAYOR

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s socialist government delivers a new blow to the opposition as police in camouflage uniforms break into the office of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and cart the longtime critic away. By Fabiola Sanchez and Hannah Dreier.

AP Photos.

PRESIDENTIAL RACE-CLINTON

WASHINGTON — The charity founded by former President Bill Clinton defends its financial support from foreign governments and says it will continue “appropriate” policies and practices if former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton runs for president again. By Ken Thomas.

ROAD RAGE SHOOTING

LAS VEGAS — Police arrest the teenage neighbor of a Las Vegas mother who was shot dead in a mysterious road-rage incident, saying he was the gunman. By Ken Ritter.

AP photos.

CUBA-US TERROR LIST

HAVANA — Cuba sees its place on Washington’s list of state sponsors of terrorism as a Cold War relic, a symbol of what it calls U.S. bullying. Now, as the two countries move to end a half-century of acrimony, President Barack Obama has made clear he is moving to end Cuba’s listing. By Michael Weissenstein.

AP Photos.

VENEZUELA-CURRENCY SLIDE

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelans line up for their first chance in years to change bolivars into dollars without having to justify why they need foreign currency. By Hannah Dreier.

AP Photo.

COLOMBIA-US MISSIONARY

BOGOTA, Colombia — Prosecutors seek jail for a U.S. missionary who has worked for decades in some of Colombia’s most dangerous regions, charging him with collaborating with the country’s main leftist rebel group. By Libardo Cardona and Frank Bajak.

AP Photo.

IMMIGRATION-CHILLING EFFECT

TUCSON, Ariz. — Immigrants hoping to move past the constant fear of being deported under President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration are becoming disillusioned after a judge blocked the policy. Some even say they’re giving up and may move back to Mexico. By Astrid Galvan.

AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

PORT LABOR

LOS ANGELES — The nation’s top labor official ratchets up pressure on the two sides haggling over a new contract for dockworkers at West Coast seaports, telling them if they don’t reach an agreement by Friday, they’ll have to leave California and negotiate in Washington. By Justin Pritchard.

AP photos.

MEXICO-COCA-COLA

MEXICO CITY — Disruptions by protesters angry about the disappearance of 43 students escalate as demonstrators temporarily detain employees of Coca-Cola Co., igniting anger in a business sector already frustrated by struggles to operate amid the social turmoil. By Mark Stevenson and E. Eduardo Castillo.

WAL-MART-WORKER PAY RAISES

BENTONVILLE, Arkansas — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping its decision to boost workers’ paychecks will help it boost its bottom line. The largest private employer in the U.S. announced that it’s giving a raise to about half-million U.S. workers.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

BOBBI KRSTINA BROWN

ATLANTA — Doctors have replaced Bobbi Kristina Brown’s breathing tube with a tube usually used for patients who need to be on a ventilator for an extended period, a person close to the family said. By Jonathan Landrum Jr.

AP Photo.

SPORTS:

AARON HERNANDEZ

FALL RIVER, Massachusetts — Three state troopers testify about evidence they collected in the murder trial of former former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, including a digital scale with a dish that included a residue of marijuana.

AP Photos.

FEATURES:

ANARCTICA-MYSTERIES

DECEPTION ISLAND, Antarctica — Antarctica may hold clues to answering humanity’s most basic questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone? And what’s the fate of our planet? It is the continent of mystery. Strange, forbidding and most of all desolate, the continent was first set foot on 194 years ago and it is still mostly unexplored. By Luis Andres Henao and Seth Borenstein. With photo essay by Natacha Pisarenko. AP photos, video, interactive. Eds: This is the first in a series of periodic multi-format stories examining the world’s least-known continent.

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