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BC-AP Americas Digest

March 17, 2015

TOP STORIES:

FUGITIVE HEIR

NEW ORLEANS — A wealthy eccentric linked to three deaths agrees to face charges in Los Angeles hours after the finale of an HBO documentary in which he says he “killed them all.” By Janet McConnaughey and Brian Melley. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: FUGITIVE HEIR-TIMELINE.

FERGUSON

CLAYTON, Missouri — The man accused of shooting two police officers last week in Ferguson appears in court, a day after his arrest on charges that he fired on the men during a late-night protest. By Alan Scher Zagier. AP Photos. AP Video.

OBAMA-CONGRESS BUDGET

WASHINGTON — Bolstered by a spate of upbeat economic news, President Barack Obama is claiming the upper hand in the budget fight unfolding in Congress, aiming to exploit recent Republican stumbles to give Democrats an advantage despite their status as a weakened minority. But while Obama retains full use of the bully pulpit, his leverage over matters of government spending may prove limited. By Josh Lederman and Jim Kuhnhenn. AP Photo.

With : CONGRESS BUDGET.

MICHELLE OBAMA

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama won’t avoid Cambodia’s human rights record when she visits the southeast Asian nation this week, her final stop on a two-country trip to promote a new U.S. initiative to help millions of girls worldwide attend and complete school, the White House says. By Darlene Superville. AP Photo.

CUBA-US

HAVANA — U.S. and Cuban diplomats talk behind closed doors in a last-minute round of negotiations aimed at restoring full diplomatic relations before a key regional summit in less than a month. By Michael Weissenstein and Peter Orsi.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-UNINSURED

WASHINGTON — More than 16 million Americans have gained coverage since President Barack Obama’s health care law took effect five years ago, the administration says. But measuring a different way, an independent expert who took into account insurance losses during some of those years had a much lower estimate: 9.7 million. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Julie Pace. AP Photo.

MEXICO-JOURNALIST FIRED

MEXICO CITY — The crusading host of Mexico’s top-rated national news radio program has been fired in a case that many fear is a blow to freedom of expression. By E. Eduardo Castillo. AP Photo.

EBOLA-AMERICAN PATIENT

WASHINGTON — An American health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in a Sierra Leone treatment unit has been downgraded to critical condition at the National Institutes of Health, doctors say. By Brett Zongker. AP Photo.

BRAZIL-PETROBRAS

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian prosecutors charge the treasurer of the ruling Workers’ Party with corruption in connection to a sprawling graft scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras. By Adriana Gomez Licon.

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING

BOSTON — Three police officers describe an onslaught of gunfire and bombs during a confrontation with the Boston Marathon bombers days after the attack and one suspect’s escape in a stolen car that ended with his dragging his brother’s lifeless body through the street. By Legal Affairs Writer Denise Lavoie. AP Photos.

CHILE-EMERGENT CUISINE

SANTIAGO, Chile_Chile is famous around the world for its wine, but until recently its food wasn’t known beyond its long borders. Now, several chefs in the South American country’s capital are revolutionizing Chilean cuisine one bite at a time. By Luis Andres Henao. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

RATE HIKES-WINNERS & LOSERS

NEW YORK — The prospect of the first interest hike in almost a decade is shaking up financial markets. Facing this change, investors are sifting through the potential winners and losers, and scrambling to adjust their portfolios. By Steve Rothwell. AP Photos.

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON — For the Federal Reserve, patience may no longer be a virtue. Surrounding the Fed’s policy meeting this week is the widespread expectation that it will no longer use the word “patient” to describe its stance on raising interest rates from record lows. The big question is: What will that mean? By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. AP Photo.

McDONALD’S-WORKER BURNS

NEW YORK — McDonald’s workers in 19 cities have filed complaints over burns from popping grease, a lack of protective equipment and other workplace hazards, according to labor organizers. By Food Industry Writer Candice Choi. AP Photo.

HEALTHY COKES

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola is working with fitness and nutrition experts who suggest its soda as a treat at a time when the world’s biggest beverage maker is being blamed for helping to fuel obesity rates. By Food Industry Writer Candice Choi. AP Photos.

GENERAL MOTORS-IGNITION SWTICH DEATHS

DETROIT — Despite the settlement of one high-profile case against General Motors, other cases are moving forward and company executives could still be questioned about their role in the deadly ignition switch recall, a plaintiffs’ attorney said Monday. By Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin.

5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PRIVACY ONLINE

SAN FRANCISCO — More than half of Americans are worried about the U.S. government’s digital spies prying into their emails, texts, search requests and other online information, but few are trying to thwart the surveillance. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. AP Photo.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-THE GUNMAN

LOS ANGELES — Sean Penn surfs, shoots, sprints, punches and fights for his life in the geopolitical thriller “The Gunman.” At age 54, it’s easy to assume that Penn, as a rogue ex-special forces officer, is drifting into territory that Liam Neeson claimed just a few years ago with a series of action-heavy box office hits. Add in the fact that “The Gunman,” in theaters Friday, is directed by Pierre Morel, who launched the “Taken” franchise and Neeson’s renaissance and the comparisons seem even more apt. But for Penn, it couldn’t be further from the truth. By Film Writer Lindsey Bahr.

With: FILM REVIEW-THE GUNMAN.

BREAKFAST CLUB ANNIVERSARY

AUSTIN, Texas — Ensuring film-lovers won’t forget about them, actresses Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy reminisce about making “The Breakfast Club” at a screening of the fully-restored 1985 film. By Eva Ruth Moravec. AP Photos.

TV-Q&A-DANCING WITH THE STARS

NEW YORK — “Dancing With the Stars” returns Monday night for its 20th season. That’s a lot of spray tanning and glitter — not to mention drama. By Alicia Rancilio.

PEOPLE-EMILE HIRSCH

PARK CITY, Utah — Actor Emile Hirsch makes his first court appearance on allegations that he put a studio executive in a chokehold and dragged her across a nightclub table while in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival. By Brady McComs. AP Photo.

HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES

NEW YORK — The watershed picture book “Heather Has Two Mommies” has been made over 25 years after it became a cultural flashpoint and there’s one big change: Mama Kate and Mama Jane are wearing wedding rings. By Leanne Italie. AP Photos.

FEATURES:

TRAVEL-ORLANDO CULTURE

ORLANDO, Florida — Long derided as a cultural wasteland, Orlando’s restaurant and performing arts scene has grown up in recent years, and it is starting to attract attention from national arbiters of taste. By Mike Schneider. AP Photos.

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