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BC-AP Americas Digest

July 30, 2014

TOP STORIES:

RUSSIA-SANCTIONS

WASHINGTON — U.S. and European officials hope a new round of sanctions targeting energy and defense entities, as well as major banks, will deepen Russia’s economic pain and force President Vladimir Putin to end provocations in Ukraine. Obama administration officials say roughly 30 percent of Russia’s banking sector assets are now constrained by U.S. sanctions. The U.S. announced plans to block future technology sales to the oil industry, and Europe approved an arms embargo. By Julie Pace and John-Thor Dalhburg. AP Photos.

With: US-UKRAINE.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-NUCLEAR ARMS

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration accusation that Russia violated a key nuclear weapons treaty leaves the future of the 26-year-old accord in question and further dampens President Barack Obama’s hopes to burnish his legacy with deeper cuts to nuclear arsenals. By Deb Reichmann.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA-MISSILES

WASHINGTON — Amid concerns about its development and testing of nuclear weapons, North Korea may be lulling the world into largely accepting its advances in missile technology, the admiral in charge of American forces in Asia and the Pacific says. By Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor.

CONGRESS-ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Congress vow urgent support for a $225 million missile defense package for Israel, boosting the likelihood that legislation will clear Congress before lawmakers begin a monthlong vacation at week’s end. By Bradley Klapper and Donna Cassata. AP Photo.

UNITED STATES-NORTH KOREA-LAUNCH SITE

WASHINGTON — North Korea is upgrading its main rocket launch site and has conducted a series of engine tests as it develops a mobile, intercontinental missile that could increase the threat it poses to the United States, a U.S. research institute said Tuesday. By Matthew Pennington.

UNITED STATES-JAPAN-SOUTH KOREA

WASHINGTON — Strained relations between American allies Japan and South Korea are hurting military cooperation, including on missile defense, despite the common threat they face from North Korea, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said Tuesday. By Matthew Pennington.

UNITED STATES-IRAN

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s chief nuclear negotiator refuses to provide a hard deadline for a deal with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. She vowed to consult with Congress before suspending more economic sanctions on Tehran, but said the administration won’t necessarily seek lawmakers’ approval. By Bradley Klapper. AP Photos.

ABORTION-MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON, Mississippi — A U.S. appeals court panel rules that a Mississippi law that would close the state’s only abortion clinic is unconstitutional. The case is the latest in the decades-long struggle by some social conservatives to chip away at a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion. The issue remains one of the country’s most sensitive, politically and otherwise, with various challenges in a number of states. By Emily Wagster Pettus. AP Photos.

OIL DISPUTE-IRAQ

FORT WORTH, Texas — The U.S. has barred a shipment of Kurdish crude oil from reaching the Texas coast amid concerns independent oil sales from Kurdistan could further weaken Iraq’s fragile central government as it struggles to contain a Sunni military offensive. By Emily Schmall. AP Photos.

AFRICA SUMMIT-GAY RIGHTS

NEW YORK Human rights and gay rights activists urge President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next week’s summit in Washington with more than 40 African leaders. By National Writer David Crary.

AP POLL-IMMIGRATION

McALLEN, Texas — A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds two-thirds of Americans now say illegal immigration is a serious problem for the United States, up 14 points since May. By Christopher Sherman and Jennifer Agiesta. AP Photo.

CANADA-AVIATION MEETING

MONTREAL — The United Nations agency that governs civil aviation says it is creating a task force aimed at improving security measures after the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine.

SNIPER AUTHOR-VENTURA

ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura wins $1.8 million in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for insulting the U.S. Navy SEALs. By Steve Karnowski. AP Photos.

CHINESE STUDENT SLAIN

LOS ANGELES — Four U.S. teens were charged Tuesday with murder in the fatal beating of a Chinese graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his apartment. By Tami Abdollah. AP Photo.

CANADA-CHINA SPYING

TORONTO — Chinese hackers infiltrated the computer systems of Canada’s top research and development organization, the Canadian government says.

SKIN CANCER

WASHINGTON — Stop sunbathing and using indoor tanning beds, the acting U.S. surgeon general warned in a report released Tuesday that cites an alarming 200 percent jump in deadly melanoma cases since 1973.

NCAA-CONCUSSION LAWSUIT

CHICAGO — The NCAA, the powerful U.S. college sports governing body, agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports. By Michael Tarm. AP Photos.

TIMES SQUARE CHARACTERS

NEW YORK — A summertime spike in headlines about Times Square characters behaving badly — most recently a Spider-Man accused of punching a police officer — has turned up the heat on plans to regulate the legions of Elmos, Cookie Monsters and Statues of Liberty who demand money to pose in photos with tourists . “This has gone too far,” a frustrated Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters this week. But civil liberties advocates say proposals for a city law that would require licenses and background checks for the street performers may violate free-speech rights. By Verena Dobnik. AP Photos.

MISSING CHILDREN-SEX TRAFFICKING

WASHINGTON — When FBI agents and police officers fanned out across the country last month in a weeklong effort to rescue child sex trafficking victims, they pulled minors as young as 11 from dingy hotel rooms, truck stops and homes. Among the 168 juveniles recovered was a population that child welfare advocates say especially concerns them: children who were never reported missing in the first place. By Eric Tucker. AP Photo.

OBIT-ENOLA GAY SURVIVOR

ATLANTA — The last surviving member of the U.S. crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and moving the world into the atomic age, has died. By Kate Brumback. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

ARGENTINA-DEBT

NEW YORK — Argentina’s economy minister emerges from daylong negotiations aimed at preventing a default to say both sides had finally spoken for the first time, a development that raised hopes that a deal might be reached to avert a financial crisis. By Claudia Torrens. AP Photos.

ECONOMY-GDP

WASHINGTON — After a dismal start to the year reflecting a harsh winter, the U.S. economy showed signs of rebounding in the spring, with many forecasters expecting growth to be even stronger in the second half of the year.The government on Wednesday will provide its first estimate of how much the gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — grew in the April-June quarter. The consensus forecast is that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger.

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is expected to make a sixth $10 billion reduction in its monthly bond purchases aimed at keeping long-term interest rates low. But that may very well be the only policy move taken when central bank officials wrap up two days of talks on Wednesday. That would leave other big questions to be answered at a later time. By Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.

EARNS-AMERICAN EXPRESS

American Express Co.’s net income grew 9 percent in the second quarter, as spending by cardholders increased and the credit card issuer set aside less money to cover potential credit losses. A one-time gain related to the company’s business travel division also helped boost results. By Business Writer Alex Veiga. AP Photo.

AMGEN-LAYOFFS

Biologic drugmaker Amgen says that it will lay off 12 to 15 percent of its worldwide workforce and close four sites, even as it reported stellar second-quarter results that trounced Wall Street expectations. By Business Writer Linda A. Johnson. AP Photo.

EARNS-TWITTER

NEW YORK — Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter’s stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter. By Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay.

McDONALD’S-WORKERS

NEW YORK — McDonald’s is coming under intensifying pressure for labor practices at its U.S. restaurants. The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the world’s biggest hamburger chain could be named as a joint employer in several complaints regarding worker rights at franchise-owned restaurants. The decision is pivotal because it could expose McDonald’s Corp. to liability for management practices in those locations. By Food Industry Writer Candice Choi.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

TV-HONORABLE WOMAN-GYLLENHAAL

LOS ANGELES — “The Honorable Woman” is a meditative thriller that investigates a woman’s inner life and a global hot spot. Poised between dream-state and tough reality, it exposes timeless truths while remaining as current as the next Israeli-Palestinian clash. An eight-hour miniseries premiering Thursday on SundanceTV, “The Honorable Woman” is a virtuoso effort by Hugo Blick, who wrote and directed it. And in the lead role of Baroness Nessa Stein, an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman who wants to span a raging divide with communication cables laid between Israel and the West Bank, Maggie Gyllenhaal delivers the most nuanced yet full-bodied performance you could hope to see. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. AP Photos.

PEOPLE-ARETHA FRANKLIN

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There’s something beyond delivering a set packed with her hits that’s got Aretha Franklin jazzed about America’s summer fair season: the food. By Julie Carr Smyth. AP Photo.

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