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BC-AP Americas Digest

May 27, 2014

TOP STORIES:

SANTA BARBARA RAMPAGE

GOLETA, California — Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes. Sandy Hook school attacker Adam Lanza. And now Elliot Rodger. All were young loners with no criminal history who went on shooting sprees, leaving devastated families in their wake. Mass murderers tend to have a history of pent-up frustration and failures, are socially isolated and vengeful, blaming others for their unhappiness, experts say. By Christopher Weber and Alicia Chang. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: SANTA BARBARA RAMPAGE-VICTIMS.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-NUCLEAR ARMS

WASHINGTON — Congress is pressing the White House harder to confront Russia over allegations that Moscow has been cheating on a key nuclear arms treaty for years — a possible faceoff that comes at a bad time for U.S.-Russian relations and could end President Barack Obama’s hope to deeply cut nuclear arsenals as part of his legacy. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photo.

CIA OFFICER REVEALED

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration accidentally revealed the name of the CIA’s top official in Afghanistan in an email to thousands of journalists during the president’s surprise weekend trip to Bagram Air Field. By Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian.

OBAMA

WASHINGTON — For much of President Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have provided a well-defined framework for his foreign policy philosophy. He ran for the White House pledging to bring the conflicts to a close and promised the American people that he would seek to avoid unnecessary war. But as the second of those two wars winds down, Obama finds himself struggling to articulate what role he sees the U.S. playing on the world stage for the remainder of his second term. The ongoing conflict in Syria and Russia’s threatening moves have also raised questions about how the U.S. can credibly threaten consequences against international foes when Obama so clearly wants to stay out of another large-scale military endeavor. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. AP Photos. AP Video.

MEMORIAL DAY

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama declared Monday that the United States has reached “a pivotal moment” in Afghanistan with the end of war approaching. By Pete Yost. AP Photos.

COLOMBIA-ELECTION

BOGOTA, Colombia — He presides over one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies and has taken peace negotiations with rebels further than anyone in decades. But President Juan Manuel Santos doesn’t appear to be clicking with Colombian voters as heads into a runoff election trailing a conservative challenger. By Joshua Goodman and Cesar Garcia. AP Photos.

HACKING ARRESTS

NEW YORK — A prolific computer hacker who infiltrated the servers of major corporations later switched sides and helped the U.S. government disrupt hundreds of cyberattacks on Congress, NASA and other sensitive targets, according to federal prosecutors. By Tom Hays.

GAY MARRIAGE-TIPPING POINT

WASHINGTON — One after another, U.S. judges are declaring it’s too late to turn back on the topic of same-sex marriage. An unbroken string of state and federal court rulings in support of gay and lesbian unions covers every region of the country, including the conservative South. So far, there are 26 states where same-sex couples can get married or a judge has ruled they ought to be allowed. By Mark Sherman and Nicholas Riccardi. AP Photo.

JAMAICA-HIV

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Religious activists, students and colleagues gather outside Jamaica’s biggest university to protest the firing of an HIV expert who testified on behalf of church groups defending an anti-sodomy law. By David McFadden.

BUFFETT’S GENEROUS SISTER

OMAHA, Nebraska — When Warren Buffett announced in 2006 that he would give away his billions, he was flooded with individual requests for help that still flow in today.Instead of tossing the letters aside, Buffett packages them up and sends them to his older sister Doris. With the help of seven women, her Sunshine Lady Foundation scrutinizes each request to find people who have come upon bad luck through no fault of their own. By Josh Funk. AP Photos.

WALKING SCHOOL BUS

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Growing numbers of children across the U.S. are climbing aboard the walking school bus. It starts with an adult volunteer, who goes house to house picking up children. The group then walks to school together — and back home in the afternoons. By Jennifer McDermott. AP Photos.

MEXICO-OBIT-HALF-TON MAN

MONTERREY, Mexico — Manuel Uribe, who was once listed as the world’s heaviest human being when he weighed 1,230 pounds (560 kilograms), has died at the age of 48. By Porfirio Ibarra. AP Photo.

WCUP-BRAZIL

SAO PAULO — The Brazil national team’s preparations for a World Cup on its home soil get underway amid chants of protests instead of support for the squad, whose bus is surrounded by a few hundred demonstrators complaining about government spending on the tournament. By Tales Azzoni. AP Photos.

HAITI-WORLD CUP-PHOTO GALLERY

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The brightly painted Haitian minibuses known as tap-taps are getting a bit more colorful in the lead-up to the World Cup. With photo gallery by Dieu Nalio Chery.

BUSINESS:

PFIZER-ASTRAZENECA

Pfizer says that it does not intend to make a takeover offer for British drugmaker AstraZeneca, pulling the plug for now on what would have been the largest deal in the industry’s history. By Business Writer Alex Veija. AP Photos.

US-CHINA CORPORATE TIES

WASHINGTON — China may be trying to steal trade secrets from U.S. businesses, as federal prosecutors allege. Yet for many U.S. companies, China’s vast market remains an irresistible source of business. By Economics Writer Paul Wiseman. AP Photos.

VENEZUELA-AIRLINE DEAL

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela’s cash-strapped government agrees to pay part of $4 billion owed to foreign airlines and may soon allow them to aggressively raise airfares as it works to head off more carriers from leaving the country. By Fabiola Sanchez.

KEYSTONE-CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS

WASHINGTON — Safety regulators have quietly placed two extra conditions on construction of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline after learning of potentially dangerous construction defects involving the pipeline’s southern leg. The defects — high rates of bad welds, dented pipe and damaged pipeline coating — were brought to regulators attention by TransCanada and have been fixed. But the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration wants to make sure the problems aren’t repeated should construction of the pipeline’s northern leg, now on hold pending a decision by President Barack Obama, be given permission to proceed. By Joan Lowy. AP Photo.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

OBIT-HERB JEFFRIES

LOS ANGELES — Herb Jeffries, the jazz singer and actor who performed with Duke Ellington and was known as the “Bronze Buckaroo” in a series of all-black 1930s Westerns, has died of heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 100. By Film Writer Jessica Herndon.

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