BC-AP Americas Digest
STATE OF UNION
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, undaunted by the new Republican majority in Congress, issues a sweeping challenge to do more for the poor and middle class and to end the nasty partisan political fight that has characterized his six years in office. By Steven R. Hurst. AP Photos. AP Video.
With: STATE OF UNION-ANALYSIS; STATE OF UNION-TEXT; STATE OF UNION-HIGHLIGHTS.
CENTENNIAL, Colorado — As the first day of jury selection ends in the Colorado theater shooting, it is a far different James Holmes at the defense table: The jail uniform he wore at his initial hearing was replaced with khakis, an untucked blue shirt with white stripes and a blue blazer. His hair, now a dark brown, was neatly trimmed. By Sadie Gurman and Dan Elliott. AP Photos. AP Video.
HAVANA — The highest-level U.S. delegation to Cuba in decades begins two days of negotiations with grand promises by President Barack Obama about change on the island and a somber warning from Cuba to abandon hopes of reforming the communist government. By Bradley Klapper and Michael Weissenstein. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON — Senators are pushing to have a say about the ongoing international negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, a move they say will further destabilize an increasingly volatile Mideast. A Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday will focus on the status of the negotiations and the role of Congress. By Deb Reichmann.
With: SENATE-WORLD VIEW.
WASHINGTON — The violent push by Houthi rebels against the American-backed government in Yemen is undermining military and intelligence operations against al-Qaida’s Yemen-based affiliate, which made its reach felt in this month’s deadly Paris attacks, U.S. officials say. By Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian. AP Photo.
TORONTO — Canadian special forces in northern Iraq have been helping Kurdish peshmerga fighters by directing coalition airstrikes against Islamic State extremists — work generally considered risky because it means they are close to the battle against the group. By Rob Gillies.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The ex-wife of a prosecutor who accused Argentine President Cristina Fernandez of protecting the masterminds of a 1994 bombing does not believe an initial finding that he killed himself on the eve of his testimony before congress. By Almudena Calatrava. AP Photos.
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Evo Morales rose from poor llama herder to become one of Latin America’s most popular presidents by emphasizing his indigenous roots and exerting state control over Bolivia’s natural gas riches. Yet now, as he flaunts the trappings of power with construction of a new 20-story presidential palace, his original supporters accuse him of abandoning them in favor of wealthy interest groups and a sudden drop in commodity prices threatens Morales’ ability to deliver public works and improve basic services. By Carlos Valdez. Photos.
SUPREME COURT-HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appears poised to dismantle a decades-old strategy for fighting housing discrimination, a move that would make it tougher for people to win lawsuits claiming housing policies are biased. By Sam Hananel.
LIMA, Peru — Greenpeace said it has given prosecutors the names of four people involved in a protest for renewable energy at the country’s famed Nazca Lines archaeological site, an action that sparked widespread outrage in Peru. By Frank Bajak. AP Photo.
MISSING TEENS-CRIME SPREE
CLARKSON, Kentucky — The father of a 13-year-old girl who police say went on a multi-state crime spree with her older boyfriend said Tuesday that he is not angry with the 18-year-old. By Adam Bean. AP Photos.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
REDMOND, Washington — Microsoft will use an event Wednesday to offer a wider glimpse of the next version of Windows. The company is planning to show off new features of its flagship operating system — and possibly an improved Internet browser and more uses for Microsoft’s voice-controlled digital assistant, Cortana. Executives will also demonstrate how the new Windows is designed to provide a more consistent experience and a common platform for software apps on different devices, from personal computers to tablets, smartphones and even the company’s Xbox gaming console. By Technology Writer Brandon Bailey.
EARNS-JOHNSON & JOHNSON
TRENTON, New Jersey — The strong dollar and stiff competition for some products squeezed Johnson & Johnson in the fourth quarter and it missed Wall Street expectations for revenue, triggering a rare sell-off of its shares. By Business Writer Linda A. Johnson. AP Photo.
EARNS-DELTA AIR LINES
ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines Inc. reported a fourth-quarter loss because falling oil prices led it to write down the value of its fuel-hedging contracts, but the airline’s results were still better than Wall Street expected.
SUPREME COURT-GENERIC DRUG DISPUTE
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in the company’s high-profile patent dispute with rival firms over the top-selling multiple sclerosis drug. By Sam Hananel.
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is facing her biggest business decision since she left Google two-and-a-half years ago to lead its struggling rival: how to manage Yahoo’s most valuable asset, a 15 percent stake in Chinese Internet star Alibaba Group worth nearly $37 billion. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke.
NETFLIX-PROGRAMMING FOR GROWTH
SAN FRANCISCO— Coming off its best quarter yet, Netflix is hoping to hook millions more Internet video subscribers with the lure of original programming as it accelerates its international expansion in an effort to build the leading network for the digital-streaming age. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. AP Photo.
HAWTHORNE, California — SpaceX has raised $1 billion from Google and Fidelity in a deal that values the spaceship manufacturer at about $10 billion.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
Fifteen years after civil rights groups sought and won agreements from major broadcasters to put programs on the air that better reflect the nation’s population, an AP analysis finds that casts at three of the four networks are still whiter than the nation as a whole. The analysis of regular cast members on prime-time comedies and dramas on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox found progress since then in hiring black actors, but less so for other minorities. By Television Writers David Bauder, Lynn Elber and Frazier Moore. AP Photos. AP Video.
With: TV-DIVERSITY-BROOKLYN NINE-NINE; TV-DIVERSITY UNEQUAL RESULTS; TV-DIVERSITY HISTORY.
FILM-SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Just as Hollywood’s awards season heats up, half the town takes off for a snowy getaway to Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival. Celebrating its 31st year, the festival has steadily outgrown its indie-film roots to showcase emerging and established talent in art, music, television, film and new media. By Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen.
FILM-AMERICAN SNIPER SUCCESS
NEW YORK — Empty seats were hard to come by at Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” over the holiday weekend, where the R-rated Iraq War drama — all words seldom attached to “blockbuster” — rolled to the kind of runaway success that makes Hollywood sit up and take notice. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photo.
NEW YORK — Looking for a lyric soprano who can parachute into your production at the last minute, sing melodiously and then die movingly? At the Metropolitan Opera these days, they send out for Sonya Yoncheva. Yoncheva is in New York singing four performances as Violetta, the glamorous courtesan who finds love too late, in Verdi’s “La Traviata, By Mike Silverman. AP Photo.
TV CRITICS WATCH-ANNIE LENNOX
PASADENA, California — Annie Lennox says online criticism leveled at her remarks about the anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” was hurtful. By Television Writer Lynn Elber.
WILD-PACIFIC CREST TRAIL
More hikers are expected on the Pacific Crest Trail this year thanks to the movie “Wild,” according to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, which preserves and promotes the trail. The book “Wild,” which has been a best-seller for nearly two years, led to a small increase in inquiries about the trail, “but the movie seems to have had a much bigger effect,” said Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the Pacific Crest Trail Association. “This past December, compared to last year, our website traffic went up 300 percent. By Beth J. Harpaz.
SELMA AFTER MOVIE
SELMA, Alabama — The 50th anniversary of the civil rights marches in Selma and the movie that tells the story are expected to bring thousands of visitors to this historic Alabama city this year. Visitors can still walk across the bridge where voting rights marchers were beaten in 1965 and see the churches where they organized protests. By Phillip Rawls.