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BC-AP Americas Digest

February 12, 2014

TOP STORIES:

SALVADOR-SEA SURVIVOR

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A fisherman who says he drifted at sea for more than a year finally makes it home, exhausted and speechless. Jose Salvador Alvarenga seems to break down in tears when he tries to address a media throng eager to fill in his tale for the ages: a man swept across the Pacific in a small boat, surviving on raw fish, turtles and bird blood. By Marcos Aleman. AP Photos.

STATE DINNER

WASHINGTON — French President Francois Hollande sits between President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at a state dinner, putting to rest the drama about his solo trip to the U.S. after a very public breakup from his first lady. AP Photos.

UN-SYRIA-HUMANITARIAN

UNITED NATIONS — Western powers push forward with a U.N. resolution threatening sanctions against Syria despite Russia’s veto threat, with President Barack Obama sharply criticizing Moscow’s opposition to a measure to help millions in desperate need of humanitarian aid. By Edith M. Lederer.

HAITI-CHRISTIAN SUMMIT-PHOTO ESSAY

BOIS-NEUF, Haiti — Christian pilgrims came to the barren mountainside by the thousands, seeking favors and spiritual renewal. It was one of Haiti’s biggest religious gatherings in recent years, and although organized by a Roman Catholic center, the event had an evangelical feel, and some elements of Voodoo. With photo essay by Dieu Nalio Chery. SENT: 260 words, photos.

PANAMA CANAL HERO

PANAMA CITY — He has the weight of Panama’s pride, and a good chunk of global commerce, on his shoulders. But weeks of acrimonious, late night negotiations to rescue the Panama Canal’s $5.25 billion expansion haven’t taken a toll on Jorge Quijano, the canal’s top administrator who lives in a century-old plantation home among the ghosts of 17 American governors who lorded over the canal zone until 1979. By Joshua Goodman. AP Photo.

WASHINGTON-DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM

OLYMPIA, Washington — Washington state’s governor says he is suspending the use of the death penalty, saying he hopes it will enable officials to “join a growing national conversation about capital punishment.” AP Photos.

HAITI-REGISTRATION

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti is launching a program to register its migrants who live without documentation abroad, including in the Dominican Republic, where thousands of people of Haitian origin are in danger of being left stateless by a court ruling. By Trenton Daniel. AP Photo.

CARIBBEAN-TOURISM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Caribbean tourists are spending more money during their visits to the region, with the jump in expenditures surpassing the rise in arrivals for the first time in three years, according to new statistics. By Danica Coto. AP Photo.

BRAZIL-SAVING THE ARMADILLO

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil will begin a program meant to save the endangered three-banded armadillo, the mascot for this year’s World Cup, the Environment Ministry announces. By Bradley Brooks. AP Photo.

BUSINESS

PUERTO RICO-ECONOMY

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The last of three major credit rating agencies downgrades Puerto Rico’s debt by two notches to junk status. By Danica Coto. AP Photo.

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