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BC-AP Americas Digest

October 1, 2014

TOP STORIES:

EBOLA

DALLAS — The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed Tuesday in a patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas — a sign of the far-reaching impact of the out-of-control epidemic in West Africa. The unidentified man was critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday, federal health officials say. They would not reveal his nationality or age. By David Warren and Lauran Neergaard. AP Photos. AP Video.

With: EBOLA TREATMENTS-MOVER; EBOLA-Q&A; EBOLA-TIMELINE.

SECRET SERVICE

WASHINGTON — Under withering criticism from Congress, the director of the Secret Service admits failures in her agency’s critical mission of protecting the president but repeatedly sidestepped key questions about how a knife-carrying intruder penetrated ring after ring of security before finally being tackled deep inside the White House. By Alicia A. Caldwell and Eileen Sullivan. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-ISRAEL

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet for the first time since a rash of civilian casualties during Israel’s summer war with Hamas heightened tensions between two leaders who have long had a prickly relationship. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-INDIA

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama showers praise on India’s new prime minister in an Oval Office meeting that sought to infuse new energy into the two countries’ sluggish relationship. Yet for all the pomp and pageantry, there were few signs that Obama and Narendra Modi had resolved vexing issues that have often kept the two democracies at arm’s length. By Josh Lederman. AP Photos.

With: FASTING GUEST.

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN

WASHINGTON — After lengthy delays, U.S. and Afghan officials sign a security pact to keep American troops in Afghanistan beyond year’s end, aiming to prevent the country from descending into the kind of chaos that has plagued Iraq following the Pentagon’s withdrawal. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-ISLAMIC STATE

WASHINGTON —The Pentagon is grappling with significant intelligence gaps as it bombs Iraq and Syria, and it is operating under less restrictive targeting rules than those President Barack Obama imposed on the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan and Yemen, according to current and former U.S. officials. By Intelligence Writer Ken Dilanian.

OBAMA-MIDTERM-MESSAGE

President Barack Obama’s escalating military campaign in Iraq and Syria has drowned out the economic pitch he hoped would help salvage a midterm election that has been favoring Republicans. But the airstrikes against Islamic State extremists have also introduced a new complicating factor into the campaign, forcing both sides to reassess their closing political messages. By Jim Kuhnhenn and Julie Pace.

MEXICO-ARMY SLAYINGS

MEXICO CITY — Three soldiers have been charged with homicide in the June killings of 22 suspected gang members in southern Mexico, the government announces. By Mark Stevenson. AP Photos.

MEXICO-VIOLENCE

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Fourteen of the 57 students reported missing after weekend shootings that killed six people in the southern state of Guerrero have been located, officials say. Some were found in their homes or at school, and a search was continuing for the 43 teachers college students still unaccounted for.

OKLAHOMA WORKPLACE BEHEADING

NORMAN, Oklahoma — A man apparently uttered Arabic words during an attack in which he allegedly severed a co-worker’s head, but the killing appeared to have more to do with the man’s suspension from his job than his recent conversion to Islam, a prosecutor said Tuesday. By Sean Murphy. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-ELECTION

SAO PAULO — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has climbed in two election polls, opening a solid runoff vote lead in one but remaining in a technical tie with her chief rival in another. By Adriana Gomez Licon and Brad Brooks. AP Photos..

BRAZIL-ELECTION-RELIGION

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s rapid religious transformation is reverberating through the country’s tight presidential race, where abortion and gay marriage have emerged as hot-button issues and Pentecostal televangelists could be political power brokers. By Brad Brooks.

IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is initiating a program to give refugee status to some young people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. By Jim Kuhnhenn.

MISSING STUDENT

RICHMOND, Virginia — They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night, on or near the University of Virginia campus. One was found dead nearly five years ago. The other is still missing. Now police say there’s a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of British-born Hannah Graham: Forensic evidence found as a result of the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., who fled the state after being questioned by police in the Graham case. By Larry O’Dell. AP Photos. AP Video.

SUPREME COURT-GAY MARRIAGE

WASHINGTON — The fastest and surest path to marriage for same-sex couples in some parts of the United States would be for the Supreme Court to surprise everyone and decline to get involved in the issue right now. By Mark Sherman.

EMBASSY BOMBINGS

NEW YORK — A judge accepts the guilty plea of an Egyptian lawyer in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa, saying the government acted reasonably in reducing charges against him. By Larry Neumeister.

SAME-SEX DIVORCE

NEW YORK — Cori Jo Long, 31, and Brooke Powell, 30, did everything right before they married. They fell in love slowly, based on years of friendship stretching back to high school. They planned their nuptials carefully for about a year, choosing to travel from Texas to New Hampshire in 2010 as same-sex marriage spread. Sadly, bad times set in three years later, but uncoupling has proven far more difficult. The two women are now trapped in a state of bitter, desperate “wedlock,” an emerging antithesis to same-sex marriage victories for those who want to divorce but can’t find a way around legal snarls that prevent it. Texas doesn’t recognize the marriage of Long and Powell, and a judge there ruled recently he had no jurisdiction to either void the union or formally grant a divorce. By Leanne Italie. AP Photo.

WEALTH GAP-EDUCATION

WASHINGTON — Education is supposed to help bridge the gap between the wealthiest people and everyone else. Ask the experts, and they’ll count the ways: Preschool can lift children from poverty. Top high schools prepare students for college. A college degree boosts pay over a lifetime. And the U.S. economy would grow faster if more people stayed in school longer. Plenty of data back them up. But the data also show something else: Wealthier parents have been stepping up education spending so aggressively that they’re widening the nation’s wealth gap. By Economics Writer Josh Boak. AP Photos.

BUSINESS:

MICROSOFT-WINDOWS FUTURE

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft is trying to soften an unpopular redesign of Windows by reviving features from older versions while still attempting to nudge desktop users into a world of touch screens and mobile devices. By Technology Writer Brandon Bailey. AP Photo.

EBAY-PAYPAL SPLIT

NEW YORK — PayPal’s impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors such as Amazon.com and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challenger Apple Pay. For eBay, the challenge will be how to drive revenue without its fastest-growing division. By Business Writer Mae Anderson. AP Photo.

OIL TRAIN SAFETY

WASHINGTON — The oil and railroad industries are urging U.S. regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday. The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires. By Joan Lowy. AP Photo.

EXXON-FRACKING DISCLOSURE

NEW YORK — Exxon Mobil issues a report that acknowledges the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing but also defends the practice as being better for the environment than other types of energy production and generation. By Energy Writer Jonathan Fahey.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT:

TV-ANNA GUNN

LOS ANGELES — The average TV binge viewer is indulging in catch-up. When Anna Gunn dove headlong into the British crime drama “Broadchurch,” it was homework. Gunn stars as police Detective Ellie Miller in Fox’s “Gracepoint,” an adaptation of the moodily gripping U.K. series that’s been uprooted from a seaside English town to a Northern California one that’s more scenic but no less fraught with pain. By Television Writer Lynn Elber.

TRACY MORGAN-ACCIDENT

NEWARK, New Jersey — Tracy Morgan says he “can’t believe” Wal-Mart’s assertion that he and others were partly to blame for their injuries in the highway crash on the New Jersey Turnpike that killed one of his friends. By David Porter. AP Photo.

MUSIC-JOSHUA BELL

WASHINGTON — Acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell brought Bach to a train station Tuesday, as he did in 2007, but this time Washington noticed. Hundreds of music fans packed the main hall at Union Station near the Capitol shoulder to shoulder to hear the 46-year-old Bell perform works by Bach and Mendelssohn for the lunch hour crowd, along with nine young musicians he has mentored. By Brett Zongker. AP Photos.

THEATER-Q&A-ANDREA MARTIN

NEW YORK — The Tony- and Emmy-winning comedian Andrea Martin reveals that she suffered from bulimia and plenty more in her book “Andrea Martin’s Lady Parts,” a series of essays that discuss her childhood, her career and a slightly mad devotion to her hairdresser. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. AP Photos.

BOOKS-Q&A-LENA DUNHAM

NEW YORK — In the pilot episode of “Girls,” Lena Dunham’s character, Hannah, tells her parents that she believes she’s meant to share her writing talent with others. “I think I may be the voice of my generation,” her character said with a pause, “or at least the voice of a generation.” Dunham is now providing a voice for other millennials on the HBO comedy series that follows a group of girls in their mid-20s, on her Twitter account and in her new book, “Not That Kind of Girl” (Random House). By Alicia Rancilio. AP Photos.

SPORTS:

MICHAEL PHELPS-ARREST

Michael Phelps’ comeback has been sidetracked by more trouble away from the pool. The 18-time Olympic champion was arrested on DUI charges early Tuesday — for the second time in a decade — another embarrassment for a swimmer who came out of retirement this year with his sights set on competing at the Rio Games. Phelps issued an apology that sounded very familiar to the ones he made after a drunken-driving arrest a decade ago, as well as when a British tabloid published a photograph in 2009 that showed him using a marijuana pipe. By Paul Newberry. AP Photos.

FEATURES:

TRAVEL-TRIP-COUNTRY MUSIC MUSEUM

BRISTOL, Virginia — The sounds of some of the earliest country music recordings are filling a new museum. But the Birthplace of Country Music Museum is not located in Nashville. Instead, it’s in Bristol, a small town on the Tennessee-Virginia state line. The museum aims to tell the story of the Bristol Sessions, a series of historic recording sessions that took place here in 1927 and helped spread what was then known as “hillbilly music” to the rest of the country. By Jeff Martin. AP Photos.

GO FOR THE FOOD-GRAPE STOMP

TURNER, Oregon — There is one thing that the people at Willamette Valley Vineyards want you to know about their annual grape stomp. It is a very important point, one they make several times. “We do not use the grapes that people stomp in our wines,” said Wende Bennette. “Please tell everyone that.” By Nigel Duara. AP Photos.

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