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BC-AP-Americas Digest

September 6, 2013

TOP NEWS:

NSA CODE BREAKING

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Security Agency, working with the British government, has secretly been unraveling encryption technology that billions of Internet users rely upon to keep their electronic messages and confidential data safe from prying eyes, according to published reports based on internal U.S. government documents. By Jack Gillum.

SYRIA-MILITARY TRAINING

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials tell The Associated Press. By Lolita C. Baldor.

SYRIA SECURITY COUNCIL

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power shrugs off President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia might support a U.N. resolution authorizing military force against Syria, saying Moscow has held the Security Council “hostage” on the Syria crisis and Washington does not expect that to change. By Peter James Spielmann.

OBAMA’S SYRIA GAMBLE-ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has taken a huge political gamble at home and abroad by asking Congress to sign off on his plans to use air power to punish Syrian leader Basher Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons. By Steven R. Hurst.

WESTERN WILDFIRES-YOSEMITE

SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — A gigantic wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park was caused by an illegal fire set by a hunter, the U.S. Forest Service says. By Tracie Cone. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-TAXED ART

RIO DE JANEIRO — Gallery owners and collectors are crowding ArtRio, one of the world’s top art fairs, yet they say its walls full of art could be even better. The wealthy connoisseurs say the problem is taxes — Brazil’s steep import tariffs on fine art that can almost double the price of pieces bought abroad. That leads many to simply leave their top works outside the country. By Jenny Barchfield and Bradley Brooks. AP Photos.

CUBA-PANCHO THE PELICAN

HAVANA — Pancho the Pelican apparently prefers the company of humans to his own kind, and the grit of the big city to a life spent soaring through the breeze above the Caribbean Sea. The wayward seabird has become the toast of 23rd Street, a bustling Havana thoroughfare where the 2-foot-tall Pancho waddles down the sidewalk to the delight of children strolling with parents and drivers of 1950s Chevrolets rumbling past. By Andrea Rodriguez. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-US

RIO DE JANEIRO — President Dilma Rousseff cancels a trip to Washington by a team of aides preparing for her scheduled visit to the U.S. next month and later meets privately with President Barack Obama at a summit in Russia amid Brazil’s concerns about U.S. spying. By Bradley Brooks. AP Photos.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-VATICAN AMBASSADOR

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — The Vatican’s recently recalled ambassador to the Dominican Republic has not been accused of child sex abuse, Roman Catholic Church officials say, while refusing to shed any light on the envoy’s sudden ouster. By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez. AP Photos.

BANGLADESH-ACTIVIST ARRESTED

WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi human rights activist whose arrest last month drew U.S. criticism must be held accountable for circulating “false information” about fatalities during recent unrest, the nation’s top diplomat says. By Matthew Pennington.

CHILE-VICTOR JARA

SANTIAGO, Chile — The family of Victor Jara claims to have solved the 40-year-old mystery of who killed the revered folk singer during Chile’s 1973 coup, and they’re preparing to prove it in a federal courtroom in Florida, invoking rarely used U.S. laws that address human rights violations committed elsewhere. By Frederick Bernas and Luis Andres Henao. AP Photos.

With: CUBA-PRESIDENT-HUMAN RIGHTS.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH-DIVORCE

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — George Zimmerman’s wife files for divorce, less than two months after her husband was acquitted of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin and a week after she pleaded guilty to perjury in his case. By Kyle Hightower.

CARIBBEAN-WATER WOES

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Experts are sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for parts of the Caribbean — the depletion of already strained drinking water throughout much of the region. By Danica Coto. AP Photo.

HEROIN TRAFFICKER-SENTENCING

CHICAGO (AP) — A longtime fugitive is sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in leading one of the world’s largest heroin networks, which extended from suppliers in Thailand to distributors working out of a boutique in Chicago. By Michael Tarm. AP Photos.

CRUISE SHIP POLLUTION

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world’s largest cruise ship company will adopt technology from power plants and automobiles to reduce air pollution from the massive diesel engines powering its ships. By Dina Capiello. AP Photos.

MISSING WOMEN FOUND-SUICIDE

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The family of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro plans to claim his body as investigations sought to determine how a man who was perhaps Ohio’s most notorious prisoner managed to hang himself with a bedsheet while in protective custody. By Julie Carr Smyth. AP Photos.

ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES

ATLANTA (AP) — Children — like adults — are increasingly trying electronic cigarettes, according to the first large U.S. study to gauge use by teenage students. By Mike Stobbe.

DEATH ROW WOMAN

PHOENIX (AP) — More than two decades after she was sent to death row, an Arizona woman convicted of having her 4-year-old son killed for an insurance payout could soon be freed while she awaits a retrial of the case that made her one of the state’s most reviled inmates. By Paul Davenport and Bob Christie.

ELECTRIC RENTAL CARS-ORLANDO

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — Visitors to Orlando often try new things while on vacation: thrilling roller coasters, luxury hotels, different cuisines. Now they can try out a fully electric car — and not have to pay for gas during their vacation. By Tamara Lush.

SCHULLER-CANCER

GARDEN GROVE, California (AP) — Crystal Cathedral founder and former televangelist the Rev. Robert H. Schuller has been diagnosed with cancer, his daughter says.

DRUG RAID-HORSE TRACK

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The brother of two Mexican cartel leaders are sentenced to 20 years in prison for running a money laundering operation from a sprawling horse ranch in Oklahoma. By Chris Tomlinson. AP Photos.

NY FASHION WEEK-DAY 1

NEW YORK (AP) — Previews of spring styles officially start at New York Fashion Week, but the crowd here always likes to get a jump on things, so the stylists, editors, retailers, models and celebrities were drawn to a slew of early events, including the Style Awards at the Lincoln Center tents that serve as a hub for the next eight days. By Samantha Critchell. AP Photos.

BUSINESS:

SMITHFIELD FOODS-INSIDER TRADING

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators say a resident of Thailand has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle civil charges of trading on inside knowledge of a takeover bid for Smithfield Foods Inc. by a big Chinese company. By Marcy Gordon.

VOLKSWAGEN-UNION

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) — Volkswagen managers have confirmed in a letter to employees that the automaker is in talks with the United Auto Workers about establishing a German-style “works council” at its Tennessee assembly plant. By Erik Schelzig. AP Photos.

ROMANIAN HACKERS

CONCHORD, New Hampshire (AP) — Two Romanian computer hackers who stole credit card information from more 800 U.S. merchants and more than 150,000 credit and debit card holders have been given lengthy prison sentences by a federal judge in New Hampshire. By Lynne Tuohy.

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