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BC-AP Americas Digest

May 23, 2014

TOP STORIES:

OBAMA-FOREIGN POLICY

WASHINGTON — White House officials have been holding private meetings this week aimed at soothing lawmakers’ concerns over the U.S. posture in Syria, the future of the American military presence in Afghanistan, and defense spending. The meetings come as a frustrated White House seeks to push back at criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy. By Julie Pace and Donna Cassata.

AP Photo.

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA-CHINA-ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is playing down an increasingly warm relationship between its main global rivals, China and Russia, that it may have inadvertently encouraged. Yet, many believe Russia and China may now or may soon represent a powerful new alliance challenging not only the United States, but also the Western democratic tradition that the U.S. has championed globally. An AP News Analysis. By Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee.

AP photos.

NSA SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON — The House has moved the U.S. closer to ending the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, the most significant demonstration to date of leaker Edward Snowden’s impact on the debate over privacy versus security. By Ken Dilanian.

AP Photos.

COLOMBIA-ELECTION

BOGOTA, Colombia — Accusations of bribes from drug traffickers, spying and email hacking have turned Colombia’s presidential election into an ugly slugfest that has further polarized a country trying to emerge from its violent past. By Joshua Goodman.

AP photos.

VENEZUELA-AIRLINE CRISIS

CARACAS, Venezuela — Blame it on the World Cup. That’s what Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is doing to explain why airlines are slashing flights to the crisis-plagued South American nation. By Jorge Rueda.

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VENEZUELA-OBIT-LUSINCHI

CARACAS, Venezuela — Former Venezuelan President Jaime Lusinchi, who struggled to tame an economic crisis sparked by plunging oil prices in the late 1980s and then saw his reputation tarnished by allegations of corruption after leaving office, has died at age 89. By Jorge Rueda.

AP photos.

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS-PROTECTING SHARKS

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The British Virgin Islands declared its territorial waters a sanctuary for all shark species to help protect the marine predators whose global numbers have been dramatically dwindling. By David McFadden.

AP photo.

BUSINESS:

GENERAL MOTORS-RECALL

DETROIT — General Motors is telling Wall Street that a recent spate of recalls may last until mid-summer as the company continues to review unresolved safety issues. By Tom Krisher.

AP Photo.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

SHIELD ACTOR-WIFE KILLING

LOS ANGELES — Actor Michael Jace, who played a police officer in the TV series “The Shield,” was charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife in their Los Angeles home. Jace, 51, appeared in court briefly and spoke just once to confirm that he wanted his arraignment delayed until a June 18 hearing. By Anthony McCartney.

AP Photos.

FEATURES:

BOLIVIA-MINI-MANSIONS

EL ALTO, Bolivia — Brash, baroque and steeped in native Andean symbols, the mini-mansions are a striking sight on the caked-dirt streets of El Alto, the inexorably expanding sister city of Bolivia’s capital. They attest to a new class of indigenous nouveau riche, many of them merchants who converted street stalls into fortunes. By Paola Flores

AP photos.

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