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BC-AP Americas Digest

September 17, 2014

TOP STORIES:

OBAMA-EBOLA

ATLANTA — President Barack Obama calls the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a threat to world security and broadly expands the U.S. response by ordering thousands of troops to the region along with an aggressive effort to train health care workers and build treatment centers. By Jim Kuhnhenn. AP Photos.

With: OBAMA-EBOLA-GLANCE; UNITED NATIONS-EBOLA.

CONGRESS-ISLAMIC STATE

WASHINGTON — Wary House lawmakers are on track to give President Barack Obama authority to order U.S. military training and arms for moderate rebels confronting the growing danger of Islamic State militants making gains in Iraq and Syria. Obama was likely to get his wish despite worries from hawks in both parties that his response was insufficient to battle terrorists who have overrun wide swaths of Iraq and Syria. By Andrew Taylor. AP Photos.

With: DEMPSEY-ISLAMIC STATE. Top U.S general says half of Iraq’s army unsuitable to partner with U.S. against Islamic State.

TROPICAL WEATHER

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s government airlifts thousands of stranded foreign tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort of Los Cabos, as a weakened Odile heads over the Gulf of California on a path toward the U.S. state of Arizona. By Peter Orsi. 500 words, photos

HOLDER INTERVIEW

WASHINGTON — Broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities, the Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday. By Eric Tucker. AP Photos.

POLICE SHOOTING-MISSOURI

CLAYTON, Missouri — Protesters seeking the immediate arrest of the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old loudly disrupt another government meeting, renewing calls to remove the county prosecutor investigating the case and vowing political retaliation against an elected official tied to the prosecutor. By Alan Scher Zagier. AP Photos.

UNITED NATIONS-GENERAL ASSEMBLY

UNITED NATIONS — Sam Kutesa began his first day as president of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday by describing the current year as “tumultuous” and the year ahead as “momentous” for the United Nations as it marks its 70th anniversary. By Trenton Daniel.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

WEED, California — Fire crews aided by calmer winds and aircraft knocked down a wildfire Tuesday that damaged or destroyed 150 homes, the saw mill and a church and forced more than 1,000 people to flee a small town. By Jeff Barnard. AP Photos.

BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION

WASHINGTON — The House Select Committee on Benghazi is getting its public debut two years after militants in the eastern Libyan city killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, and four months after Republicans launched their special investigation. By Bradley Klapper. AP Photos.

VENEZUELA-STUDENT ACTIVISTS

CARACAS, Venezuela — Two Venezuelan activists recently deported by Colombia have surfaced in a video that purportedly shows them discussing plans to stockpile weapons and launch attacks on government targets in apparent attempt to destabilize President Nicolas Maduro’s rule. By Jorge Rueda and Joshua Goodman.

CANADA-QUEBEC-SCOTLAND

Quebec’s separatists are watching closely this week to see if the Scottish independence movement has learned from their failed attempts to break away from Canada. And it could be rejuvenated if Scotland breaks away from the United Kingdom. By Benjamin Singler. AP Photos.

COMMERCIAL SPACE-CREW

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. On Tuesday, the space agency picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-ELECTION

SAO PAULO — The race for Brazil’s next president is a toss-up, with late entrant Marina Silva polling ahead of incumbent Dilma Rousseff in a second-round vote. Who becomes the next leader of Latin America’s biggest nation could have a big impact on Brazil’s regional stance. Silva has signaled that she would lessen the importance of Mercosur and focus on bilateral trade agreements with the U.S. and Europe. Her political program also indicates she would give less support to leftist governments like Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia. By Adriana Gomez Licon. AP Photos.

BRAZIL-COMMUNITY POLICING-PHOTO GALLERY

EL ALTO, Bolivia — The women and men march in formation across a local school yard on the weekends, training as citizen volunteers in the city of El Alto’s fight against crime. .

GANG COLORS

HARTFORD, Connecticut — Nearly gone are the gang days of the 1980s and ’90s, when the Bloods wore head-to-toe red, the Crips wore blue and Latin Kings wore black and gold. Gangs across the U.S. have toned down their use of colors and are even removing or altering tattoos to avoid being easily identified by police and witnesses, law enforcement officials say. By Dave Collins. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON — Financial markets are awaiting the end of a Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday to see whether the Fed sends any clearer signal about the timing of an interest rate increase. The phrase that investors will be alert for is “considerable time.” The presence or absence of those two words is viewed as key to the Fed’s timetable for a change in its key short-term rate. The Fed has kept that rate at a record low since December 2008. By Martin Crutsinger. AP Photo.

With: FED RATE GUIDANCE-GLANCE.

CONGRESS-AUTO SAFETY

WASHINGTON — Both houses of Congress scold the U.S. highway safety agency over its tardy handling of a deadly problem with General Motors cars, questioning whether it is competent to guarantee the safety of increasingly complex vehicles. By Joan Lowy and Tom Krisher. AP Photos.

NFL SPONSORSHIPS

Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch are adding to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League’s recent scandals, but the companies are stopping short of pulling advertising. By Mae Anderson. AP Photos.

TRUMP PLAZA CLOSING

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — The supervisor drew his finger in a slashing motion moments after the final hand of blackjack had been dealt at Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino. And with that, gambling was done. The 30-year-old casino at the heart of the Boardwalk shut its doors at 6 a.m. Tuesday, becoming the fourth Atlantic City casino to close this year. By Wayne Parry. AP Photos.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-ADAM DRIVER

TORONTO — It comes as something of a shock to be talking with Adam Driver and hear so little cursing. Nothing is thrown. No explicit sexual act is performed. Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” has obviously colored impressions of the 30-year-old actor, as has the kind of language often used to describe his performances — words like “primal,” ″animalistic” and “raw.” But the gulf between Driver and his “Girls” character (also named Adam), is surprisingly — and impressively — vast. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.

PEOPLE-OCTAVIA SPENCER

NEW YORK — As the offers poured in for Oscar winner Octavia Spencer to join the many other film actors who have recently transitioned to television, she was clear on what she wanted.For one, she didn’t want to do a sitcom. By Alicia Rancilio. AP Photos. AP Video.

MUSIC-WHITNEY HOUSTON

NEW YORK — A CD/DVD featuring Whitney Houston’s first public performance — and one of her last in 2009— will be released Nov. 10. “Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances” is the pop singer’s first live album. Her mentor, Clive Davis, said the album will showcase her legacy. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. AP Photo.

PEOPLE-JEWEL

LOS ANGELES — Jewel is planning an album for release next fall. But for now, she’s giving away her latest song for free. The once-homeless singer-songwriter wrote “Home to Me” to support the ReThink public housing initiative. Inspired by an online contest that drew hundreds of submissions, Jewel unveiled the track online Tuesday, where it’s available as a free download. She also performed it live at The Mint nightclub for an intimate audience of public housing administrators and residents. By Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen. AP Photos.

UNITED NATIONS-PEOPLE-DiCAPRIO

UNITED NATIONS — Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie roles have made him an international star, but his long and little-known commitment to preserving the global environment has led to his new role — as a U.N. Messenger of Peace. By Edith M. Lederer. AP Photo.

CBS-RIHANNA

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS and Rihanna are splitting up, more fallout from the Ray Rice domestic violence incident and the turmoil it has caused for the NFL. By Television Writer David Bauder. AP Photo.

FEATURES:

TRAVEL-TRIP-CHICAGO PIZZA TOURS

CHICAGO (AP) — In a city famous for its deep-dish pizza tourists wouldn’t know that the locals more often eat a thinner-crust, tavern-style pie topped with homemade Italian sausage and cut into squares, not slices — unless they went on a pizza tour. By Caryn Rousseau. AP Photos.

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