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BC-AP Americas Digest

March 28, 2014

TOP STORIES:

AP POLL-HEALTH OVERHAUL

WASHINGTON — Public support for President Barack Obama’s health care law — his signature domestic achievement — is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.

AP Photo, video.

With:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-SIGNUPS — President Barack Obama’s heath care overhaul, back on track after a stumbling start, has reached a milestone, with more than 6 million Americans signed up for coverage through new insurance markets.

CONGRESS-RUSSIA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress spoke with one voice against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, overwhelmingly backing legislation in the House and Senate to aid cash-strapped Ukraine and punish Russia in a show of solidarity with President Barack Obama. By Deb Riechmann and Donna Cassata.

MUDSLIDE

DARRINGTON, Washington — Weary rescuers in hip waders pressed through rain and their own exhaustion, searching for more bodies and perhaps a miracle atop the pile of filth and debris that laid waste to a Washington town and killed at least 26 people. By Manuel Valdes and Matt Volz.

AP Photos, video.

VENEZUELA-UNREST

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Nicolas Maduro has agreed to enter talks with Venezuela’s opposition with the help of an outside facilitator, according to a group of visiting South American foreign ministers. By Luis Alonso Lugo and Hannah Dreier. SENT at 500 words. AP Photos.

MEXICO-BIRTHS IN THE STREETS

MEXICO CITY — Women’s rights advocates sought international help in ending what they call a pattern of poor indigenous Mexican women being turned away from hospitals while in labor, forcing them to give birth on lawns, patios or parking lots. By Adriana Gomez Licon. SENT at 775 words. AP Photos.

ARGENTINA-ECONOMY

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s cash-strapped government is cutting utility subsidies and trying to borrow for the first time in years as teachers, public health workers and other former allies take to the streets demanding pay raises to match some of the world’s highest inflation. By Michael Warren.

AP Photos.

HAITI-DROUGHT

BOMBARDOPOLIS, Haiti — A drought is ravaging northwestern Haiti, a deeply impoverished region isolated by a lack of roads that even in the best of times can barely feed itself because of heavy winds, scant rainfall and poor soil conditions. The World Food Program will distribute cereal and vegetable to families to hold them over, the U.N. agency hopes, until rainfall resumes in the coming weeks. By Trenton Daniel.

AP Photos, video.

TEXAS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS

AUSTIN, Texas — A federal appeals court upholds Texas’ tough abortion restrictions that have forced the closure of about 20 clinics around the state, saying the new rules don’t jeopardize women’s health. By Will Weissert.

AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

CUBA FOREIGN INVESTMENT

HAVANA — Cuba convenes an extraordinary session of parliament this weekend to consider a proposed new law that aims to make it more attractive for foreigners to do business with the island. Economists say it’s Cuba’s last-gasp hope to meet near-term economic goals by luring more foreign investment, but President Raul Castro’s government has high hurdles to clear if it’s going to convince skeptical businesspeople. By Peter Orsi.

AP Photos.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-CINEMACON-WARNER BROS

LAS VEGAS — Footage of the sci-fi drama “Transcendence” previewed at CinemaCon in Las Vegas shows an eerily convincing Johnny Depp as a terminally ill scientist turned unruly machine in the Wally Pfister film that asks: What if we could upload a human mind into a computer? By Jessica Herndon.

AP Photos.

SPORTS:

YOUNG ATHLETES-GLOBAL VIEW

UNDATED — The U.S. college sports system, which generates billions of dollars and draws millions of fans and viewers every year, is a rarity across the globe. Other nations are puzzled about the concept of student amateurism, and how college students can compete in front of full stadiums and have their jerseys sold, but don’t receive a salary.

AP Photo.

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