BC-AP Americas Digest
HOUSTON — President Barack Obama was 2 years old when President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and put an end to schools, restaurants and water fountains separated by race. Half a century later, the first black man to become president is commemorating the accomplishment and recommitting the nation to fighting the deep inequalities that remain. By Josh Lederman. Eds: Obama speaks in Austin after 12:50 p.m. EDT.
UNITED NATIONS-CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
UNITED NATIONS — France is predicting that the U.N. Security Council will vote unanimously Thursday to authorize a nearly 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force for Central African Republic, which has been torn by mounting violence between Christians and Muslims. By Edith M. Lederer. Eds: Security Council meets at 10 a.m. EDT.
MEXICO CITY — About a dozen Honduran migrants who lost legs and arms after falling from trains during northbound journeys across Mexico ask the country’s Senate to stop the government’s persecution of Central Americans, protect them from criminal gangs and contribute money to shelters for their care. By Mark Stevenson.
FRESNO, California — A suspected contract killer charged in California with killing nine people confesses to investigators that he carried out up to 40 slayings in a career spanning decades, a prosecutor says. By Scott Smith and Kim Chandler.
HIGH SCHOOL STABBINGS
MURRYSVILLE, Pennsylvania — A 16-year-old boy with a “blank expression” flailed away with two kitchen knives, stabbing and slashing 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school before an assistant principal tackled him. By Kevin Begos and Joe Mandak.
AP Photos, video.
HAVANA — Cuba’s government says it has launched a probe into how hundreds of thousands of customer cellphone numbers fell into the hands of a U.S. government program that used them to secretly set up a mobile-based, Twitter-like social network on the island. By Andrea Rodriguez..
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, a former Trinidad and Tobago prime minister who was held hostage for days and shot during a bloody 1990 coup attempt, dies after a prolonged illness. He was 87. By Tony Fraser.
PUERTO RICO-BIOLUMINESCENT BAY
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Authorities in Puerto Rico announce that they are investigating why a glowing bay that attracts thousands of tourists a year has grown dark in recent weeks. By Danica Coto.
MEXICO CITY — A new political scandal is revealing depths of corruption that are startling even Mexicans jaded by decades of widespread official wrongdoing. As the country struggles to combat a surge in extortion, it turns out federal lawmakers may have been working their own extortion scheme. A series of mayors have come forward to allege that they were forced to provide kickbacks to senators and congressmen in order to receive federal public works funding. Federal prosecutors have launched an investigation seen by many as a test of the new administration’s will to combat corruption. By E. Eduardo Castillo.
WINTER PARK — A car smashes into an Orlando-area day care, killing a girl and injuring 14 others, at least a dozen of them children, officials say. Authorities were searching for the driver of the SUV that started the chain reaction crash then left the scene. By Suzette Laboy and Mike Schneider.
ROSA PARKS ARCHIVE
WASHINGTON — At a time when interest in civil rights memorabilia is rekindled, a lifetime’s worth of Rosa Parks’ belongings — among them her Presidential Medal of Freedom — sits in a New York warehouse, unseen and unsold. An eight-year legal fight between Parks’ heirs and her friends — a struggle similiar to the court battle among Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs — led to the memorabilia being taken away from her home city of Detroit and offered up to the highest bidder. So far, no high bidder has emerged.
INTERNET SECURITY THREAT
SAN FRANCISCO — A confounding computer bug called “Heartbleed” is causing major security headaches across the Internet as websites scramble to fix the problem and Web surfers wonder whether they should change their passwords to prevent theft of their email accounts, credit card numbers and other sensitive information. By Michael Liedtke and Anick Jesdanun.
NEW YORK —Twitter is seeking to broaden its appeal beyond its 241 million users with a redesign of user profiles that includes bigger photos and a distinct resemblance to Facebook. The more visual look is an attempt to attract the kind of people who may be put off by the quirky language of at-symbols and hashtags —and the onslaught of text— for which the service is known. By Barbara Ortutay.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT:
LOS ANGELES — Julia Louis-Dreyfus better hope her latest tattoo is a temporary one. The cover image of next month’s Rolling Stone magazine featuring the “Veep” star depicts a nude Louis-Dreyfus with a tattoo of the U.S. Constitution signed by John Hancock across her back. The problem is Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.