BC-AP Americas Digest,1st Ld-Writethru
TORONTO — Justin Bieber was charged with assault for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head last month, just hours after his attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges. By Rob Gillies.
WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders plan to outline broad immigration principles, including legalization for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally, to the Republican Party rank and file as they look to revive long-stalled efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
BONNE TERRE, Missouri — A Missouri man who killed a jeweler during a 1991 robbery was executed for the crime, marking the state’s third lethal injection in as many months. By Jim Salter.
TORONTO — Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is being sued by his sister’s ex-boyfriend for allegedly conspiring to have the man beaten in jail to prevent Ford’s illicit behaviors from becoming known. By Rob Gillies.
ARGENTINA-ECONOMIC SURVIVAL KIT
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Consumer prices are soaring, the treasury is running low on foreign currency and the peso has had its sharpest slide in 12 years. Instead of rioting, Argentines are falling back on tried and true survival skills to cope with the turmoil. By Almudena Calatrava and Debora Rey.
MEXICO CITY — The number of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico has plunged to its lowest level since studies began in 1993, and experts warn that the insects’ annual migration from the U.S. and Canada is in danger of disappearing. They blame the displacement of Monarch-favored milkweed by genetically modified crops in the U.S. and the dramatic reduction of the butterflies’ habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging. By Mark Stevenson.
AP Photos. AP Graphic.
HAVANA — Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean signed a resolution declaring the region a “zone of peace” Wednesday, pledging to resolve their disputes as respectful neighbors without the use of arms. By Peter Orsi.
CUBA-LATAM SUMMIT-SUIT RANT
HAVANA — War! Imperialism! Racism! Formal attire! One after another, Latin American leaders denounce the ills of the world at a regional summit. It falls to famously casual Jose Mujica, the Uruguayan president, to tackle a subtler evil plaguing humankind: the business suit. By Peter Orsi.
MANAGUA, Nicaragua —Nicaragua’s congress approves allowing the military chief of staff to hold his post indefinitely and letting the army take a bigger role in the economy, further concentrating power in the hands of longtime President Daniel Ortega and his allies. By Luis Manuel Galeano.
CHICAGO TERRORISM ARREST-SURVEILLANCE
CHICAGO — The U.S. government can’t keep secret its request to conduct clandestine surveillance of an accused attempted terrorist, a federal judge in a Chicago terrorism case says in a ruling that gives defense attorneys an unprecedented look at a request made to the country’s secret intelligence court for permission to spy on an American citizen. By Michael Tarm.
QUITO, Ecuador — A leading international human rights group accuses Ecuador’s government of severely undermining the independence of the country’s judiciary through the removal and naming of hundreds of judges following a 2011 referendum that endorsed reform. By Gonzalo Solano.
SAN FRANCISCO — Google is selling Motorola’s smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that makes Google’s biggest acquisition look like its most expensive mistake. By Michael Liedtke.
NEW YORK — Mobile advertising accounts for more than half of Facebook’s total ad revenue in the final quarter of last year, a sign that the social network born a decade ago in the desktop computer era is succeeding in its goal of being “mobile first.” By Barbara Ortutay.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
LOS ANGELES — Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with a humanitarian group after being criticized over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank. By Derrik J. Lang.