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BC-AP Americas Digest

June 17, 2014

TOP STORIES:

UNITED STATES-IRAQ

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is urgently deploying several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq and considering sending an additional contingent of special forces soldiers as Baghdad struggles to repel a rampant insurgency, even as the White House insists anew that America will not be dragged into another war. By Julie Pace and Lara Jakes. AP Photos. AP Video.

UNITED STATES-IRAQ-AMBASSADORS

WASHINGTON — A Senate logjam over confirming ambassadors risks hampering U.S. efforts to contain an expanding Islamist urgency in Iraq, with several of President Barack Obama’s nominees for the volatile Middle East unsure when they can get to work. By Bradley Klapper. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-AFGHANISTAN

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. has increased its surveillance over the Afghan-Pakistani border, as Pakistan pounds a militant stronghold with airstrikes. So far officials haven’t seen militants fleeing into Afghanistan to escape this latest offensive. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford says the U.S. is not coordinating military operations with Pakistan along the border, but officials have increased the amount of intelligence sharing with the Afghans. Dunford says officials have seen Pakistani families crossing the border to escape the military airstrikes that are hitting the country’s northwest. By Lolita C. Baldor.

ARGENTINA-DEBT

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentina’s president says her government won’t comply with U.S. court orders to repay defaulted bonds in full despite losing its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, setting the country’s economy on a precarious course. By Michael Warren. AP Photos.

SEVERE WEATHER

PILGER, Nebraska — At least one person was killed and 16 others were in critical condition after massive tornadoes swept through northeast Nebraska, destroying more than half of the town of Pilger, hospital and emergency officials say. By Josh Funk. AP Photos.

BERGDAHL-ARMY PROBE

WASHINGTON — The Army says it has begun investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the disappearance and capture of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan. It put a two-star general with Afghan combat experience in charge. By National Security Writer Robert Burns.

With: BERGDAHL-TALIBAN.

COLOMBIA-ELECTION

BOGOTA, Colombia — The pressure is on President Juan Manuel Santos to accelerate peace efforts after pinning his re-election on 18-month-old negotiations to end Colombia’s half-century conflict. By Frank Bajak and Libardo Cardona. AP Photos.

OBAMA-GAY RIGHTS

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the White House says. By White House Correspondent. AP Photo.

CONGRESS-FOREIGN AID

WASHINGTON — A House panel would impose new restrictions on the transfer of enemy combatants from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a reflection of congressional anger over President Barack Obama’s swap of five Taliban leaders for an American soldier held captive for five years in Afghanistan. By Donna Cassata.

DATA SURVEILLANCE LAWSUIT

NEW YORK — Microsoft Corp. and four other large American technology companies are using a Manhattan court case to draw a line in the cloud, saying the U.S. government has no right to seize computer data stored outside the country. By Larry Neumeister. AP Photo.

PRIESTS ATTACKED

PHOENIX — A homeless ex-convict beat a priest with a metal rod in his residence at a Phoenix church then wrestled away a handgun owned by the clergyman before fatally shooting the man’s assistant, police say as they announce an arrest in the case. By Brian Skoloff. AP Photos. AP Video.

SALVAGING DETROIT NEIGHBORHOODS

DETROIT — Homeowners in bankrupt Detroit see signs of hope in an aggressive home preservation plan that the city’s new mayor is using to lure people back into city neighborhoods. It’s no small task: more than 70,000 homes have been targeted for demolition or at-risk of becoming part of Detroit’s urban decay. By Corey Williams. AP Photo.

PERU-ANCIENT SHROUD

LIMA, Peru — A rare and fragile pre-Incan funeral shroud is displayed to reporters, part of the first batch of ancient Parac111111111as textiles that Sweden is returning to Peru 80 years after they were smuggled out by a diplomat. By Franklin Briceno. AP Photos.

CANADA-PIPELINE-CLINTON

TORONTO — Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline shouldn’t be seen as a proxy for the relationship between Canada and the United States. By Rob Gillies. AP Photos.

NAMED FOR BROOKLYN

NEW YORK — Maybe it’s the ultimate sign that New York City’s up-and-coming borough has finally arrived. Brooklyn is now one of the nation’s most popular baby names. Over the past two decades, Brooklyn as a name for girls has surged from No. 912 to the top 30 in each of the last three years. Some credit soccer star David Beckham and his wife, Victoria, for naming their son Brooklyn. Some cite actress Brooklyn Decker. Others point to “Girls” and the other TV shows and movies that tap into the borough’s gritty, cool vibe. But one thing is clear: Of the 41 states where Brooklyn is now the most popular girl’s name beginning with B, New York is not among them. Real Brooklynites say naming your child Brooklyn is strictly for out-of towners. By Michael R. Sisak.

BUSINESS:

WALL STREET

Investors nudge U.S. stocks into positive territory, thanks in part to another round of corporate couplings. By Business Writer Alex Veiga. AP Photo.

IMF-US ECONOMY

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy is poised to accelerate after a dismal start to the year even though the job market won’t return to full employment until 2017. That was the forecast offered in a report by the International Monetary Fund. By Economics Writer Josh Boak.

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON — When Federal Reserve officials gather this week and Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks with reporters, investors will be seeking clues to two big questions: When will the Fed finally start raising short-term interest rates? And how — and when — will it start unloading its vast investment holdings? The answers will affect loan rates for individuals and businesses — and perhaps the direction of the economy. Yet few expect to hear anything definitive. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger.

GM-RECALL

DETROIT — General Motors is recalling another 3 million cars because of a defect that causes a similar problem to one that led to an earlier massive recall of small cars, and is linked to 13 deaths. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.

With: GM-RECALL REPAIRS.

ALIBABA-IPO UPDATE

SAN FRANCISCO — Alibaba’s quarterly revenue growth has slipped to its slowest pace in six years, a development that could dampen demand to invest in the Chinese e-commerce company’s upcoming stock offering. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke. AP Photo.

ANTIGUA-CHINESE DEVELOPMENT

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The new government of Antigua & Barbuda has signed an agreement with Chinese investors to build a major resort and residential development project in the twin-island Caribbean nation. By David McFadden.

STARBUCKS-EDUCATION

NEW YORK — Starbucks is giving its baristas a shot at an online college degree, an unusual benefit in an industry where higher education is often out of reach for workers. The coffee chain is partnering with Arizona State University to make an online undergraduate degree available at a steep discount to any of its 135,000 U.S. employees who work at least 20 hours a week. By Food Industry Writer Candice Choi. AP Photos.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-CLINT EASTWOOD

NEW YORK — Amid the swirl of an early 1960s party scene in Clint Eastwood’s latest, an adaptation of “Jersey Boys,” the hit Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a television screen flashes an unexpected face: young Clint, himself, in black-and-white. The period-appropriate shot from the TV Western “Rawhide” — a wry Hitchcockian cameo — condenses in a moment the almost unfathomable breadth of Eastwood’s career: fresh-faced cowboy to steadfast Oscar-winning director. Does it feel like a lifetime ago to Eastwood

With: FILM-CLINT EASTWOOD-QUOTES.

THEATER-LOST COLE PORTER

NEW YORK — For the first time later this month, a few lucky people will get to hear what no one in America has — a collection of lost Cole Porter songs. The one-night-only June 27 premiere of “The Ambassador Revue” at The Town Hall near Times Square will mark the first time the 1929 show has ever been staged outside Paris. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy. AP Photo.

WORLD CUP:

WCUP-AMAZON RIVER TRIP

MANAUS, Brazil — Light sparkles off the Solimoes River as the Almirante Barbosa glides by breathtaking rainforest. Boats like this are the lifeline of Brazil’s Amazon region, delivering people and staple goods from rice to diapers to remote villages. And they’re a great way for World Cup fans in the city of Manaus to make a quick jungle escape between matches. By Jenny Barchfield. AP Photos.

WCUP-POLICE SHOOTINGS

RIO DE JANEIRO — Two police officers who allegedly fired live rounds during an anti-World Cup protest in Rio de Janeiro are under investigation and on administrative leave, authorities say Monday. By Bradley Brooks. AP Photos. AP Video.

WCUP-MEXICO-BLIND SOCCER-PHOTO ESSAY

MEXICO CITY — As nations from around the globe battle in the World Cup, a more unusual soccer championship was decided in Mexico City. For 18 years, the men of the Ignacio Trigueros Soccer League for the Blind and Visually Impaired have spent Sundays competing in the country’s most popular sport. By Rebecca Blackwell. AP Photos.

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