BC-AP Americas Digest
WASHINGTON — With less than two weeks to go before a long-planned peace conference in Switzerland, the main Western-backed moderate political group seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad has still not decided if it will attend. It’s the latest frustration to the U.S. and allies who have spent the last 18 months trying to negotiate a transition of power from Assad to a new, representative government. By Lara Jakes.
TRENTON, New Jersey — Documents show officials scrambled to control the publicity damage after lane closings near the George Washington Bridge sparked a traffic scandal that now threatens the rise of Republican star and potential 2016 presidential candidate Chris Christie. By Steve Peoples and Angela Delli Santi.
AP Photos, video.
NEW DELHI — The United States said it was withdrawing a diplomat from India in hopes it would end a bitter dispute that started with the arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York. By Katy Daigle and Matthew Pennington.
HAVANA — A senior U.S. State Department official says migration talks with the Cuban government this week have been productive and yielded “some positive outcomes,” but did not give concrete details of any agreements or breakthroughs. By Peter Orsi.
SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s Supreme Court sides with local fishermen who contend a coal-fired power complex harms ocean life and pollutes their community, but the judges stop short of ordering a suspension and leave it to environmental authorities to decide if operations can continue. By Eva Vergara.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The Haitian government delivers a progress report on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the earthquake that wracked the deeply poor Caribbean nation. By Trenton Daniel.
BUSINESS and FINANCE:
GULF OIL SPILL-SETTLEMENT
NEW ORLEANS — Over BP’s objections, a federal appeals court upholds a judge’s approval of the company’s multibillion-dollar settlement with lawyers for businesses and residents who claim the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico cost them money. By Michael Kunzelman and Chevel Johnson.
WILIMINGTON, Delaware — A Delaware bankruptcy judge orders a competitive auction for the assets of Fisker Automotive, rejecting a proposal by a group led by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li to assume control of the failed electric auto manufacturer in a private sale. By Randall Chase.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
CARACAS, Venezuela — Hundreds of Venezuelans pay their final respects to a popular actress whose slaying in front of her 5-year-old daughter has reignited debate about the nation’s rampant crime. By Joshua Goodman and Jorge Rueda.