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BC-AP Americas Digest

October 31, 2013

TOP STORIES:

UNITED STATES-IRAQ

WASHINGTON — A bloody resurgence of al-Qaida in Iraq is prompting Baghdad to ask the U.S. for more weapons, training and manpower, two years after pushing American troops out of the country. The request will be discussed during a White House meeting Friday between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama. By National Security Writer Lara Jakes. Eds: Al-Maliki speech at 10 a.m.

AP Photos.

NSA-YAHOO-GOOGLE

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, a newspaper reported, citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. By Lolita C. Baldor.

AP Photo.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-PROBLEMS

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has claimed “full responsibility” for repairing his administration’s health insurance website as a new concern emerged: a government memo pointing to security worries, written shortly before the site’s Oct. 1 launch.

AP Photos, video.

MEXICO-DAY OF THE DEAD

MEXICO CITY — She’s been a fixture at Day of the Dead fiestas for a century, and Mexico’s elegant and classy “Skeleton Lady” is even inspiring some movie and rock stars in the U.S. to don Halloween costumes based on the macabre figure. By Mark Stevenson and Adriana Gomez Licon.

AP Photos.

CANADA-TORONTO MAYOR

TORONTO — A judge has ordered the release of police documents in the drug case against a friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, opening a new episode in a scandal gripping Canada’s largest city. By Rob Gillies.

AP Photo.

MEXICO-GASOLINE LEAK

MEXICO CITY — A geyser of gasoline spews into the sky from a state-owned pipeline in western Mexico, forcing officials to evacuate about 5,000 people. Authorities blame the accident on fuel thieves tapping into the pipe. By Mark Stevenson.

AP Photos.

MOB CHEF

COLLINGSWOOD, New Jersey — When he was on trial for racketeering back in 2001, Angelo Lutz denied the mob’s existence, but now he’s using his past in organized crime to promote his new New Jersey restaurant, the Kitchen Consigliere. Lutz is using some unsavory associations as he attempts a transformation from inmate to opinionated celebrity chef. By Geoff Mulvihill.

AP photos, video.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

BRAZIL-EIKE BATISTA

RIO DE JANEIRO — Just a few years ago, flamboyant billionaire Eike Batista vowed he’d soon be the world’s richest man. He loved to show off to visitors his Mercedes-Benz McLaren — parked right in his living room. The fall has been deep and hard. Batista’s once high-flying OGX oil company has filed for bankruptcy protection, and a chorus of critics charge he lied to investors about the size of oil fields his firm found in recent years. By Bradley Brooks.

AP Photos.

TWITTER LAWSUIT

NEW YORK — Two financial firms have sued Twitter, saying it supported their own world tour to sell its shares last year, only to disallow the sales in a ruse aimed at boosting the company’s valuation above $10 billion for an initial public offering. By Larry Neumeister.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

TV-AMERICAN IDOL

ATLANTA — One thing about season 13 of “American Idol” is that unlike last season, the judges seem to be getting along. At an audition stop in Atlanta on Wednesday, Jennifer Lopez said she’s excited for people to see how funny Harry Connick Jr. is and how much he knows about music. By Marina Huthinson.

AP Photo.

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