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BC-AP Americas Digest

September 3, 2014

TOP STORIES:

OBAMA-NATO

TALLINN, Estonia — Confronted by a Kremlin-backed military offensive in Ukraine, President Barack Obama and Western allies will approve plans this week to position at least 4,000 troops and military equipment in Eastern Europe, bolstering NATO’s security. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-IRAQ

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is adding 350 more troops to help protect the American Embassy in Baghdad and its support facilities in the capital, raising the number of U.S. forces in the country to over 1,000, officials say.

AFGHANISTAN-SHRINKING COALITION

WASHINGTON — Alongside the exodus of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, soldiers who hail from countries like Singapore and Slovenia, Mongolia and Malaysia have been packing up too, leaving behind an ever-shrinking NATO coalition. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photo.

OBAMA-EBOLA

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama urges West Africans to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discourages the traditional burial practice of directly touching the body of someone who died of Ebola, which is one way the disease has been spreading in the region. By Darlene Superville. AP Photos.

With: EBOLA-AMERICANS.

GIRL WITH UZI

PHOENIX — An attorney for the parents of a 9-year-old girl who accidentally killed an Arizona shooting range instructor with an Uzi said Tuesday the family is devastated by the tragedy that occurred on a brief excursion during a vacation. By Jacques Billeaud and Josh Cornfield. AP Photos.

BLACKWATER TRIAL

WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge urges jurors in the criminal case against four Blackwater security guards to proceed with caution when assessing testimony by the defendants’ former colleagues given under immunity. By Pete Yost. AP Photo.

CELEB-HACKING

LOS ANGELES — Apple says that hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities by pilfering images from individual accounts rather than through a broader attack on the company’s services. By Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney. AP Photo. AP Video.

CELEB HACKING-CLOUD SECURITY

NEW YORK — The circulation of nude photographs stolen from celebrities’ online accounts has thrown a spotlight on the security of cloud computing, a system used by a growing number of Americans to store personal information over the Internet. By Technology Writer Mae Anderson.

TROPICAL WEATHER

MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Dolly moves ashore along Mexico’s Gulf coast, where authorities suspend school classes and ready shelters. AP Photos.

AIRLINES-UNRULY PASSENGERS

NEW YORK — American airline passengers, squeezed into tighter and tighter spaces, appear to be rebelling, taking their frustrations out on other fliers. Three U.S. flights have made unscheduled landings in the past eight days after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. Disputes over a tiny bit of personal space might seem petty, but for passengers whose knees are already banging into tray tables, every bit counts. By Airlines Writer Scott Mayerowitz.

VENEZUELA-CABINET SHAKEUP

CARACAS, Venezuela —President Nicolas Maduro replaces Venezuela’s longtime oil minister and economic czar as part of a cabinet shakeup sidelining the most-prominent voice within his administration for much-needed reforms to address the country’s economic crisis.

VENEZUELA-US TELEVISION SHOW

CARACAS, Venezuela — Critics have mostly ignored the new TNT spy drama “Legends,” but it’s creating a furor in Venezuela. Officials in the South American country are denouncing the show for portraying the socialist government stockpiling nerve gas to quash dissent. By Hannah Dreier. AP Photo.

REPUBLICANS-2016-CHRISTIE-MEXICO

NEWARK, New Jersey — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is heading to Mexico on Wednesday, officially on a trade mission for his state. But the Republican also is a potential 2016 presidential candidate, with a plenty of swagger but little foreign policy experience. By Jill Colvin. AP Photos.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-MINING OPPOSITION

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A proposal to create a new national park that would have blocked the expansion of a nickel mine in the forested mountains of the central Dominican Republic is vetoed y by President Danilo Medina. By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez.

SERIAL-STRANGLING-TRIAL

LOS ANGELES — A man who authorities believe strangled dozens of women as he moved from place to place around the U.S. was convicted Tuesday of three 1980s murders in Los Angeles. By Robert Jablon. AP Photo.

URUGUAY-GUANTANAMO PRISONERS

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Uruguayan President Jose Mujica is denying that he has been pressured by the United States to let six men being held at the U.S. Navy Base in Guantanamo, Cuba resettle in the South American country.

POLAR VORTEX

WASHINGTON — A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of cold air as the world gets warmer. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein. AP Photo.

NICARAGUA-MINERS TRAPPED

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua’s government says it has called off a search for as many as seven missing miners because cave-ins made the effort too dangerous to continue, and hopes have faded that anyone could be found alive after five days.

RETHINKING POT-DRIVING STONED

WASHINGTON — New York teenager Joseph Beer smoked marijuana, climbed into a Subaru Impreza with four friends and drove more than 100 mph (160 kph) before losing control. The car crashed into trees with such force that the vehicle split in half, killing his friends. Beer, who was 17 in October 2012 when the crash occurred, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and was sentenced last week to 5 years to 15 years in prison. As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry there will be more drivers high on pot and a big increase in traffic deaths. It’s not clear, though, whether those concerns are merited. Researchers are divided on the question. By Joan Lowy. AP Photo.

DOUBLE MASTECTOMIES

CHICAGO — Removing both breasts to treat cancer affecting only one side doesn’t boost survival chances for most women, compared with surgery that removes just the tumor, a large study suggests. The results raise concerns about riskier, potentially unnecessary operations that increasing numbers of women are choosing. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner.

MUSIC MAKES YOU SMARTER

LOS ANGELES — The founder of a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides free music lessons to low-income students from gang-ridden neighborhoods began to notice several years ago a hopeful sign: Kids were graduating high school and heading off to UCLA, Tulane and other big universities. That’s when Margaret Martin asked how the children in the Harmony Project were beating the odds. Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois believe that the students’ music training played a role in their educational achievement, helping as Martin noticed 90 percent of them graduate from high school while 50 percent or more didn’t from those same neighborhoods

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

DETROIT BANKRUPTCY

DETROIT — The plan to restructure billions of dollars in debt is the vehicle Detroit needs to free up funds to provide services to residents and allow the city to survive, one of the city’s attorneys told the federal judge at the helm of the historic bankruptcy trial, which started Tuesday. By Corey Williams. AP Photo. AP Video.

US-ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing grew in August at the strongest pace in more than three years as factories cranked out more goods and new orders rose. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber. AP Photo.

With: US-CONSTRUCTION SPENDING; US-HOME PRICES.

NORWEGIAN AIR

WASHINGTON — In a case that has labor and trade policy implications, the Obama administration rejects a request that would have immediately permitted a low-cost air carrier to begin flights between the U.S. and Europe while the government is still reviewing its application for new service. By Joan Lowy.

HOME DEPOT-DATA BREACH

NEW YORK — Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a major credit card data breach.The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer tells The Associated Press that it is working with both banks and law enforcement to investigate “unusual activity” that would point to a hack. By Retail Writer Anne D’Innocenzio. AP Photo.

MEXICO-NEW AIRPORT

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Pena Nieto announces the construction of a new international airport for Mexico City, saying it will quadruple the capacity of the current one. By E. Eduardo Castillo. AP Photos.

HALLIBURTON-SPILL SETTLEMENT

NEW ORLEANS — Halliburton’s agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place. By Kevin McGill and Jonathan Fahey. AP Video.

RUSSIA FUND SANCTIONS

WASHINGTON — A $10 billion investment fund backed by the Russian government that has avoided being targeted by U.S. economic sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine redesigns its website Tuesday makes it more difficult to find names of prominent U.S. and European executives on its international advisory board.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-FALL PREVIEW

Whether a World War II odyssey directed by Angelina Jolie or a quickly shot independent about an ultra-ambitious jazz drumming prodigy, few of the fall’s films — from its awards-seekers to its hoped-for holiday hits — didn’t have to claw their way to theaters. It’s a season for the movies’ most unconventional dreamers, the ones dedicated to making a tragic Olympic wrestler drama or finding humor in North Korea. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.

CANADA-BIEBER-ASSAULT CHARGES

TORONTO — Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation involving a photographer, his lawyer says. By Rob Gillies. AP Photos. AP Vidoe.

CHRIS BROWN-ASSAULT

WASHINGTON — Chris Brown pleads guilty to punching a man in the face outside a Washington hotel, an assault that occurred while the singer was on probation for attacking his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Brown pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to time served. He spent two days in a District of Columbia jail in the case, one that further tarnished the image of the Grammy-winning singer. By Ben Nuckols. AP Photos. AP Video.

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