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BC-AP Americas Digest

December 25, 2013



AUGUSTA, Maine — Repair crews work around the clock to restore power to nearly half a million customers who face a cold and very dark Christmas Eve in parts of the central and northeastern United States and into eastern Canada after a weekend ice storm. At least 24 deaths have been linked to the storm. AP Photos. AP Video.


SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court rules that gay marriages can continue in Utah, denying a request from the state to halt same-sex weddings that have been occurring at a rapid rate since last week in one of the most conservative U.S. states. By Brady McCombs and Paul Foy. AP Photos. AP Video.


CHICAGO — The U.S. government’s retooled health care website is put to its biggest test yet as record numbers of Americans rush to beat Tuesday’s extended deadline for signing up for insurance. By Carla K. Johnson. AP Photos.


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — Space station astronauts repairs a crippled cooling system during a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk, braving a “mini blizzard” of noxious ammonia as they pop in a new pump. By Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn. AP Photos. AP Video.


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — President Cristina Fernandez has tried to reinvent her image since her return from skull surgery. She’s reshuffled her Cabinet, and put aside the all-black wardrobe she wore for three years mourning her husband. Her economy minister just announced a new stimulus program. Analysts, however, say what she really needs to do, and quickly, is contain inflation by dialing back government spending. By Almudena Calatrava. AP Photos.


NEW YORK — A lawyer for an Indian diplomat whose arrest and strip search in New York City drew angry responses from officials in India accused U.S. authorities Tuesday of bungling the investigation. By Larry Neumeister.


RENO, Nevada — Newly released police dispatcher tapes paint a scene of panic and terror inside a Reno medical building where dozens of callers hid in bathrooms and exam rooms from a suicidal gunman who killed one doctor and shot another at a urology clinic where he said he’d had a vasectomy that ruined his life. By Scott Sonner. AP Photos.


CHICAGO — It almost sounds sadistic — making rape victims as young as 13 relive their harrowing assault over and over again. But a new study shows it works surprisingly well at eliminating their psychological distress. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner.


For two thousand years, he has been worshipped and adored. And yet nobody really knows the face of Jesus. So when this Christmas season brought a torrent of debate over whether Jesus was a white man, it struck a nerve. By National Writer Jesse Washington. AP Photos.


CONCORD, Massachusetts — David Dyer has a family, a home and a job: helping homeless U.S. military veterans get off the streets, like he did. Dyer is part of a team that the state of Massachusetts has hired to get veterans off the streets in the Boston area. Typically, they spend one day a week roaming the city’s storefronts, alleys and shelters. The rest of the week is spent making sure those who have found housing are staying on track. By Kevin Freking. AP Photos.



ATLANTA — It’s beginning to look a lot like ... the day after Christmas? On the last day of shopping before Christmas Day, retailers seemed to be turning their attention to the day after the holiday. Amazon.com already is offering after-Christmas deals of up to 70 percent of clothes and 60 percent off some electronics, while Old Navy is running TV ads that its “after-holiday sale starts early” with discounts of up to 75 percent off. The earlier “after Christmas” deals come as retailers try to save the final week of a holiday shopping season that so far has been lackluster. By Mae Anderson. AP Photos.


In 33 years at General Motors, Mary Barra has worked in engineering, communications and human resources. She’s gained in-depth knowledge of a company whose complexity contributed to its losing ground to rivals and, four years ago, a trip through bankruptcy court. Now Barra’s unique blend of skills — she’s an engineer who is also a people person, for example — have led her to the corner office. As a second-generation GM employee and the first woman to lead a global automaker, it’s up to Barra to ensure that the company prospers for a new generation of 212,000 employees spread over 23 time zones. By Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin. AP Photos.


WASHINGTON — Businesses stepped up their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in November. And a key category that signals business investment plans climbed at the fastest pace in 10 months. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. AP Photo.



NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge rejects BP’s argument that a multibillion-dollar settlement over the company’s massive 2010 Gulf oil spill shouldn’t compensate businesses if they can’t directly trace their losses to the spill. By Michael Kunzelman.


NEW YORK —Tablet computers are so easy to use that even a 3-year-old can master them. Children as young as toddlers can quickly learn how to stream Netflix movies, scroll through family photos or play simple games. While many parents bought tablets for themselves this holiday season, a growing number purchased the gadgets for their kids. Tablet makers, app designers and toy makers are taking notice, but so are some experts who question the educational value of tablets. By Bree Fowler. AP Photo.



NEW YORK — “Anything goes” was the guiding ethos for Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio in making their extravagant dark comedy of Wall Street excess, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The two longtime collaborators pushed the based-on-a-true-story tale to the limits of outrageousness, decency and MPAA approval. With pinstripe suits instead of togas, it’s their “Satyricon,” their “Caligula”: a nearly three-hour-long orgy of money, sex and drugs. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.


LOS ANGELES — Sylvester Stallone returns to the well of fan fiction by teaming with his onetime iconic-onscreen-pugilist rival, Robert De Niro, in “Grudge Match.” Essentially recasting “Grumpy Old Men” with the senescent specters of Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta, the result is sporadically amusing, with some chuckles, sight gags and crowd-pleasing supporting turns from Alan Arkin and Kevin Hart. Yet it’s all so overcooked that it defeats its own purpose. By Andrew Barker, AP Photos.


LOS ANGELES — In Japan, the story of the 47 ronin is so central to the country’s national identity that a special word exists for the act of retelling it: Chushingura. But despite this long tradition of flexible reinterpretation, the Hollywood-backed “47 Ronin” takes such liberties with the underlying legend that a different term comes to mind, one better suited to American actor Keanu Reeves’ involvement: “bogus.” By Peter Debruge. AP Photos.


ATLANTA — It’s been a long, tough couple of years for Monster. The audio cable company was in a coveted position as the decade began after launching what would become the hottest headphones on the market, Beats by Dre. The audio devices had hip-hop/production legend Dr. Dre as its namesake and soon became synonymous with headphone chic. But these days, Monster finds itself in An interesting place after Beats Electronics ended its partnership last year. Even though Beats is still superhot, Monster CEO Noel Lee believes his San Francisco-based company has the proper pieces in place to regain his company’s mojo. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. AP Photo.

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