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BC-AP Americas Digest

May 14, 2014

TOP STORIES

TEXAS EXECUTION

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A federal appeals court halts the scheduled execution of a convicted killer in Texas so his attorneys can pursue appeals arguing he is mentally impaired and ineligible for the death penalty. By Michael Graczyk. AP Photo.

PRIMARY ROUNDUP

WASHINGTON — The conservative tea party movement scores a win over the Republican establishment as its favorite candidate captures the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska in a bitter race that highlighted the fissures within the party. Two women set the stage for history-making in West Virginia by winning their party’s Senate nominations.

US-SYRIA-FRANCE

WASHINGTON — France’s foreign minister on Tuesday accused the Syrian government of attacking its people with chemical weapons at least 14 times since October, including as recently as a few weeks ago. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-THAILAND

WASHINGTON — The U.S. says it is “reasonably confident” Thailand’s military won’t launch a coup although analysts warned the nation’s political crisis could trigger armed conflict.

UNITED STATES-CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama orders sanctions against five people tied to sectarian violence in the Central African Republic and clears the way for further penalties, stepping up the U.S. response to a crisis that’s plunged the former French colony into fear and chaos.

PEDOPHILE TEACHER

The number of possible victims of a teacher suspected of drugging and molesting boys during a four-decade career at nearly a dozen schools around the world has risen sharply, with the FBI saying hundreds of people have contacted it about the case. By Michael Weissenstein and Tami Abdollah. AP Photos.

WIKILEAKS-MANNING-GENDER TREATMENT

WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, the Pentagon is trying to transfer convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison so she can get treatment for her gender disorder, defense officials say. Manning, formerly named Bradley, was convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The soldier has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman. By Pauline Jelinek and Lolita C. Baldor. AP Photo.

HILLARY CLINTON

WASHINGTON — An aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton and the White House pushed back Tuesday against Republican strategist Karl Rove for suggesting that the former secretary of state’s health could be an issue if she runs for president in 2016. AP Photo.

CANADA-TRAIN DERAILMENT

MONTREAL — Three railway employees arrested in the runaway oil train explosion that killed 47 people are arraigned and released on bail. They face criminal negligence charges in the small Quebec town that was devastated by the horrific inferno, which led to calls for making oil trains safer across North America. By Benjamin Shingler. AP Photo.

HAITI-COLUMBUS SHIP

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A shipwreck off northern Haiti may be the remains of Christopher Columbus’ flagship vessel the Santa Maria, an explorer says, though experts express caution about a discovery that is far from confirmed. By Ben Fox and Trenton Daniel. AP Photo.

ANTI-SEMITISM INDEX

NEW YORK — Anti-Semitism remains prevalent around the world with one in four adults surveyed in a new international study expressing anti-Jewish sentiment, according to a new study released by the Anti-Defamation League.

PUERTO RICO-CHURCH ABUSE

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. authorities arrest a Roman Catholic priest and former school director on charges including sexual trafficking of children in the first federal case of its kind in the U.S. territory. By Danica Coto.

JAMAICA-POWER THEFT

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The sole power distributor on Jamaica is slashing the number of hours that electricity is provided to entire communities where electricity theft is rampant, leaving political leaders fuming. By David McFadden.

NYPD INTELLIGENCE

NEW YORK — The New York Police Department disbanded a unit that tracked the everyday lives of Muslims, but it has taken a tough stance in a heated legal battle over its continuing use of Muslim informants in terror threat investigations. AP Photo.

MEXICO-BORDER VIOLENCE

REYNOSA, Mexico — After a recent surge of bloodshed, Mexico’s top security official announces that military commanders will lead a new security campaign in the northern border state of Tamaulipas. By Christopher Sherman.

WCUP-MONTH TO GO

SAO PAULO — It’s all coming down to the final 30 days. Brazil had seven years to get ready for the World Cup, but it enters the final month of preparations with a lot yet to be done. By Tales Azzoni. AP Photos.

With: BRAZIL-CONSULATES STRIK; BRAZIL-BUS STRIKE.

COLOMBIA-REBEL RAP

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s largest rebel group is turning to rap music to try to rally support for peace talks, circulating a fast-paced, 4-minute clip on social media. It was produced by FARC negotiators in Havana along with Cuban rappers Cuentas Claras. By Libardo Cardona. AP Photo.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is flirting with a new milestone: 1,900. The index briefly climbed above that level on Tuesday before dropping back to close just below it. Still, it set an all-time closing high by a fraction of point. By Markets Writer Steve Rothwell. AP Photos.

GENERAL MOTORS-RECALL-AIR BAGS

Here’s an unsettling fact about cars equipped with air bags: They don’t always deploy when drivers — or regulators — expect them to. Thirteen people have died in crashes involving older GM cars with defective ignition switches. In each of those crashes, and in others in which occupants were injured, the air bags failed to deploy even after striking trees, guard rails or other objects. By Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin. AP Photos.

MORTGAGE GIANTS-REGULATOR

WASHINGTON — The regulator overseeing government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has announced a policy that could make more loan money available to borrowers.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

FILM REVIEW-GODZILLA

No one can blame Gareth Edwards for admittedly feeling nervous when asked to helm a remake of the biggest monster movie of all time. Sure, the only other film he had directed happened to be 2010′s “Monsters.” But this time, it was Godzilla. Well, the latest iteration of the 60-year-old franchise is in capable hands. Edwards’ “Godzilla” is a pleasingly paced 3-D spectacle that pays chilling homage to the artful legacy of the original 1954 film — Ishiro Honda’s “Gojira” — while emerging as its own prodigious monster movie. By Film Writer Jessica Herndon. AP Photos.

FILM REVIEW-MILLION DOLLAR ARM

Let’s face it, there’s something about a baseball movie that just invites corniness. The hardest hearts soften at the mere sound of a cracking bat. It’s hard for a filmmaker to resist laying the syrup on too thick. And so it is with the Disney film “Million Dollar Arm,” which makes a direct, uncomplicated, er, pitch for your heart — a pitch that will probably hit its mark, despite your best instincts telling you this movie should really be subtler at almost every turn. By National Writer Jocelyn Noveck. AP Photos.

TV-NEW SEASON-ABC

NEW YORK — ABC will add a new drama from “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes to its schedule in the fall, giving her ownership of Thursday night on a network that’s lagging behind its competitors among advertiser-favored young adults.

TV-BARBARA WALTERS

NEW YORK — When Barbara Walters came on the scene, John Kennedy was in the White House, a motorist could fill ’er up for three bucks and no one had heard of the Beatles. On Friday, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called “Today” Girl on NBC, Walters, 84, will exit ABC’s “The View.” In an interview, she discusses her career and looks ahead to her imminent retirement — and sleeping late. AP Photos.

PEOPLE-ALEC BALDWIN

NEW YORK — Actor Alec Baldwin is arrested and issued two summonses after allegedly acting belligerently toward two officers who had stopped him for riding his bicycle the wrong way down a New York City street, police said Tuesday. By Jake Pearson.

SPRING ART AUCTIONS

NEW YORK — Two works from Andy Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series sell for a combined $100 million Tuesday and a Barnett Newman painting goes for an artist record of $84.2 million in fierce New York auction bidding. AP Photos.

FEATURES:

TRAVEL-TRIP-NORTHWEST RAILS TO TRAILS

WALLACE, Idaho (AP) — In many parts of the country, abandoned train tracks have been repurposed into multi-use exercise trails. The best of them — a little more than two dozen routes in all — are in the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy Hall of Fame, and several of those are located in the Northwest region of the United States, in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. By Carey J. Williams. AP Photos.

With: TRAVEL-TRIP=SD CAMPING.

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