BC-AP Americas Digest
WASHINGTON — In a ruling with potentially far-reaching consequences, a federal judge declares that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records likely violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search. The ruling, filled with blistering criticism of the Obama administration’s arguments, is the first of its kind on the controversial program. By Frederic J. Frommer. AP Photos.
With: NSA SURVEILLANCE-TRADE FALLOUT.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration should make any diplomatic agreement with Iran contingent on Tehran’s help finding missing CIA contractor Robert Levinson, a lawyer for his family says. By Matt Apuzzo. AP Photo.
WASHINGTON — Several conservative Senate Republicans have swung behind a bipartisan budget bill, apparently giving it enough momentum to win a pivotal test in the Senate over the passive resistance of top GOP leaders. AP Photo.
HOUSTON — Many immigrant families hesitate to apply for government-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, worried that providing personal information could draw the attention of immigration authorities and lead to deportation. By Christopher Sherman and Ramit Plushnick-Masti. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON — The FBI has helped to disrupt or prevent nearly 150 shootings and violent attacks this year, in part by steering potential gunmen toward mental health professionals. By Eileen Sullivan. AP Photo.
SANTIAGO, Chile — President-elect Michelle Bachelet vows to initiate profound social changes in Chile, a day after winning the seat with the biggest victory in eight decades. By Luis Andres Henao. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON — There’s more disappointing news about multivitamins: Two major studies found popping the pills did not protect aging men’s brains or help heart attack survivors. By Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard.
NEW YORK — The American Studies Association on Monday endorses a boycott of Israeli universities, the largest group of U.S. scholars to do so. By Rachel Zoll and Karin Laub.
CARACAS, Venezuela — A New York businessman detained more than two years in Bolivia without charge in a money laundering case is back in the U.S., the State Department says, the latest twist in a saga that led to prosecutors alleging high-level corruption in the Andean nation. By Joshua Goodman. AP Photo.
WASHINGTON — After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has no evidence that the anti-bacterial chemicals used in countless common soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and it is reviewing research suggesting they may pose health risks. By Health Writer Matthew Perrone. AP Photo.
HAVANA — Fidel Castro was healthy and alert while speaking with a Spanish reporter about current events for 2 ½ hours last week, the journalist tells The Associated Press. By Anne-Marie Garcia and Greg Keller. AP Photo.
NEW YORK — People accused of shoplifting at Macy’s huge flagship store in New York City are escorted by security guards to cells in “Room 140,” where they can be held for hours, asked to sign an admission of guilt and pay hundreds in fines, sometimes without any conclusive proof they stole anything. By Colleen Long. AP Photos.
WCUP 2014-STADIUM ACCIDENT
SAO PAULO — The contractor at the World Cup stadium where a worker fell to his death is trying to reverse a labor court ruling that halted work on part of the venue. By Tales Azzoni. AP Photos.
DETROIT — Detroit may have to rely on the generosity of strangers to keep its impressive art collection that was amassed with taxpayer dollars in better times. The bankrupt city is expected to learn this week the value of roughly 2,800 of its pieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts when New York auction house Christie’s delivers its final report to Kevin Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager who currently runs the Motor City’s finances. By Corey Williams. AP Photos. AP Video.
With: DETROIT BANKRUPTCY.
ARGENTINA-DISMAL TRAINS-PHOTO GALLERY
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Riding the commuter trains around Argentina’s capital can make for a dismal, sweaty trip on cars that mostly date back to the mid-1960s. Users of the seven lines that connect Buenos Aires with neighboring municipalities complain about rundown railcars, careless drivers and a lack of information at stations. By Almudena Calatrava. With photo gallery by Natacha Pisarenko. SENT: 260 words, photos.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
WASHINGTON — The job market is improving. Retail sales are up. Inflation is nearly invisible. A congressional budget deal has erased fears of another government shutdown. So is the Fed ready to scale back its economic stimulus when it meets next week? Not necessarily. Most economists think the Fed will signal that it will slow its bond purchases soon, likely early next year, but for now will continue to buy $85 billion a month in bonds to keep long-term borrowing rates down. By Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve’s super-low interest-rate policies have inflated a slew of dangerous asset bubbles. Or so critics say. They say stocks are at unsustainable prices. California homes are fetching frothy sums. Same with farmland, Bitcoins and rare Scotch. By Economics Writer Josh Boak. AP Photos.
With: BERNANKE-FED’s 100.
Stocks soared Monday after two down weeks, as investors warmed up to the idea that the economy is getting better. By Business Writer Joshua Freed.
With: AP POLL-STOCK MARKET.
WASHINGTON — Retiring General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says the government bailout of his company was a net gain for taxpayers — even though they lost $10.5 billion in the deal. By Auto Writer Tom Krisher.
GULF OIL SPILL-INDICTMENT
NEW ORLEANS — A federal jury starts weighing whether a former BP engineer broke the law or harmlessly swiped his finger across a cellular phone when he deleted hundreds of text messages in the aftermath of the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. By Michael Kunzelman. AP Photo.
NEW YORK — The Energy Department says the United States’ energy picture is getting ever rosier. Production is rising, consumption is slowing, and prices are expected to remain in check. By Jonathan Fahey.
MEXICO CITY — In a steam-roller operation, a majority of Mexico’s state legislatures approve sweeping energy legislation that will allow private companies to explore for and produce oil and gas in the country. By Mark Stevenson. AP Photos.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
NEW YORK — Beyonce’s surprise album has sold surprisingly well: Her fifth solo effort sold more than 600,000 units in its first three days, setting a record for first-week domestic digital sales. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. AP Photo.
With: MUSIC REVIEW-BEYONCE.
DALLAS — Ray Price, one of country music’s most popular and influential singers and bandleaders who had more than 100 hits and was one of the last living connections to Hank Williams, has died. He was 87. By Chris Talbott and Jamie Stengle. AP Photos.
NEW YORK — Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. The Rock Hall announced that Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens also will be inducted April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu.
LOS ANGELES — A judge revokes Chris Brown’s probation after his recent arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor assault in Washington, D.C., but the ruling will not alter the singer’s requirements to complete rehab and community labor for his 2009 attack on Rihanna. By Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney.
CARMEL, California (AP) — Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, who found stardom playing naive wives in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion” and “Rebecca” and also was featured in films by Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray, died Sunday. She was 96.
In surveying the year at the movies, the topography is rich. From the dusty, dying towns of “Nebraska” to the rooftop Roman parties in “The Great Beauty” to the sleek future Los Angeles of “Her,” 2013 has been a trip. But has it been a great year? By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.
YE-MUSIC-TOP 10 ALBUMS
AP music writers rank their top 10 albums of the year, AP music writers pick their top 10 albums of the year, from Ariana Grande to Chance the Rapper. By Music Writers Mesfin Fekadu and Chris Talbott. AP Photos.