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BC-AP Americas Digest
Associated Press
2014-03-15 12:22 PM

TOP STORIES:

MALAYSIA-PLANE PIRACY?

UNDATED -- To steal Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 out of midair would require a pilot who knew how to elude detection by both civilian and military radar. It would take a runway at least a mile long to land the wide-body jet, possibly in the dark, and a hangar big enough to hide it. All without being seen. Improbable but not impossible, experts say. By David Koenig. AP Photos.

MALAYSIA-PLANE-TRANSPONDER

As the search continues for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, a key unanswered question is what happened to the Boeing 777's transponder. Transponders emit electronic signals containing information that shows up on air traffic controllers' screens. The information includes the plane's unique identifying code and its direction, speed and altitude. By Holbrook Mohr. AP Photos.

NYC EXPLOSION

NEW YORK -- All eight people reported missing been found and their bodies identified at the site of a deadly gas explosion that leveled two New York City buildings, although the rescue operation will continue in case there are unknown survivors still in the rubble, the city fire commissioner said. Many of the dead in Manhattan's Harlem neighborhood had foreign roots and plans were being made to return some of the bodies to their native lands. By Verena Dobnik. AP Photos.

UNITED STATES-NKOREA-HUMAN RIGHTS

WASHINGTON -- The United States supports U.N. Security Council discussion of allegations North Korea committed crimes against humanity, a senior official says. But he questioned whether the council has time to take up the issue. By Matthew Pennington.

OBAMA-IMMIGRATION

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's new promise to seek ways to ease his administration's rate of deportations aims to mollify angry immigrant advocates but carries risks for a White House that has insisted it has little recourse. By Jim Kuhnhenn. AP Photos.

INDIA-DIPLOMAT ARREST

NEW YORK -- An Indian diplomat is re-indicted on U.S. visa fraud charges that touched off an international stir after she was arrested and strip-searched last year. The new indictment essentially just reinstates recently dismissed charges against the diplomat, Devyani Khobragade -- charges that now arrive with her out of the United States. By Jennifer Peltz.

UNITED STATES-UKRAINE-MILITARY

WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials say the Pentagon is sending 25,000 cases of military prepackaged meals to Ukraine, in response to a wide-ranging request from that country for some rifles, ammunition, medicine and other supplies for its troops. By Lolita C. Baldor.

UNITED STATES-IRELAND

WASHINGTON -- St. Patrick's Day came to the White House a few days early this year. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny kicks off the holiday at events across Washington, including a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. By Nedra Pickler. AP Photos.

TEMPLE SLAYINGS

PHOENIX -- A man convicted of killing nine people, including six monks, during a robbery at a Buddhist temple where his mother and brother belonged is sentenced to 249 years in prison. By Jacques Billeaud. AP Photos.

VENEZUELA-UNREST

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says that South Florida politicians are leading the United States into an extremist foreign policy against his country and his foreign minister calls U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a murderer. By Jorge Rueda. AP Photos.

INTO THE WILD-DEATH

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A relative says a man fatally shot by authorities in Alaska over the weekend was a moose hunter who found the body of a young wanderer whose story was featured in the movie "Into the Wild." By Rachel D'oro.

MASKED SON SHOT DEAD

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut -- A popular elementary school teacher who fatally shot a knife-wielding prowler in a ski mask and then learned it was his 15-year-old son will not be charged, a prosecutor says. By John Christoffersen.

MEXICO-VIGILANTES

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican authorities have finally served notice to vigilantes fighting a drug cartel in western Michoacan state that their illegal tactics will no longer be tolerated. By Mark Stevenson. AP Photos.

US-SOMALIA

WASHINGTON -- The State Department is offering bounties of up to $3 million each for three members of a Somalia-based extremist group with ties to al-Qaida. The group is al-Shabab, and it claims responsibility for last year's deadly attack on a Kenyan shopping mall. By Matthew Lee.

MEXICO-SEA SURVIVOR

TAPACHULA, Mexico -- A Salvadoran fisherman who says he spent 13 months adrift in the Pacific Ocean arrives in Mexico ready to meet with the family of a young companion who died early in the voyage. By Manuel de la Cruz. AP Photos.

UNITED NATIONS-SYRIA

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Syria's close ally Iran this weekend to try to break a deadlock in political talks aimed at ending the three-year war, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces. By Edith M. Lederer.

PERU-FUJIMORI

LIMA, Peru -- Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori suffers a stroke and is hospitalized in stable condition with some loss of control of his left upper arm, his doctor says. By Franklin Briceno. AP Photos.

UNITED NATIONS-CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Muslim and Christian leaders of the Central African Republic pleaded Friday for the U.N. Security Council to hurry and deploy peacekeepers to a country that's been ripped apart by unprecedented sectarian violence. By Cara Anna.

OBIT-KISSING SAILOR

HOUSTON -- A man who became known for claiming he was the U.S. sailor kissing a woman in Times Square in a famous World War II-era photo taken by a Life magazine photographer has died at 86. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

MADOFF FRAUD-TRIAL

NEW YORK -- Jurors in the first criminal trial stemming from Bernard Madoff's epic fraud were soon to start weighing the charges against five of the fallen U.S. financier's ex-employees after summations wraps up. By Jennifer Peltz.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM-JASON BATEMAN

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- After audiences see Jason Bateman's new movie, "Bad Words," the actor, who makes his feature-film directorial debut with the comedy, will have one question: "Do I need to apologize?" Best known for his blunt approach and dry sense of humor in the television show "Arrested Development" and in films like "Horrible Bosses," Bateman's turn as a revengeful wordsmith who competes against kids in spelling bees is perhaps his most hilarious and crude role yet. By Jessica Herndon. AP Photos.

CANADA-FORD-KEVIN SPACEY

TORONTO (AP) -- Toronto's combative mayor claimed Friday that he wouldn't know Kevin Spacey "if I ran over him," a week after the "House of Cards" star poked fun at Rob Ford when both appeared on a late night talk show. Ford's brother called the actor "an arrogant SOB."

MUSIC-JENNIFER HOLLIDAY

ATLANTA -- With her first solo album in two decades, Jennifer Holliday is on the comeback trail. But the singer, best known for her Tony-winning performance as Effie in the original Broadway production of "Dreamgirls" and the iconic rendition of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," wasn't always sure she wanted her career resurrected. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. AP Photos.

MUSIC-SXSW-LADY GAGA

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lady Gaga vowed to quit pop music rather than compromise, detailing a difficult year that included an underperforming new album during her much-anticipated keynote session at South By Southwest on Friday. Dressed in a gown made of plastic sheeting and wearing blond dreadlocks, Gaga spent an hour in a wide-ranging question-and-answer session that shed some light on obstacles that included hip surgery, a split from manager Troy Carter and widespread questions about her popularity. By Chris Talbott. AP Photos.

MUSIC-SXSW-SPANDAU BALLET

AUSTIN, Texas -- It's been nearly three decades since Spandau Ballet played in the United States. After a successful return to America at South By Southwest, members of the influential British pop group now wonder why they stayed away for so long. By Chris Talbott. AP Photos.

OBAMA-TWO FERNS

NEW YORK -- President Barack Obama's appearance on the "Between Two Ferns" satirical online talk show this week has reached 15 million views -- almost at Justin Bieber levels. By David Bauder. AP Photos.

OBIT-BOB THOMAS

He was the institutional memory for the movies at The Associated Press and a passage for the world to a Hollywood both longed for and long gone. Bob Thomas, who died Friday at age 92, started reporting when Clark Gable was a middle-aged king, Bette Davis was in her big-eyed prime, and Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall were emerging stars. "Independent" movies were a rarity during the studio-controlled era and celebrity gossip was dispensed by rival columnists Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons rather than Internet sites. By Hillel Italie. AP Photos.

TV-GRIM SLEEPER

LOS ANGELES -- Journalist Christine Pelisek was taken aback when a producer contacted her about making a TV movie about a relentless serial killer dubbed the Grim Sleeper and her pursuit of the story. Television feasts on true crime, of course, and in Pelisek it had a worthy hero: An aggressive young reporter who stood up for the dead, their families and transparency in the face of what she considered to be a misguided police approach. By Lynn Elber. AP Photos.

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