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BC-AP Americas Digest
Associated Press
2014-03-26 01:42 PM

TOP STORIES:

NSA SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Intelligence Committee three years ago secretly considered -- but ultimately rejected -- alternate ways for the National Security Agency to collect and store massive amounts of Americans' phone records, The Associated Press has learned. By Eileen Sullivan. AP Photo.

MUDSLIDE

ARLINGTON, Washington -- Rescuers slogging through muck and rain in an increasingly desperate search for survivors of a massive mudslide instead recover two bodies and believe they have located another eight, a local fire official says. By Phuong Le and Manuel Valdes. AP Photos. AP Video.

VENEZUELA-CRISIS

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Dozens of students have pitched camp outside the United Nations office in Caracas to complain the international community is siding with Venezuela's government by not speaking out against rights abuses during a bloody, two-month political standoff. By Joshua Goodman. AP Photos.

With: VENEZUELA-UNREST, VENEZUELA-BLACKOUT.

CONGRESS-UKRAINE

WASHINGTON -- Democrats backed down Tuesday and removed a hurdle blocking passage of legislation to aid Ukraine and sanction Russia for its bold military incursion into Crimea. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photos.

CONGRESS-LNG EXPORTS

WASHINGTON -- Calls to begin U.S. natural gas exports to Europe to counter Russian influence across the continent grow louder amid concerns that Russia will move deeper into Ukraine. By Matthew Daly. AP Photo.

SUPREME COURT-BIRTH CONTROL

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court struggles with the question of whether companies have religious rights, a case challenging President Barack Obama's health overhaul and its guarantee of birth control in employees' preventive care plans. By

UNITED STATES-MYANMAR-ROHINGYA

WASHINGTON -- The House Foreign Affairs Committee calls for an end to persecution of Myanmar's minority Rohingya Muslims in one of the strongest U.S. congressional criticisms yet of Myanmar's reformist government. By Matthew Pennington.

UNITED STATES-ASIA-MILITARY

WASHINGTON -- Top U.S. military officers in the Asia-Pacific says that budget cuts could hurt the ability of American forces to respond to a security crisis, including on the Korean peninsula. By Matthew Pennington.

MEXICO-FORCED PROSTITUTION

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican prosecutors say they have freed two children held by pimps who used their hold over the young girls to force their mothers into prostitution in the United States. By Mark Stevenson.

US-SECRET SERVICE-MISCONDUCT

WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service sent three agents home from the Netherlands just before President Barack Obama's arrival after one agent was found inebriated in an Amsterdam hotel, the Secret Service says. By Josh Lederman.

BOSTON MARATHON-BOMBING

ORLANDO, Florida -- A friend of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects threatened an FBI agent and a Massachusetts state trooper with a long pole and was fatally shot by the agent just moments after he had agreed to give a statement about his involvement in a triple slaying, a Florida prosecutor said Tuesday. By Mike Schneider. AP Photos.

TEXAS BAY-OIL SPILL

GALVESTON, Texas -- The Coast Guard partially reopens one of the nation's busiest seaports to ship traffic Tuesday, three days after a collision between a barge and a ship spilled up to 170,000 gallons (643,501 liters) of tar-like oil into the waters south of Houston. By Juan A. Lozano and Nomaan Merchant. AP Photos. AP Video.

CHICAGO-TRAIN DERAILMENT

CHICAGO -- An emergency track-side braking system activated but failed to stop a Chicago commuter train from jumping the tracks and barreling to the top of an escalator at O'Hare International Airport, a federal investigator said Tuesday. By Jayson Keyser. AP Photos. AP Video.

BIN LADEN SPOKESMAN

NEW YORK -- Jurors began deliberations Tuesday in the terrorism trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law but ended the day without reaching a verdict on charges he conspired to kill Americans and aid al-Qaida as its spokesman after the Sept. 11 attacks. By Tom Hays and Larry Neumeister. AP Photos.

EXECUTIONS-PHARMACISTS

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Several human rights and anti-death penalty groups have asked the American Pharmacists Association to prohibit members from participating in executions, a request that comes as states increasingly turn to pharmacists for lethal injection drugs. By Legal Affairs Writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins.

DOG MAULING

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix judge spares the life of a pit bull that mauled a 4-year-old boy last month and touched off a polarizing Internet debate on mercy, blame and animal violence. By Terry Tang and Jacques Billeaud. AP Photos.

SUSPECTED HUMAN SMUGGLING-HOUSTON

HOUSTON -- Five men, at least two of them from Mexico, are accused of using guns and threats to hold 115 people hostage in a small Houston house unless they paid ransom to continue their illegal entry into the United States. By Michael Graczyk. AP Photos.

CUBA-RODEO-PHOTO GALLERY

HAVANA -- Cuba's eight-day international rodeo festival is half party and half a cowboy-skill showcase that would seem right at home in Nevada, Wyoming or anywhere else in the American West. By Peter Orsi. AP Photos.

BUSINESS & FINANCE

WALL STREET

NEW YORK -- Stocks got a lift Tuesday as health care companies bounced back after a heavy sell-off.

DISNEY-MAKER

LOS ANGELES -- Disney's $500 million purchase of YouTube video producer Maker Studios is a sign that the entertainment industry's content and technology startups are coming of age and proving to be as valuable to Hollywood as app makers are to the giants of Silicon Valley. By Business Writer Ryan Nakashima.

FACEBOOK-OCULUS

NEW YORK -- Facebook has agreed to buy Oculus for $2 billion, betting that its virtual reality technology may be a new way for people to communicate, learn or be entertained. By Technology Writers Barbara Ortutay and Ryan Nakashima. AP Photo.

HTC-NEW PHONE

NEW YORK -- HTC is updating its flagship HTC One smartphone by giving it a larger screen, better software and more camera features. The original HTC One received good reviews and was named the best smartphone of 2013 at the wireless industry's premier trade show in Barcelona, Spain, last month. But HTC has failed to translate that glowing praise into sales. By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun. AP Photos.

With: DIGITAL LIFE-REVIEW-HTC ONE PHONE.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

WASHINGTON -- U.S. consumer confidence has rebounded to the highest reading in six years, providing a further sign that the economy's prospects should brighten with warmer weather. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger. AP Photo.

With: HOME PRICES.

BRAZIL-CARTEL-INVESTIGATION

SAO PAULO -- Brazilian prosecutors have charged 30 executives from a dozen international companies with forming a cartel to raise prices for the construction and upkeep of subway and train systems in Sao Paulo. By Stan Lehman.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

PAUL WALKER

LOS ANGELES -- The Porsche carrying "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was traveling up to 94 mph (151 kph) when it went out of control on a suburban street and crashed, killing the actor and his friend, according to an investigation by law enforcement agencies into the November accident. By Justin Pritchard. AP Photos.

FILM-Q&A-ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGEER

LOS ANGELES -- Arnold Schwarzenegger may be back to gunning down bad guys in action movies, but he's playing nice when it comes to politics. Three years after returning to acting, the Republican and two-term California governor has plenty of praise for his Democratic successor, Jerry Brown. By Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson. AP Photos.

THEATER-MICHAEL C HALL

NEW YORK -- Michael C. Hall has turned a page, broken with the past, made a break. No more sawed-off limbs, gruesome murder, headless bodies or infants sitting in puddles of blood. His serial killer Dexter is no more, giving way to a Broadway play about two suburban couples. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy.

FILM-CINEMACON-ANGELINA JOLIE

LAS VEGAS -- Angelina Jolie took to the stage at CinemaCon, the annual convention of theater exhibitors, to reveal footage from the upcoming survival saga "Unbroken," which she directed and produced. By Film Writer Jessica Herndon.

With: FILM-CINEMACON-UNIVERSAL; FILM-CINEMACON-HERCULES; FILM-CINEMACON-TRANSFORMERS.

FASHION-KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN

NEW YORK -- It's no secret the Kardashian family loves fashion. They have a women's clothing line called Kardashian Kollection at Sears, Dash boutiques in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, and have now launched a clothing line at Babies R Us stores called Kardashian Kids. If you have a baby boy, though, you're out of luck. The line is just for baby girls up to 24 months. By Alicia Rancilio. AP Photos.

BOOKS-TENNESSEE WILLIAMS

NEW YORK -- Before his mother became the model for Blanche DuBois of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and his sister the inspiration for Laura Wingfield of "The Glass Menagerie," Tennessee Williams drew upon a college girlfriend -- if only in name -- to tell a story of desire, drunkenness and regret. "Crazy Night" is a work of short fiction unseen by the general public until this month's release in the spring issue of The Strand Magazine, a quarterly based in Birmingham, Mich. The story is narrated by a college freshman who confides about his romance with a senior, Anna Jean. Williams, while attending the University of Missouri at Columbia, briefly dated fellow student Anna Jean O'Donnell and wrote poetry about her.

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