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BC-AP Americas Digest
Associated Press
2014-04-02 01:01 PM

TOP STORIES:

CHILE-EARTHQUAKE

SANTIAGO, Chile -- A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off northern Chile, setting off a small tsunami that forced evacuations along the country's entire Pacific coast. Five people were crushed to death or suffered fatal heart attacks, the interior minister says, but Chile apparently escapes major damage or serious casualties. By Luis Andres Henao. AP Photos.

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Chile's far north escapes major damage and casualties as a powerful magnitude-8.2 tremor strikes just offshore a region that has been shaken by a swarm of strong tremors over the past two weeks. By Luis Andres Henao. AP Photos.

HEALTH OVERHAUL

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama celebrates a better-than-expected 7.1 million sign-ups for health coverage that he said should end the debate over whether his signature legislation should be repealed.

SPY RELEASE-POLLARD

WASHINGTON -- Every president since Ronald Reagan has refused to release Jonathan Pollard from prison. A CIA director once threatened to resign when Bill Clinton briefly considered freeing the convicted spy as part of Mideast peace talks. But now, in a gamble to extend negotiations that appear on the brink of collapse, the Obama administration is bringing the U.S. closer than it has been in years to granting Pollard an early release. By National Security Writer Lara Jakes. AP Photos. AP Video.

CONGRESS-UKRAINE

WASHINGTON -- Congress sends President Barack Obama a bill to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-poor Ukraine and punish Russia for its bold annexation of part of the former Soviet republic. By Deb Riechmann. AP Photos.

NSA SURVEILLANCE

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has conducted warrantless searches of Americans' communications as part of the National Security Agency's surveillance operations that target foreigners located outside of the U.S., the administration's top intelligence official confirms in a letter to Congress. By Eileen Sullivan.

VENEZUELA-BARRICADES

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Like a beaver dam of urban detritus, the piles of tires, mattresses and steel grates blocking Venezuelan streets have sparked some of the most violent episodes of this violent season of protest and repression. But even many in the opposition regard the protest tactic as a gift to embattled President Nicolas Maduro. By Christopher Sherman. AP Photos.

VENEZUELA-UNREST

CARACAS, Venezuela -- A leader of Venezuela's opposition is barred from entering the National Assembly after hundreds of supporters rally to protest her recent ouster from the legislature. By Hannah Dreier and Fabiola Sanchez. AP Photos.

US-HAGEL

ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will meet with Malaysia's defense minister this week, amid ongoing criticism about how well the search for missing Flight 370 has been conducted and coordinated with other nations.By Lolita C. Baldor.

GM CEO-HOT SEAT

WASHINGTON -- New General Motors CEO Mary Barra didn't squirm on the hot seat. She didn't have enough answers to satisfy lawmakers and families about why GM waited more than a decade to recall cars it knew were faulty, saying she was awaiting the results of an internal probe. But experts on corporate damage control say she didn't have much choice, and gave her high marks for calmly answering questions, apologizing and promising to change the automaker's culture to put a new emphasis on safety. By Paul Wiseman. AP Photos.

With: GENERAL MOTORS-RECALL-CONGRESS.

CONGRESS-UKRAINE

WASHINGTON -- Congress is near passage of a bill to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to cash-poor Ukraine and take punitive measures against Russia for its brazen annexation of part of the former Soviet satellite nation. Once passed by the House, it would be sent to President Barack Obama. By Deb Riechmann.

With: UNITED STATES-UKRAINE.

OBIT-CHARLES KEATING

PHOENIX -- Charles H. Keating Jr., the notorious financier who served prison time and was disgraced for his role in the costliest savings and loan failure of the 1980s, has died. He was 90.

UNITED STATES-JAPAN-SKOREA

WASHINGTON -- All politics is local, the saying goes. But in some American cities, local politics have gone international, with city governments finding themselves caught in historical disputes between two close U.S. allies: Japan and South Korea. Korean-Americans have pushed for local memorials for victims of Japanese sexual slavery during World War II and changes in school textbooks to address geographical differences with Japan. By Matthew Pennington and Mari Yamaguchi. AP Photo.

ABORTION RESTRICTIONS-ARIZONA

PHOENIX -- A prominent U.S. women's health organization files an appeal after a federal judge refused to temporarily block the country's most stringent restrictions on the use of abortion drugs. By Astrid Galvan.

MEXICO-DRUG LORD KILLED

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican officials say one of the two remaining top leaders of the Knights Templar drug cartel was killed when he refused to surrender and opened fire on marines. By Olga R. Rodriguez. AP Photos.

US-IRAN AMBASSADOR

WASHINGTON -- Iran has chosen a former hostage-taker involved in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to serve as its ambassador at the United Nations, Sen. Ted Cruz says in vowing to bar him from entering the United States. By Donna Cassata. .

IRAQI WOMAN-BEATEN

EL CAJON, California -- Two years after the fatal beating of a Muslim woman in her California home sparked fears it was a hate crime, prosecutors tell jurors that her Iraqi husband turned out to be the killer, lying to police about his troubled marriage and apologizing to his wife as she lay dying in a hospital. By Julie Watson.

SECRET-SERVICE-MISCONDUCT

WASHINGTON -- The latest embarrassing episode involving a drunken U.S. Secret Service agent overseas for a presidential trip was an isolated incident, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson says. By Alicia A. Caldwell. AP Photos.

ARCHBISHOP'S MANSION

ATLANTA -- Archbishop Wilton Gregory seems to have gotten the pope's message about modest living. Days after Pope Francis permanently removed a German bishop for his lavish spending on a renovation project, the Atlanta archbishop apologized for building a $2.2 million mansion as his residence. He bowed to criticism from local parishioners and said he'd consider selling the new home in Buckhead, Atlanta's toniest neighborhood. By Rachel Zoll and Ray Henry. AP Photos.

WCUP-STADIUM ACCIDENT

SAO PAULO -- Local organizers of the World Cup are adding safety features where a worker died in the stadium hosting the tournament's opening match, hoping to quickly reverse an order that has halted construction in part of the arena. By Tales Azzoni. AP Photo.

EXECUTION DRUGS-TEXAS

HOUSTON -- Two days before Texas is set to execute its first inmate with a new batch of drugs, the state prison agency remains determined to keep its supplier a secret, citing threats of violence to pharmacies that sell drugs used in lethal injections. By Michael Graczyk. AP Photos.

With: EXECUTION DRUGS-OKLAHOMA LAWSUIT.

BUSINESS & FINANCE:

WALL STREET

NEW YORK -- New signs of life in the U.S. manufacturing sector helped push the stock market to a record high Tuesday. By Markets Writer Ken Sweet. AP Photo.

ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING

WASHINGTON -- U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber. AP Photo.

With: CONSTRUCTION SPENDING; HOME PRICES.

APPLE-SAMSUNG

SAN JOSE, California -- Samsung fires back at Apple's accusations of patent theft Tuesday, saying the South Korean tech giant didn't write any of the Android software on its smartphones and tablets, Google did. By National Writer Martha Mendoza. AP Photos.

MICROSOFT-WINDOWS

NEW YORK -- Microsoft is following through on a promise to update its Windows 8 operating system on a regular basis to respond to consumers' complaints and other feedback. By Technology Writer Anick Jesdanun. AP Photo.

PIPELINE EXPLOSION

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is charged with U.S. felony counts involving safety violations linked to a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. By Jason Dearen.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:

FILM REVIEW-CAPTAIN AMERICA

NEW YORK -- For the latest Marvel release, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," most fan boys might prefer a Consumer Reports-style product review. New character introductions: Smooth. Action sequences: Excellent if sometimes lacking finesse. Viewer satisfaction: Likely high. Box-office prospects: Bankable. Teasers for future Marvel installments: Yes, two. With slick design and plushy interiors, "The Winter Soldier" is an excellent product. But is it a good movie? Are the two indistinguishable at this point? By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.

With: FILM REVIEW-UNDER THE SKIN.

JUSTIN BIEBER-FLORIDA LAWSUIT

MIAMI -- A celebrity photographer sought to boost the potential damages he could win from Justin Bieber in a lawsuit that accuses the singer and a bodyguard of battery in a confrontation outside a recording studio. By Legal Affairs Writer Curt Anderson.

CHILE-PEOPLE-PIXIES

SANTIAGO, Chile -- They inspired generations of musicians worldwide, served as the blueprint for countless rock bands, including Nirvana, and got a second life as reunited alternative rock idols. Now, the Pixies say they're forging ahead while still looking for a new sound. By Luis Andres Henao. AP Photo.

FILM-Q&A-ERROL MORRIS

NEW YORK -- Documentarian Errol Morris has profiled all manner of murders and disturbed individuals, but he's most haunted by his latest subject: Donald Rumsfeld. The former Secretary of Defense and architect of the Iraq War was generous with Morris, sitting for more than 30 hours of interviews and willingly sharing his thousands of memos. But the film, "The Unknown Known," is largely a portrait of a grinning Rumsfeld evading re-examination of his decisions. "It's a horror movie," says Morris. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. AP Photos.

VIDEO-MARY TYLER MOORE

NEW YORK -- Mary Tyler Moore is being spotlighted in a new collection of DVDs. "The Dick Van Dyke Show: Classic Mary Tyler Moore Episodes" gathers 20 episodes that dwell on the home life of Rob and Laura Petrie, putting the comic radiance of Moore on full display. By Television Writer Frazier Moore. AP Photos.

PEOPLE-BRADLEY WHITFORD

NEW YORK -- With A-listers like Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts and Halle Berry jumping to TV, actor Bradley Whitford marvels at how show-biz stigma of the small screen is now a thing of the past. By Alicia Rancilio. AP Photo.

FEATURES:

TRAVE-TRIP-DEATH VALLEY

FURNACE CREEK, California -- The perception of Death Valley is that it's hot and desolate. The hot part is right, at least in the summer, when Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth. Even in spring, it's about as hot many other places are come August, with April and May temperatures ranging from the 70s to just over 100 F (21 to 28 C). By John Marshall. AP Photos.

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