EMBASSY SECURITY-TERRORIST MESSAGES
WASHINGTON — In secretive chat rooms and on encrypted Internet message boards, al-Qaida fighters have been planning and co-ordinating attacks, including a threatened plot that U.S. officials say closed 19 diplomatic posts across Africa and the Middle East for more than a week. By Lara Jakes and Adam Goldman.
FORT MEADE, MARYLAND — U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, taking the stand at his sentencing hearing in the WikiLeaks, apologized for hurting his country and pleaded with a military judge for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen. By David Dishneau and Pauline Jelinek.
ASUNCION, Paraguay — Paraguay's new president takes office Thursday, a multimillionaire who has promised to use his business acumen to attract foreign investment and create jobs in the poverty-plagued country. Horacio Cartes was elected amid allegations that his Grupo Cartes company owes much of its success to money laundering, cigarette smuggling, drug trafficking and other organized crime — charges he's repeatedly denied since they emerged in classified U.S. State Department cables published by WikiLeaks. By Pedro Servin and Michael Warren.
AP Photos. Eds: Inauguration at 1100 GMT.
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venomous political attacks have become the norm in Venezuela, and now a governing party legislator has unleashed a tirade in the country's legislature using gay slurs in trying to discredit the opposition. By Jorge Rueda.
BOLIVIA-WORLD'S OLDEST MAN?
FRASQUIA, Bolivia — If Bolivia's public records are correct, Carmelo Flores Laura is the oldest living person ever documented. They say he turned 123 a month ago. The Aymara Indian lives in a straw-roofed, dirt-floor hut in a hamlet near Lake Titicaca, is illiterate, speaks no Spanish and has no teeth. He walks without a cane and doesn't wear glasses. And though he speaks Aymara with a firm voice, one must talk into his ear to be heard. By Carlos Valdez.
UNITED NATIONS — After months of negotiations, the United Nations announces that U.N. experts will depart imminently for Syria to investigate alleged chemical weapons use. By Edith M. Lederer.
HAVANA — Fidel Castro says he didn't expect he'd live long enough to turn 87 this week after grave illness forced him from office in 2006, according to an essay carried by official media. By Peter Orsi.
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Dozens of Rastafarians gather to brainstorm ways of pressuring European countries to pay reparations for slavery and talk about other core beliefs of the homegrown faith. By David McFadden.
MEXICO CITY —A group of farmers and businessmen from the western Mexico state of Michoacan demanded Wednesday that the government stop sending thousands of federal police to fight a local drug cartel. By Mark Stevenson. AP Photo.
MEXICO CITY — The United States has formally requested the re-arrest of a drug lord unexpectedly freed in the 1985 kidnapping, torture and murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Mexican officials say. By Michael Weissenstein. AP Photo.
PUERTO RICO-GAY RIGHTS
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Religious groups gather in front of Puerto Rico's seaside capitol to protest proposed laws that would allow same-sex couples to adopt children and would establish a public school curriculum examining gender issues including sexual discrimination. By Danica Coto.
BOSTON — Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger had family supporters at his racketeering trial, but one person has been missing: his brother William, once one of Massachusetts' most powerful politicians. By Steve LeBlanc.
AIRLINE MERGER-WHAT'S NEXT
DALLAS — The merger between American Airlines and US Airways was supposed to cap an era of consolidation that helped the airline industry return to profitability. And it would produce a stronger competitor to giants United and Delta. Now a government lawsuit to block the merger has put both of those expectations in doubt. By David Koenig.
NEW YORK — Two former JPMorgan Chase & Co. traders falsified bank records to try to cover up trading losses that were spiraling out of control, prosecutors said Wednesday in a criminal case that raises fresh questions about whether Wall Street learned its lessons from the 2008 financial crisis.
LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson's ex-wife breaks into tears when she takes the witness stand in a civil case and described the singer's fear of pain and reliance on physicians. Debbie Rowe says the pop star trusted doctors to prescribe pain medication to him, but they sometimes tried to outdo each other while losing sight of Jackson's care. By Anthony McCartney.
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