GULF OIL SPILL
NEW ORLEANS -- More than five years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history fouled beaches, coated seabirds in thick goo and seeped into delicate marshes, BP is preparing to pay a record $18.7 billion to affected states in hopes of closing a legal drama that has cost the company billions. By Kevin McGill, Rebecca Santana and Michael Kunzelman.
TENNESSEE TRAIN FIRE
MARYVILLE, Tennessee -- A CSX train car carrying hazardous material derails and cautches fire in the middle of the night in eastern Tennessee, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and sending dozens to the hospital with respiratory issues and nausea. By Steve Megargee.
AP Photos, video.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis is taking his "church for the poor" to three of South America's poorest and most peripheral countries, on a trip that will showcase the pontiff at his unpredictable best: speaking his native Spanish on his home turf about issues closest to his heart. By Nicole Winfield.
WASHINGTON -- Hispanic leaders are warning of harm to Republican White House hopes unless the party's presidential contenders do more to condemn Donald Trump, a businessman turned presidential candidate who's refusing to apologize for calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. By Steve Peoples.
US-RUSSIA-WHAT WENT WRONG-ANALYSIS
WASHINGTON -- The stumbles, blunders and policy chaos that have sent increasingly frosty U.S.-Russia relations into what many now call a new Cold War might have been inevitable. By Steven R. Hurst.
BRAZIL-SLUM SURFING-PHOTO GALLERY
RIO DE JANEIRO -- It's dawn and barefoot boys are hustling down the inclined alleys of the Rocinha slum, surfboards in hand. They're heading to a free surfing school meant to keep them on the waves and away from lives of drugs and crime. With photo gallery by Felipe Dana.
MEXICO CITY -- A Mexican human rights group says military documents show high-ranking officers had given soldiers standing orders to kill criminals ahead of an army mass slaying of suspected drug cartel members after they surrendered. By Mark Stevenson and E. Eduardo Castillo.
HAVANA -- Cuban authorities have launched public Wi-Fi hotspots along a main avenue that is the heart of Havana's cultural and social life, the first step in government promises to gradually roll out such connectivity options on an island largely passed by the Internet revolution. By Andrea Rodriguez.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Caribbean leaders Thursday that he shares concerns about a crackdown on migrants in the Dominican Republic, most of whom are from Haiti or of Haitian descent. By Carol Williams.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haitian President Michel Martelly, business leaders and civic boosters inaugurated an $80 million container port aimed at giving the hemisphere's poorest country a much bigger role in global shipping. By David McFadden.
COLOMBIA-UN COCA SURVEY
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Cultivation of the leaf used to make cocaine skyrocketed last year in Colombia, according to a new study by the United Nations that is likely to raise questions about the government's decision to abandon a US-backed aerial eradication campaign. By Jacobo Garcia.
BUSINESS & FINANCE
LOS ANGELES -- The Miss USA pageant, left without a TV home following blowback against co-owner Donald Trump over his comments on Mexican immigrants, has been rescued by the Reelz channel. By Lynn Elber.
AP Photos, video.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declines to file felony charges against Sean "Diddy" Combs for a confrontation last month at the University of California, Los Angeles, where his son plays football. By Brian Melley.