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AMERICAS NEWS AT 0500 GMT

TOP STORIES:
US-OBAMA
WASHINGTON _ Tax and immigration blunders trip up President-elect Barack Obama's highly regarded nominee for treasury secretary, arguably the most important position in the next Cabinet that assumes power in the midst of a spectacular U.S. economic downturn. By Steven R. Hurst. AP Photos.
WITH: US-TREASURY NOMINEE.
US-CLINTON CONFIRMATION
WASHINGTON _ Hillary Rodham Clinton says that she intends to revitalize the mission of diplomacy in American foreign policy, calling for a "smart power" strategy in the Middle East and implicitly criticizing the Bush administration for having downgraded the role of arms control. By Robert Burns and Anne Flaherty. AP Photos.
WITH: US-CLINTON LETTERS & DOLLARS.
US-OBAMA-GLOOM AND DOOM-ANALYSIS
WASHINGTON _ In hard times, the man in the Oval Office usually is the one looking ahead optimistically. Not Barack Obama, who is taking office full of gloom and doom about the United States' economy, warning that things are dire and bound to get worse. By Tom Raum.
US-PLANE CRASH MYSTERY
HARPERSVILLE, Alabama _ With his world crumbling around him, investment adviser Marcus Schrenker opted for a bailout. However, his plan to escape personal turmoil was short-lived. The 38-year-old businessman and amateur daredevil pilot apparently tried to fake his death in a plane crash, secretly parachuting to the ground and speeding away on a motorcycle. But the three-day saga came to an end when authorities finally caught up to Schrenker at a North Florida campground where he had apparently tried to take his own life, a U.S. Marshals spokesman says. By Allen G. Breed and Jay Reeves. AP Photos. AP Graphics.
UN-MIDEAST-BAN
UNITED NATIONS _ The U.N. Security Council gives its full support to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he heads to the Middle East to press for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and the delivery of humanitarian aid to the devastated Gaza Strip. Moved. By Edith M. Lederer. AP Photo.
WITH: UN-CHEMICAL WEAPONS-IRAQ.
CANADA-OBAMA-VISIT
TORONTO _ Canada's prime minister said Tuesday energy security and the environmental impacts of Alberta's massive oil sands operations will be top priorities when Barack Obama makes his first foreign visit to Canada as U.S. president. By Rob Gillies.
BRAZIL-ITALIAN FUGITIVE
SAO PAULO, Brazil _ An imprisoned leftist Italian fugitive wanted in connection with four killings in the 1970s has won a victory from Brazil in his bid to be named a political refugee, the government says. By Alan Clendenning.
US-ILLINOIS SENATOR
WASHINGTON _ Senate appointee Roland Burris will be sworn into office Thursday, his office says, closing a painful and protracted certification process ensnared in the federal corruption investigation of the Illinois' governor who appointed him. By Julie Hirshfeld Davis. AP Photos.
WITH: US-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-SHREWD MOVE; US-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-IMPEACHMENT.
MEXICO-SCULPTURES DAMAGED
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico _ A U.S. woman and two Mexican men are released on bail Tuesday after being charged with allegedly damaging pre-Hispanic Olmec sculptures by dousing them with grape juice, cooking oil and other liquids that stained the massive carved stone heads. By Antonio Villegas.
US-SOLD FOR MARRIAGE
SAN FRANCISCO _ A California man has been arrested for arranging for his 14-year-old daughter to marry a neighbor in exchange for $16,000, 100 cases of beer and several cases of meat, police said. By Juliana Barbassa.
US-JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN
LOS ANGELES _ A Japanese businessman who hanged himself in his jail cell while facing trial in his wife's death killed another woman 30 years ago before withdrawing thousands of dollars from her bank account, police say.
TURKS AND CAICOS-CORRUPTION
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos _ The premier of Turks and Caicos says he deserves an annual salary of nearly $300,000, as a commission of inquiry into alleged corruption in his government begins hearing testimony.
US-PEOPLE-ROMAN POLANSKI
LOS ANGELES _ Roman Polanski has no plans ever to return to the United States, according to a legal filing Tuesday in his campaign to win dismissal of a long-ago criminal case in which he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. By Linda Deutsch. AP Photo.
BUSINESS:
US-CITIGROUP
NEW YORK _ The original financial supermarket is dead. Citigroup signaled the end of a decade-long experiment to create one-stop shopping for financial services _ everything from consumer loans to investment banking _ with the announcement that it was merging its Smith Barney brokerage into a joint venture with Morgan Stanley. By Madlen Read and Sara Lepro.
WITH: US-CITIGROUP-MORGAN STANLEY.
US-YAHOO-CEO
SAN FRANCISCO _ Yahoo Inc. named technology veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive Tuesday, bringing in a no-nonsense leader known for developing a clear focus _ something that has eluded the struggling Internet company during a three-year slump. By Michael Liedtke. AP Photos.
US-ECONOMY
WASHINGTON _ The federal government already has run up a record deficit of $485.2 billion in just the first three months of the current budget year. And economists say the imbalance for the full year could easily top $1 trillion, pushed to that eye-popping level by the spending the government is likely to do to combat the recession and the most severe financial crisis in generations. By Martin Crutsinger. AP Photos.
WITH: US-CREDIT THAW.
US-MADOFF SCANDAL
NEW YORK _ Prosecutors ask a federal judge to jail besieged financier Bernard Madoff, saying he tried to pick "winners and losers" in his $50 billion fraud when he and his wife shipped more than $1 million in jewelry to relatives and friends over the holidays. By Larry Neumeister.
ECUADOR-DEBT
QUITO, Ecuador _ Ecuador will make a $30.9 million interest payment on its Global 2015 bonds despite vowing to stop paying other international debt, the finance minister says. By Jeanneth Valdivieso.
FEATURES:
US-ODES TO OBAMA
WASHINGTON _ Poets don't typically write to order. You can't just call them up and ask them for a poem. Not even for an inauguration. But The Associated Press did ask. And they did write. The inauguration of a new president just seems to be a fitting time for poetry, and so 10 American poets accepted the AP's invitation to come up with a little something to mark Barack Obama's ascension to the presidency. By Nancy Benac. AP Photos.
WITH: US-ODES TO OBAMA-TEXT.
US-SOCIAL CIRCUS
ST. LOUIS _ When looking for a way to bring together children of different races, religions and financial means, most people might not think of juggling, tumbling and aerial acts as their "go-to" tools. Jessica Hentoff does. She is the executive and artistic director of a circus school that brings together children who normally wouldn't cross paths and unifies them through circus training and performances. By Betsy Taylor. AP Photos.
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YOUR QUERIES: Contact your local AP bureau, the North America Desk in New York City at +01 212-621-1650 or the Latin America Desk in Mexico City at +5255 3300 7603.


Updated : 2021-01-22 16:05 GMT+08:00