BC-AP News Digest 7 am

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Associated Press

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 11:00 AM

The world at 7 a.m. Times EST.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Rich Somma and Barbara Whitaker can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Aaron Jackson (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, (ext. 7636). Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos

NEW & DEVELOPING

— TRADE DEFICIT —The government reports on the U.S. trade deficit for October at 8:30 a.m.

— PADILLA-TERROR CHARGES — Filing of petition expected after 9 a.m.

— MANNING-WIKILEAKS — Closing arguments are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. in a pretrial hearing for an Army private accused of sending classified information to WikiLeaks information website.

— WHOLESALE INVENTORIES — The government reports how much wholesalers adjusted their stockpiles in October at 10 a.m.

— JOB OPENINGS — The government reports on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for October at 10 a.m.

— ADDS: EGYPT-BROTHERHOOD, SYRIA, NIGERIA-VIOLENCE, ROYAL PREGNANCY-HOAX & BRITAIN-ROYAL PREGNANCY

TOP STORIES

HSBC-BANK CASE

LONDON — HSBC has avoided a legal battle that could further savage its reputation and undermine confidence in the global banking system by agreeing to pay $1.9 billion to settle a U.S. money-laundering probe. Europe's largest bank by market value took the decision to pay the biggest penalty ever imposed on a bank after facing accusations it transferred funds through the U.S. from Mexican drug cartels and on behalf of nations such as Iran that are under international sanctions. By Pete Yost and Pan Pylas.

AP photo.

— HSBC-BANK CASE-GLANCE — A look at money laundering settlements since 2009

— BANKS BEHAVING BADLY-GLANCE — Reputation tarnished by the financial crisis, scandals continue to pile up at banks

FISCAL CLIFF-DISCONNECT

HOOKSET, N.H. — From New Hampshire diners to Colorado coffee shops, voters are reporting widespread disdain with Washington's inability to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff. Voters call the latest stalemate "pathetic," and suggest they have little faith that Congress will do the right thing. The debate is a familiar one. Last year an equally divided Washington nearly let the country default on its loan obligations. The debt-ceiling debate led to dismal approval ratings for Congress and a drop in the nation's credit rating. By Steve Peoples.

AP photos.

— FEDERAL RESERVE — With a nervous eye on the "fiscal cliff," the Federal Reserve is expected this week to announce a new bond-buying plan to support the U.S. economy.

EGYPT-BROTHERHOOD

CAIRO — They showed a military-style precision: Crowds of bearded Islamists proclaiming allegiance to Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi and chanting "God is great" as they descended on tents set up by anti-Morsi protesters outside the presidential palace, swinging clubs and firing rifles. The scene from bloody clashes outside the presidential palace a week ago hangs over Egypt's political crisis, as a daunting sign of how much more violent the confrontation between Morsi's Islamist supporters and the opposition can become. By Sarah El Deeb.

AP photos.

— EGYPT — Egyptian security officials say masked gunmen have attacked opposition protesters camped out at Cairo's Tahrir Square, firing birdshot at them and wounding nine people. AP photos.

MALI-PRIME MINISTER ARRESTED

BAMAKO, Mali — Mali's prime minister resigns on state television, hours after soldiers who led a recent coup burst into his home and arrested him, in the latest sign of the volatile political situation in this once-stable nation in West Africa. By Baba Ahmed and Rukmini Callimachi.

AP photos.

MEXICO-JENNI RIVERA

LOS ANGELES — Shrines and memorials spring up from California to Mexico for Jenni Rivera as investigators say it will take days to piece together the wreckage of plane carrying the Mexican-American music superstar and find out why it went down. By E.J. Tamara and Natalia Cano.

AP photos, video.

AUSTRALIA-APPLE MAPS-DRIVERS STRANDED

SYDNEY — The city of Mildura is not at the end of a dirt road in the Australian bush, in tire-choking desert sand far from food and water. Unfortunately, Apple's much-maligned mapping application thinks it is. More than two months after Apple's CEO apologized for errors in its Maps service, Australian police say the app is "potentially life threatening" because of the bad directions it has given to the southern city. By Kristen Gelineau.

AP photos.

INTERNATIONAL

MEXICO-PRESIDENT INTERVIEW

MEXICO CITY — Newly elected President Enrique Pena Nieto promises in an interview with the Associated Press to continue combatting all illegal drug production and trafficking in Mexico, including marijuana, despite its legalization in two U.S. states and liberalized use for medical purposes in others. By Katherine Corcoran.

AP photos.

PAKISTAN-AIR FORCE WOES

ISLAMABAD — Over a dozen Pakistani air force planes have crashed in roughly the past 18 months, raising concerns about the health of an aging fleet that officials are struggling to upgrade because of a lack of funds. The force, historically focused on countering the threat from Pakistan's neighbor and archenemy, India, has been put under added strain by the need to fight a domestic Taliban insurgency. By Sebastian Abbot.

AP photos.

VIETNAM-US-HUMAN RIGHTS

HANOI, Vietnam — An annual meeting between the US and Vietnamese governments on human rights is being delayed, the latest sign of U.S. frustration over Hanoi's crackdown on dissent and detention of an American citizen since April on charges that carry the death penalty. The relationship between the former enemies has improved greatly in recent years, largely due to shared concerns over China's increasing assertiveness in Southeast Asia, but human rights is proving a stumbling block to stronger ties that both sides want.

AP photos.

— SYRIA — Syrian rebels take full control of a sprawling military base after a two-day battle that left at least 35 government troops dead, an activist group says. AP photos.

— NIGERIA-VIOLENCE — Local police chief in northeast Nigeria and 14 others killed in shoot-out with radical sect.

— BANGLADESH-OPPOSITION PROTEST — Riots, bombs reported as Bangladeshi opposition coalition enforces general strike. AP photo.

HEALTH

FOOD POISONING

WASHINGTON — It's about to get faster and easier to diagnose food poisoning, but that progress for individual patients comes with a downside: It could hurt the nation's ability to spot and solve dangerous outbreaks. Next-generation tests that promise to shave a few days off the time needed to tell whether E. coli, salmonella or other foodborne bacteria caused a patient's illness could reach medical laboratories as early as next year. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Lauran Neergaard.

AP photos.

NATIONAL

PADILLA-TERROR CHARGES

NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union says it will ask for a human rights investigation against the U.S. government for allegedly violating the rights of convicted terror plotter Jose Padilla by subjecting him to sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation in solitary confinement. By Peter James Spielmann. AP Exclusive.

AP photos.

RIGHT TO WORK-MICHIGAN

LANSING, Mich. — The heated battle over right-to-work legislation in the traditional union bastion of Michigan shows no cooling. Supporters and opponents of the plan to prohibit requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services are set to rally anew Tuesday at the Michigan Capitol. The Legislature reconvenes for what could be final votes on the bills. Democratic lawmakers and union backers concede they have little chance of stopping the Republican-dominated Legislature and GOP Gov. Rick Snyder, who has pledged to sign the measure into law. By John Flesher and Jeff Karoub.

AP photos, video.

EXPLOSIVES INVESTIGATION

DOYLINE, La. — The explosives recycling company that caused the evacuation of a Louisiana town has come under scrutiny for explosions and its handling of dangerous materials before, and it was so far behind on its rent that the Louisiana National Guard refused to lease it more space. By Holbrook Mohr.

AP photo.

— STRAUSS-KAHN-LAWSUIT — Strauss-Kahn, NY hotel maid settle sex assault suit; accusation began spate of trouble for him. AP photos.

— POWERBALL-JACKPOT — The Arizona lottery releases the name of the Powerball jackpot winner, a man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb who won half of the $587.5 million jackpot. AP photos, video.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— ROYAL PREGNANCY-HOAX — Australian radio station may have broken the law by airing royal hoax call, experts say. AP photos.

— BRITAIN-ROYAL PREGNANCY — Pregnant Kate to skip 'The Hobbit' premiere due to acute morning sickness; William to attend.

— SCALIA-PRINCETON — Confronted by NJ Princeton student, Scalia defends arguments that strike some as anti-gay. 

— IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS — A report by a press-freedom group finds that 232 journalists are imprisoned worldwide — the highest number since worldwide surveys began in 1990.

— ARGENTINA-SEX SLAVE — Argentine mom rescues hundreds of sex slaves during long, failed hunt for kidnapped daughter. AP photo.    — SOTOMAYOR-MEMOIR — Justice Sotomayor offers revealing look at her life before joining the Supreme Court.

— SANTACON — It's a meetup, it's a party, it's a pub crawl, it's a spectacle, and it involves dozens, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of people dressed like Santa. Yes, SantaCon is coming to town around the world. AP photos.

— ORTHODOX THERAPIST ABUSE — Counselor in New York City's ultra-Orthodox community convicted of sexually abusing young girl for years.

— PEPPERMINT PIGS — A holiday tradition in the upstate New York resort town of Saratoga Springs has a peppermint twist: pig-shaped hard candies that are sold with little metal hammers to smash them at Christmastime. AP video.

— ALAN ALDA-SCIENCE CONTEST — NY professor Alan Alda asks scientists to explain: What is time?

___

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