AFP Americas News Agenda for March 13

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion

Tel: + 1 202 414 0541

What's happening in the Americas on Wednesday:

+ Obama meets Republicans on budget

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama goes to Capitol Hill to meet with opposition Republicans on the impasse over the US budget deficit. Picture (US-POLITICS-ECONOMY)


AUSTIN, Texas: The annual South by Southwest festival highlighting new technologies, film and music continues. Picture. Coverage on merit (LIFESTYLE-US-IT-INTERNET-MUSIC-FILM-SXSW)

CARACAS: Monitoring developments in Venezuela where acting President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles are vying to replace the late Hugo Chavez. Coverage on merit (VENEZUELA-POLITICS)

MONTREAL: Preliminary hearing continues in the gruesome case of the so-called "Canadian Psycho," a former porn actor accused of slaying and dismembering a Chinese student. 1330 GMT. Coverage on merit (CANADA-CRIME-COURT-CHINA)

OTTAWA: French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault begins an official visit to Canada. Picture. Expect coverage (CANADA-FRANCE-POLITICS)

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry meets Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan. Time to be determined. Picture. Expect coverage (US-LIBYA-DIPLOMACY)

-- Kerry meets with Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam. 1500 GMT. Coverage on merit.

-- US Major General Abe Abrams, head of ISAF's regional command south in Afghanistan, holds a briefing via video link from Afghanistan. 1500 GMT. Coverage on merit (AFGHANISTAN-US-NATO)

-- The Commerce Department reports February US retail sales, a key indicator of consumer spending that drives 70 percent of the country's economic activity. 1230 GMT. Expect coverage (US-ECONOMY-RETAIL-SALES)