AFP Americas News Agenda for March 14

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion

Tel: + 1 202 414 0541

What's happening in the Americas on Thursday:

+ Argentina salutes Pope Francis I

+ Obama meets Republicans on budget

+ US conservatives gather in Washington

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina rejoices after cardinals at the Vatican named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and primate of Argentina, the new pope. Picture. (VATICAN-RELIGION-POPE-ARGENTINA)

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama returns to Capitol Hill for meetings that aim break an impasse with Congress over the US budget deficit. Picture (US-POLITICS-ECONOMY)

WASHINGTON: The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) begins an annual three-day gathering attracting thousands of right-of-center activists, with speakers to include former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. (US-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES)

----- OTHER AGENDA ITEMS -----

AUSTIN, Texas: The annual South by Southwest festival continues, highlighting new technologies, film and music. 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)

LOS ANGELES: Attorneys for four sex abuse victims hold press conference after announcing nearly $10 million payout to settle lawsuits against Los Angeles' Catholic Archdiocese and former priest accused of abuse. 1700 GMT. Expect coverage (US-RELIGION-CATHOLIC-ABUSE-PEDOPHILIA)

MONTREAL: A 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)

NEW YORK: Samsung unveils a new smartphone -- the Galaxy S4 -- in its latest salvo against Apple and its popular iPhone, in the lucrative smart phones war. Expect coverage (US-IT-TELECOM-SAMSUNG-APPLE)

OTTAWA: Day two of a visit to Canada by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Picture. Expect coverage (CANADA-FRANCE-POLITICS)

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Another day in court for Haiti's former president Jean-Claude Duvalier, as judicial authorities continue to weigh whether he can stand trial for alleged torture, illegal detention and other human rights abuses. Picture (HAITI-POLITICS-JUSTICE)

WASHINGTON: The Labor Department reports weekly data on initial claims for unemployment benefits. 1230 GMT. Expect coverage (US-ECONOMY-UNEMPLOYMENT-CLAIMS)

-- The US Senate Judiciary Committee holds a vote on bill to restore assault weapons ban that was allowed to lapse in 2004, the most controversial of four proposed gun control reforms. Expect coverage (US-POLITICS-GUNS)

-- The Commerce Department releases data on US producer prices in February. 1230 GMT. Expect coverage (US-ECONOMY-INFLATION-WHOLESALE)

-- Acting assistant secretary for East Asian Affairs Joseph Yun discusses US aid to Myanmar at Brookings Institution as Washington seeks to support reform efforts. 2000 GMT. Expect coverage. (US-MYANMAR-DIPLOMACY-AID)

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