AFP Americas News Agenda for April 2

Duty Editor: Daniel Woolls

Tel: + 1 202 414 0541

What's happening in the Americas on Tuesday:

+ Venezuela presidential campaign officially begins

CARACAS: Campaigning officially begins ahead of Venezuela's April 14 presidential election, which will see acting president Nicolas Maduro, the late Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor, battle opposition candidate Henrique Capriles (VENEZUELA-VOTE-POLITICS)


CHICAGO: Automobile manufacturers report on US vehicle sales in March. Expect coverage (US-AUTO-SALES)

LOS ANGELES: Jury selection starts for a trial in which Michael Jackson's mother Katherine is seeking billions of dollars from tour promoter AEG over her son's 2009 death. 1630 GMT. Picture (ENTERTAINMENT-US-MUSIC-JACKSON-TRIAL)

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama meets Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for talks expected to focus on trade and Asia's regional tensions. Lee to speak at dinner of the US Chamber of Commerce and US-ASEAN Business Council at 2230 GMT (US-SINGAPORE-DIPLOMACY)

-- US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-Se, with tensions in Pyongyang likely to top the agenda. 1930 GMT. Picture (US-SKOREA-DIPLOMACY-NKOREA)

-- The National Rifle Association, a powerful US pro-gun lobby, gives a press conference on its school safety program at 1500 GMT (US-POLITICS-GUNS)

-- The Commerce Department releases data on factory orders in February, an indication of trends in the manufacturing sector. 1230 GMT. Expect coverage (US-ECONOMY-MANUFACTURING)

-- World Bank president Jim Yong Kim gives a speech at Georgetown University. 1500 GMT. Picture (WORLDBANK-DEVELOPMENT)

-- Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd to deliver address on US-China relations at 1500 GMT (US-CHINA-AUSTRALIA-DIPLOMACY)

-- British economist Nicholas Stern, author of the influential 2006 study on the economic cost of climate change, to speak at the International Monetary Fund at 1830 GMT (US-IMF-BRITAIN-CLIMATE-WARMING)