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Morning Brief: Only in Americas

Top Story President Obama heads to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago today, where he will meet with leaders from 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations. The conference is likely to be dominated by calls for the U.S. to lift the embargo on Cuba. Obama says the U.S. has gone as far ...

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A man carries flagpoles as he prepares a room for the 5th Summit of the Americas on April 16, 2009 in Port of Spain, a day before the opening of the meeting.Trinidad and Tobago is to become the first Caribbean state to host a summit of the Americas, where a total of 34 countries from across the American continent will converge -- all, in fact, except Cuba -- excluded due to US pressure, on April 17-19. AFP PHOTO/Mauricio DUENAS (Photo credit should read MAURICIO DUENAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Top Story

President Obama heads to the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago today, where he will meet with leaders from 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations. The conference is likely to be dominated by calls for the U.S. to lift the embargo on Cuba. Obama says the U.S. has gone as far as it plans to go in lifting sanctions for now and the ball is now in Raul Castro’s court.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to protest U.S. policy by voting against the summit declaration.There is no one-on-one meeting planned between Chavez and Obama but the White House says the president will not avoid a conversation with his Venezuelan counterpart if approached.

On The Argument, Joseph Tulchin explains what Obama can do to keep Chavez under control at the summit.

Americas

The U.S. Justice Department released Bush administration memos detailing interrogation techniques used by the CIA on suspected terrorists. Attorney General Eric Holder said that some of the techniques used constitute illegal torture, but the department has no plans to prosecute any of the officials involved. 

Meeting the President Calderon in Mexico City, Obama pledged to stop the flow of arms into Mexico from the United States.

Citigroup reported a net profit in the first quarter of 2009, its best quarterly performance since early 2007.

Europe

Spanish prosecutors recommended against investigating Bush administration officials for torture.

The founders of the popular filesharing site Pirate Bay were convicted of breaking copyright law in Sweden.

Eurozone industrial production is down nearly 20 percent and the continental economy shows few signs of recovery.

Asia 

The leader of Thailand’s previous “yellow-shirt” protest movement was attacked by gunmen.

Pakistan secured $5 billion in new aid at an international donor’s conference in Tokyo.

Dozens may have been killed in an earthquake in Eastern Afghanistan.

Africa 

Kenya is emerging as the international consensus choice for hosting piracy trials. However, the surviving member of the group that hijacked the Maersk Alabama last week will be tried in New York.

West Africa may soon face a cycle of devastating droughts, scientists say.

As U.S. Senator John Kerry visits Sudan, the country says it will allow some aid back into Darfur. Aid was suspended after the International Criminal Court indictment of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. 

Middle East

U.S. envoy George Mitchell met with senior Palestinian leaders.

A suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi military base in Anbar province.

MAURICIO DUENAS/AFP/Getty Images

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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