Mexico seeks U.S. intel on airport chief's links to drug trade


The Mexican government has asked the United States for information about the alleged links between the director of the Mexico City airport and drug traffickers, Attorney General Marisela Morales said.

Hector Velazquez Corona, director of Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport, "has links to employees of different drug cartels and facilitates their operations," El Universal newspaper reported Tuesday, citing U.S. Justice Department documents.

The Mexican government has requested the documents from the United States, but "U.S. agencies indicated that they do not have anything at this time," the attorney general said, adding that the Mexican government nevertheless plans to "investigate everything necessary."

Two Federal Police officers under investigation for drug trafficking killed three fellow officers who were about to arrest them at the airport earlier this week.




Rajoy to EU: Spanish borrowing costs not sustainable


Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he will urge his European Union colleagues at this week's summit to adopt measures to stabilize financial markets, indicating that interest rates on Spain's government bonds are not affordable for much longer.

With the risk premium on Spanish debt at its current level, "it's very difficult for the economy to grow," Rajoy said in Parliament in response to a question about the government's position ahead of a two-day EU summit that begins Thursday.

Spain's risk premium - the extra return investors demand on its benchmark 10-year bond compared with equivalent, safe-haven German debt - widened to 522 basis points after a debt auction Tuesday, and has soared to a euro-era record of more than 550 basis points in recent weeks amid downgrades of Spain's sovereign debt by ratings agencies.

Rajoy told the lawmakers that he will call on Spain's European partners to use available EU instruments to calm the market turmoil.




Newspaper: Mexico's TV giant backs presidential front-runner


A special unit of Mexico's dominant television broadcaster has worked since at least 2009 to advance the presidential candidacy of Enrique Peña Nieto, who is widely favored to win the July 1 contest, Britain's Guardian newspaper said.

Documents show that a team inside Televisa paid for and distributed videos praising Peña Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, ahead of the 2009 midterm legislative elections, the daily said.

The PRI's 2009 success in the central state of Mexico - where Peña Nieto was then governor - solidified his status as the party's presumptive 2012 presidential nominee.

The new revelations about Televisa, the world's largest Spanish-language media conglomerate, cast doubt on the network's claims to impartiality, the Guardian said in a front-page story.




Brazil's Vale receives environmental license for mega-project


Brazilian mining giant Vale said it has received a preliminary environmental license for its massive Carajas S11D project, which includes an iron ore mine and a processing plant and is located in the northern Amazon state of Para.

Vale says the project, with an initial annual production capacity of 90 million metric tons, is the largest in its history and also in the iron ore industry.

The project is "our major lever for production capacity growth and for maintaining Vale's undisputed leadership in the global market in terms of volume, cost and quality," the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Vale, the world's largest iron ore producer and exporter, said the start-up of the $8.04 billion capex project in Para, where the bulk of the company's reserves are located, is scheduled for the second half of 2016.




Navy helicopter's wreckage found in western Mexico


The wreckage of a missing Panther helicopter, which apparently "impacted the side of a mountain," was found in Jalisco, a state in western Mexico, the Navy Secretariat said.

It is not known whether the four crewmen aboard the chopper, which went missing last Friday, survived the accident because search and rescue teams have not yet reached the crash site, navy spokesmen told Efe.

"The aircraft was spotted some 18 kilometers (11 miles) to the east of the city of Pihuamo" in a mountainous area, the secretariat said. The Panther helicopter was carrying "a captain, two officers and an enlisted man."

The chopper was flying on a route between Manzanillo, a city in Colima state, and Morelia, capital of Michoacan state, on its way to the base in Minatitlan, Veracruz, after taking part in a mission in the Pacific region, the secretariat said.




Defending champ Spain on its way to Euro final


Spain's national soccer team is one step closer to the unprecedented feat of winning three major competitions in four years after beating Portugal on penalties here in the semifinal of the 2012 European Championship.

As he did in the Euro quarters four years ago, midfielder Cesc Fabregas delivered the decisive blow for Spain in the 4-2 shootout.

The Spanish squad, which followed its Euro 2008 triumph by winning the 2010 World Cup, will face Germany or Italy in Sunday's final at Olympic stadium in Kiev.