Peña Nieto wins Mexico's presidency with 38 pct of vote

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Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto won Mexico's presidency with 38.02 percent of the vote, putting him more than six percentage points ahead of his nearest rival, preliminary results released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, show.

Some 95.05 percent of the ballots had been counted as of 1:15 p.m., the IFE said, adding that the tally was continuing.

Figures from the Preliminary Election Results Program, or PREP, will continue to be released until 8:00 p.m., the IFE said.

Peña Nieto, who is also the candidate of the Mexican Green Party, or PVEM, may have received nearly 18.1 million votes, putting him firmly in first place.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, candidate of the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, got 31.73 percent, or 15.1 million votes, while governing National Action Party, or PAN, standard-bearer Josefina Vazquez Mota, the only woman in the race, came in third, getting 25.45 percent, or 12.1 million votes.

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OAS observers praise Mexican electoral process

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Mexico's general elections took place in a "calm, respectful and orderly" manner, the Organization of American States, or OAS, observer mission said.

The electoral process that culminated with Sunday's presidential, legislative and local elections was a "success," the observer mission, led by former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, said in a statement.

The improvements made by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, to the Preliminary Election Results Program, or PREP, provided "adequate security measures and speed in the transmission (of figures) based on a considerable technological infrastructure," the OAS observer mission said.

"Mexico has a robust and trustworthy elections system today, equipped with a significant number of controls, which, once the physical count of ballots has taken place, should allow it to demonstrate trust in the electoral system stemming from the reforms implemented starting with the 2006 election," the OAS observer mission said.

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Mexico's PAN suffers heavy losses in general elections

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Mexico's governing National Action Party, or PAN, suffered "a huge defeat" in the general elections and will now have to "regroup and pick itself up," party chairman Gustavo Madero said.

Mexico is going through "a transition that is still at risk," Madero told MVS radio.

The PAN chairman said he did not plan to resign, but he added that the party was undergoing "self-criticism and was humbled" by the election results.

PAN presidential candidate Josefina Vazquez Mota, the only woman in the race, acknowledged Sunday night that the voting results looked unfavorable.

Vazquez Mota came in third, getting 25.37 percent of the vote, with more than 90 percent of the ballots counted.

The PAN will now be the No. 3 party in the 500-seat lower house of Congress, going from 142 seats to 118 seats, and the No. 2 party in the 128-seat Senate, with the number of seats under its control dropping from 50 to 41.

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Storms leave 17 dead, millions without power in U.S.

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More than half a million homes and businesses in the Washington metropolitan area and the states of Virginia and Maryland remained without electricity, three days after a string of thunderstorms left at least 17 people dead.

The federal and local governments suspended activities, gave personnel a day off and intensified efforts to clean up the streets and repair damage.

The governments of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia declared a state of emergency after Friday night's storm knocked down trees and power lines, caused flooding in some areas and damaged thousands of buildings.

North Carolina and New Jersey also suffered the onslaught of sudden, powerful storms this weekend, which raised the number of people without electricity to 2 million during a week of soaring temperatures that increased health risks for children, the ill and the elderly.

According to a CBS network report, 17 people have died up to now and one went missing in the storms.

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Spain paints the town red and yellow to celebrate soccer triumph

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Tens of thousands displaying the national colors of red and yellow thronged the streets of this capital as Spain's national soccer team celebrated its victory in the 2012 European Championship, rounding out a historic triple that also includes the 2008 Euro title and the 2010 World Cup.

The massive reception in Madrid climaxed celebrations for the title won Sunday in Ukraine and was the final ecstatic moment of almost 24 hours of partying all around the country.

After all-night celebrations following the 4-0 triumph over Italy, the Spanish team took the plane from Kiev and landed at the Madrid airport at 3:40 p.m. Team captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas emerged first from the airplane carrying the championship cup, together with manager Vicente Del Bosque.

From the airport the team marched to the airport hotel for a brief rest, then left for the Zarzuela Palace where they met for about an hour with King Juan Carlos.

Members of the Spanish squad then climbed onto an open-top bus to make their way downtown for the celebration with fans.

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Rio de Janeiro declared World Heritage Site

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The landscapes of Rio de Janeiro have been entered onto the World Heritage List, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said.

The decision regarding the Brazilian city was adopted by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in Russia's second-largest city.

Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea was the only Latin American site aspiring to be included on the list at the current meeting.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said that the UNESCO designation was a "reason for pride for all of Brazil" and an incentive to continue with Rio's "revitalization."

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U.S. journalist found dead in Mexico

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Armando Montaño, a 22-year-old U.S. man working as an intern at The Associated Press bureau in the Mexican capital, was found dead over the weekend, the Mexico City district attorney's office told Efe.

The body was found Saturday night in an elevator shaft of a building located in the downtown Condesa neighborhood near where the young man lived.

The AP released a note on the death of Montaño, who had arrived in Mexico City in early June.

According to the AP director for Latin America, Marjorie Miller, the young man was not on an assignment to cover any particular news story at the time he lost his life.

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50 Hurt in clash between cops, students in Guatemala

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Two Cabinet ministers and three journalists were among the 50 people injured here in a clash between police and protesting students, Guatemalan authorities said.

The trouble began when students opposed to planned changes in the curriculum for aspiring primary teachers tried to take Education Minister Cynthia del Aguila hostage.

Del Aguila was presiding over an event at Guatemala City's Parque de la Industria when dozens of students from normal schools - which prepare elementary education teachers - surrounded the minister in a bid to force her to abandon the proposed changes.

Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla rushed to the scene and sought to persuade the students to free his Cabinet colleague. When the protesters refused, he ordered riot police to extract Del Aguila by force.

The cops deployed tear gas and pepper spray and the protesters responded by throwing rocks and bottles before dispersing.

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Reputed drug kingpin arrested in Puerto Rico

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A reputed drug trafficker wanted by U.S. federal authorities was arrested over the weekend in suburban San Juan, Puerto Rico's El Nuevo Dia newspaper said.

Jaime Davila, a.k.a. "Peluche," was detained Sunday night in a housing development in Bayamon on federal charges of distributing crack and powder cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, the paper said in its online edition.

Davila, who was arrested in possession of a .40 caliber pistol, is also a suspect in several murders.

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EFE