PRI ends up with most seats in Mexico's Congress


President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, ended up with the most seats in Congress, based on an analysis of the "probable composition" of the next legislature, the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, said.

The PRI, if the election results are certified, will have 207 seats in the 500-member lower house of Congress, while the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, will hold 114 seats and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, will have 101, the IFE said.

The Mexican Green Party, an ally of the PRI, will have 33 seats in the lower house of Congress.

The Workers Party and the Citizens Movement, both members of the leftist coalition, will have 19 seats and 16 seats, respectively, while the New Alliance Party, or PANAL, will have 10 seats.

The PRI will have 52 of the 128 seats in the Senate, while the PAN will hold 38 seats and the PRD will have 22 seats.

The Green Party will have nine seats, the Workers Party will hold four seats, the Citizens Movement will have two seats and PANAL will have one seat, the IFE said.




Spanish banks to get 1st dollop of Eurogroup aid this month


The up to 100 billion euros ($122.7 billion) in aid the Eurogroup has approved for Spain's troubled banks will be disbursed over the next 18 months, with the first tranche due by the end of July, the Spanish economy minister said here.

The 30 billion euros ($36.7 billion) to be released this month is a "kind of security cushion," Luis de Guindos told a press conference in Brussels after a meeting of European Union economy and finance ministers.

Those funds could be injected into Spanish banks "very speedily" once the specific needs of the respective institutions are determined, the Spanish official said.




Border Patrol rescues 15 migrants in Arizona desert


The U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector announced that it rescued 15 undocumented migrants in the Arizona desert during the first few days of July, a period during which agents also found six bodies, presumably of migrants who perished trying to illegally enter the United States.

The rescued immigrants required medical attention because they were severely dehydrated, the Border Patrol said in a press release.

Border Patrol agents also reported the discovery of five bodies in the Tucson Sector, which includes 90 percent of the frontier region between Arizona and Mexican state of Sonora.

The immigrants apparently died of exposure in the desert, where daytime temperatures average 110 F (43 C) at this time of year.




At least 85 cases of cholera confirmed in Cuba


At least 85 cases of cholera have been confirmed in Cuba and three people have died since the outbreak was detected, officials of the Pan American Health Organization told Efe.

The figures match those announced by Cuban state epidemiologist Ana Maria Batista Gonzalez.

For its part, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention make no mention of cholera nor recommend vaccination against the disease in their warnings to travelers going to Cuba.




Mexican police nabbed hundreds of crime bosses in border city


A total of 424 "suspected criminals who belonged to the command structures of different criminal organizations" were arrested in the nearly 18 months that the Federal Police was in charge of law enforcement in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in northern Mexico, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

From April 5, 2010, to September 2011, the Federal Police arrested 335 Juarez drug cartel members and 89 Sinaloa cartel members in the border city, the secretariat said.

The Federal Police relieved the army of security and law enforcement duties in Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.




7 Police, 4 gunmen die in shootout in Mexico


Seven Sinaloa state police officers and four suspected gunmen died in a shootout on a highway in northwestern Mexico, prosecutors said.

Gunmen ambushed the state police officers Monday morning on the Los Mochis-El Fuerte highway in the community of Tetamboca, the deputy attorney general for the northern region of Sinaloa, Louis Alberto Jauss, said.

Ten people were wounded in the shootout, Jauss said.

The officers were traveling to Choix, where police chief Hector Echavarria Islas was murdered last week, the prosecutor said.

The gunmen opened fire on the officers from the brush on the side of the road in the city of El Fuerte, hitting seven of the officers, Jauss said.

State police and army troops, backed by three helicopters, launched an operation to try to find the gunmen.




Ceremony honors runners who died at Spanish festival


The father of Daniel Jimeno, the last person to die in the running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, was joined by Mayor Enrique Maya in honoring all the runners who have lost their lives at the world-famous event.

A bouquet of red and white roses along with a red kerchief, the symbol of the San Fermin festival, were placed at the spot where Daniel, a 27-year-old Spaniard, was gored by a bull on July 10, 2009.

The kerchief bore the names of the 15 runners who have been killed since records began being kept in the early 20th century.

Today "is a tough day" and the idea is to honor the fallen runners since there are no monuments to them in Pamplona, Juan Antonio Jimeno, Daniel's father, told reporters.

The runs during the nine-day festival are filled with tension and emotion, and occasionally result in tragedy, with some runners getting killed and many others suffering gorings and other injuries.




Tainted liquor kills 24 in Honduras


Honduran health authorities confirmed that 24 people died over the past two weeks in this Central American country from drinking aguardiente, a liquor distilled from sugar cane, that had been adulterated with methanol.

The head of epidemicological security for the Health Secretariat, Tomas Guevara, told Efe that another 24 people were poisoned by the bad booze.

He added that of the fatalities, 11 died in the Tegucigalpa Teaching Hospital and 13 at their homes in the city of Siguatepeque, 113 kilometers (70 miles) north of the Honduran capital.

"The Attorney General's Office found in the autopsies that there was methanol in the bodies of the victims," Guevara said.




23 Die in violence in Mexico


At least 23 people died in drug-related violence in three Mexican states, officials said.

An abandoned SUV containing five dismembered bodies was found on a road in the northern state of Coahuila.

Two other dismembered bodies were found in the city's Las Margaritas district, Olivas said.

The bodies of two men were dumped in front of a church in Torreon, Olivas said.

Authorities in the southern state of Guerrero, meanwhile, found eight bullet-riddled bodies.

The remains of six people were found in five clandestine graves in the western state of Michoacan, officials said.