Democrats says convention will be most accessible ever in U.S.

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The Democratic Party's national convention to be held some 50 days from now in this city's Time Warner Cable Arena will be the most accessible in the country's history, organizers say.

At a press conference on Monday at the venue where thousands of Democratic delegates will gather on Sept. 4-6, the man who will chair the convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said that they are "working hard" to transform the way in which the Democratic convention has been held in the past.

The aim of the organizers is to convert this convention into "the most open in the political history of the United States."

"In November, the most important election in our nation will be held," said Villaraigosa in Spanish, something that motivated Latinos in the state to begin to send messages via the social networks to stimulate the participation of the Hispanic electorate.

"It will be the chance to demonstrate that we are the party of inclusion, which fights for the middle class, supports diversity and values Hispanics," said the mayor.

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Bloody weekend in Puerto Rico leaves 19 dead

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The crime wave devastating Puerto Rico left 19 dead over the weekend, police said.

The murders occurred immediately after the Friday visit to San Juan of U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Napolitano came to Puerto Rico after the island's government demanded that Washington impose tougher measures to control the increase in drug trafficking, which authorities here blame for the sharp rise in murders over the past few years.

The secretary acknowledged in San Juan that Puerto Rico is suffering an unacceptable level of violence and said that measures will be taken to control the problem, though she added that no details will be announced so as not to alert the international drug rings operating in the area.

She said that the two interrelated problems plaguing Puerto Rico are drug-trafficking plus money laundering, and the violence inflicted by local criminal outfits.

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3 Teens accused in death of Mexican immigrant in Chicago

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Three Chicago teenagers were arrested and accused of beating to death a Mexican immigrant and then posting a video of the attack on Facebook.

Delfino Mora, the father of 12 children ranging in age from 17 to 40, was found unconscious and bleeding last Tuesday morning in an alley in the Rogers Park neighborhood.

The 62-year-old immigrant was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died several hours later as a result of severe head injuries, according to the autopsy report.

Police said Monday that during their investigation of the incident officers were alerted that a video apparently filmed by the attackers was circulating on the Internet and showed the beating and Mora being punched on the chin and having his head smashed against the pavement.

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Mexico's Lopez Obrador rips Spanish daily over editorial

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Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who finished second in the July 1 presidential election, ripped the Spanish daily El Pais for referring to him in an editorial as a "burden" for Mexico's left and told the newspaper to stop engaging in "colonialist journalism."

"To El Pais: drop the habit of engaging in colonialist journalism," Lopez Obrador said in a Twitter posting.

The former Mexico City mayor did not stop there, however, accusing the newspaper of being responsible for Spain's economic crisis.

"You are better off doing some self-criticism over your responsibility in Spain's disaster," Lopez Obrador said.

Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto won Mexico's presidency with 38.21 percent of the vote, while Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.59 percent, according to the final official results released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE.

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Keeping immigrant families together is "critical," first lady says

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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama argued on Spanish-language television that a second term for President Barack Obama is vital for moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform.

"There is nothing more critical than keeping families together and that is why Barack has been fighting so hard for comprehensive immigration reform," she said in an interview with Univision news anchor Maria Elena Salinas.

The first lady said immigration reform will "be one of my husband's top priorities and it's essential."

The interview was taped last week in Miami, where the first lady participated in a conversation with six Hispanic mothers that was rebroadcast via the Internet and in which she defended the health care reform package pushed by President Obama in 2010.

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Police capture a La Familia cartel boss in central Mexico

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A La Familia Michoacana cartel boss in the southern part of the Mexican state of Morelos was arrested by the Federal Police, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

Omar Iram Guzman Ortiz was captured in the city of Tlaltizapan on Saturday, the secretariat said.

Guzman Ortiz was in charge of staging kidnappings and murdering members of rival gangs, the secretariat said.

The 29-year-old suspect was allegedly involved in the killings last Wednesday of seven people, whose headless bodies were dumped in the cities of Jojutla and Puente de Ixtla.

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Pay cut spurs more protests by Spanish public employees

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Protests by public employees against the Spanish government's decision to cut their pay as part of a new austerity package continued here.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's Cabinet agreed last Friday to implement the initiative, which eliminates the traditional Christmas bonus for public employees, increases value added tax and reduces unemployment benefits, among other steps.

Spain's fourth austerity package in seven months is aimed at achieving 65 billion euros ($80 billion) in savings to meet a European Union-mandated budget deficit target, the conservative premier said last Wednesday in an address to Parliament.

Civil servants, who accepted a 5 percent pay cut under the 2008-2011 Socialist government, launched protests the day after Rajoy's speech to lawmakers and thousands of public employees have taken to the streets of the capital since then.

Spain's economy has been battered in recent years by the global recession and the collapse of a massive real-estate bubble, which has left many banks saddled with toxic property assets.

Overall unemployment stands at more than 24 percent, while Spain's young people are facing a jobless rate of 50 percent.

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Over 250 arrested in Mexico City disturbances

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More than 250 young people were arrested for disorderly conduct on the Mexico City Metro and in city streets over the weekend, the Federal District Public Safety Secretariat said.

The arrests were made Sunday afternoon when the young people became disorderly while heading to a music festival, a spokesman for the secretariat told Efe.

Young people apparently began to insult and harass Metro riders, prompting police to step in and start making arrests in several places around downtown Mexico City.

A total of 259 arrests have been made, but the number could rise once all the people have been processed, the Federal District Public Safety Secretariat spokesman said.

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Former Brazilian president practiced black magic, ex-wife says

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Rosane Collor, ex-wife of former President Fernando Collor de Melo, said in a television interview that the former head of state practiced black magic rituals while governing Brazil from 1990 to 1992.

"They (Collor de Melo and the group of advisers closest to him) performed black magic rituals but not with my participation, because in some things I did participate, but mostly I refused to take part," the former first lady told Globo television's "Fantastico" program.

The former first lady, who was married to the ex-president for 22 years until their separation in 2005, confirmed the revelation about black magic rituals made in 1992 to Veja magazine by Pedro Collor de Melo, the former head of state's brother who died of brain cancer in 1994.

"There were doings in cemeteries, very powerful rituals, and with animals it was a complete slaughter of the chickens, oxen, cattle and other animals that were sacrificed. When I met Fernando he was already frequenting such scenes and after we were married he practiced" those acts, the former first lady said.

The rituals were led by a witch named Maria Cecilia, now an evangelical pastor like Rosane herself, who appeared beside Collor de Melo in several photos at the time he was head of state.

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EFE