Poll shows Obama-Biden ticket with huge edge among Hispanics


Barack Obama and his vice president and running mate, Joe Biden, would receive the support of a robust 63 percent of Hispanic voters compared with 28 percent who would vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan if the election were held today, according to a recently-conducted survey.

Despite the notable difference, the Democratic candidate over the past month dropped 4 points in support among Latino voters, while the Republican increased by 5 points, according to the poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal, along with Telemundo and NBC News.

Obama is maintaining his popularity among the Hispanic community, which represents 11 percent of the country's registered voters, while Romney has seen both the percentage of his supporters as well as his detractors grow during the past month.

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed hold a positive opinion of Obama and 19 percent view him negatively, while Romney is viewed positively by 31 percent and negatively by 48 percent of Hispanic voters.

The Republican vice presidential candidate, Ryan, is not well-known among Hispanics, with 27 percent not knowing who he is, and those who do know who he is are split almost evenly in their view of him.




Spain's prime minister, king discuss new economic measures


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy explained to King Juan Carlos the economic measures his Cabinet is set to approve this week, among which is a plan to raise from 400 to 450 euros ($500 to $560) the amount of aid available to unemployed people with families to support.

Spain's economic situation and the government's latest initiatives to deal with the crisis were the focus of the first weekly meeting between the king and Rajoy since returning to Madrid after their brief vacations, according to official sources commenting at the end of the meeting, which lasted about an hour.

The king and the prime minister devoted a large part of the meeting to the reform of the Prepara plan regarding aid to the unemployed, as well as the royal decree that will reform the FROB bank-restructuring fund that was created in response to the global financial crisis.

It is expected that the royal decree, the approval for which may be postponed until Friday, Sept. 1, would also establish new regulations on the sale of financial products such as preferred shares.




Failure at Venezuelan power station leaves Colombian city in the dark


A failure at a Venezuelan substation that supplies emergency electricity to Arauca, the capital of the same-named northeastern province on the border with Venezuela, left the city without electricity.

Arauca province has been the Colombian region most affected by rebel sabotage of the electric grid, regional officials said.

A spokesman for the Arauca Energy Company, or Enelar, told Efe by telephone that the electricity crisis in Arauca and other towns in the province got worse on Wednesday when the connection with Venezuela was cut and another electricity tower was toppled.

The tower is the second one knocked over since Tuesday night by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, guerrilla group, to which the army's 18th Brigade based in the provincial capital attributed the attacks in a communique.




JLo, Shakira and Vergara among world's most powerful women


Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Sofia Vergara made Forbes magazine's 2012 list of the world's 100 most powerful women.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was ranked by the magazine in the No. 3 spot.

JLo, the singer of hits such as "On the Floor" and "Dance Again," came in at No. 38 on the list headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Also climbing for the first time into the ranking was Colombian singer Shakira in 40th place. Also appearing on the list for the first time is Shakira's compatriot, actress Sofia Vergara, in 75th place thanks to her position as "the best-paid actress in television" and the star of ABC's series "Modern Family."




Cuban dissident's widow does not buy accident story


Ofelia Acevedo, the widow of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, once again rejected the government version that her husband's death in a car crash last month was an accident and renewed her call for an "independent" investigation into the matter.

All of Paya's relatives continue to be "very grief-stricken" over the death of the human rights activist and on Wednesday night a Mass will be celebrated for him in a private home in the Cuban capital, Acevedo told Efe in Havana.

Paya and fellow Cuban opposition figure Harold Cepero died on July 22 in a traffic accident near the city of Bayamo, more than 750 kilometers (465 miles) from Havana, as they were riding in a vehicle driven by Spaniard Angel Carromero. A Swedish citizen, Jens Aron Modig, was also in the car.

The causes of the accident, according to the government version, were excessive speed and other errors committed by the driver at an unpaved spot on the road - albeit where a sign had been placed warning the public to use caution there - where repairs were under way.




Gov't says 11 mn birds slaughtered in Mexico flu outbreak


The second phase of the bird flu vaccination campaign has started in Mexico, where nearly 11 million birds have been slaughtered to prevent the spread of the AH7N3 avian flu virus, the National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, said.

The vaccination campaign's second phase is being launched at poultry farms in the Los Altos region of the western state of Jalisco, the Senasica said.

Some 90 million doses of the vaccine will be used in the second phase of the campaign, whose first phase resulted in the use of 88.3 million doses of the vaccine, the federal agency said.

Officials are keeping 53 million doses of the vaccine and viral samples in reserve so production can be boosted if needed, Senasica director Enrique Sanchez said.