Mitt Romney officially obtains Republican nomination


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was officially nominated here by the Republican Party to be its presidential candidate in the Nov. 6 election.

The delegates present in the convention hall announced, state by state, their votes and - as had been expected - Romney and his chosen running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, received a majority.

Romney, 56, has finally seen his dream of getting the Republican nomination come true after failing in his presidential bid in 2008 and this election cycle having to go through a long and bitter primary campaign where he was faced with almost a dozen rivals.




Colombian president confirms talks with rebels


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed that "exploratory discussions have been held" with the FARC guerrilla group about coming to the table for peace talks and that he has invited the smaller ELN rebel group to join the dialogue under the same conditions.

The president made a brief statement in which he warned that in contacts with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, errors of the past will be kept in mind "so they are not repeated" and that during the discussions a "military presence" will be maintained everywhere in the country.

However, Santos said, "any process must lead to the end of the conflict, not to its prolongation."




Fires out at Venezuelan refinery


The fires at Venezuela's Amuay refinery, where more than 40 people died in an explosion over the weekend, have been completely extinguished, Oil and Mining Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

"We can say that the fire is finally extinguished and so the fires we had, which were three, are totally extinguished," Ramirez told VTV.

Firefighters fought all night to put out the fires, which posed "the biggest problem" at the refinery, Ramirez said.

The Amuay refinery, one of the three in the Paraguana Refinery Complex, or CRP, was rocked by an explosion early Saturday that started a fire and damaged about 500 nearby buildings.

The fire was initially confined to two fuel tanks, but the flames later spread to a third tank.




Tens of thousands march in Chile for better schools


Tens of thousands of students and their supporters packed the streets of this capital for a march to demand improvements to Chile's poorly funded public education system.

The demonstration saw far fewer clashes with police than last week's student protests in Santiago.

Organizers estimated the number of participants in Tuesday's event at more than 150,000, while authorities cited a figure of around 50,000.

"The march has been significant in the number of people who have mobilized and because it has taken place without major disruptions to public order," government spokesman Andres Chadwick said.

Convened by organizations representing high school and university students, the march was also supported by educators, grassroots groups and labor unions.




Storm death toll reaches 24 in Haiti


The number of deaths caused in Haiti by Tropical Storm Isaac has risen to 24, with three people still missing, according to the latest figures released by the authorities.

Isaac, now headed toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, struck Haiti with heavy rains and gusting winds over the past weekend.

The provinces with the most fatalities were Ouest, which includes the capital Port-au-Prince, with 10 people killed, and Sud-Est with six.

As a consequence of the storm, which also left 42 people injured, according to the report, three people have gone missing.




Work resumes on dam in Brazilian Amazon


Work on what will be the world's third-largest dam resumed after Brazil's Supreme Court reversed a ruling by another tribunal that put a temporary halt to the controversial project.

Employees "directly implicated" in the current phase of construction returned to their posts "on all fronts," the consortium building the dam, Norte Energia, said in a statement.

The Belo Monte project was suspended after an Aug. 14 ruling by a federal district court that cited irregularities in the approval process.

Construction of the dam began in March 2011 despite staunch opposition from environmentalists concerned about its impact on the Amazon and from local Indians, farmers and fishermen worried about its effect on their livelihoods.




Royal son-in-law returns to Spain to face corruption charges


Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, have relocated from the United States to Barcelona for the duration of the corruption case involving the royal son-in-law.

In a communique submitted on Tuesday to Efe from Barcelona, where the couple and their children have already returned to take up residence, Urdangarin said that he had decided to ask for a "temporary leave of absence" from his executive position with Spanish telecom giant Telefonica.

The 44-year-old Urdangarin, who holds the title of Duke of Palma, said he took the leave of absence to shield Telefonica from any possible negative effects of the corruption case.