Mexico's Peña Nieto officially named president-elect


Mexico's top electoral court unamimously validated the victory of Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto in the July 1 balloting and confirmed him as president-elect.

"The election is valid," the president of the TEPJF electoral tribunal, Jose Alejandro Luna Ramos, said, adding that Peña Nieto "meets the eligibility requirements" to be president-elect according to the constitution.

The ruling came a day after the same court had dismissed a challenge filed by the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, whose candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, finished second in the balloting.




Spanish gov't approves "bad bank" for toxic assets


Spain's government approved a new financial sector overhaul required by Brussels as a part of a bank-rescue program, creating an asset-management agency - or "bad bank" - to segregate troubled real-estate assets and paving the way for the orderly resolution of non-viable entities.

The overhaul, the third enacted by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative administration since he took office in December, also requires all banks to raise their core capital ratio - a key measure of solvency - from 8 percent to 9 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said in presenting the overhaul in a press conference that it is "a national necessity, essential to recover the loans and financing" urgently needed by small and medium enterprises.

The overhaul, required as a condition for a recently approved euro-zone bailout of up to 100 billion euros ($125.6 billion) for ailing Spanish banks, also bolsters the powers of the state-backed FROB bank-restructuring fund.




2 Hurt in bombing at Colombian prosecutor's office


Two people were injured when a bomb went off at a regional branch of the Colombian Attorney General's Office in the southwestern province of Cauca, authorities said.

The device was planted in the rear of the building in Popayan, Cauca's capital, a spokesman for the AG's office told Efe.

A prosecutor and an occupant of another office in the same building suffered slight injuries in the explosion.

The blast and ensuing fire damaged a storage facility holding evidence for current cases as well as 35 nearby homes, according to a preliminary report from the provincial police commander, Col. Ricardo Alarcon.




Spain fire leaves 1 dead, 5 injured, forces thousands from homes


The fire devastating the province of Malaga in southern Spain has left one person dead and five injured while forcing 5,000 people from their homes in municipalities on the edge of the blaze, Andalusian authorities said Friday.

The charred body of an elderly man was found by police in a toolshed in the Malaga municipality of Ojen, which has been evacuated and is being cleared of rubble since they have reason to believe that a second victim might be found there, the officers said.

Firefighters were focusing their efforts on the Ojen area, since the flames leaped across the highway that connects that village with the tourist mecca of Marbella.




Venezuelan TV cameraman accused of attempted murder


A cameraman with the Globovision network is wanted for attempted homicide in connection with a shooting at a farm near the Venezuelan capital, Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said.

When some of the workers at a collective farm objected to the "unauthorized" presence of a three-person Globovision news crew, cameraman Frank Tolosa opened fire, wounding one of the farm managers, El Aissami told a press conference.

He said the other two members of the Globovision crew admitted to entering the farm without permission and confirmed that Tolosa shot the manager, whose injuries were not life-threatening.

Globovision, which is strongly critical of the administration of leftist President Hugo Chavez, said earlier this week that its news crew was present at Tuesday's incident on the farm and that the network had already shared the information with authorities.




Mexico to monitor crops, fisheries via satellite


Mexico's government said it will begin using satellites next month to track the country's agricultural and fishery production on a "permanent and increasingly precise" basis.

The monitoring will be carried out by the Agricultural and Fisheries Information Service, or SIAP, the Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Secretariat said in a statement Thursday.

It added that SIAP will receive the support of French firm Astrium, which will put a satellite into orbit to process "information on climate, soil, seas and crop location."

The SPOT 6 satellite is currently situated at India's Satish Dhawan Space Center in preparation for its scheduled launch in September. Mexico also will have information delivered from two other satellites - SPOT 4 and SPOT 5 - to the new ERMEXS ground station due to be inaugurated in late September.