Romney says his campaign is aimed at 100 percent of the population


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that his campaign is aimed at 100 percent of the U.S. population and added that he was convinced of his ability to redirect the economy to improve the quality of life for all.

"My campaign is about the 100 percent of America," he said here at a "Meet the Candidate" forum organized by Univision, the country's leading Spanish-language network.

"I know I'm not going to get 100 percent of the vote, And my campaign will focus on those people we think we can bring in to support me," the former Massachusetts governor said when asked about his recently-leaked comments at fund-raising event where he labeled 47 percent of the electorate as dependent on government.

"But this is a campaign about helping people who need help, and right now the people who are poor in this country need help getting out of poverty, the people in the middle class need help because their incomes have gone down every year for the last four years," Romney continued.




16 Slaughtered in rural Honduras


Sixteen members of an extended family were killed in a remote area of the eastern Honduran province of Olancho, a relative of the victims said.

The National Police have yet to confirm that the massacre took place, Security Ministry spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia told Efe, while media outlets said investigators planned to travel to the scene later Thursday.

Leonidas Carrasco told reporters that his daughter, Teodora, and her husband, Anastacio Almendarez, were slain along with a number of children.

One of Carrasco's grandchildren survived because he was not home at the time of the attack.

Regarding the motive for the bloodbath, Leonidas Carrasco said it might have had something to do with a dispute over a land transaction.




6 Slain in Mexico


Three Mexican federal police were gunned down in the western state of Durango a few hours after authorities disclosed the murder of three high-ranking public safety officials in a city on the U.S. border.

The officers were killed while en route to a bank in the municipality of Gomez Palacio, the Durango Attorney General's Office said, attributing the crime to a group of armed men traveling in several vehicles.

News of the triple-murder in Durango followed a statement from the Tamaulipas AG's office about the killings of three officials in that northeastern state.

The bodies were discovered shortly after 11:00 p.m. Wednesday inside a bullet-riddled vehicle abandoned in the city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the border from Laredo, Texas,




1 Dead in protest against Barrick Gold in Peru


One protester was killed and four were injured in a clash between police and a group of peasants at a mine owned by the Peruvian subsidiary of Canada's Barrick Gold, a police spokesperson told Efe.

"Four were injured and one person was killed, all civilians" in the protest in the northwestern region of Ancash, the spokesperson said on condition of anonymity and without giving further details.

The clash occurred Wednesday afternoon when some 150 peasants from the Mareniyoc and San Isidro communities blocked an access road to the Pierina mine - owned by Barrick Misquichilca, the local subsidiary of the world's largest gold producer - to protest a lack of potable water over the past eight days, RPP radio reported.




Venezuela says refinery blaze under control


Venezuela's oil minister said that a fire at the El Palito refinery is under control and that the plant is operating normally.

"That fire is controlled. It's confined. We're putting it out," Rafael Ramirez, who is also president of state oil company PDVSA, told state television.

The fire broke out Wednesday after lightning struck two fuel storage tanks at the refinery in northwestern Venezuela during what the minister described as a "big electrical storm."

Ramirez said a blaze that had affected one fuel tank has been extinguished and that work now is focused on a second burning tank with a 170,000-barrel capacity.




Spain auction sees lower borrowing costs for benchmark bond


Spain's Treasury sold 4.8 billion euros ($6.2 billion) worth of debt in an auction that attracted strong demand, paying a sharply lower interest rate on its benchmark 10-year note.

The average interest rate on that bond was 5.7 percent, down from 6.706 percent in the previous auction and roughly equivalent to the yield on the 10-year note in the secondary market.

The interest rate on the benchmark bond, 859 million euros ($1.1 billion) of which were sold in Thursday's auction, was the lowest since February.

However, the average interest rate on Thursday's issue of three-year notes, 3.9 billion euros ($5.1 billion) of which were sold, stood at 3.919 percent, up from 3.774 percent in the previous auction and higher than the 3.669 percent yield in the secondary market.

The yield on the country's 10-year note has fallen since the European Central Bank announced early this month that it will buy unlimited amounts of government bonds to help Spain and other countries hobbled by high borrowing costs.