7 Hurt in shootout between rival unions in Argentina


Seven people were wounded in a gunbattle between rival factions of Argentina's Uocra national construction union.

More than 50 people were arrested after the clash in the capital suburb of Florencia Varela, where several vehicles were set on fire.

The violence began when people from one of the contending factions burst into the local Uocra union hall during a meeting, witnesses said.

One of the nine Uocra delegates shot in a similar confrontation in Florencio Varela six months ago was left a paraplegic.




Chavez names Maduro to be Venezuela's new V.P.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, just days after winning reelection for the 2013-2019 term, on Wednesday launched reforms in his Cabinet and named Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro as his new vice president, replacing Elias Jaua, who will compete in a regional gubernatorial election in December against opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

"Up until this week we've had Elias as vice president. He's been an excellent vice president: Thank-you, Elias," said Chavez after being proclaimed by the National Elections Council, or CNE, as the winner of last Sunday's presidential election with 55.26 percent of the votes over Capriles' 44.13 percent.




Spain, France close ranks in favor of EU regulation of banks


Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and French President Francois Hollande called here for agreements reached at a European Union summit in June to be implemented and specifically demanded that a pan-European bank supervisory body become a reality in 2013.

In a press conference after a bilateral summit, Rajoy and Hollande said they will ask their colleagues during next week's gathering of EU leaders to show they are serious about resolving the sovereign-debt crisis by honoring pledges made this summer.

The Spanish premier said he will demand that steps be taken before year's end, particularly with respect to the proposed banking union.

Given that European Council President Herman Van Rompuy was tasked with presenting a proposal on bank supervision by December, "there's no reason" decisions cannot be made at this time, Rajoy said.




Spain's credit rating cut to 1 notch above junk status


Rating agency Standard & Poor's said that it now rates Spain's sovereign debt as BBB-minus, one notch above junk status.

The decision to downgrade the rating by two notches, from BBB-plus, was based on the deepening of Spain's economic crisis, marked by rising unemployment and fiscal restrictions that make it difficult for the government to take any steps to spur growth, S&P said.

S&P also cited doubts about the determination of other European Union members to fully share the costs of shoring up troubled Spanish banks and pointed to the lack of a clear direction in the policies of the eurozone.




Two dead, one trapped in Miami parking garage collapse


Two workers died and another was trapped and in serious condition in the collapse of a five-story parking garage under construction at a campus of Miami Dade College.

Nine other people were hurt and one of the roughly 30 workers at the site when the accident happened remains unaccounted for.

Doctors and paramedics are fighting to save the life of one of the workers who remains partially buried in the rubble of the ruined parking garage, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesperson Griselle Marino told Efe.




Spain, U.S. sign accord to deploy anti-missile shield


Spain and the United States at NATO headquarters here signed an agreement that will allow the deployment of an anti-missile shield at Spain's Rota naval base.

"This accord is important for NATO and very important for Spain," said Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes, who signed the pact with his U.S. counterpart Leon Panetta at the close of the NATO ministerial meeting devoted, among other things, to Afghanistan.

Morenes said, at a press conference, that the signing of the agreement gives Spain "important international credibility," and he emphasized that the country is thus contributing to NATO security.




Convicted Brazilian pol resigns official post


The former chairman of Brazil's ruling Workers Party resigned as special adviser to the Defense Ministry after his conviction on corruption charges.

Jose Genoino, who was part of the armed resistance to the 1964-1985 military regime and helped found the Workers Party, or PT, in 1980, announced his resignation at a meeting of the party leadership in Sao Paulo.

A majority of the 10 Supreme Court justices voted to find Genoino guilty of corruption for the payment of bribes to lawmakers during the first two years of the PT's Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva 2003-2011 tenure as president.




Guatemalan police arrest suspect in killing of 7


The man suspected of leading the slaughter of seven people inside a home south of the Guatemalan capital is in custody, police said.

Cesar Chavez, 38, was arrested in the village where the killings took place, police spokesman Pablo Castillo told the media.

It was in the wee hours of Tuesday that rifle-toting men burst into the Gonzalez family's modest dwelling in Las Escobas and opened fire.

Maria Concepcion Gonzalez, 50, her son, Enrique Gonzalez, 24, daughter-in-law Sandra, 25, and granddaughter Julissa, 8 months, died in the attack.

The other family members killed in the attack have been identified as Encarnacion Gonzalez, 18, Roberto Gonzalez, 25, and Israel Gonzalez, 8.