Spain jobless rate tops 25 pct


The ranks of Spain's unemployed climbed by 85,000 in the third quarter to more than 5.75 million, pushing the jobless rate to a record 25.02 percent, the National Statistics Institute, or INE, said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government forecast in July that Spain would end the year with an unemployment rate of 24.6 percent.

The INE survey found that the number of Spanish households in which nobody is employed stands at 1.7 million, another record.

Median annual household income in Spain fell 1.9 percent this year to 24,609 euros ($32,109), according to the latest national survey on living conditions.




UCI: No Tour de France winners from 1999-2005


The International Cycling Union, or UCI, decided that the 1999-2005 Tour de France titles stripped from Lance Armstrong for doping and providing performance-enhancing drugs to his teammates will not be awarded to the second-place finishers of those races.

"(T)he Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events," the UCI said in a statement.

"The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period - but while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honor to be gained in reallocating places," the statement continued.

The UCI, which on Monday formally stripped Armstrong of the 1999-2005 titles and banned him from the sport for life, also called for Armstrong and the other cyclists implicated in his case to return the prize money they won in those Tours.




EU gives green light for Spanish "bad bank"


The European Commission and the European Central Bank said in a joint statement that a deal has been struck with Spain on key aspects of a future "bad bank" that will take on other Spanish lenders' toxic property assets, noting that that entity will be up and running on Dec. 1.

The statement said a delegation of experts who just returned from Madrid "reached agreement with the Spanish authorities on important aspects of the design and functioning of the future Asset Management Company, including on its overall size and governance."

The creation of the bad bank was a key element of a memorandum of understanding that Spanish authorities reached this summer with their European partners and which outlined the conditions for a loan of up to 100 billion euros ($129 billion) to recapitalize the Iberian nation's struggling financial institutions.




Hurricane Sandy leaves at least 28 dead in Caribbean


Hurricane Sandy caused at least 28 deaths in the Caribbean when it carved a destructive path through eastern Cuba.

In Cuba, emergency management officials said Thursday night that 11 people were killed, including a 4-month-old baby. Nine of the victims lived in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba and two in the easternmost province of Guantanamo.

Sandy made landfall on the island in the wee hours of Thursday as a Category 2 storm, lashing the eastern part of the country for five hours with torrential rains and maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers (109 miles) per hour.

Meanwhile, emergency management officials in Haiti confirmed Friday the deaths of 16 people and said that 1,372 houses were destroyed in the destitute country's southern regions, especially in coastal areas, while 5,665 people had to be relocated to provisional shelters.




Mexican pol says Zetas killed his son


Former Coahuila state Gov. Humberto Moreira said the murder of his son was an act of revenge for the death at police hands of the nephew of a top leader of the Los Zetas drug cartel.

Prosecutors told him that his son, Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, had been killed on the orders of Zetas boss Miguel Angel Treviño Morales, the elder Moreira said in an interview with Radio Formula.

After Treviño's nephew was killed in a shootout with state police on Oct. 3, "the order was given to kill a nephew of the governor ... and it was my son they killed," Humberto Moreira said.

Ruben Moreira, Humberto's brother, is the current governor of Coahuila. Jose Eduardo Moreira Rodriguez, 25, a regional coordinator of social development programs for the state government, was killed near the Mexico-U.S. border just hours after the death of Treviño's nephew.




5 Dead, 11 missing in Argentina supermarket collapse


Five people died and 11 are missing after the roof of a supermarket in the southwestern Argentine city of Neuquen caved in, officials said.

Another 18 people were injured and taken to different health clinics, six of whom remain hospitalized, the city's coordination secretary, Marcelo Bermudez, told TN television.

"Police and firefighters, who are the people authorized to go in, confirmed five people dead, one of them apparently a minor," Bermudez said.

The roof cave-in at the Cooperativa Obrera supermarket in Neuquen, located 1,153 kilometers (715 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, occurred Thursday night for reasons currently under investigation.