Two winning tickets to share $587.5 mn in U.S. lottery


The owners of the two winning tickets in the U.S. Powerball lottery will share $587.5 million, according to figures provided by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The winning tickets were sold in Arizona and Missouri.

The winners each selected all six numbers, which were 5, 16, 22, 23, 29 and the Powerball number 6.

Nearly 9 million other players won smaller prizes by guessing other combinations of the first five numbers.

Nobody has won the Powerball lottery since Oct. 6 and the jackpot has steadily grown since then to become the second-largest in U.S. history, only exceeded by the $656 million won in the Mega Millions lottery in March.




Honduras touts record drug seizure


Honduran authorities seized 15 tons of illegal drugs they discovered buried beneath a clandestine laboratory in the northern province of Yora, prosecutors said.

"According to what the experts say, the drugs found would amount to some 15 tons of cocaine (coca) paste or synthetic drugs," Elvin Guzman, spokesman for the prosecutor's office in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, told reporters.

The drug lab was found Thursday in a village lying between the towns of Santa Rita and El Negrito.

Officials suspect they may find additional drugs in underground tunnels at the site, Guzman said.




Study confirms faults with 287(g) immigration program


The Immigration Policy Center published a study confirming faults with the 287(g) immigration program at a time when the government is subjecting it to review.

Since its creation in 1996, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act has permitted federal authorities to train state and local law enforcement agents to perform certain functions related to immigration.

These include accessing federal databases, questioning and arresting immigrants that are suspected of being in the country illegally and, above all, beginning the deportation process from the 57 detention centers where the 287(g) program is being implemented.




Brazil murder stats reflect racial divide


The number of black homicide victims in Brazil grew by 29.8 percent between 2002 and 2010, to nearly 35,000, while murders of whites declined 25.5 percent to just over 14,000, the Presidential Bureau to Promote Racial Equality said.

The report, "Map of Violence 2012: The Color of Murder in Brazil," shows blacks are significantly more likely to be murdered in a nation where more than half the population claims African ancestors.

The authors of the study say the median annual number of murders in Brazil, roughly 30,000, is alarmingly high in light of the absence of ethnic or political strife in the South American nation.




Death toll in Spain Halloween tragedy climbs to 5


A 20-year-old woman injured in the human stampede at a giant Halloween party in the Spanish capital has died, medical sources told Efe.

Maria Teresa Alonso, who died as a result of "severe brain damage," becomes the fifth fatality from the incident at the Madrid Arena.

The other four victims were also young women.

Alonso had been in a coma since the incident.

Court sources said on Wednesday that the crowd of some 20,000 at the Madrid Arena during the Halloween party exceeded by 58 percent the venue's legal capacity.




Mexico enacts controversial labor overhaul


Mexican President Felipe Calderon, set to leave office in less than 48 hours, signed a labor law overhaul he said will foster competitiveness and productivity while strengthening workers' rights.

In a ceremony at the Los Pinos presidential residence, the conservative Calderon said the measure introduces more than 300 changes to the 1970 Federal Labor Law.

The legislation introduces new hiring modalities, such as hourly pay, seasonal work and probationary periods for new hires; regulates outsourcing; and stiffens fines for companies who fail to meet their obligations.

It also includes measures to speed up labor dispute resolutions and open unions to greater public scrutiny, one of the legislation's most controversial aspects.




Death toll in China fishing boat accident climbs to 11


Eleven people have died and five remain missing after a fishing boat sank off the coast of the northeastern Chinese seaport of Dalian, maritime authorities said.

Following the latest rescue efforts, the number of people reported dead in the accident rose from nine to 11. Their identities have already been confirmed but have not been released by the authorities.

The boat with 17 people on board sank in the wee hours of Wednesday amid strong waves during an attempt to hook the boat to a larger vessel.