Explosion at Mexican mine leaves 3 dead

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Three people were killed and three others injured in an explosion at a mine in the central Mexican municipality of Zacazonapan, authorities told Efe.

The blast occurred at a site where miners extract silver, gold, zinc and copper. "Apparently they were conducting a detonation with explosives in the mine, a cave-in struck and there are people trapped," an emergency services official in Mexico state said.

He said injured miners were evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Toluca, the state capital.

The blast was caused "by human error," Mexico state Gov. Eruviel Avila said on Twitter, expressing regret over the loss of life.

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Brazil posts weaker-than-expected growth in 3rd quarter

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Brazil's economy grew by 0.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous three-month period, well below the government's forecasts, the IBGE statistics agency said.

The country's gross domestic product rose by 0.9 percent relative to the third quarter of 2011, the agency said.

The Brazilian economy expanded by 0.7 percent in the first nine months of 2012 and 0.9 percent over the 12 months ending in September of this year.

Although Brazil's economy grew in the third quarter at its fastest rate since last year, the result fell far short of Finance Minister Guido Mantega's forecast of 1.2 percent GDP growth.

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Mexicans denounce Calderon's presidency with scarf protest

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Activists will display hundreds of scarves embroidered with blood-colored thread at a memorial here this weekend, a protest that calls attention to the tens of thousands of drug-related deaths during departing Mexican President Felipe Calderon's six-year term.

More than 2,000 scarves will be displayed in a memorial in Mexico City's Alameda Central park on Saturday, when the conservative Calderon hands over power to Enrique Peña Nieto.

"We want to stage a peaceful, civic, non-partisan demonstration to bid farewell to Calderon with the trail of dead bodies he's left us with and let Peña know that we're not going to tolerate six more years of the same," activist Rosa Borras said.

Mexico has been wracked by a wave of violence that has left some 60,000 dead since December 2006, when Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the country's violent, well-funded drug cartels by deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers to drug-war hotspots.

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Negotiators wrap up 1st round of Colombian peace talks

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The first round of talks here between the Colombian government and leftist FARC rebels has ended with progress on mechanisms for incorporating civil society into the process, which is aimed at bringing an end to a decades-long armed conflict.

Negotiators representing President Juan Manuel Santos' administration and the guerrillas will resume talks on Dec. 5 after the two sides agreed to organize a citizens' forum on agrarian policy and launch a Web page for receiving proposals from the general public.

"We've made the progress we expected," former Colombian Vice President Humberto de la Calle, head of the team of government negotiators, said Thursday in his first remarks to reporters since the initial phase of the talks focusing on the five-point agenda began on Nov. 19.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, also has reached the end of this first round of talks with "great optimism and hope," the guerrilla group's No. 2 and leader of its peace delegation, Ivan Marquez, said hours earlier.

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Eurozone jobless rate climbs to record-high 11.7 pct

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The unemployment rate for the countries that use the euro inched up in October to a record-high 11.7 percent, compared to 11.6 percent the previous month, Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, said.

That figure marks a new record for the eurozone, while the jobless rate for the 27-nation EU climbed to 10.7 percent last month, up from 10.6 percent in September.

Spain's unemployment rate rose from 25.8 percent in September to 26.2 percent, the highest rate in the EU, while Greece and Portugal had the second- and third-highest jobless rates, 25.4 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively.

Some 25.9 million people were unemployed across the entire European Union and 18.7 million people in the eurozone last month, according to Eurostat estimates.

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8 Bodies found in southwestern Mexico

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Eight bodies were discovered in clandestine graves outside the southwestern Mexican port city of Acapulco after the arrest of an organized crime suspect, authorities said.

The Guerrero state Attorney General's Office said in a statement that two corpses were found Thursday in a district known as Pueblo Nuevo, bringing to eight the total number of bodies discovered at the site.

State AG's office personnel, in coordination with Mexico's army and navy and members of several police forces, on Thursday resumed excavation work at the site where six bodies had been located the day before.

The human remains covered in sand and lime - including the bodies of at least two women - were found in at least three graves, according to media reports.

EFE