Madrid suburb chosen for EuroVegas casino project


The Madrid suburb of Alcorcon has been chosen as the site of the large-scale EuroVegas casino and resort project, Las Vegas Sands Corp. President and COO Michael Leven and Community of Madrid President Ignacio Gonzalez announced.

With an estimated total cost of 17 billion euros (some $22.7 billion), it will represent the biggest private investment in Europe's history, they said.

The first phase is to be built at a cost of 6 billion euros ($8 billion) by 2017, while the entire project is to be concluded by 2022.

Gonzalez said Las Vegas Sands representatives pledged in a meeting Friday that the casino operator would cover 35 percent of the investment cost and assured him the Madrid autonomous government would have access to financing for the remaining 65 percent.




Mexican prosecutor's bodyguards killed by cops


Three bodyguards were killed when police attacked the motorcade of the attorney general of the central Mexican state of Morelos, the state's governor said.

Ten state police officers were taken into custody after the incident, Gov. Graco Ramirez told Radio Formula.

The assault occurred after midnight Thursday in Cuernavaca, the state capital, as Attorney General Rodrigo Dorantes Salgado was en route to his home, the governor said.

Asked whether the cops were trying to kill Dorantes, who escaped unhurt, Gov. Ramirez said the hypothesis of a deliberate attack is as valid as that suggesting confusion on the part of the police




Venezuela devalues currency by 31.7 pct


Venezuela is devaluing its currency by 31.7 percent, though the old exchange rate will be honored for businesses and individuals with pending applications for dollars, Planning Minister Jorge Giordani said.

One dollar will buy 6.30 bolivares under the new rate, up from 4.30 bolivares previously.

President Hugo Chavez's leftist government imposed currency controls in 2003 following an opposition-led general strike that caused economic output to plummet.

The devaluation will be accompanied by greater flexibility in the requirements faced by Venezuelan exporters who need dollars for their operations, central bank chief Nelson Merentes said Friday.




Anarchists claim responsibility for attempted bombing in Spain


An anarchist group has claimed responsibility for a thwarted attempt to set off a bomb at Madrid's La Almudena Cathedral, Spanish police sources told Efe.

The aim of Thursday's foiled strike was "to damage the Borbon monarchy in one of its sacred places," the self-proclaimed Mateo Morral Insurrectionist Commando said in a statement posted on the Internet.

La Almudena lies near the spot where anarchist Mateo Morral tried to kill King Alfonso XIII - grandfather of the current Spanish monarch, Juan Carlos - and Queen Victoria Eugenia on the occasion of their May 31, 2006, wedding.

Though the royal couple escaped unhurt, Morral's homemade bomb killed 30 people. Trying to flee, he was eventually recognized and surrendered to police, but later killed the officer guarding him before turning the gun on himself.




Mexico arrests suspect in massacre of musicians


Mexican authorities said a suspect has been arrested in connection with the massacre of 17 members and employees of the band Kombo Kolombia, a crime they attribute to the Los Zetas drug cartel.

"The main line of investigation is that the Los Zetas killed them," Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene told reporters Friday.

The suspect was not identified, but Domene said he had been working as an informant for the Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent crime outfit.

The 13 members of Kombo Kolombia, three assistants and the band's sound engineer were slain on Jan. 25 and their bodies were dumped in a well in the town of Mina, Nuevo Leon.




American woman reportedly stabbed to death in central Mexico


A 59-year-old American woman was found dead of multiple stab wounds inside her home in San Miguel de Allende, a city in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato, the Correo newspaper said on its Web site.

The Guanajuato state Attorney General's Office said agents from its serious crimes unit were investigating the murder of Joyous Heart, the daily reported.

The woman's body was found on the night of Feb. 1 with 40 stab wounds, according to the paper, which added that the woman's adoptive daughter - with whom Heart frequently argued, according to neighbors - is missing.