Spanish judge looking to prosecute Socialists' former No. 2


A Spanish Supreme Court justice confirmed his intention to prosecute former development minister and ex-No. 2 of the Socialist Party, Jose Blanco, for influence peddling.

Justice Jose Ramon Soriano has asked Spain's lower house to authorize him to proceed against Blanco, who currently enjoys parliamentary immunity as a lawmaker.

The judge wants to try Blanco for influence peddling as opposed to official misconduct; if his petition is granted, the Socialist legislator could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court's Criminal Chamber.

The Supreme Court justice is investigating whether businessman Jorge Dorribo, owner of a pharmaceutical company, bribed Blanco and other politicians to expedite the processing of his company's paperwork.




Mexican: No concessions given to China for trade accords


A senior Mexican trade official said agreements with China to bolster bilateral relations, open the Asian giant's market to certain Mexican products and resolve trade disputes were reached without "any concessions or compensation."

Deputy Foreign Trade Secretary Francisco de Rosenzweig said in a press conference that during Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to Mexico, which ended Thursday, progress was made in three trade sectors.

The official said Beijing pledged to open up access to its tequila and pork markets, as well to resolve "in the near future" a trade dispute over Chinese textile exports that Mexico - alleging illegal subsidies - has brought before the World Trade Organization.




Nadal tops Djokovic in French Open semifinal classic


Spain's Rafael Nadal needed all of his skill and competitive fire to rally from a break down in the fifth set and secure a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 9-7 victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Friday's first French Open men's semifinal.

The contest between the seven-time Roland Garros champion and the Serbian was labeled by many as the "real final," considering that Nadal and Djokovic played in last year's championship match and have won a combined 17 Grand Slam singles titles.

Though both players are hard-hitting baseliners, the match featured a contrast in styles, with Nadal preferring to situate himself far behind the baseline on clay and hit with heavy topspin off both ground strokes, and Djokovic taking the ball earlier and hitting a much flatter backhand.




4 Gunned down at gym in Mexican capital


Two suspects were arrested in connection with a shooting at a gym in the Mexican capital that left four people dead, the city's mayor said.

A pair of brothers and a man accompanying them were pronounced dead at the Body Extreme gym in the downtown Tepito neighborhood, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said.

The gym owner died later at a hospital of wounds received when he confronted the assailants, according to Milenio Television.

Mancera attributed the violence in Tepito to an "outbreak of some gangs," ruling out the idea that one of Mexico's powerful drug cartels has established a presence in the capital.




California nuclear plant to be shut down


California's San Onofre nuclear power plant, which has been offline since April 2012, is to be shut down permanently, Southern California Edison said.

Regulators ordered SCE to suspend operations at the plant after a leak in one of the two reactors led to the discovery of cracks in a new steam generator system installed in 2010.

Last month, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board turned down SCE's bid to restart one of the San Onofre reactors at 70 percent of capacity.




17 Dead in attack on Iranian pilgrims in Iraq


Seventeen people were killed and 45 others injured in a car-bomb attack directed at a group of Iranian religious pilgrims in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, police told Efe.

The explosives-packed vehicle exploded near a bus full of Shi'ite Muslims on their way to a shrine.

The blast occurred as the bus, which was part of a convoy, sat at a police checkpoint in Al Maqdadiya, 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Baquba, the provincial capital.

At least 10 of the dead were from Iran, while 13 other Iranians wounded in the explosion are in critical condition, police said. Members of the Iraqi security forces are also among the fatalities.