6 Dead in France train derailment


Six people were killed and dozens injured when several cars of a passenger train ran off the tracks south of Paris, French President François Hollande said.

He provided the casualty figures after meeting at the accident scene with first responders.

Twenty-two of the injured are in serious condition, the president said, acknowledging to reporters that it will take time to identify the bodies of the dead.

Declining to speculate about the causes of the accident, Hollande said witness accounts indicated "there was a collision" and he vowed that the three investigations now under way - by the judiciary, the SNCF railway and the Transport Ministry - will consider every possibility.




Snowden accepts Russia's conditions for asylum


Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said here that he is prepared to refrain from making further revelations about Washington's global electronic spying if Russia grants his request for political asylum.

The 30-year-old has been stuck in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport since June 23, when he arrived on a commercial flight from Hong Kong.

Snowden traveled to Russia with plans to board another flight for Cuba en route to asylum in Ecuador, but that plan fell apart and the U.S. government, which is charging him under the 1917 Espionage Act, revoked his passport.

While Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered Snowden refuge, he has struggled to find a way to reach Latin America without crossing the airspace of the United States or its allies.




Jury finds Spanish man guilty of killing his 2 children


A jury convicted Spaniard Jose Breton of murdering his two young children, finding that he carried out the killings as an act of revenge against his estranged wife.

The children disappeared on Oct. 8, 2011, after going to a park in the southern city of Cordoba with their father, who denied killing his 6-year-old daughter Ruth and 2-year-old son Jose and said he had lost track of them during the outing.

The investigation centered on bones found in the ashes of a bonfire at a rural property owned by Breton's family. A forensic specialist initially identified them as those of animals, but other experts later determined they were children's bones.




Brazil regulator: Deepwater field to yield 1 mn barrels per day


The Libra deepwater oil field that Brazil plans to auction off on Oct. 21 will yield minimum output of 1 million barrels of crude per day, the National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.

That production would be equivalent to half of Brazil's current output of 2 million bpd.

The consortium that is awarded the right to develop the Libra prospect will likely need to drill for about four years after signing its production-sharing agreement, with commercial production likely to begin in the fifth year, ANP Director-General Magda Chambriard told a press conference in Rio de Janeiro.

ANP studies indicate that between 12 and 18 production platforms will be needed to develop Libra, whose recoverable oil is estimated at between 8 billion and 12 billion barrels, nearly equivalent to Brazil's current proven-reserve base of 14 billion barrels.




13 Dead in Mexico clash between gunmen, army


Thirteen suspects died in a battle between gunmen and Mexican security forces, the attorney general of the central state of Zacatecas said.

"In fact, there were 13 killed by the army in the community of Bañuelos, Sombrerete (municipality), Arturo Nahle said on Twitter.

The shooting broke out around 2:00 p.m. Thursday after Federal Police on patrol spotted a group of armed men and followed in pursuit, newspaper Imagen de Zacatecas said in its online edition.

Nahle later told Milenio Television that elements of the army's 97th Battalion confronted a "heavily armed" group affiliated with a criminal organization operating in Sombrerete and the nearby towns of Fresnillo and Rio Grande.




Brazil's economic activity index down 1.4 pct in May


Brazil's economic activity index fell 1.4 percent in May relative to the previous month, the largest monthly drop since December 2008, the Central Bank said.

The index, known as the IBC-Br, is considered a leading indicator.

The Brazilian economy grew just 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, below official and market forecasts, prompting both government and private-sector economists to lower their projections for GDP growth in 2013.

Private-sector analysts are projecting Brazil's economy to grow between 2 percent and 2.7 percent this year, below the government's forecast for 3 percent growth.