Spain gov't: Number of jobless down again in July


The number of officially registered job seekers in Spain fell in July by 64,866 people to a total of 4,698,814, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said.

That marked the fifth consecutive month in which the number of registered unemployed has fallen, according to the ministry, which said the fall in the ranks of the jobless was more than double the drop counted in the same month of 2012.

Nevertheless, the number of officially registered job seekers has risen by 111,359 people since July 2012.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced Thursday that 341,408 people had been removed from the unemployment rolls over the past five months.




Economists trim Mexico growth forecast


Private-sector economists surveyed in July lowered their 2013 growth forecast for Mexico to 2.65 percent, down from 2.84 percent in the previous month's survey, the central bank said.

The analysts, however, slightly raised their growth forecast for next year to 3.98 percent, up from 3.93 percent in June.

The experts cited weakness in foreign markets and the global economy, international financial instability, domestic public safety concerns and the lack of structural change in Mexico as reasons for lowering their 2013 gross domestic product forecast.

According to provisional seasonally adjusted figures, Mexico's economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, up from 2.2 percent growth in the first three months of the year.




Snowden has a place to live, Russian lawyer says


A day after receiving a one-year grant of political asylum in Russia, former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has a place to live, his Russian legal adviser said.

"The problem of housing is already solved. Everything's fine," Anatoli Kucherena told the media.

Snowden, who faces charges in the United States under the 1917 Espionage Act for exposing Washington's targeting of the telephonic and Internet communications of tens of millions of private citizens in the United States and abroad, spent five weeks in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport

Snowden arrived in Moscow on June 23 with plans to board another flight for Cuba en route to asylum in Ecuador, but that plan fell apart and the U.S. government revoked his passport.




Brazilian police suspected in man's disappearance


Brazil's human rights minister said personnel at a Rio de Janeiro police precinct are the chief suspects in the disappearance of a construction worker who has not been seen since cops picked him up on July 14.

"The investigation should be pursued with the clear and concrete hypothesis that the responsibility lies with the public agents," Maria do Rosario Nunes told reporters in the capital.

Amarildo Souza, 42, disappeared after police at a precinct in the Rio shantytown of Rocinha mistook him for a local drug trafficker and took him in for questioning.

"Police abuse and violence is something we can no longer co-exist with," the human rights minister said, citing the situation in the central state of Goias, where an "immense number" of people have gone missing after being taken into custody by cops.




Brazil creates company to manage pre-salt contracts


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff signed a decree creating a new state-owned company to manage contracts for large oil and natural gas fields in the offshore pre-salt region.

Brasilia-based Pre-Sal Petroleo, or PPSA, which is overseen by the Mines and Energy Ministry, has been launched with 50 million reais ($21 million) in initial capital, according to the decree published Friday in the official gazette.

PPSA will be tasked with managing production-sharing and sales contracts governing pre-salt oil and natural gas, representing the government, and making technical and financial evaluations of hydrocarbon development and production plans in that region.

The pre-salt frontier, a series of ultra-deep oil fields that were discovered in recent years and stretch for some 800 kilometers (500 miles) off the Atlantic coast, could dramatically increase Brazil's proven-reserve tally and transform the country into a major crude exporter.




Chilean miners riled by lack of prosecution in cave-in


The shift leader for a group of 33 men trapped for nearly 70 days in 2010 inside a mine in northern Chile said the workers would file a complaint with the International Labor Organization after prosecutors in the Andean nation declined to charge anyone in the cave-in.

At the close of its three-year investigation, the prosecutor's office in the Atacama region said Thursday it would not bring charges against the owners of the San Jose copper-gold mine or the regional heads of the National Geology and Mining Service.

"If the legal system worked as it should, they (the mine's owners) would be in jail," Luis Urzua told CNN Chile.