U.S. gov't sues to block American Airlines-US Airways merger


The U.S. Department of Justice and the attorneys general of six states filed suit to block the planned merger of American Airlines and US Airways on antitrust grounds.

The proposed $11 billion deal would create the world's largest air carrier, while leaving more than 80 percent of the U.S. commercial air travel market under the control of just four airlines.

"This transaction would result in consumers paying the price - in higher airfares, higher fees and fewer choices," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.




Puerto Rican woman sentenced to 99 years in baby's death


A San Juan court judge sentenced a woman to 99 years behind bars for the death of her 5-month-old baby and for hiding his body in a freezer.

Judge Harry Massanet Pastrana handed down his decision after Xiomara Rodriguez Flores, 26, pled guilty to one charge of murder and two others of mistreatment of a minor.

According to the investigation, the baby suffocated on his own vomit after the mother placed him face down on a pillow and went to bed after being bothered by the child's continual crying.




Major U.S.-Mexico border crossing modernized to speed traffic flow


Mexico and the United States plan to unveil a series of "major improvements" later this week on the Tijuana-San Ysidro international border crossing in an effort to speed up the millions of daily border crossings, the Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat said.

"These modifications will increase the capacity of the lanes on the border bridge and facilitate the flow of passengers crossing the border," the secretariat said in a statement.

On Friday, as part of a widening and reconfiguration project, "Mexico will open five new lanes in the northbound direction on the old access road, known as Puerta Mexico, with the goal of channeling traffic toward the existing U.S. inspection stations," the secretariat said.




24 Hurt in disturbance at Chilean prison


Two dozen inmates were injured in a brawl and subsequent fire at a prison in the central Chilean city of Quillota, authorities said.

The regional director of the prison guard, Juan Carlos Manriquez, said the fire began at 1 a.m. and was started by prisoners who began burning mattresses and other objects that they then threw out the windows of their cells after getting into a brawl.

Manriquez said that the facility's guard intervened and eventually moved all 550 inmates into "the security area."




Cuba marks Fidel Castro's 87th birthday with little fanfare


Cuban Communist Party daily Granma paid tribute to former President Fidel Castro on his 87th birthday with words once spoken by Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez.

"Fidel does not belong to Cuba alone, he belongs to this our world, to this our America," was the Chavez thought cited by Granma.

Tuesday marks Fidel Castro's eighth birthday since an intestinal illness led him to resign the presidency in 2006. Since then he has only occasionally made a public appearance.

This is also his first birthday since Chavez died of cancer in March at the age of 58.




Gunmen kill 7 members of family in western Mexico


Gunmen killed seven members of a family, including two children, and wounded seven others in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, officials said.

The gunmen attacked 30 members of the family Sunday night in Tuxpan, a city in the eastern part of the state, the Michoacan Attorney General's Office said.

Gunmen armed with assault rifles and pistols opened fire on the family, which had taken shelter in a house in the La Catalina area, the AG's office said.

Six males, including boys ages 10 and 14, and a woman died in the attack.




Attacks leave 13 dead, 28 wounded in Iraq


At least 13 people were killed and 28 others wounded in a series of attacks on the security forces and Shiites in Iraq, police spokesmen told Efe.

A car bombing in Al-Mada'in, a town located 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Baghdad, killed at least five Shiites and wounded 15 others near a mosque.

The bomb was detonated as Shiite worshippers emerged from the mosque after noon prayers.




4 Injured in Chile gas explosion


At least four people were injured and another 600 were evacuated when a gas truck exploded at a gas station in the coastal Chilean city of Viña del Mar, authorities said.

The accident occurred soon after 12:30 p.m. when the truck was unloading gas at the station.

The truck had a gas leak that caused it to explode and ignite the fire, witnesses told Radio Cooperativa.

Police immediately cordoned of a perimeter three blocks from the station, while firefighters tried to control the blaze and keep it from spreading to neighboring homes, businesses and a nursery school.