Egypt rocked by more deadly violence


Deadly nationwide clashes involving supporters and opponents of deposed President Mohammed Morsi erupted again in Egypt, where "day of rage" protests by Islamists fueled fears that the country could be lurching toward civil war.

The casualty count varied widely depending on the source, with the Health Ministry confirming only 17 people dead and 82 wounded across the country's 27 provinces, while the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood said more than 100 people died in Cairo alone.

Thousands of Brotherhood members defied a state of emergency and gathered near the Al-Fath mosque in the capital district of Ramses. They were met by a heavy security deployment and the presence on the streets of members of anti-Morsi vigilante groups armed with sticks and knives.

In both the capital and the provinces, demonstrators attacked police stations, Christian churches and provincial government offices and used burning tires to block roads as part of the "day of rage."




Son of Mexican who nationalized oil blasts gov't energy plan


The son of the president who nationalized Mexico's oil industry said the goal of current head of state Enrique Peña Nieto's energy plan was to strip the state of its role in managing the country's hydrocarbon resources.

"What we're seeing, I'd say, is those companies expropriated in 1938 coming back to manage Mexico's oil," Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, a three-time presidential candidate and founder of the center-left PRD party, told MVS radio.

Peña Nieto presented an energy-overhaul bill Monday that seeks to amend two articles of Mexico's constitution to modernize the sector and make it more attractive to multionational companies.

Cardenas said Peña Nieto's plan shows a "clear intent to push aside (state oil company) Pemex, the Mexican state, and replace it with private concerns throughout the oil industry's entire (supply) chain."

That goes "against the ideology, the politics, of everything that Lazaro Cardenas (his father and Mexico's president from 1934-1940) did in his life," he said.




Mexican community threatened after troops disarm local militia


An indigenous community on Mexico's Pacific coast says it is facing a renewed threat from organized crime after the army effectively dismantled a local self-defense group.

"They sent me two harsh threats, that if I don't shut up they're going to come for me, and for the rest of the comrades," Aquila spokesman Octavio Villanueva Magaña told MVS radio Friday.

The threats came hours after he spoke out on Thursday to complain that the community had been left defenseless by the army's move against its militia, Villanueva Magaña said.

Residents of Aquila and other indigenous communities in the western state of Michoacan recently formed militias to defend themselves against a criminal organization that calls itself "Los Caballeros Templarios" (Knights Templar).




4 Die in attack on train in Pakistan


Four people were killed and a score of others wounded in an attack on a passenger train in western Pakistan, police told Efe.

"First they launched a rocket that damaged the train engine, but did not cause casualties, and later a firefight broke out between the attackers and the security forces who arrived at the scene," Ghulam Murtaza said from a police post in the Bolan district.

While unable to identify the dead, the officer said all of the wounded were train passengers and that four of them were in critical condition.

No group has claimed responsibility for the late morning attack on the Jaffar Express, which links the southwestern city of Quetta with Rawalpindi, near Islamabad.




Ecuador abandons plan to leave oil in the ground


Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has announced the end of the Yasuni-ITT initiative, saying the international community "failed" the country by not funding a scheme that would have compensated it for not developing Amazon oil reserves.

"The key factor in this failure is the world's great hypocrisy," Correa said in an address to the nation Thursday in which he announced he would seek congressional authorization to develop crude reserves in northeastern Ecuador's Yasuni national park.

Correa says developing the ITT crude reserves using "proper techniques" will affect less than 1 percent of the park and provide the nation with $18.29 billion in revenue.

The ITT block is estimated to hold some 920 million barrels of oil. As part of the environmental initiative, Ecuador had aspired to raise some $3.6 billion in compensation from the international community over 12 years.




3 Bodies recovered from stricken Indian sub


Divers recovered the bodies of three of the 18 people thought to have died aboard a submarine that sank in Mumbai harbor, an Indian navy spokesman told Efe.

The operation will continue until all the bodies are found, P.V.S. Satish said.

While many of the crew managed to leap into the water, three officers and 15 sailors were trapped aboard the diesel-powered INS Sindhurakshak when it sank in the wee hours of Wednesday after a fire and several explosions.

The 16-year-old Sindhurakshak, a Russian-made vessel, underwent an $80 million overhaul following a February 2010 fire that left one sailor dead and two others injured.