Briefly: Puerto Rican voters to decide on future with U.S.

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Although recent financial talks have focused on the debt crisis in Europe, especially in Greece and Spain, some delegates in Mexico expressed concern over the fiscal situation in Washington.

Mexican Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade said that among the issues dealt with at this meeting will be “the fiscal cliff” in the United States, where a package of spending cuts and tax increases are set to take effect unless Congress acts by Jan. 1.

“In recent meetings, the United States has expressed confidence that it will be able to build the political consensuses needed to make adjustments that will send clear signals that a fiscal consolidation is coming,” Mr. Meade said.

The closed-door meeting will be the last organized by Mexico in its role as president of the G-20 in 2012.

NICARAGUA

Leftist government bets on local elections

MANAGUA — Voters in Nicaragua cast ballots Sunday in elections that the leftist Sandinista government hopes will broaden its already strong hold on local offices across the Central American nation.

With the opposition divided among several small parties, President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista Front is battling to boost its share of 153 Nicaraguan mayor’s offices to 120 from 109, which analysts said was within the realm of possibility.

Among the opposition forces are the conservative Independent Liberal Party and Liberal Constitutionalist Party.

Also in the mix are three other parties that some opposition members say are aligned with the government: Alliance for the Republic, the Conservative Party and Independent Liberal Alliance.

About 3.7 million voters over 16 are eligible to vote in the local elections.

HAITI

Government seeks aid for hurricane recovery

PORT-AU-PRINCE — The Haitian government is calling on other countries and international organizations to provide emergency humanitarian aid after Hurricane Sandy caused major damage to the impoverished nation.

The eye of the storm passed west of Haiti the night of Oct. 24, but rain-heavy outer bands soaked the southern coast and capital for much of that week, causing many rivers to overflow. Authorities say the storm destroyed 70 percent of the crops in Haiti’s south and caused widespread deaths of livestock.

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