- - Monday, September 24, 2012

PHILIPSBURG — Police arrested a suspect in the slayings of a South Carolina couple, a spokesman said over the weekend.

Police spokesman Ricardo Henson said the male suspect was arrested before dawn Sunday. He has not been charged yet.

Mr. Henson said more details about the man could not be immediately disclosed but police will issue a statement “as soon as more information can be divulged.”

The bodies of Michael and Thelma King were found Friday in their beachfront condominium on the Dutch Caribbean island.

Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos said both Americans appeared to have stab wounds and Mrs. King was tied to a chair.

The Kings were part-time residents of St. Maarten and owned several homes. Friends say they were about to start a spiced-rum business.

ARGENTINA

Government orders sale of broadcast stations

BUENOS AIRES — The government gave one of its leading media critics, Grupo Clarin, a deadline to sell off most of its broadcast stations, saying over the weekend that Dec. 7 will mark the day when media monopolies no longer will be able to put themselves above the law.

Clarin, which owns 240 cable systems, 10 radio stations and four TV channels in addition to its flagship daily newspaper, has challenged the constitutionality of the 2009 media law’s anti-monopoly clauses limiting the number of stations any one company can own.

Clarin, a bitter opponent of President Cristina Fernandez, says many legal scholars support its position that it should have another year to pursue its challenge of the law before being forced to divest.

In a lengthy TV spot that began airing during Saturday’s much-watched soccer games, the government said it’s deadline would bring “diversity and democracy” to Argentina’s media.

It announced that it will immediately put Grupo Clarin’s cable TV stations up for public auction by Dec. 7 if Clarin fails to comply with the law.

Anticipating fresh waves of accusations that it is trying to silence dissent, the spot says: “The Argentine state will not expropriate the news media; the Argentine state will not nationalize the news media. The Argentine state will guarantee their jobs and compliance with a law that democratizes the news media in the Argentine republic.”

Clarin immediately countered with its own TV spot, accusing the government of attempting an illegal maneuver and citing the same media law as giving companies a year to sell off properties in an orderly fashion.

MEXICO

Burned, dismembered bodiesfound in pickup truck

MORELIA — Seven burned and dismembered bodies were found in the bed of a pickup truck in a part of western Mexico plagued by battles between drug gangs, officials said.

The Michoacan state prosecutor’s office says the bodies were found early Saturday on a highway east of Lake Chapala, between the towns of Sahuayo and La Barca.

Seventeen more bodies were discovered about 12 miles away along the same highway Monday.

The area is near where Jalisco and Michoacan states meet. The area is contested by the Jalisco-based New Generation group and the Michoacan-based Knights Templars.

HONDURAS

Human rights lawyer killed at wedding

TEGUCIGALPA — Famed Honduran human-rights lawyer Antonio Trejo Cabrera was fatally shot while attending a wedding Sunday, a land-rights group said.

The Peasants Movement of the valley of Bajo Aguan said in a statement that Mr. Trejo was shot five times Sunday.

The lawyer had represented three lands-rights groups in disputes between agrarian organizations and landowners. More than 60 people have been killed in such disputes in the past two years.

Mr. Trejo also had helped prepare motions declaring unconstitutional a proposal to build three privately run cities with their own police, laws and tax systems.

Just hours before his murder, Mr. Trejo had participated in a televised debate in which he accused congressional leaders of using the private-city projects to raise campaign funds.

CANADA

Ford autoworkers vote to accept new contract

TORONTO — Canadian autoworkers at Ford voted to accept the new contract that their union leadership negotiated last week.

The Canadian Auto Workers union said Sunday that 82 percent of its Ford Motor Co. members approved the deal. The union did not indicate how many of its 4,500 workers at Ford cast ballots.

The union leadership also reached an agreement with General Motors Co. last week, and GM workers are set to vote on the tentative agreement Wednesday and Thursday.

Talks continue with Chrysler Group LLC, where the union wants the company to match the deals they have reached with Ford and GM.

The Ford and GM contacts cut wages for new hires and freezes pay for current workers, but it also gives them lump-sum payments to cover inflation and for the ratification of the deal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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