- - Monday, January 31, 2011


Leftist candidate wins election

ACAPULCO | A gubernatorial candidate for Mexico’s main leftist party appears headed for victory in Guerrero state, the drug-and-violence-plagued home to the Pacific coast resort of Acapulco.

Election officials say that with 98.7 percent of the ballots counted, Angel Aguirre of the Democratic Revolution Party has 56 percent of the votes, compared with 42.6 percent for rival Manuel Anorve of the country’s former ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.

Mr. Aguirre claimed victory Monday, but almost immediately began distancing himself from Democratic Revolution, which he never formally joined.

He was quoted by local news media as saying that “no party will have a quota” in his Cabinet, and said he would focus on social programs and job creation.


Government to seek business tax cuts

VAUGHAN, Ontario | Canada’s minority Conservative government will follow through on plans to cut business taxes despite opposition demands to cancel them, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Monday.

Mr. Flaherty told reporters he saw a 50 percent chance his upcoming budget, to be presented in March, will be defeated in Parliament, which would trigger an election.

He said he may consider some measures requested by the three opposition parties, but not fundamentally alter the government’s low-tax approach.

“It’s dangerous to create uncertainty in a fragile business economic environment … we’re going to stay on our old tax plan,” he told reporters after the release of a progress report on Ottawa’s economic stimulus plan.

Parliament passed legislation in 2007 to gradually lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent in 2012 from 18 percent. The federal tax rate on corporate income now stands at 16.5 percent.

But the main opposition party, the Liberals, has now made opposition to those cuts a central plank of its platform, saying the tax cuts should be reversed and the money spent on social programs.


Government launches public securities exchange

CARACAS | The Venezuelan government has launched a new public securities exchange.

It has begun operating with corporate bonds issued by the Venezuela-based subsidiary of Japanese carmaker Toyota and the local company Envases Venezolanos.

The Bicentennial Public Securities Exchange will compete with the privately run Caracas Stock Exchange.

Trading in the private stock exchange has dwindled after President Hugo Chavez nationalized some companies that traded shares, and has been nearly paralyzed since securities regulators took over management of 47 brokerage companies last year.

Planning and Finance Minister Jorge Giordani visited the new public securities exchange in Caracas on Monday for its official launch.


$658,000 reward for massacre suspects

MEXICO CITY | Mexican prosecutors are offering $658,000 for information leading to the capture of two suspects in the massacre of 72 illegal Central and South American migrants.

Authorities already have arrested eight people in the mass killings in August at a ranch in the northern border state of Tamaulipas.

But the large amount offered for two suspects known by the nicknames “The Coyote” and “The Scorpion” suggests they may have been the ringleaders.

The Attorney General’s Office announced the reward Monday along with a separate bounty of $411,000 for a third suspect.

Authorities blame the Zetas cartel for the killings. A survivor told police that gunmen shot the migrants after they refused to work for the gang.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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