Brazil: Millions spent on sub
RIO DE JANEIRO Brazil will spend $160 million by the end of next year on the development of a nuclear-propelled submarine to protect the oil reserves found recently off its coast, the defense minister said Friday.
The vessel which officials hope to complete by 2020 would be the first nuclear-propelled submarine in Latin America. Brazil does not have nuclear weapons. The submarine is the highlight of the Brazil's new defense plan to be made public on Sept. 7.
Canada: Salmonella outbreak
MONTREAL A provincial health official says that an unusually high number of people have fallen ill with salmonella food poisoning across Quebec.
Horacio Arruda, a director with Quebec's public health department, said Friday that 87 cases of salmonellosis have been reported and one death has been linked to the outbreak. He said that there were as many cases in one week this month in the eastern province than there are during the average year.
Cuba: Punk rocker fined $28
HAVANA A Cuban punk rocker known for his raunchy lyrics criticizing Fidel Castro was convicted of public disorder Friday but freed after a court dismissed a more serious "social dangerousness" charge that could have sent him to prison for four years.
Following a two-hour trial, the court ordered Gorki Aguila to pay 600 pesos ($28) and released the 39-year-old singer. The fine is big money in a country where nearly everyone, Aguila included, works for the state and takes home an average of 408 pesos ($19.50) per month.
Paraguay: Torture reported
ASUNCION The first official account of the disappearance of hundreds of government opponents during Paraguay's 1954-89 dictatorship was presented to the Senate on Friday, a key step in the nation's efforts to reconcile its painful past.
The report outlines the torture and disappearance of some 300 politicians, students and union leaders opposed to the government of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, who were arrested and tortured by state security forces and whose remains were never found. About 15 police officers were sentenced to 25 years in prison in the 1990s for their roles repressing Stroessner's opponents.
Puerto Rico: Newspaper closes
SAN JUAN The San Juan Star, Puerto Rico's Pulitzer Prize-winning English-language newspaper, closed Friday, the owner said, blaming the union for not agreeing to benefit cuts and layoffs to offset declining revenue.
The Star, a daily that has operated for nearly 50 years in the U.S. island territory, published its last edition Friday, publisher Gerry Angulo said. The newspaper, which once employed Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy as its managing editor, had 120 employees.
Vietnam: House fire kills 9
HANOI Police in southern Vietnam say nine people from one family were killed when their house in southern Vietnam was engulfed by fire.
A local police officer says a couple aged 83, their five children and two nephews died in the blaze Friday night in Ho Chi Minh City. An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way, the officer said Saturday on condition of anonymity citing policy.