- Daunting days ahead as Mexico readies oil opening
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's sweeping away of seven decades of nationalist protections and letting foreign companies back into its oil fields is crucial to bringing the expertise and money needed to rejuvenate its sclerotic energy industry, supporters say.
- Mexican Congress passes radical shake-up of oil industry
By Dave Graham and Adriana Barrera MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to open up the country's oil and gas sector to private investment in the biggest overhaul of the industry since it was nationalized in 1938. After a whirlwind final passage through Congress, President Enrique Pena Nieto's bill will offer companies the chance to operate oil wells, commercialize crude and partner with state oil giant Pemex as Mexico seeks to revive flagging output. It aims to entice oil majors such as Exxon Mobil Corp and BP Plc with production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses. Mexico's two biggest parties faced down accusations they were betraying their homeland to foreign oil firms, and approved a series of changes to the constitution that could radically transform the fortunes of the world's No. 10 oil producer.
- Mexico-born detective working in Arizona illegally resigns
A detective in Arizona resigned this week after it emerged that she was a Mexican citizen and was working in the state illegally, authorities said on Thursday. Carmen Figueroa, a detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety since 2003, was placed on paid administrative leave in September after the department learned that she was not a U.S. citizen, agency spokesman Bart Graves said. Her citizenship came into question after her brother, who is serving in the U.S. Air Force, applied for a passport, Graves said. Subsequent investigations found the siblings were born in Mexico's northwestern Sinaloa state and were not U.S. citizens.
- Mexico Congress approves biggest oil sector shake-up in decades
Mexico's Congress on Thursday passed a landmark energy reform to open up the country's ailing energy sector to private investment, in what marks the biggest shake up of the ailing state-run industry in 75 years. The bill now pends ratification by Mexico's state legislatures, which are dominated by President Enrique Pena Nieto's ruling party, before he can sign it into law. The energy bill is a cornerstone of an ambitious reform agenda spanning telecoms to bank lending that Pena Nieto hopes will boost growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy, which for years has lagged regional peers.
- Mexican Congress approves historic energy bill
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's Congress voted Thursday to open the country's moribund state-run oil industry to private investment after a raucous, overnight debate over the most dramatic energy reform in decades.
- Ex-BP engineer isn't expected to testify at trial
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP drilling engineer isn't expected to testify at his trial on charges he deleted text messages about the company's response to its massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Mexico MPs scuffle over energy bill
Members of the lower house of the Mexican Congress are involved in a heated debate over energy reform, with rivals pushing and shoving each other.
- Energy bill advancing through Mexican Congress
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's lower house of Congress gave general approval to historic legislation that would open the state-run oil industry to private investment, but final passage was delayed by a debate on its provisions that continued throughout the night and past dawn on Thursday.
- Mexico lower house OKs energy reform, paves way for final passage
Mexico's lower house on Wednesday gave general approval to a landmark energy reform bill to open up the country's ailing energy sector to private investment, paving the way for its final passage. Earlier in the day, the Senate passed the constitutional reform, which aims to open Mexico's energy sector to private investment.
- Mexico's landmark energy bill nears final approval
By Miguel Gutierrez and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Congress was on Thursday poised to complete approval of the biggest overhaul of its oil industry since nationalization 75 years ago, opening the door to investment by oil majors in a bid to reverse falling output. The energy bill is a cornerstone of an ambitious reform agenda spanning telecoms to bank lending that President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes will boost growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy, which for years has lagged regional peers. It aims to entice companies like Exxon Mobil Corp and BP Plc to operate independently in Mexico, or partner state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses. Lawmakers in the lower house gave general approval to the bill late on Wednesday, and then began an overnight debate of its details.
- Mexico's lower house quickly takes up energy bill
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's lower house of Congress began a raucous, marathon debate expected to last through the night and well into Thursday on historic legislation that would open the state-run oil industry to private investment.
- Mexico Senate passes energy bill; goes to lower house
By Miguel Gutierrez and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate on Wednesday passed an energy bill that aims to lure private capital into the state-run oil and gas industry, in the biggest strategic shift since the world's No. 10 oil producer nationalized the sector in 1938. The reform, backed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN), was sent to the lower house for debate and final approval. The overhaul is designed to entice private oil companies to either operate independently in Mexico, or partner with state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses. A senior PRI lawmaker in the lower house told Reuters that the plan was to pass the bill in committees on Thursday and for the full house to give its final approval on Friday.
- Mexico Senate passes energy bill, lower house OK pending
By Miguel Gutierrez and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate on Wednesday signed off on an energy bill that aims to lure private capital into the state-run oil and gas industry in the biggest shake-up since a 1938 nationalization, sending it to the lower house for debate and final approval. The reform, backed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN), will mark the biggest strategic shift since the world's No. 10 oil producer nationalized the sector in 1938. The overhaul is designed to entice private oil companies to either operate independently in Mexico, or partner with state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses. The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday morning after a marathon overnight debate.
- Undersea Cliff May Hold Clues to Dinosaur-Killing Cosmic Impact
Scientists have mapped a dramatic undersea cliff in the southern Gulf of Mexico that could hold clues to the ancient cosmic collision that wiped out the dinosaurs. Stretching some 372 miles (600 kilometers) long with steep sides that rise about 13,100 feet (4,000 meters), the so-called Campeche Escarpment might rival a wall of the Grand Canyon in its splendor were it not underwater.
- Euro zone banks have plenty of collateral: ECB's Constancio
There is no shortage of ECB-eligible collateral in any euro zone country meaning that banks could easily increase their use of its funding if they so wished, ECB Vice-President, Vitor Constancio, said on Wednesday. Money market rates and the euro have both risen in recent weeks as the amount of spare ECB cash that has long kept borrowing costs pinned at record lows has continued to dwindle. "I can tell you, there is eligible collateral in all countries, in all banking sectors right now that they could use to come to us and get very cheap funding," Constancio said at an event at the Goethe University Frankfurt. He added that it was very difficult for the ECB to influence how banks used the cash, but said he hoped lending to the economy would pick-up once the recovery gathered momentum.
- Mexico Senate debates disputed oil reform
Mexico's Senate opened a debate on controversial legislation to break the country's oil monopoly by allowing foreign firms to drill for crude for the first time in 75 years. The bill, which has sparked demonstrations, is the centerpiece of President Enrique Pena Nieto's sweeping reform drive, which has led to new laws in tax collection, telecommunications and education in an effort to revitalize Latin America's second biggest economy. The latest reform would let private firms explore and extract oil and gas as well as share profits, production and risks with state-run energy giant Pemex, ending a ban cemented in the constitution. The proposed constitutional changes stem from a deal between Pena Nieto's centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the conservative opposition National Action Party (PAN).
- Ex-BP supervisors win dismissal of some manslaughter charges
Two former BP Plc supervisors won the dismissal on Tuesday of some of the manslaughter charges facing them over the Gulf of Mexico drilling rig explosion that killed 11 people in 2010. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval in New Orleans dismissed 11 counts of seaman's manslaughter facing Deepwater Horizon rig well site leaders Robert Kaluza and Donald Vidrine. But the judge refused to dismiss 11 other counts of involuntary manslaughter, leaving those and a Clean Water Act violation charge to be heard at a trial starting in June. David Gerger, a lawyer for Kaluza, said he was reviewing the decision.
- Mexican Senate prepares to vote on historic energy bill
By Alexandra Alper and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate on Tuesday debated a landmark energy overhaul bill at the center of President Enrique Pena Nieto's economic reform drive, after the country's two biggest political parties hammered out a draft presented over the weekend. The reform, backed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN), would mark the biggest strategic shift since the world's No. 10 oil producer nationalized the sector in 1938. The reforms are designed to lure private oil companies to either operate independently in Mexico, or partner with state oil monopoly Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses. Senate committees overseeing the bill gave it general approval on Monday before beginning a protracted debate on reservations raised by leftist lawmakers trying to derail it.
- Californians' support for legalized recreational pot trends higher
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - The number of California voters who would support a ballot initiative legalizing recreational marijuana has tipped higher since Colorado and Washington State adopted such measures last year, a new poll shows. About 55 percent of voters surveyed by the Field Research Corp. said they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults, and about the same percentage said they would vote for a proposed ballot initiative that aims to do that. That number was up slightly from results of a Field poll in February that showed support by 54 percent support of the California electorate, the first time a clear majority of expressed approval for legalized recreational pot.
- Judge tosses some charges in BP supervisors' case
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge agreed Tuesday to dismiss some of the manslaughter charges against two BP supervisors in the deaths of 11 workers when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Judge rejects mistrial motion for ex-BP engineer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has refused to declare a mistrial in the case of former BP drilling engineer charged with obstruction of justice following the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Mexico arrests suspect linked to 200 murders
Mexican police have arrested a man accused of ordering and participating in the murders of more than 200 people, including kidnap victims, rival gang members and drug dealers, authorities said Tuesday. Felipe Viveros Garcia, 30, was detained in the western state of Jalisco along with two other suspects, Jose Bernabe Lopez Alcaraz, 43, and Froylan Barrera Morales, 40, the national security commission said in a statement. Viveros Garcia operated in several towns in the states of Guerrero and Jalisco, the commission said, adding that as well as the more than 200 murders he is "linked to at least 10 documented kidnapping cases" and accused of demanding extortion payments from state authorities in Jalisco.
- Iran dismisses Peres offer to meet Rouhani
Iran on Tuesday dismissed an offer from Israel's president to meet his Iranian counterpart as a propaganda ploy to ease Israeli isolation over a nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. "This propaganda to help the regime out of isolation will prove fruitless," foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told reporters. She said President Shimon Peres's offer was aimed at helping Iran's arch-foe Israel out of its isolation after its outspoken opposition to the nuclear deal clinched last month in Geneva. Asked on Sunday about a possible meeting with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, Peres said: "Why not?
- Mexican lawmakers send energy reform bill to Senate floor
Mexico's Senate on Tuesday moved a step closer to passing reforms to open up the country's oil industry to private investment, sending a draft bill to the floor of the upper chamber to speed up the approval process. The bill, backed by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN), would mark the biggest strategic shift since the world's no. 10 oil producer nationalized the sector 75 years ago. It aims to let private firms partner with ailing state oil firm Pemex via profit-sharing, risk-sharing and service contracts as well as licenses. Senate committees overseeing the bill gave it general approval on Monday before beginning a protracted debate on reservations raised by leftist lawmakers trying to derail it.
- Five held in Mexico radioactive material theft
Mexican authorities have formally arrested five men suspected of stealing a truck carrying highly radioactive material in a theft that caused international alarm, an official said. A federal judge on Sunday ordered the five suspects held for 40 days on allegations of theft through organized crime and illegally transporting hazardous material, an official at the attorney general's office told AFP. The truck and device were found 65 kilometers (40 miles) north of Mexico City after a two-day manhunt.
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