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EFE News Briefs for Tuesday, Dec. 18
[December 18, 2012]

EFE News Briefs for Tuesday, Dec. 18

(EFE Ingles Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Newtown schools reopen for class Newtown, Connecticut (EFE).- Schools in this town, which last week saw one of the worst massacres in United States history, opened their doors again, except for Sandy Hook Elementary, scene of the tragedy.

All Newtown schools were closed as a safety precaution while last Friday's shooting was being investigated.

Four days after 20-year-old Adam Lanza broke into Sandy Hook and killed 20 children and six adults before committing suicide, the building remained closed.

Lanza had previously gunned down his own mother.

--- Chavez in stable condition after respiratory infection, Venezuelan gov't says Caracas (EFE).- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has been recovering for more than a week in Cuba after an operation to deal with the return of his cancer, is in stable condition after his medical team treated him for a respiratory infection.

Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas announced on radio and television that Chavez's "general condition ... at this time is one of stability" after on Monday "he was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, which the medical team immediately proceeded to treat and it has been controlled." Villegas added that experts say respiratory infections are a common occurrence in patients who have undergone complicated surgeries.

He added that the medical team attending the 58-year-old Chavez in Havana had reported that "he must have complete rest in the coming days." --- Twin NASA satellites crash into Moon after year-long mission Washington (EFE).- Twin satellites Ebb and Flow crashed into a mountain near the Moon's north pole ending a one-year mission during which they had taken images that will allow scientists to better understand the internal lunar structure, NASA announced.

Last Friday, the two satellites received the order to begin their orbital descent, a move that ensured they would both ultimately hit the lunar surface.

The impact site, on the southern face of a mountain near the crater Goldschmidt, was dubbed Sally Ride, a tribute to the astronaut who was the first U.S. woman to go into space and who died last July at age 61 from cancer.

--- Parents of Chinese octuplets face huge fine Beijing (EFE).- A couple in the southern province of Canton is facing a fine of up to 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) for having given birth to octuplets after in vitro fertilization, Chinese media reported.

Canton's Southern Metropolis Daily said that authorities in Zhaoqing, where the couple lives, are investigating the case after a photo of the eight babies was published online and caused extensive debate among the public regarding China's one-child policy and how well-off families get around it.

The couple, who had had problems conceiving, invested $160,000 in a fertilization program in Hong Kong, implanting fertilized embryos into the mother and two surrogates, with the result that all the embryos were successfully brought to term and the newborns delivered.

--- 3 Charged for murder of Spaniards in Panama Panama City (EFE).- Panamanian prosecutors filed formal charges against three people arrested last week in connection with the murder of two Spanish businessmen, an official spokesperson told Efe.

Jose Antonio Perdomo, 57, and Miguel Untiedt, 47, a German-born Spanish citizen, were found dead last Thursday at the younger man's country home east of the Caribbean coastal city of Colon.

Two of the three suspects picked up shortly after the discovery of the bodies refused to give statements, while the third is cooperating with investigators, the spokesperson said.

Both victims had been shot in the head, chest and arms, chief medical examiner Humberto Mas said last weekend.

The investigation continues, but authorities suggest the men were murdered by poachers who wanted revenge after some of Untiedt's employees killed their hunting dogs.

--- 4 People found shot to death in Colorado home Washington (EFE).- Police found four people dead of gunshot wounds in a Colorado home and one hypothesis being considered is that one of them killed the other three and then committed suicide.

The two men and two women found dead were apparently related, Weld County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Schwartz said.

Colorado police have not identified the people found dead on Tuesday, but a woman named Edy Silva said that two of them were her nieces Beatriz and Maria Cintora Silva, media outlets said.

Edy Silva, who came to the crime scene located about 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Denver, said that Maria had gotten married about five months ago and was living in the house with her husband.

--- Brazilian manufacturer launches Iphone, says it owns the name Rio de Janeiro (EFE).- The Brazilian electronics manufacturer IGB Eletronica launched a line of smartphones it is calling the "Iphone," claiming that it owns the intellectual property rights to that name in this country.

IGB Eletronica, which manufacturers products with the Gradiente brand name, announced in a regulatory filing that since 2008 it has possessed the rights in Brazil to the name "Iphone," which Apple uses for its product, the world's best-known mobile smartphone.

The firm also announced that it will take the necessary measures to ensure that its brand rights in Brazil are respected although it did not specify whether that includes filing a lawsuit to prevent Apple from using the name in the South American country.

The Brazilian company said in its communique that Gradiente on Tuesday began selling the Neo One, the first model in its line of smartphones, in Brazil.

--- 5 Workers with anti-polio campaign murdered in Pakistan Islamabad (EFE).- Five workers with the vaccination campaign against polio in Pakistan were shot to death in three separate attacks in the cities of Karachi and Peshawar, authorities told Efe.

Four of the murdered people worked in Karachi, where shortly before midday they were gunned down in two attacks staged within a span of 30 minutes by unknown gunmen riding on a motorcycle, according to police sources.

Shortly thereafter, a woman working with the vaccination campaign in Peshawar was shot to death under similar circumstances, police said.

An official with the Pakistani government entity that coordinates the fight against polio told Efe that the vaccination campaigns have been temporarily suspended in both cities.

--- 4 Die as 2 buildings collapse in Italy Rome (EFE).- Four people died when two apartment buildings collapsed in the Italian city of Palermo from causes not yet determined.

Firefighters in the Sicilian capital said Tuesday that the collapse occurred around 11:30 p.m. Monday as the buildings were being evacuated, following a call from a neighbor who warned residents about strange noises coming from one of them.

The taller building of the two, whose walls had begun to crack some time ago after an additional, prefabricated story was built on top of it, was the first to come crashing down and contributed to the collapse of the other.

Besides the dead, about 10 people were slightly injured.

--- Walmart de Mexico ready to assist in corruption probe Mexico City (EFE).- Walmart de Mexico said it "has had priorities to cooperate in the investigation and safeguard the independence of the investigation" into bribery allegations in Mexico.

The company released a statement in response to a story published Monday in The New York Times and picked up the Mexican press about alleged bribes paid by the giant retailer.

"The process to open the Bodega Aurrera San Juan Teotihuacan which took place from 2003-2004, mentioned in The New York Times, is part of a Walmart Stores Inc. investigation conducted by independent lawyers and specialists since the end of 2011," the company said.

EFE bp (c) 2012 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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