Top Stories for July 14, 2014

With Mexico telecom passage, billionaire Carlos Slim loses - maybe

By Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times

Mexican legislators this week passed a sweeping overhaul of the telecommunications industry that officials maintain will help break up monopolies and provide better service and more competition in the TV and telephone market.

Anticipating the approval, Mexican telephone tycoon Carlos Slim -- listed by Forbes magazine as the second-richest man in the world thanks to the near-monopoly he and his family hold -- announced he would sell off part of his empire to avoid a series of regulatory restrictions the new laws impose on any company with more than a 50 percent market share.

By scaling back his holdings in the telephone industry, Slim will avoid having to share certain assets, such as transmission towers, with tiny companies that government regulators determined were forced to operate at a disadvantage. He also avoids limits on the rates his phone business can charge.

Slim also expects the move to allow him an easier expansion into pay TV and other broadcasting...


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NYT - Harry Devert left his job as a New York financial trader to ride his motorcycle to the World Cup only to vanish in Mexico. Now authorities believe they have located his remains.

Bloomberg - Carlos Slim is planning to spend more in countries such as Brazil while placing bigger bets on industries like energy, as regulatory pressure in Mexico splinters his most prized asset.

Bloomberg - America Movil’s plan to break up its dominant Mexican phone unit opens the door for another international telecommunications giant to succeed where many have failed - becoming a major competitor in Mexico.

Bleacher Report - Hitting a pinata is a classic Mexican tradition, and Mexico fans really can't stand Arjen Robben. So the Robben pinata was, in many ways, something of an inevitability.

Fresh Fruit Portal - Mexican authorities have invested $22 million across five checkpoints along the country’s southern borders with Guatemala and Belize to focus on the inspection, mobilization and import of agricultural products to protect from exotic pests and diseases not yet present in Mexico.


AP — Two days of gun battles in the Guerrero mountain town of Chilapa have left 13 people dead. The mayor has told residents to stay in their homes.

AP - The southern Mexico Mayan ruins of Calakmul have become the country's first site to receive the "mixed" World Heritage designation from the United Nations.

AP - Mexico's judiciary says it is investigating possible links to drug traffickers for a federal judge, Jose Luna Altamirano, who ordered the release of a son of since captured drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

Channel NewsAsia - Mexico's state oil company Pemex has tapped an international consortium to build a $1.2 billion natural gas pipeline linking northern and central Mexico, it said on Wednesday.

Forbes - Carlos Slim doesn’t see any reason to be sad about the new telecom rules. Instead, he’s making money off the news.

IANS/EFE - Mexico's Health Secretary Mercedes Juan plans to present the results of Mexico's efforts to fight obesity and diabetes to the UN in compliance with international agreements, officials said.

CBS - A judge ordered an ex-Marine jailed in Mexico to remain behind bars after a hearing on Wednesday. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi had a hearing with a judge for the first time. The judge decided his next court date would be in August.

USAToday - Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Obama met Wednesday in a pair of meetings here and discussed border security, housing and other ways to deal with the flood of immigrants.

AP — The lower house of Mexico's congress has approved tough restrictions on dominant companies in the country's telephone and television sectors. The new rules must still be signed into law.

Reuters - Mexico's annual inflation rate ticked up in June but remained below the central bank's ceiling, boosting bets that policymakers will leave rates at an all-time low to support tepid growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy.

Rappler -Brandi Melero broke the backs of a scrappy Philippine squad, whipping a grand slam homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning in lifting Mexico to a lopsided 7-0 triumph in the Softball World Cup.

AP - The death toll in from a magnitude-6.9 earthquake near Mexico's border with Guatemala has risen to five, with authorities confirming two more deaths in Mexico.

Reuters - Mexico's government says that a proposal by billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil to cut its share of Mexico's telecommunications market below 50 percent could improve competition in the industry.

Hollywood Reporter - Mexican media giant Televisa on Monday reported strong second-quarter growth fueled by World Cup ad sales and programming royalties from Univision. The company saw a quarterly net profit of 2.2 billion pesos ($170 million).

AP - Tropical Storm Fausto has formed over the Pacific Ocean far from Mexico's coast and forecasters say it poses no immediate threat to land. Forecasters say the storm should strengthen in the coming 48 hours.

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