News Summary for September 17th, 2010

++ There were no victims or damages to report after the Independence Bicentennial bonanza ended. The military parade took place uneventfully… More than 18,000 soldiers, army and navy troops, took part as well as 17 military contingents from abroad. For the first time ever the Federal Police took part in the Independence day parade with 1,125 agents and 35 vehicles.

++ The Federal District government estimated that some 450,000 people went to see the military parade. Mexico City’s air space was closed off for flights for four hours during the military parade… This affected 37 flights which were postponed or cancelled.

++ President Felipe Calderón traveled early in the morning to Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, to reenact the famous call to arms to fight for Independence made by Father Miguel Hidalgo 200 years ago, then Calderón hurried back to Mexico City to be present at the military parade. Calderón gave another Grito de Independencia at the atrium of the Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores church… as he had done hours before from the Palace terrace in the Zócalo in Mexico City.

++ Tropical storm Karl was upgraded to a Category 1 storm over the Gulf of Mexico and was expected to strike the Veracruz coast within hours, between Laguna Verde and Tuxpan… A maximum alert was in place there as Karl could have turned into a category three storm by the time it makes landfall…

++ Hired gunmen opened fire on two photographers from the El Diario newspaper in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, in a parking lot at a shopping mall… One of the photographers was killed.

++ And in more violent news, hired gunmen and military troops engaged in a shootout in Ciudad Mier, Tamaulipas that lasted nearly two hours... Twenty-two suspected criminals were killed and a soldier was wounded… Troops freed three people being held hostage, and seized an arms cache and 23 automobiles.

++ PRI senator Francisco Labastida said there was nothing to back Finance Secretary Ernesto Cordero’s warning that the country could fall into another economic crisis if the IVA or value added tax is dropped a percentage point.

++ State of Mexico governor Enrique Peña Nieto said it was no big deal that alliances in elections had been eliminated in his state, since another 20 states have the same ban in place.