Work on new Mexico airport to begin Monday: president

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador axed a $13 billion partially completed airport project championed by his predecessor

Work on Mexico City's new airport will begin next week, the country's president announced Wednesday, months after canceling work on another airport that was already one-third complete.

"Next Monday, we will begin construction of Mexico City's new airport," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a speech at the site of the project at the Santa Lucia airbase.

The terminal will replace a part-completed $13 billion project championed by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto. Lopez Obrador axed that project after holding a referendum on the issue that was marred by irregularities.

The president, who ran on a pro-austerity, anti-graft platform, had criticized the new airport as an unnecessary mega-project marred by corruption.

Scrapping the project angered investors and the government had to pay $5.2 billion back to bondholders.

The new terminal will operate in parallel to the aging Benito Juarez airport in the east of the Mexican capital, as well as an upgraded terminal in the neighboring city of Toluca.

"This airbase has about 3,000 hectares, the current airport in Mexico City is 600 hectares. We are talking about five times the surface of the current airport in Mexico City," said the president, known by his initials AMLO.

Hours earlier, in his ususal morning press conference, the president said the government would save 100 billion pesos compared to the cost of the canceled airport.

AMLO said the airport plans would "solve the problem of saturation of the current airport in three years, and not six, as originally contemplated."

Mexico City's current airport has an official capacity of 32 million passengers per year, but handled 44 million passengers last year.

  • May holds out promise of new Brexit referendum
    News
    AFP News

    May holds out promise of new Brexit referendum

    British Prime Minister Theresa May promised Tuesday to give lawmakers a vote on whether to hold a second Brexit referendum as part of a last-gasp push to get her deal over the line. The embattled British leader dangled a series of sweeteners that she hopes can resolve the Brexit crisis three years

  • Britain's May offers 'new deal' to try to break Brexit deadlock
    News
    Reuters

    Britain's May offers 'new deal' to try to break Brexit deadlock

    Prime Minister Theresa May set out on Tuesday a "new deal" for Britain's departure from the European Union, offering sweeteners to opposition parties in her fourth attempt to break an impasse in parliament over Brexit. Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months

  • Kirchner corruption trial opens in Argentina
    News
    AFP News

    Kirchner corruption trial opens in Argentina

    Former Argentine president Cristina Kirchner arrived in court Tuesday for the start of a corruption trial that will unfold as the country heads towards general elections in October. Kirchner, 66, is accused of favoring a businessman friend, Lazaro Baez, for lucrative road construction contracts in Argentina

  • Brexit scenarios: the paths ahead
    News
    AFP News

    Brexit scenarios: the paths ahead

    After British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday offered MPs a series of sweeteners to vote for her deal to leave the EU, where is the process headed?

  • Adidas, Nike, PUMA say new tariffs on China would be 'catastrophic'
    News
    AFP News

    Adidas, Nike, PUMA say new tariffs on China would be 'catastrophic'

    Adidas, Nike and PUMA on Tuesday urged US President Donald Trump to prevent the shoe industry from falling victim to the trade war with China, saying new tariffs could be "catastrophic." In a letter to Trump, those big name manufacturers joined forces with more than 170 other American shoe

  • Canada lawmakers in China to press for detainees' release
    News
    AFP News

    Canada lawmakers in China to press for detainees' release

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed Tuesday to keep the pressure on Beijing as a Canadian parliamentary delegation in China sought the release of two Canadians held as spies. "China is making stronger moves than it has before to try to get its own way on the world stage and Western countries and

  • UN envoy warns of 'long and bloody war' in Libya
    News
    AFP News

    UN envoy warns of 'long and bloody war' in Libya

    The UN envoy for Libya warned Tuesday the battle for Tripoli was "just the start of a long and bloody war" and called for immediate steps to cut off arms flows fueling the fighting. Addressing the Security Council, Ghassan Salame said "many countries" were supplying weapons to the

  • Cyprus to ramp up exploratory gas drilling: minister
    News
    AFP News

    Cyprus to ramp up exploratory gas drilling: minister

    Cyprus will ramp up its search for gas, a minister said on Tuesday, after Turkey announced plans to carry out its own drilling in waters off the Mediterranean island. "Activities in the Cyprus EEZ (exclusive economic zone) continue. Six exploratory and two confirmatory," Energy Minister George

  • North Korea steps up campaign for U.S. to return seized ship
    News
    Reuters

    North Korea steps up campaign for U.S. to return seized ship

    North Korea stepped up its campaign on Tuesday for the United States to return a seized cargo ship belonging to Pyongyang, warning Washington that it had violated its sovereignty in a move that could affect "future developments" between the countries. North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Kim

  • Ukraine's Zelensky calls snap parliamentary polls for July 21
    News
    AFP News

    Ukraine's Zelensky calls snap parliamentary polls for July 21

    New Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday called early parliamentary elections for July 21, a controversial move aimed at replacing lawmakers who he says no longer enjoy public support. On Tuesday, during a meeting with parliamentary leaders, Zelensky said the current chamber was supported

  • U.S. abortion rights activists blast new state bans in Supreme Court rally
    News
    Reuters

    U.S. abortion rights activists blast new state bans in Supreme Court rally

    Hundreds of U.S. abortion-rights campaigners, including Democrats seeking the party's 2020 presidential nomination, rallied in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday to protest new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states. Many of the restrictions are intended to draw legal

  • Frontex launches first joint operation outside EU
    News
    AFP News

    Frontex launches first joint operation outside EU

    The European Union's border agency Frontex said it had launched Tuesday in Albania its first-ever joint operation outside the bloc's territory. The announcement came just days before EU elections with the bloc's migration policy under attack from populist candidates such as Italian vice

  • French minister warns of 'toxic' Nigel Farage poll win, urges speedy Brexit
    News
    Reuters

    French minister warns of 'toxic' Nigel Farage poll win, urges speedy Brexit

    Victory for veteran British anti-EU campaigner Nigel Farage in this week's European Parliament election will create a big headache for the European Union and the UK should exit the bloc as soon as possible, France's finance minister said on Tuesday. Opinion polls put Farage's newly created

  • French widow sues Boeing for at least $276 million over Ethiopian crash
    News
    Reuters

    French widow sues Boeing for at least $276 million over Ethiopian crash

    A French woman whose husband died in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX airliner in Ethiopia has filed a U.S. lawsuit against the planemaker, seeking at least $276 million in damages. The crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 in March killed all 157 passengers and crew aboard and followed the death in October

  • Dozens rescued from Oklahoma floods as storms swamp central U.S. - officials
    News
    Reuters

    Dozens rescued from Oklahoma floods as storms swamp central U.S. - officials

    Rescue crews in boats pulled at least 50 people from flood waters as heavy downpours inundated roads and homes, said Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Keli Cain. Only the tops of cars engulfed by water were visible on roadways near Oklahoma City, and some houses were entirely surrounded

  • Sudan protest group makes strike call with talks deadlocked
    News
    Reuters

    Sudan protest group makes strike call with talks deadlocked

    Sudan's main protest group called on Tuesday for a general strike, saying two late-night negotiation sessions with the military had failed to reach a deal on how to lead the country after the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir. An alliance of protest and opposition organisations is demanding

  • Eiffel Tower climber 'admitted to psychiatric unit'
    News
    AFP News

    Eiffel Tower climber 'admitted to psychiatric unit'

    A man, believed to be Russian, who sparked a mass evacuation of the Eiffel Tower by scaling the iconic Paris landmark has been admitted to a psychiatric unit, legal sources said Tuesday. The man caused chaos Monday and the closure of the monument to tourists by spending six hours clinging to the outer

  • Austrian chancellor under pressure in wake of corruption scandal
    News
    AFP News

    Austrian chancellor under pressure in wake of corruption scandal

    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was facing the prospect of a no-confidence vote in parliament as he grappled Tuesday with the fallout from the "Ibiza-gate" scandal that toppled his coalition with the far right. Austria's government was rocked last week after German media published a

  • Telecom Italia chief favors network control in any Open Fiber tie-up
    News
    Reuters

    Telecom Italia chief favors network control in any Open Fiber tie-up

    Telecom Italia (TIM) should seek a way to keep control of its fixed-line network if it is merged with smaller infrastructure provider Open Fiber, the former phone monopoly's chief executive said on Tuesday. Italy has been pushing for the creation of a single ultrafast broadband operator through

  • Austrian far right crashes out of government as president backs Kurz
    News
    Reuters

    Austrian far right crashes out of government as president backs Kurz

    The far-right Freedom Party (FPO) quit Austria's coalition government on Tuesday after the president sided with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and sacked the hardline FPO interior minister, paving the way for a caretaker government. Losing that would hurt the 32-year-old as he seeks to emerge statesmanlike

  • Potential for Iran attacks 'put on hold,' threats remain: acting Pentagon chief
    News
    Reuters

    Potential for Iran attacks 'put on hold,' threats remain: acting Pentagon chief

    Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that while threats from Iran in the Middle East remained high, deterrence measures taken by the Pentagon had "put on hold" the potential for attacks on Americans. It was unclear exactly what Shanahan meant and Pentagon officials

  • As ex-White House counsel defies subpoena, U.S. House Democrats weigh response
    News
    Reuters

    As ex-White House counsel defies subpoena, U.S. House Democrats weigh response

    Former White House Counsel Don McGahn ignored a subpoena to testify on Tuesday to a U.S. House of Representatives committee, fueling talk among Democratic lawmakers of possible legal action against him and potential impeachment of President Donald Trump. As part of a White House stonewalling campaign

  • Egypt approves autopsy for 'tortured' Palestinian detainee
    News
    AFP News

    Egypt approves autopsy for 'tortured' Palestinian detainee

    The family of a Palestinian former intelligence agent, who have claimed that he was tortured by Turkish authorities, said Tuesday that Egyptian prosecutors had approved their request for an autopsy. The body of 55-year-old Zaki Mubarak was transferred last week from Turkey to Cairo after Ankara said

  • Fight vaccine hesitancy as 'contagious disease', UN meeting told
    Style
    AFP Relax

    Fight vaccine hesitancy as 'contagious disease', UN meeting told

    Faced with a global resurgence of measles, health experts called Tuesday for countries to step up the fight against vaccine resistance, warning the movement was spreading like a contagious disease. World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined experts and health ministers from a

  • Huawei launches new Honor phones, doesn't mention Android
    News
    Reuters

    Huawei launches new Honor phones, doesn't mention Android

    Huawei, the world's second-biggest phone maker, runs its devices on Google's Android platform but the U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods last week, throwing future software updates into question. On Tuesday, the United States temporarily eased restrictions on Huawei