MADRID (AP) -- Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro say they are ready to give Spain up to $125 billion in a bailout to help save its ailing banking sector.
The eurogroup says the money would come from Europe's bailout funds and that the final amount would be determined by an audit that Spain is currently undertaking. The group says the loan should include current needs and also a "safety margin."
The money will go directly to a fund set up by Spain to recapitalize ailing banks, but the government will ultimately be responsible for the loan.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says Spain's request for a bank rescue and Europe's willingness to prop up the country with financial aid are welcome actions toward stemming the region's debt crisis.
In a statement, Geithner says Spain's bailout plan and the commitment by its European partners to provide support are "concrete steps on the path to financial union, which is vital to the resilience of the euro area."
There are fears that Europe's economic crisis could reach across the Atlantic and drag down the fragile U.S. economy.
BEIRUT (AP) -- Violence continues in Syria, as government troops and rebel forces battled in the streets of Damascus for nearly 12 hours.
The rebel fighters took the battle right to the stronghold of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian capital.
It was the heaviest fighting in Damascus since the 15-month uprising against Assad began.
UN observers indicated the rebels fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a local power plan, damaging it and destroying six buses.
The government troops fired three tank shells into a residential neighborhood, according to an activist.
More than 50 civilians were killed around the country outside of Damascus according to a British-based activist group. Among them were 20 including nine women and children in the southern city of Daraa.
HUALLA-HUALLA, Peru (AP) -- Peruvian police say there are no survivors from the 14 people on board a helicopter that crashed in the southeastern Andes.
According to police, eight South Koreans and three Europeans were among the victims.
A police commander who went to the crash site says the aircraft exploded after it crashed into the Mama Rosa mountain. He says everyone perished on impact.
The police say operations at the crash site have been suspended until Sunday because of bad weather and darkness.
Authorities say the crashed Sikorsky S-58ET was found at an attitude of roughly 16,000 feet.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- A powerful earthquake has struck off northeastern Taiwan, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau says the quake registered at magnitude 6.5. It says the tremor was felt throughout the island.
The earthquake struck Sunday morning at sea, about 42 miles (70 kilometers) east of the Taiwanese county of Ilan. Ilan is about 90 miles (150 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Taipei.
Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage.
However, a magnitude-7.6 earthquake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more than 2,300 people.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he has undergone tests following his cancer treatment and everything came out well.
Chavez tells reporters, in his words, that "everything came out absolutely fine."
He says he feels well, and he vows to win re-election in October. He says the exams included imaging tests.
The Venezuelan leader has recently scaled back his public appearances after undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba. But on Monday he plans to formally sign up to run for re-election.
Chavez spoke to reporters at the presidential palace on Saturday following a meeting with Russian delegation.
Olympic torch ferried across Scotland's Loch Ness
LONDON (AP) --
The Olympic torch is crossing Loch Ness, home of the fable monster, as part of its cross-country trek that ends at London's Olympic Park next month.
The torch is being taken across the roughly 20-mile long lake by boat from Fort Augustus in the southwest to the village of Drumnadrochit near the middle before resting for the night at the nearby Scottish city of Inverness.
The torch began the 22nd day of the relay journey Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. Hundreds of people waving Scottish and British flags lined the route to see the torch and cheer.
More than 8,000 torchbearers are carrying the flame across the United Kingdom and neighboring islands before the July 27 - Aug. 12 games.
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