MEXICO

Top police chief is fired

Mexico’s president dismissed the chief of the federal police force Monday, less than two weeks after the country’s human rights commission released a scathing report alleging federal police “executed arbitrarily” at least 22 suspected drug cartel members during a raid on a ranch. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said President Enrique Pena Nieto decided to remove Enrique Galindo to allow for a transparent investigation.

ITALY

Funeral plan upsets town

Italian quake survivors rebelled in anger Monday over the government’s plan to hold a state funeral for their loved ones in an airport hangar in a distant town, where scores of bodies are being kept in refrigerated trucks, and let them watch it on screens from near their emergency tent camp. The mayor of Amatrice, the hardest-hit of the three medieval towns flattened by the Aug. 24 quake, was also upset. “Give us back our dead!” yelled one man in the crowd of several dozen survivors. Sensing a public relations disaster, Italian Premier Matteo Renzi’s government quickly reversed course, and he said the latest state funeral will take place Tuesday in the devastated Apennines hill town.

PUERTO RICO

Zika vaccine trial to begin

A Pennsylvania drug company announced Monday that it has launched a clinical trial of an experimental Zika vaccine in Puerto Rico, the part of the U.S. hardest hit by the mosquito-borne virus. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. will be testing its DNA-based vaccine candidate on 160 adult volunteers in Puerto Rico. If the results are promising, the company would meet with regulators next year to discuss plans to develop the vaccine, CEO J. Joseph Kim said.

VENEZUELA

U.S. accused of coup plot

Venezuela is accusing the United States and the country’s political opposition of planning a coup for Thursday, the day that government opponents have called for a march to demand a recall vote against President Nicolas Maduro. The Foreign Ministry’s North America agency issued a statement Monday protesting U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby’s call for the release of the jailed former mayor of San Cristobal, Daniel Ceballos, who was taken from his home early Saturday by state intelligence agents and moved back to prison in central Guarico state. He had been under house arrest.

Compiled from wire reports