Friday, February 24, 2006

Stella Artois brewer beats forecast in Latin Ameica

InBev, the Belgian brewer of Stella Artois and Beck's, saw earnings in Latin America jump 15% from last year. The company merged with Brazilian brewer Ambev in 2004. (MSN)

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Politics and Carnaval

Showbiz discusses the increase in political activity in the Carnaval celebrations, which became regional when Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez sponsored a samba school for the event. (Showbiz)

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Argentina, Uruguay at odds over pulp plant

Argentina's President Nestor Kirchner and his Uruguayan counterpart Tabare Vazquez have been squabbling over Uruguay's right to build a wood pulp plant along the border, a move that Argentinians claim will affect their environment. (Contra Costa)

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The Nation on Haiti

The Nation magazine discusses the elections in Haiti from a lefty point of view. (The Nation)

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Colombian politician remembered on the fourth anniversary of her kidnapping by FARC

Politicians, activists, and relatives of kidnapping victims commemorated the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt by leftist rebels of the FARC. Betancourt’s liberation was called upon in events held in Colombia and France where Betancourt has dual citizenship.

Still unknown fate of trapped Mexican miners

Rescuers are continuing their efforts in locating 65 trapped miners in a Coahuila, Mexico coal mine. The desperation of family members continues as some of them blame the mine owners for unsafe conditions.

Oscar Arias about to recapture Costa Rican presidency

Ex-president and Nobel Prize winner Oscar Arias is close to regaining Costa Rica’s presidency after a hand-counted recount conducted nearly three weeks after Election Day. The center-right Arias is expected to win by slightly over 18,000 votes over his nearest rival, economist Otton Solis.

White House lays out rules for possible Puerto Rican plebescite

A recently released report from a White House task force sets the guidelines of how Puerto Rico could conduct a future plebescite that may possibly pave the way for statehood or independence. Puerto Ricans are currently divided on the future of the island though the last plebescite in 1998 showed slightly over 50% prefer commonwealth status.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cuba endorses Iranian nuclear program

During a recent visit by Iran’s parliament speaker to Havana, Cuban legislative head Ricardo Alarcon defended Iran’s nuclear energy program and denounced critiques from Western powers against Iran.

Western North Carolina plant closing and moving to Honduras

The Anvil Knitwear plant near Ashville, North Carolina is set to close and relocate to Honduras where labor costs can be 75% less than the U.S. Though most of the textile workers are worried over unemployment, statistics show overall job growth in the Western North Carolina area.

Homosexuality still illegal in Jamaica, says government

“There is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Government…to decriminalize homosexuality or to pave the way for same-sex marriages,” according to a statement by Jamaica’s Justice Minister. The statement came as a reply to Church officials wary over constitutional changes that may allow for civil unions between gay couples.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Little hope for trapped Mexican miners

Rescue efforts have been hampered in trying to save 65 miners trapped nearly three days in a coal mine in the northern state of Coahuila. Family members of the stuck miners anxiously await “a miracle from God,” while U.S. mining experts were expected to join Mexican rescuers later today.

Israel and Mercosur nations working on a free trade deal

A Mercosur delegation visited Israel last week in order to negotiate a free trade agreement that would give Israel better access into South American markets.

PetroCaribe talks broke down, says Trinidad PM

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning admitted that negotiations with Venezuela had stopped several months after the Caribbean island signed on to the PetroCaribe agreement. PetroCaribe is a Venezuelan initiative that would provide cheap oil to Caribbean states.

Colombia: Bombing raids against leftist guerillas; army chief resigns

The Colombian army launched several bombing attacks last week against FARC rebels inside La Macarena Nature Park, a nature reserve where over 1000 laborers have been manually eradicating coca plants since last year. Meanwhile, the head of the Colombian army resigned today amidst allegations of recruits abused at an army training facility.

77 Ecuadorian migrants rescued off the coast of El Salvador

A British merchant vessel rescued 77 Ecuadorians off a sinking boat near El Salvador on Thursday. The Ecuadorians were trying to immigrate to the U.S. when their boat sprung a leak in international waters.

'Desperate Housewives' dubbed in Spanish

ABC announced last fall that they would begin dubbing hit shows like 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Lost' to reach an increasingly important Spanish-speaking audience in the US. (NYTimes)

White House softens view of Morales

Officials in the US State Department have indicated in Congressional testimony that they are willing to work with the new President of Bolivia in order to find common ground on drug trafficking. (WAPO)

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WAPO discusses the task of rebuilding Haiti

Rene Preval will have enormous challenges ahead of him when he takes office next month. (WAPO)

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Bono in Brazil to spread anti-poverty message

Irish rock band U2 traveled to Brazil Monday night for a high-profile concert meant to support Lula's Zero Hunger campaign. The gathering of 70,000 people was treated to classic U2 hits, as well as an electric billboard with the Universal Human Rights displayed. (WAPO)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

U.S. Congressmen push for probe against FBI actions in Puerto Rico

House Representatives Jose Serrano, Lydia Velazquez, and Luis Gutierrez are urging for federal hearings and an investigation of an FBI counterterrorist operation against a Puerto Rican pro-independence group. The FBI raided several houses and businesses on February 10th and accused the People’s Boricua Army (a.k.a. Los Macheteros) of planning bombings and attacks in Puerto Rico. FBI agents shot and killed a leader of Los Macheteros in September 2005.

Mexican court nullifies verdicts related to murder of Cardinal Ocampo

The Supreme Court of the state of Jalisco overturned the sentences of 13 people involved in the 1993 killing of Cardinal Jesus Posadas Ocampo. Ocampo, the former Archbishop of Guadalajara, was killed in that city’s airport under very confusing circumstances.

Toronto-based company given green light to build gold mine in Chile

Chile’s government has permitted Barrick Gold Corporation to build a multi-billion dollar gold mine, although environmentalists protested against possible damage construction could do to the ecosystem of the fertile Huasco Valley.