Monday, November 7, 2016
* Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega easily won a third straight term during an election marred by the lack of international observers and accusations of fraud by the opposition.
* Puerto Rico: Ricardo Rossello, the odds-on favorite to become Puerto Rico’s next governor, has pushed for statehood in order to pull the commonwealth out of its economic crisis and “finally finish the 500-year debacle that has been colonialism.”
* Bolivia: The presidents of Bolivia and Peru agreed on a comprehensive plan that would provide landlocked Bolivia access to the ocean.
* Ecuador: Diplomatic authorities gave Swedish investigators permission to question Wikilieaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London next week.
YouTube Source – France 24 English (“Former Marxist guerrilla leader Daniel Ortega is expected to easily clinch a third consecutive term as president of Nicaragua on Sunday, buoyed by steady economic growth that has trumped fears he is trying to install autocratic family rule.”)
Online Sources – Los Angeles Times, Fox News Latino, UPI, Mashable
Friday, November 4, 2016
* Venezuela: A fragile truce between the Venezuelan government and opposition may be in jeopardy after President Nicolas Maduro rejected what he called “ultimatums” such as early elections.
* South America: A recent poll showed “journalist turned anti-establishment senator” Alejandro Guillier as the favorite for next year’s Chilean presidential election, while outside candidates made major gains during local elections last Sunday in Brazil.
* Panama: Scientists studying ant genomes believe the union of the North and South American landmasses may have occurred millions of years earlier than previously believed.
* Latin America: Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Cuba are the best-ranked Latin American states in a gender gap study issued by the World Economic Forum.
YouTube Source – Ruptly TV
Online Sources – Tico Times, BBC News, Nature, AS/COA Online, teleSUR English
Thursday, November 3, 2016
* United States: The latest Latino Decision tracking poll estimates that as many as 14.7 million Latinos will vote in elections this month, which would represent a 5% jump compared to the turnout rate for the prior presidential election in 2012.
* Argentina: Representatives at the recent Ibero-American summit backed Argentina’s claim to the Falklands Islands while also supporting a United Nations resolution for dialogue with Britain over the disputed archipelago.
* Nicaragua: The final national survey prior to this Sunday’s presidential election indicates that incumbent Daniel Ortega and his running mate, first lady Rosario Murillo, will easily triumph.
* Brazil: Volkswagen appointed a German university professor to look into claims of torture and human rights abuses against the automaker’s employees in Brazil during military rule from 1964 to 1985.
YouTube Source – CBS Sunday Morning (Video uploaded on October 2016).
Online Sources – Huffington Post, MercoPress, Reuters, BBC News
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
* Mexico: Mexico’s “sugar tax” on carbonated beverages enacted in 2013 could prevent as many as 500,000 cases of diabetes and save up to $2.5 billion in ten years, according to a new report.
* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos indicated that a reworked peace deal with the FARC rebels would be ratified by Congress rather than risk defeat at a second referendum.
* Bolivia: Spanish energy giant Repsol extended its agreement for exploration and operation of Bolivia’s largest oil bloc to 2046.
* Chile: The race for 2018 World Cup qualification in South America became much tighter after a decision to dock points from Bolivia allowed Chile to leapfrog Argentina in the standings.
YouTube Source – Euromonitor International (Video uploaded on November 2013).
Online Sources – Vocaticv, Colombia Reports, Goal.com, Latin American Herald Tribune
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
* Brazil: A study from the Getulio Vargas Foundation public policy think tank concluded that the Brazilian economy will continue to be mired in an economic crisis into 2017.
* Cuba: The discrepancy in pay between workers of different nationalities laboring on three major hotel projects in Cuba has not sat well with residents.
* Argentina: Approximately $4.6 billion was reportedly declared by Argentines as part of a tax amnesty plan in effect until November 21st.
* Venezuela: Five imprisoned opposition politicians were released from jail after Democratic Unity Roundtable representatives first met with government represntatives in Vatican-mediated talks .
YouTube Source – Bloomberg (Video uploaded in September 2016).
Online Sources – UPI, Reuters, Xinhua, BBC News
Monday, October 31, 2016
* Venezuela: Venezuela’s weakened economy is to blame for lowered output at Cuba's joint oil refinery with PDVSA, while government officials and opposition figures from the south American country met in discussions aimed at quelling rising political tensions.
* El Salvador: Ex-President Tony Saca was arrested over the weekend over the alleged embezzlement of an estimated $5 million dollars in public funds and, thus, became the latest former Salvadoran leader to be accused of corruption while in office.
* Mexico: Compatriots Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez did not fare well during the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Mexico held for the second straight year in Mexico City.
* Brazil: Students at more than 1100 high schools and universities occupied their respective educational institutions last week to protest policies under President Michel Temer.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – Xinhua, Al Jazeera English, Newsweek, BBC Sport, Latin American Herald Tribune
Friday, October 28, 2016
* Brazil: Brazilian authorities warned that a recent outbreak of prison violence between the PCC and Comando Vermelho criminal groups could spill on to the streets.
* Panama: The Panamanian government took a big step in its push to remove the stigma from the Panama Papers leak by signing a multilateral treaty to combat tax evasion.
* Cuba: The United Sates Food and Drug Administration has purportedly given the green light for the clinical trial of a Cuban lung cancer medicine known as CIMAvax.
* Haiti: Spain’s soccer federation has been ordered to return around $240,000 in public funds that were misappropriated instead of being spent on a project in Haiti.
YouTube Source – AFP
Online Sources – InSight Crime, ESPN FC, Reuters, The Latin Americanist, CBC
Thursday, October 27, 2016
* Cuba: Cuban state media hailed as “a triumph of the heroic resistance of the Cuban people” the United Nations General Assembly’s symbolic yet overwhelming condemnation of the United States trade embargo against the Caribbean state.
* Colombia: Envoys for the Colombian government and the ELN rebels are preparing to start formal negotiations in Ecuador, while talks are taking place in Havana over the renegotiation of the peace deal with the FARC that was recently defeated in a tightly contested referendum.
* Brazil: According to Survival International, isolated indigenous groups in northwestern Brazil face “annihilation” over what they view as one of the worst land grabs in decades.
* Venezuela: One police officer was killed and dozens reported injured amid mass demonstrations supporting and opposing the rule of President Nicolas Maduro.
YouTube Source – AFP (Barring abstentions by the United States and Israel, not a single member of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday voted in favor of the trade embargo against Cuba.)
Online Sources – Granma, Colombia Reports, Phys Org, CNN, teleSUR English
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
* Brazil: Tributes from the soccer world have poured in for Carlos Alberto, the captain of Brazil's World Cup-winning men’s national team in 1970, who died on Tuesday at the age of 72.
* South America: The Vatican announced it will soon released records linked to the infamous “Dirty War” era, while political tensions remain high in Venezuela days prior to Church-led negotiations between the government and opposition.
* Honduras: Some member of the United States Congress are not seeing eye-to-eye with the State Department over around $55 million in aid to Honduras despite the country’s dismal human rights record.
* Nicaragua: The Nicaraguan government accepted observers from the Organization of American States to monitor elections on November 6th where polls indicate President Daniel Ortega will easily win another term in office.
YouTube Source – Classic Football
Online Sources – Los Angeles Times, Yahoo Sports, Reuters, CBC, The Washington Post
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
* Bolivia: A new scientific report found that glaciers in Bolivia have shrunk by 43% from 1986 to 2014 and “glacier recession is leaving lakes that could burst and wash away villages or infrastructure downstream.”
* Brazil: Aircraft manufacturer Embraer agreed to pay $205 million and officially claim responsibility in order to settle numerous corruption investigations in Brazil and the United States.
* Haiti: According to the United Nations heavy rainfall over the last few days has impeded the distribution of food and medicinal aid to areas of Haiti devastated by Hurricane Matthew.
* United States: An “unprecedented” number of Latinos have reportedly cast their ballots in early voting in Florida but is this a sign of a large Latino turnout on Election Day in two weeks time?
YouTube Source – Deutsche Welle (Video uploaded in 2010).
Online Sources – Science Daily, Xinhua, The Atlantic, Bloomberg
Monday, October 24, 2016
* Brazil: A new poll found that a plurality of Brazilians back former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to return to the presidency in the 2018 elections, assuming he does not get jailed over corruption charges related to the “Lava Jato” probe.
* Mexico: Lawyers for imprisoned Sinaloa drug gang leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman might be using his purportedly worsening health in order to prevent his extradition to the United States.
* Uruguay: A supporters group advocating for ex-Guantanamo prison detainee Abu Wa'el Dhiab claimed he ended his 68-day-long hunger strike and will reportedly travel from Uruguay to another country.
* Central America: According to Médecins Sans Frontières, around two out of three Central American migrants journeying through Mexico has been the victim of at least one “violent attack.”
YouTube Source – euronews (From september 2016: “Brazil's former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to stand trial for allegedly accepting over one million dollars (800,000 euros) in bribes in connection with the corruption scandal at the state-run oil firm Petrobras.”)
Online Sources – Fox News Latino, Sputnik International, The Washington Post, Deutsche Welle, The Guardian
Friday, October 21, 2016
* Brazil: Twenty-one mining executives were charged with homicide in relation to the November 2015 collapse of a Brazilian dam that killed nineteen people and polluted miles of waterways.
* Latin America: A Mexican judge rejected an appeal to prevent the extradition of imprisoned Sinaloa drug cartel chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, while Argentine officials requested the extradition of an ex-Iranian foreign minister potentially involved in the deadly 1994 AMIA bombing.
* Nicaragua: A recent poll gave President Daniel Ortega a commanding lead in a presidential race marred by controversy over the removal of opposition politicos from the legislature.
* United States: The Organization of American States for the first time will send observers to monitor the United States presidential election in fifteen states including Georgia and Ohio.
YouTube Source – CCTV News
Online Sources – Fox News Latino, teleSUR English, Business Insider, Yahoo News, UPI
Thursday, October 20, 2016
* Latin America: Latin America has become “one of the most urbanized regions of the world” over the past three decades, according to Development Bank of Latin America executive president Enrique Garcia.
* South America: Former Brazilian lower house chief Eduardo Cunha was arrested yesterday over his alleged role in the “Lava Jato” corruption scandal, while Venezuelan opposition figure Manuel Rosales was transferred from jail to house arrest.
* Mexico: The Mexican peso slipped by around 0.5% following the third United States presidential debate though is has strengthened by some 7% since the first debate on September 7th.
* Honduras: Human rights campaigners condemned the murders of two northern Honduras land rights activists representing farmers in their dispute against multinational firms.
YouTube Source – NYU Stern Urbanization Project (From 2014: “The expansion of built up urban land in São Paulo, 1881 - 2000.”)
Online Sources – Xinhua, Bloomberg, UPI, BBC News, Reuters
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
* Venezuela: Tensions between the Venezuelan government and political opposition have once again flared up after electoral authorities postponed gubernatorial elections to the middle of next year, and the Supreme Court tightened the rules on a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro.
* Ecuador: Ecuadoran officials severely restricted Internet access to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken exile in the country’s London embassy since 2012.
* Cuba: “I fully intend to maintain our embargo on Cuba,” declared US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan in a statement days after the White House further relaxed trade and travel restrictions.
* Peru: Scientists are looking into what caused the deaths of thousands of critically endangered water frogs along the shoreline of the increasingly polluted Lake Titicaca.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – Reuters, NBC News, Sky News, UPI
Monday, October 17, 2016
* United States: A poll of likely Latino voters conducted last week has respondents giving Hillary Clinton a fifty point cushion over Donald Trump in a four-way race for the United States presidency.
* Honduras: The White House gave the green light for $55 million in aid to Honduras despite reservations by the Obama administration over rampant corruption and narcotrafficking.
* Ecuador: “I cannot disclose any information,” said a contact at the Ecuadoran embassy in London when asked if internet access to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was purportedly cut off.
* Puerto Rico: A new federal oversight board monitoring Puerto Rico’s public finances granted themselves more powers, while outgoing governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla warned that the commonwealth could face a $59 billion public debt over the next ten years.
YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour
Online Sources – Bloomberg, Fox News Latino, BBC News, Politico
Thursday, October 13, 2016
* El Salvador: Lawmakers of El Salvador’s ruling political party backs a proposal to ease the total ban on abortion while an opposition legislator countered with a bill to punish anyone involved with abortions with fifty years in prison.
* United States: A poll of Latino registered voters taken show 58% respondents prefer Hillary Clinton in the race for the presidency, while the support for third party candidates Jill Stein (6%) and Gary Johnson (10%) both nearly equal the percentage who back Donald Trump (19%).
* Colombia: Tens of thousands of protestors advocating for peace took to the streets of Colombia’s major cities for the third time since voters narrowly rejected an accord between the government and FARC rebels.
* Haiti: In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the United States government suspended deporting Haitian migrants back to their home country.
YouTube Source – France 24 English (Video uploaded in March 2016).
Online Sources – UPI, CNN, ABC News, The Los Angeles Times