Showing posts with label Paraguay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paraguay. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

Daily Headlines: June 30, 2014

* Paraguay: The Red Cross warned that the flooding that has led to the evacuation of some 300,000 people in Paraguay could lead to "outbreaks of disease like dengue and chikungunya".

* Brazil: A new scientific study concluded that Indonesia has surpassed Brazil as the country with the world’s highest rate of deforestation.

* Cuba: Red Bull gives you wings…except if you travel illegally to Cuba.

* Venezuela: More than half of Venezuela including the capital city of Caracas was in the dark for several hours on Friday due to a blackout.

Video Source – BBC World via YouTube

Online Sources – Red Cross; BBC News; Reuters; Bloomberg

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Daily Headlines: June 25, 2014

* U.S.: The U.S. government is carrying out a propaganda campaign in Central America in order to try to stem the recent influx of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant children.

* Paraguay: Heavy rainfall and river flooding has led to the evacuation of some 200,000 people in Paraguay.
* Cuba: According to the Cuban opposition, the authorities have jailed at least 114 political prisoners including 80 “peaceful dissidents”.

* South America: The Qhapac Nan road network that spread through six South America countries and was used mainly by the Incan empire was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Video Source – PBS NewsHour via YouTube

Online Sources – Miami Herald; PRESS TV; LAHT; ABC News

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Daily Headlines: June 10, 2014

* Brazil: Sao Paulo subway workers suspended their strike though protests are expected to take place in Brazil prior to the start of the World Cup on Thursday.

* Argentina: Vice President Amado Boudou was questioned for several hours by investigators over his possible involvement in a major corruption case that has shaken up the presidency of Cristina Fernandez.
* Cuba: Authorities arrested eight people and accused them of being behind a university entrance exam cheating scandal.

* Paraguay: How is Father Carlos Urrutigoity in a “position of power” in Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este despite facing multiple accusations of child sexual abuse in the U.S.?

Video Source – euronews via YouTube

Online Sources – MercoPress; GlobalPost; Los Angeles Times; ABC News

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Daily Headlines: May 8, 2014

* Venezuela: 243 anti-government protesters were arrested on Thursday morning as part of a crackdown on tent camps in Caracas while the U.S. Congress is considering several proposals to raise sanctions against President Nicolás Maduro’s regime.

* Brazil: Federal police have threatened with going on a 24-hour strike in the middle of the World Cup unless the government raises their pay and improves their working conditions.

* Latin America: A new World Health Organization report found that areas of Brazil, Paraguay and Costa Rica have some of the world’s cleanest air.

* Mexico: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will reportedly go ahead with a planned visit to Mexico later this month despite being subpoenaed by Congress over the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Video Source – CNN en Español via YouTube

Online Sources – Latin Times; ABC News; Al Jazeera; Xinhua; NBC News

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Paraguay: Thousands Protest in General Strike

Several thousand Paraguayans took to the streets on Wednesday as part of a general strike against the government’s economic and social policies. 

The nationwide protests were organized by labor unions and were held on the twentieth anniversary of the country’s previous general strike in 1994.  Social groups, peasants and teachers were among the scores of participants in the general strike and called for a variety of demands including better education, reducing the fare on public transportation and agrarian reform.  Labor unions, for example, have sought a 25% across-the-board salary increase and are upset over a law permitting private companies to invest in government infrastructure in exchange for owning concessions and charging fees. 

“(The government) claims that there has been development, that funds are distributed across the nation.  But that money doesn’t flow to the workers or the peasants, nor does it arrive to the hospitals or the schools,” declared labor leader Teodolina Villalba.

The largest demonstration took part in the capital of Asunción where traffic reportedly came to a standstill and most businesses and schools were closed. Marches were also organized in the country’s interior cities and for the most part were peaceful aside from minor tensions resulting from the temporary shutdown of the Friendship Bridge connecting Ciudad del Este to Foz do Iguacu, Brazil.

Prior to the strike, president Horacio Cartes gave in by permitting the establishment of dialogues in order to hear the demands from the protesters.  Otherwise it appears unlikely that he will provide any more concessions such as the public-private investment plan that Public Works Minister Ramon Jimenez defended as necessary to improve government infrastructure.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chilean Skier Suffers Rough Fall in Olympics (Updated)

Chilean skier Noelle Barahona became one of the latest victims of the treacherous Rosa Khutor downhill ski course at the Winter Olympics in Sochi after she took a nasty tumble today.

The twenty-three-year old, who is participating in her third straight Olympics, claimed that she lost her balance while descending in the first of the two events that make up the Super Combined.

“I have an ugly bruise on my leg but I don’t think anything serious happened,” said Barahona to the press after her fall.  She also admitted that she was “not 100% prepared for the downhill” due to an apparent bout of food poisoning the night before the event.  Nevertheless, she was eager to continue participating in other skiing disciplines.

“I’ve been feeling very comfortable and quick on the Super-G and Giant (slaloms) and I think that I can get the results I want,” Barahona observed.

Despite the tumble on Monday, she gave a “huuuuge thank you” to all of her supporters via a message on her Instagram account.

“I'm a little sad cause I wanted to enjoy the whole DH. However, getting the opportunity to race in front of you all was unbelievable. Still 4 more races to go, a lot of opportunity to ski the way I know. Next up is Downhill on the 12th!” Barahona wrote along with a photo of her in the starting gate prior to her decent.

While Barahona and seventeen other women did not complete the Super Combined, Macarena Simari Birkner of Argentina enjoyed a twentieth place finish in the event.

I am very happy. I wanted to finish among the top twenty and I ended exactly in twentieth place,” said the athlete from Bariloche who wore a unique polka-dot speed suit while skiing.

Several of the thirty-two athletes from Latin American countries attending the Winter Games also competed in their respective events over the weekend.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Daily Headlines: December 6, 2013

* Paraguay: A version of Facebook with settings in the Paraguayan indigenous language of Guarani was launched this week and will run for at least three months.

* U.S.: The unemployment rate among Latinos dropped to 8.7% last month, which represents a decrease of 0.4% compared to October and 1.2% less than November 2012.

* Ecuador: “We consider it an act of violence,” said the head of the Pachamama Foundation, an Ecuadorian environmental group that is critical of the country’s present and was abruptly shut down on Wednesday.

* Peru: A forensic team is investing a recently uncovered mass grave with forty-eight bodies of women and children likely killed during Peru’s armed conflict.

Video Source – YouTube user LDS Mission Stories (Prepare to Serve!)

Online Sources- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sacramento Bee, BBC News, ABC News

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daily Headlines: November 14, 2013

* Latin America: Uruguay and Mexico practically secured their spots in next year’s World Cup after routing their respective rivals in the first match of a two-leg playoff qualifying series.

* Dominican Republic: Nearly twenty prominent U.S. Latino civil rights groups signed an open letter to Dominican President Danilo Medina protesting the possible stripping of citizenship to tens of thousands of Dominicans.

* Paraguay: Paraguay is normalizing diplomatic relations with several of its South American neighbors nearly a year and a half after the controversial ouster of President Fernando Lugo.

* Brazil: Brazilian state-run firm Petrobras sold its Peruvian energy division to China’s CNPC for $2.6 billion.

Video Source – YouTube via user oneworldsportstv

Online Sources- Bloomberg; Huffington Post; The Latin Americanist; Mercopress; Reuters

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paraguayan Plan Could Use GMOs to Combat Dengue

Can genetically modified organisms (GMOs) combat the deadly dengue virus?  The answer could come out of Paraguay where the government is considering backing a pilot program using genetically modified mosquitos.

According to one media report, the strategy consists of using genetically modified male versions of the Aedes Aegypti mosquitos that normally spread the dengue virus.  These males would be introduced into areas with a high density of their female counterparts and left to procreate. The resulting larvae would die quickly due to the transgene passed down from the males.

Scientists representing British-based Oxitec Limited presented their plan to Paraguayan authorities earlier this month.  According to the Paraguayan press, one of the company’s experts claimed that their proposal successfully decreased the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population in Bahia, Brazil by 85%.  (A 2011 Oxitec newsletter described that a similar proposal reduced the number of Aedes Aegypti mosquitos on the Cayman Islands by 80%).

The firm also alleged that the genetically modified mosquitos would not represent a risk to the human populace since they don’t bite people.

“We’re looking to see if this project is feasible and if it can fit within the circumstances of our country,” said Agueda Cabello, director of Paraguay’s health ministry.  “If so, then it would be very interesting since it would be a tool that can be used to combat dengue,” she added.

At least 96 people have died in Paraguay this year due to dengue along with at least 448 cases of the disease reported in the country just in this month.

The disease affects millions or people worldwide, especially in tropical regions, and is characterized by high fever, severe body aches, rash and sometimes bleeding.  Researchers have been unable to develop a vaccine to fight dengue.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Daily Headlines: September 23, 2013

* Latin America: Prolific Colombian poet Alvaro Mutis died at the age of 90 in Mexico City while 73-year-old dissident Cuban economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe passed away in Spain.

* Vatican: Pope Francis, whose ancestors left Italy for Argentina roughly a century ago, called for "the elimination of prejudices and presuppositions" against migrants and refugees.

* South America: Scientists in Paraguay and Uruguay are said to be working on the development of $1 early detection test for congenital syphilis, which is a disease that affects some three million people in Latin America.

* U.S.: Were the visits made by New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio to Cuba and Nicaragua in his youth a cause for alarm or much ado about nothing?

Video Source – YouTube via user Cadena3Noticias

Online Sources- The Guardian; LAHT; NBC News; Reuters AlertNet; NY1

Friday, September 20, 2013

Daily Headlines: September 20, 2013

* Vatican: In an interview released yesterday, Argentine-born Pope Francis called on Catholics to show greater acceptance towards gays, divorcees and women who have had an abortion or risk that “the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards.”

* Chile: Sen. Isabel Allende, the daughter of the president who was ousted in a coup over forty years ago, said that prison privileges should be halted for people convicted of human rights violations during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

* Paraguay: Recently inaugurated Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes claimed that he hoped his country would be reintegrated into the Mercosur trading bloc by “early 2014”.

* Honduras: Amnesty International urged authorities to do a better job protecting the lives of indigenous community leaders.

Video Source – YouTube via CNN

Online Sources- Amnesty International; Christian Science Monitor; Washington Post; euronews; The Latin Americanist

Friday, August 30, 2013

Paraguay Protestors Resort to Crucifixion

We’ll be back this Labor Day weekend in order to examine several news stories from around the Americas including different protests in the region.

As seen in the flowing video, an unusual demonstration has taken place in Paraguay where at least nine people have crucified themselves:

Among those who are taking part in the unique protest that entered its twenty-second day on Friday are eight bus drivers upset at having been laid off from their posts.  They were reportedly laid off after asking for overtime pay, medical insurance and state pension contributions.

The head of the Vanguardia bus company that employed the dismissed workers claimed that five of them would be rehired while the other three will receive legal separation payments.  Yet the group said they would not give up their protest until all are reinstated to the Asuncion-based firm.

“I’m joining them today, tomorrow will be an extra mother and the next day another because we have to defend our rights,” declared the wife of one of the protestors who joined her husband and was also nailed to a wooden cross.

“I would like to urge the president to please come here and observe the inhumane situation we are facing,” she added.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Daily Headlines: August 16, 2013

* Paraguay: Conservative business tycoon Horacio Cartes was sworn in yesterday as Paraguay’s first democratically-elected president since the controversial June 2012 ouster of Fernando Lugo.

* Mexico: A Mexican judge issued an arrest warrant for Rafael Caro Quintero, a former drug capo who was unexpectedly freed last week while serving a prison sentence for the 1985 murder of DEA agent Enrique "Kike" Camarena. 

* U.S.: Valentin de Vargas, a “veteran character actor” of Spanish and Austrian background who was active in the Nosotros organization for Latinos in show business, was buried on Tuesday in New Mexico.

* Haiti: The U.S. Department of State issued a new Haiti travel advisory that includes warning visitors of “violent crimes and lack of emergency response infrastructure.”

Video Source – YouTube via user telesurenglish

Online Sources- Defend Haiti; The AV Club; The Guardian; France24; The Latin Americanist

Monday, April 22, 2013

Conservative Business Tycoon Wins Paraguayan Presidency

In Mexico last year the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) returned to the presidency after their seventy-one years of continuous rule was halted in 2000.  A similar story developed this weekend several thousand miles south in Paraguay.

Multimillionaire Horacio Cartes of the Colorado Party was declared the winner of Paraguay’s presidential elections with 45.91% of the votes versus 36.84% for Efrain Alegre of the ruling Liberal Party.  Thus, the Colorados return to the presidency after having their sixty-one years in power broken in 2008 by former catholic priest Fernando Lugo.

"My legs trembled at the thought of the enormous and amazing responsibility of being president of all Paraguayans," Cartes said in his victory speech on Sunday night. "I want the people who did not vote for us to know that I'll put all my effort into earning their trust," declared one of Paraguay's richest men who owns over twenty businesses.

The conservative Cartes and the center-right Alegre both reportedly ran campaigns with similar platforms promising to create jobs and improve economic conditions.  According to U.N. estimates over half of all Paraguayans live in poverty while only 1% of residents control 77% of the country’s land.

Both men also engaged in negative campaigning against each other regarding faced corruption charges. Cartes was jailed for nearly a year in 1989 for illegal currency dealings though that conviction was later overturned.  He’s also believed to be involved in money laundering and tax evasion as part of his offshore dealings with the Banco Amambay that he owns.

The two main candidates differed over the issue of gay rights, which was most evident when Cartes recently compared gay people to “monkeys” and threatened to “shoot myself in the testicles” if his son were to seek same-sex marriage.

The ugly campaign may have extended itself to the election itself; for instance, a Colorado party senator was suspended on Saturday after he was filmed allegedly offering cash to rival Liberal party officials in exchange for annulled ballot papers. Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Organization of American States electoral observer Oscar Arias praised the Paraguayan electorate though he did note “grievous electoral irregularities” such as the buying of votes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Daily Headlines: March 5, 2013

* Venezuela: Cancer-stricken President Hugo Chávez is in a "very delicate" condition and battling a “new and severe” respiratory infection according to a Venezuelan government statement.

* Cuba: Are prisoners at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay going on a “widespread hunger strike”?
* Uruguay: Legendary soccer coach Luis Cubilla, who led Paraguayan club Olimpia to a pair of Copa Libertadores titles, died at the age of 72.

* Argentina: Alicia Castro, Argentina's ambassador to Britain, declared next week's referendum in the disputed Falklands Islands as “illegal” and is a publicity stunt.

Video Source – YouTube via euronews

Online Sources- Reuters, Vancouver Sun, NTDTV, PRESS TV

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daily Headlines: February 28, 2013

* South America: At least twenty-seven people have died in Paraguay and thirty-three people have died in Brazil this year as a result of a dengue outbreak.

* Peru: The One Laptop Per Child program in Peru, which started in 2007, has reportedly had “mixed results” including logistics issues and improvements in education.

* Cuba: The Cuban Foreign Ministry accused the U.S. of not granting consular access to a paroled member of the “Cuban Five” group of convicted spies.

* Mexico: Will Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto pursue other union bosses aside from recently arrested teachers' union chief Elba Esther Gordillo?

Video Source – YouTube via user elsiglodetorreon

Online Sources- USA TODAY, Prensa Latina, BBC News, ABC News, Christian Science Monitor

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Daily Headlines: February 13, 2013

* Colombia: Peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC are allegedly going well despite a guerilla military offensive.

* Peru: Archeologists located a 5000-year-old temple in a Peruvian valley that could be among the oldest sites in the world.

* Venezuela: The U.S. State Department issued sanctions against a Venezuelan state-owned weapons firm for it’s dealings with Iran, North Korea or Syria.

* Paraguay: The head of the Paraguayan national electricity agency warned that the country’s energy system is on the verge of collapse.

Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English (The FARC ended a weeks-long unilateral ceasefire on January 20th).

Online Sources- GlobalPost, Reuters, Businessweek,

Monday, February 4, 2013

Daily Headlines: February 4, 2013 (UPDATED)

* Paraguay: Presidential candidate Lino Oviedo died in an accident that occurred on the twenty-fourth anniversary of the coup d’état that he took part in against ex-dictator Alfredo Stroessner. 

* Mexico: Funerals were held over the weekend for some of the thirty-six people killed as a result of an explosion at the PEMEX complex on Thursday.

Update: According to PEMEX a 37th dead body was found on Monday amid the rubble from last week's explosion. 

* Cuba: Former Cuban ruler Fidel Castro voted in Sunday’s general elections and, thus, made his first extended public appearance since 2010.

* Uruguay: Should the Falkands Islands really belong to Uruguay instead of Argentina or Britain?

Video Source – YouTube via user canalNTN24

Online Sources including Update- Bloomberg, euronews, The Latin Americanist, The Guardian, The Telegraph, ABC News

Friday, January 25, 2013

Today's Video: Deadly Dengue

Numerous countries throughout the Americas including Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela are on high alert due to the latest outbreak of dengue in the region.  As the below video shows, the dengue outbreak in Peru has hit residents of the remote Amazon region particularly hard:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) dengue has the potential to become a global epidemic since last year it was the "fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease" in the world.  The WHO blamed climate change and greater migration between countries as the causes of the increase in the mosquito-borne disease.

Unfortunately, dengue has no cure and the development of a vaccine is very difficult according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci:
“The problem with a dengue vaccine is that unlike other viruses where if you get infected with one or vaccinated with one you’re protected, period, after you recover.  Whereas with dengue since there are four types, a vaccine needs to protect you against all four, because if you are only protected against one or two, you are still susceptible to one or the other of the three or four viruses,” Fauci said.
Online Soures -, Mercopress, Globovision, France24, Voice of America

Video Source - YouTube via Al Jazeera English     

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Daily Headlines: December 19, 2012

* Paraguay: Amnesty International called on authorities to look into the “potential responsibility of police” involved in June land clashes that led to the ouster of then-President Fernando Lugo.

* U.S.: Fans and loved ones of recently deceased musician Jenni Rivera are expected to attend a memorial service today in Los Angeles.

* Latin America: Five Latin American countries including Colombia and Ecuador surpassed eighteenth-placed Brazil in the latest FIFA soccer rankings.

* Mexico: At least seventeen people died in an attempted prison break yesterday in the northern Durango state.