Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Zelaya inaugurated as Honduran president

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. Manuel Zelaya, a wealthy landowner, was inaugurated as Honduran president last Friday. He vowed to combat rising gang violence and government corruption in his inauguration speech in front of thousands at Tegucigalpa’s Estadio Nacional. (ABC)

Mexico: No maps for border crossers

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. Mexico’s government will “rethink” its plan to provide maps to migrants planning to cross the US-Mexico border. Mexican officials expressed worry that a map-distribution program would assist anti-immigrant groups such as the Minutemen. (Mercury News)

Latin America ignored in global economic conference

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. The World Economic Forum ended last week with emphasis mainly on the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, while Latin America was virtually shunned. "I've been coming here for 15 years and this was the first time there was so little emphasis on Latin America," confessed the group chief executive of a British advertising company. (Al-Jazeera)

Telenovelas en ingles? They may come to an English-speaking network near you

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. Television programmers believe that English-language telenovelas may be the next hit genre to invade US TV. screens. Novelas planned for networks such as ABC and CBS are closely patterned after popular Spanish-language novelas; for instance, "Desire: Table for Three," is adapted from the Colombian series "Mesa Para Tres." (SFGate)

Chavez meets with Cindy Sheehan while Iran okays business deal with Venezuela

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. During a meeting between US anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Chavez joked that he might put a tent up next to President Bush’s Texas ranch the next time Sheehan protests there. Also, Iran’s parliament approved several bills that would foster trade and commerce between Iran and Venezuela. (IRNA)

Uribe’s popularity plummets while authorities investigate possible Al-Qaeda link to criminal group

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. False accusations by the government on a rival candidate’s involvement with leftist rebels have hurt of Alvaro Uribe’s seemingly easy bid for presidential reelection as polls show his popularity decreasing dramatically. In addition, Colombian officials are investigating the possible infiltration of Al-Qaeda and Hammas in a recently-arrested criminal ring. (BBC)

Bolivia: Drug czar named; Morales cuts his salary in half

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. President Evo Morales named a coca leaf grower as Bolivia’s drug czar as part of his plan to radically change government policy on coca. Meanwhile, Morales vowed that he would cut his salary by more than half and would use the money saved to help pay social services. (BBC)

Rift between EU and Jamaica over death penalty

-Contributed by Erwin Cifuentes. Multi-million dollar donations from the EU to a Jamaican anti-death penalty group have raised the ire of the Jamaican government. Though Jamaica last execution occurred eighteen years ago, the island’s government feels that the EU is interfering with Jamaica’s judicial system. (Jamaica Observer)