Friday, April 28, 2006

Former rebel challenges Chavez for Venezuelan presidency

Teodoro Petkoff, a 74-year-old ex-leftist rebel and newspaper editor, announced his presidential candidacy last week. Petkoff and three other rivals face a difficult battle to unseat Chavez by Election Day on December 3rd.

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“Soccer War” spat finally put to rest

The presidents of Honduras and El Salvador met earlier this month in order to settle a border dispute that caused the brief but bloody “Soccer War” 37 years ago.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Brazil nuclear program benefits from attention towards Iran

The similarities are uncanny- both Brazil and Iran have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, secretly planned key parts of its nuclear programs, and have the capacity to enrich uranium. Yet Iran has been in the global eye due to its belligerent stance against other states while the Brazilian government is trying to calmly show that their nuclear capabilities are only for an alternative energy source.

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Trinidadian murder rate skyrockets

Trinidad and Tobago has become one of the top six homicidal nations in the world as crime has grown rapidly over the past two years. The homicide rate in Trinidad and Tobago is between 25 and 30 murdered per 100,000 people.

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Films from Mexico, Argentina, and Paraguay to be screened at Cannes

Several movies from Iberoamerican countries will be shown during the 59th edition of the Cannes Film Festival next month. “Pan’s Labyrinth”, co-produced by Mexico, will be one of the 19 films competing for the prestigious Palm D’Or.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

White House report: Increased coca growth in Colombia

A report made by the by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy shows that coca growth in Colombia increased by 26% in 2005. Skeptics of U.S drug policy note believe that spraying coca with herbicide is insufficient to combat drug growth, while U.S. officials claim the larger number comes from more land being included in the surveys.

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English only: Brits have not warmed to foreign-language music

The Guardian’s Sophie Headwood notes how the mainstream British audience ignores critically acclaimed yet non-English music from abroad. She exalts the popular and critical acclaim of Colombian singer Juanes, (who performed at the European parliament last week), but worries that his singing in Spanish will bring low sales of his latest album in the U.K.

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So which left is right? Castañeda and Forero view leftist shift differently

Jorge Castañeda, Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American Studies at New York University, believes that Latin America is being transformed by two distinct left-wing movements according to his article in Foreign Affairs. Meanwhile, New York Times reporter Juan Forero has written a piece solely targeting leftist populist movements as the catalyst for political change in Latin America. (Image from The Economist highlights ideological leanings of recent Latin American governments).

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