Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend World Watch: Intervention

* Uganda: U.S. president Barack Obama announced that 100 troops and military advisers will be sent to Uganda in order to combat the Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

* Yemen: At least twelve people at an anti-government rally were shot and killed by “security forces and plain-clothed government loyalists.”

* U.S.: A federal judge recommended that Al-Qaeda pay $9 billion for “property loss, business interruption, and related damages, and attest that these damages were directly caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks.”

* Liberia: Opposition candidates threatened with withdrawing from the presidential elections due to alleged electoral fraud favoring recent Nobel Peace laureate and current president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Video Source –Via YouTube user AlJazeeraEnglish

Online Sources- Reuters, The Guardian, New York Daily News, BBC News

Weekend Headlines: October 15-16, 2011

* Cuba: Rest in peace Laura Pollan. The founder of Cuba’s Ladies in White dissident group died on Friday at the age of 63.

* Mexico: The Pan American Games in Guadalajara commenced with the opening ceremonies last night but the first day of competition was marred by two athletes expelled due to doping.

* South America: Will Ecuador be the biggest beneficiary of a U.S.-Colombia free trade pact that was passed by Congress days ago?

* El Salvador: At least 36 people have died as a result of flooding and mudslides caused by heavy rainfall.

Video Source – Via YouTube user euronews (Footage from an August Ladies in White protest including alleged harassment from pro-government supporters).

Online Sources- UPI, Xinhua, Reuters,, CBS News

Friday, October 14, 2011

Daily Headlines: October 14, 2011

Oil Rig Maintenance in Darwin Harbour May 2006
* Cuba: A Chinese-made oil rig is expected to arrive in Cuban waters in December and commence drilling in January according to Spanish company Repsol.

* Mexico: Police detained the alleged third-highest ranking member of the Zetas drug gang who is also accused of a deadly arson attack at a Monterrey casino.

* Argentina: Some members of the U.S. Congress are pressuring to block development loans from entities like the World Bank to Argentina.

* Guatemala: Authorities issued an arrest warrant against ex-president Oscar Mejia who is wanted on charges of genocide.

Image – Via Flickr user kenhodge13 (“Oil rig platform anchored in Darwin Harbour, Australia for maintenance purposes. These rigs are towed into Darwin from time to time for maintenance.”) (CC BY 2.0)

Online Sources- Reuters, BBC News, BusinessWeek

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daily Headlines: October 13, 2011

Colon - Free Trade Zone and Shops
* Latin America: The U.S. Congress yesterday passed several free trade agreements including pacts with Colombia and Panama.

* Chile: On the one-year anniversary of the rescue of thirty-three trapped Chilean miners Edison Peña is still in rehab and some of his cohorts haven’t fared much better.

* Haiti: President Michel Martelly met separately with former leaders Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier in order to reportedly seek a reconciliation.

* U.S.: The House of Representatives Oversight Committee ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to hand over documents related to the failed “Operation Fast and Furious.”

Image – Via Flickr user roger4336 (Shops and businesses located in the Colon, Panama free trade zone).
Online Sources- Reuters, Deutsche Welle, MSNBC, The Latin Americanist, USA TODAY

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

World Watch: Liberia votes

* Liberia: Recent Nobel Peace Prize co-recipient Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf may require a runoff in order to win a second straight presidential term.

* Iran: Iranian officials emphatically denied that their government was behind a foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

* U.S.: The accused “underwear bomber” who tried to blow up a commercial flight on Christmas Day 2009 pled guilty to all the charges against him.

* Thailand: An estimated two-thirds of the country has been swamped by some of the worst flooding in over a century.

Video Source – YouTube user euronews

Online Sources- Reuters, CBS News, BBC News, MSNBC

Daily Headlines: October 12, 2011 (Updated)

* Mexico: Mexican authorities cooperated with their U.S. counterparts in order to help foil a supposed Iranian-backed plan to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. (Update: According to the Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina's Jewish community is "concerned" with the alleged plot since the plan was said to have involved attacks in Buenos Aires)

* Paraguay: Over 27,000 cattle received vaccinations as part of a campaign to halt an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

* U.S.: A coalition of 25 civil rights and labor advocacy groups petitioned for an end to employment credit checks that allegedly hurt Latino job applicants.

* Puerto Rico: The Island’s emblematic coqui frog could soon be placed on an endangered species list.

Video Source – YouTube user Associated Press

Online Sources- Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Huffington Post, Fox News Latino

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nuestro Cine: Marvelous Montevideo

Last week we examined submissions from Cuba and Argentina vying to win top foreign film honors at the upcoming Academy Awards. In the next few days will look at other entries from Latin America and the Caribbean including a Brazilian blockbuster and a based-on-a-true-story movie out of Mexico.

Today, however, we would like to highlight a submission from a Europe country partly set in Latin America. "Montevideo, God Bless You!" is the translated title of the official entry from Serbia that focuses on the participation of the Yugoslavian national soccer team in the 1930 World Cup. The film shows the trials and tribulations of some of the players who come from different social and ethnic backgrounds in order to represent their country at the tournament that was hosted by Uruguay.

"Montevideo" was based on a novel by the same name by Vladimir Stankovic who was inspired after watching the 2005 film
"The Game of Their Lives". Thus, the two movies have their similarities including a plot with a romanticized depiction of events.

"Montevideo" was a box office smash in Serbia with plans for a sequel to be released later this year and a TV series in the works. Check out the trailer below and decide if the film could be a dark horse contender to win the coveted Oscar:

Video Source - Via YouTube user intermedianetwork

Online Sources - The Latin Americanist,, Wikipedia, Screen Daily

Daily Headlines: October 11, 2011

Sugarcane (Saccharum)
* Brazil: Sugar mills in Sao Paulo state shutdown roughly a month early as national domestic output is expected to fall for the first time in six years.

* Chile: An estimated ten thousand people marched in solidarity with the indigenous Mapuche community in a protest held on Columbus Day.

* Haiti: According to Doctors Without Borders the number of cholera cases in Port-au-Prince has nearly tripled over the past few weeks.

* Peru: President Ollanta Humala fired two-thirds of the generals in the country's national police force as part of a reported push to combat corruption.

* Puerto Rico: A former Puerto Rican health secretary could face Gov. Luis Fortuño in a gubernatorial primary.

* Uruguay: Is the small South American nation of Uruguay on the verge of becoming a “major exporter of natural gas”?

Image – Via Flickr user cliff1066

Online Sources- Bloomberg, BBC News, Mercopress, MSNBC, LAHT, UPI

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today’s Video: Viva Italia

On previous Columbus Days we've pondered whether the day ought to be renamed for a different Italian explorer with a less checkered past than Christopher Columbus. Ultimately, however, today is really an occasion in which to celebrate the rich Italian culture and the many contributions Italian migrants have brought to the U.S. and other parts of the Americas.

On a lighter note, here is the following Columbus Day-themed video from a vintage episode of "Sesame Street":

Video Source - YouTube user sawing14s

Online Sources - The Latin Americanist, Migration Information Source

Daily Headlines: October 10, 2011

* U.S.: Could smoking help explain the health phenomena known as the “Hispanic paradox”?

* Latin America: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas arrived in Colombia as he continued his Latin America tour seeking support for his government's bid to win a place at the U.N.

* Mexico: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder may soon receive a Congressional subpoena to testify over a failed gun surveillance program know as “Operation Fast and Furious”.

* Argentina: Despite taking an early lead and putting up a good fight Argentina was eliminated from the Rugby World Cup after losing to host team and heavy favorites New Zealand.

* Paraguay: Preliminary results indicated that most voters backed a constitutional amendment that would permit Paraguayans residing abroad the right to vote in general elections.

* South America: Qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil began last week and included an easy win for Uruguay over Bolivia and a surprising victory for Peru at home against Paraguay.

Video Source – Via YouTube user unnaturalcausesdoc (“Two researchers present findings related to the "Latino paradox," the fact that new Latino immigrants, despite having on average lower incomes and highly stressful lives, suffer lower rates of chronic and mental illness than the average native-born American.”)

Online Sources – The Latin Americanist, Colombia Reports, MSNBC, CNN, Soccer by Ives, The Guardian, Scientific American