Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daily Headlines: January 16, 2013

* Chile: Members of the indigenous Rapa Nui community may reportedly seek to declare independence for Easter Island from Chile.

* Venezuela: The Venezuelan Official Gazette published a decree signed by President Hugo Chavez hours after Vice President Nicolas Maduro alleged that the ailing leader was “making progress” in his recovery. 
* Cuba: Authorities in Cuba claimed to have “contained” a cholera outbreak that has infected at least fifty-one people.

* U.S.: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar became the second Latino member of the Obama cabinet to resign over the past several days.

Video Source – YouTube via UNESCO

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

U.S., Colombian Diplomats Discuss Possible “Change” in Venezuela

The top diplomats for the U.S. and Colombia urged Venezuela’s government to “respect” that country’s constitution should President Hugo Chavez not recover from cancer surgery.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Colombian counterpart, María Ángela Holguín, reportedly discussed the “potential for change” in Venezuela during a meeting between both of them in Washington earlier today. 

Clinton and Holguin coincided that “a political transition of any kind needs to happen in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution, needs to be transparent, needs to be democratic,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Nuland added that the U.S. “admires” the efforts of the Colombian government to have peace talks with the FARC rebels.

Nuland’s remarks were similar to those made yesterday by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson regarding Venezuela’s political tensions.

"All of us want the situation…to clarify," she said according to Venezuela’s El Universal daily.  She added that if the Venezuelan constitution provides for a "new election" then she expects it to be "open to everyone."

The U.S. hasn’t been the only country in the Americas to call for a peaceful transition in power in Venezuela in case Chavez’ health impedes him from continuing in the presidency.  According to Reuters, Brazilian officials are looking at the possibility of a post-Chavez Venezuela:

Daily Headlines: January 15, 2013 (UPDATED)

* Puerto Rico: Protests by social media groups may’ve led to the resignation last week of the voice behind controversially outspoken Puerto Rican TV puppet La Comay.

Update: Has the uproar against recent homophobic remarks by La Comay caused legislators to reconsider an anti-discrimination bill that had been dormant for years?   

* Chile: Chile became the world’s first country to prohibit bottom trawling, a fishing practice that causes damage to ocean life.

* Guatemala: The mayor of the town of Jutiapa was killed on the same day that President Otto Perez Molina said there had been "a historic decline" in Guatemalan violence during his first year in office.

* Latin America: Vale (Brazil), Cemex (Mexico) and Tenaris (Argentina) are some of the firms were named in a report of the top 100 companies from developing nations that are pushing global growth.

Video Source – YouTube via user 40viajero (Puerto Rican celebrities joined in the uproar against La Comay who made homophobic comments about the brutal murder of a gay publicist last month).

Online Sources- New American Media, National Geographic, New York Times, BBC News

Monday, January 14, 2013

World Watch: Liar, Liar

* U.S.: Disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong reportedly admitted that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France.

* Mali: Defense chiefs of several western African countries will back the deployment of thousands of troops aimed at defeating Islamist rebels in Mali.

* Syria: An International Rescue Committee report found that Syria’s humanitarian crises is worsening as a result of female refugees escaping from rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

* Pakistan: Ten of thousands of people in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad participated in anti-government protests.

Video Source– YouTube via user jchau (Lance Armstrong featured in this 2001 Nike ad where he tried to downplay rumors of doping).

Online Sources – USA TODAY, Reuters, NPR, Christian Science Monitor

Daily Headlines: January 14, 2013

* Cuba: Long lines are allegedly forming outside migration offices and the U.S. Interests Section in Havana as today marks the first day that new travel measures take effect.

* Colombia: Peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels will be renewed today after a 23-day holiday break.
* Bolivia: President Evo Morales praised the U.N.’s decision to readmit Bolivia into the organization’s anti-drugs convention.

* Costa Rica: Approximately fifty mothers and their children took part in a breastfeeding protest against the supposedly discriminatory policies of a Costa Rican shopping mall.

Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English

Online Sources- Huffington Post, Bernama, Mercopress, ABC News