Friday, June 14, 2013

Daily Headlines: June 14, 2013

* Brazil: Mass protests have taken place in major Brazilian cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro on the eve of the Confederations Cup soccer tournament.

* U.S.: While Congress continues to wrangle over immigration reform several recent polls have shown widespread public support for a bipartisan plan by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight.”

* Argentina: Former President Carlos Menem was convicted yesterday for arms smuggling though he will not serve prison time for now due to his immunity as a senator.

* England: Manuel Pellegrini of Chile signed a three-year contract on Friday to serve as head coach of Manchester City, one of England’s top soccer clubs.

Video Source – YouTube via user brasilfatos fatos (In this amateur video, Sao Paulo police fired tear gas into a group of demonstrators on the evening of June 13, 2013).

Online Sources- Reuters; Politico; ABC News;

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daily Headlines: June 13, 2013

* Argentina: At least three people died in a train accident this morning near Buenos Aires that occurred over a year after fifty-two people were killed in a train crash in the Argentine capital.

* Venezuela: President Nicolás Maduro claims to have received Wednesday a tweet from the late leader Hugo Chávez in the form of a bird, while opposition rival Henrique Capriles started a weekly webcast.

* Brazil: Newspaper editor Jose Roberto Ornelas de Lemos was killed in what investigators believe was a “murder-for-hire” related to his work.

* Colombia: The Colombian Senate approved an animal rights bill that would ban the exhibition of wild animals like bears and lions at circuses.

Video Source – YouTube via user TVPublicaArgentina

Online Sources- Latin Times; Fox News Latino; CNN; LAHT; The Latin Americanist

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Golden Voiced" Boy Mariachi Belts Out National Anthem

We'll be back on Thursday with (hopefully) several posts on recent news stories from around the Americas.

In the meantime, we ask that all those who can please rise for the singing of the U.S. National Anthem:

The above rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was by ten-year-old Mexican-American singer Sebastien De La Cruz before the third game of the NBA Finals.  The San Antonio native has been hailed as “The Boy With the Golden Voice” after his recent appearance on a nationally televised singing competition.

In the aftermath of De La Cruz' performance, several twits on Twitter aired their disapproval of him using racist and vulgar language.  De La Cruz replied by noting, "My father was a U.S. Marine for a long time and they think I'm Mexican.  I'm not from Mexico.  I was born and raised in San Antonio and I'm a Spurs fan".

Video Source - YouTube via use Xsounders

Online Sources - El Diario/La Prensa;

Daily Headlines: June 12, 2013

* Venezuela: Electoral authorities confirmed the victory of President Nicolás Maduro in April’s presidential elections though runner-up Henrique Capriles pledged to keep contesting the results.

* Mexico: Officials in the western state of Jalisco said that they rescued some 275 workers who were being held in slave-like conditions at tomato processing facility.

* Vatican: In remarks to the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious, Argentine-born Pope Francis claimed that a “gay lobby” exists within the Vatican.

* Cuba: Cuba is expected to join the annual Caribbean Series of baseball next year for the first time since 1960.

Video Source – YouTube via user telesurenglish

Online Sources-; Herald Sun; NPR; Bernama; The Latin Americanist

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Daily Headlines: June 11, 2013 (Updated)

* Costa Rica: Police have yet to identify any suspects in the murder of Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval who was killed two weeks ago while protecting turtle nests.

* Latin America: Tourists from Latin America are among those who most visited the U.S. in 2012, while Mexico is using the recent visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to promote tourism from China.

* Venezuela: Authorities arrested nine alleged Colombian paramilitaries accused them of purportedly plotting to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

(Update: Leading opposition figure Henrique Capriles responded to the news of the alleged thwarted plot by accusing the government of "putting up a smokescreen" to hide Venezuela's economic and political problems. [Link is in Spanish].)   

* U.S.: The family of Oswaldo Payá, a Cuban dissident who died in a 2012 auto accident, have gone into exile in Miami but will reportedly not seek political asylum.

Video Source – YouTube via user El Periódico cr (Vigils were held throughout Costa Rica last week calling for justice in the death of conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval).

Online Sources including update- Tico Times; Los Angeles Times; Miami Herald; Fox News Latino; RTT News; Terra USA

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tangos Dedicated to Argentine-Born Pope

In what could be viewed as the height of "Papamanía" in Argentina, a group of musicians from that country created songs dedicated to Pope Francis.

Entitled Tango para Francisco the song is dedicated to "Jorge the man who walked with the poor," which refers to the Jorge Maria Bergoglio's concerns for the poor of Buenos Aires where he was a priest and archbishop before he was chosen as Pope:

The composer of this song, Enrique Bugatti, died last week only days before the tune was recorded.

Another tango created shortly after the Pope was elected in March includes the lyric "Although today you are called Francisco you are really Jorge from Flores." (Flores is the Buenos Aires neighborhood where he was born).

Francis may have jokingly said last Friday that he "did not want to be pope" but since taking office he has continued his call for Catholics to do more to help the downtrodden and marginalized.   

"Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times we are no longer able to give a just value...Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and the hungry," declared Francis last Wednesday at a mass he dedicated to the U.N.’s World Environment Day.

Video Source: YouTube via user Cortina Musical

Online Sources: El Observador; USA TODAY; The Telegraph

Daily Headlines: June 10, 2013

* Peru: What do former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and Shining Path guerilla leader “Comrade Artemio” have in common?  Both men will likely spend their rest of their lives in prison.

* Argentina: China approved the importation of four new strains of genetically modified soybeans and corn from Argentina days after worldwide protests were held over the use of genetically modified food.

* Mexico: Authorities believe the Knights Templar drug gang is behind the attack on a Guerrero prison where nine inmates escaped and two prison guards were killed.

* Brazil: According to a new poll, President Dilma Rousseff popularity has fallen though a majority of Brazilians would vote for her if she chooses to run for reelection next year.

Video Source – YouTube via euronews (Shining Path guerilla leader “Comrade Artemio”, who was captured in a february 2012 military raid, was sentenced to life in prison and fined $183 million). 

Online Sources- Al Jazeera English; Xinhua; Reuters; Los Angeles Times; Businessweek