Friday, June 27, 2014

Daily Headlines: June 27, 2014

* Venezuela: A group of university students have sewn their mouths shut as part of a hunger strike since June 20th to protest the detention of over 100 students involved in anti-government protests.

* Cuba: The wife of U.S. contractor Alan Gross claimed that his health is rapidly deteriorating and that he is losing faith of being released from a Cuban prison.

* Ecuador: Ecuador's Constitutional Court has forty-five days to decide how to go forward with a series of reforms that could allow for the indefinite reelection of President Rafael Correa.

* Puerto Rico: Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla proposed a plan to restructure about $22 billion in debt owed by public entities on the cash-strapped commonwealth.

Video Source – CCTV America via YouTube

Online Sources – El Universal; CNN; ABC News; The New York Times

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Daily Headlines: June 26, 2014

* South America: According to the U.N., the growing of coca is stable in Colombia and has decreased in Bolivia and Peru though cocaine production is not expected to diminish.

* Uruguay: FIFA suspended star striker Luis Suárez for nine games and fined him about $112,000 for biting an Italian player during a World Cup match this week.

* Costa Rica: President Luis Guillermo Solís has barred his name from public work projects and his image in government offices since “the worship of the image of the president is over.”

* Cuba: Six Cuban baseball players were taken off the national team due to “attempts to leave the country illegally.”

Video Source – NTDTV via YouTube

Online Sources – BBC News; USA TODAY; The Latin Americanist; Tico Times; ABC News

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Colombian Gov’t Protest “Offensive” World Cup Comments

Colombia may be playing outstandingly well at the World Cup in Brazil, but that hasn’t stopped several public figures from making insulting comments being about the South American nation.

On the same day that Colombia finished its final group game with a third consecutive win, the Colombian government sent a letter of protest to Australians radio station Triple M regarding the “denigrating and offensive” remarks recently made on the air by two of the station’s DJs.

The Colombian Foreign Ministry (CFM) “requested that according to Australian radio’s Code of Practices…that the radio station apologize and punish” Matt Tilley and Joe Hildebrand for “discriminatory” comments made on their June 18th program. 

On the date in question one of the presenters wondered “is Colombia really famous for its coffee?” to which his partner replied, “Are you suggesting there is another stimulant with (the letter) ‘c’ that Colombia is more famous for?”

Later one of them asserted, “It seems to me that if you mention Colombia the one thing they mention is ‘cocaine’” while the other man said several colloquialisms for the drug.

“You know, everybody (in Colombia) has it, sells it…I thought I wonder if that is true or if it offends Colombian people who go ‘You know what? We’re a bit more than that. We have gangs and we kill people too,’” claimed one of the pair.   

They also alluded to the death of Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar who was killed following a World Cup own goal twenty years ago and referred to ex-goalkeeper Rene Higuita’s antics as something chimpanzees can do.

Daily Headlines: June 25, 2014

* U.S.: The U.S. government is carrying out a propaganda campaign in Central America in order to try to stem the recent influx of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrant children.

* Paraguay: Heavy rainfall and river flooding has led to the evacuation of some 200,000 people in Paraguay.
* Cuba: According to the Cuban opposition, the authorities have jailed at least 114 political prisoners including 80 “peaceful dissidents”.

* South America: The Qhapac Nan road network that spread through six South America countries and was used mainly by the Incan empire was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Video Source – PBS NewsHour via YouTube

Online Sources – Miami Herald; PRESS TV; LAHT; ABC News

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Suárez Allegedly Bites Opponent in World Cup Win

Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez is one of the world’s best soccer players and he demonstrates this often such as his two goals in his country’s win over England at the World Cup.  Occasionally, however, his dark side can get the better of him as he apparently showed in this afternoon’s victory by Uruguay over Italy.

In the eightieth minute of the deadlocked, must-win match for the Celeste, Suárez collided with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and both players went down.  Initially it seemed that Suárez head butted Chiellini who may have responded by elbowing the Uruguayan.  But TV replays and images the incident apparently showed that Suárez appeared to have bitten his opponent on or near the left shoulder.

Chiellini pulled down his jersey sleeve to show the apparent injury to match referee Marco Rodríguez of Mexico.  Yet Rodriguez, who had previously sent off Italian Claudio Marchisio for a dangerous tackle, did not foul Suárez or Chiellini.

Diego Godin scored the lone goal one minute later that would send Uruguay to the next round and eliminate the Azzuri.

It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut,” said an irate Chiellini after the final whistle.

“Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done,” he added.

Suárez did not mention the incident with Chiellini but his coach did speak out.

“I would like to see it again”, admitted Óscar Washington Tabárez following the match.

“If something would’ve happened then the referee would’ve observed it.  Thus, there are no further comments that can be made,” mentioned El Profesor Tabárez.

Daily Headlines: June 24, 2014

* Argentina: “I am moving as rapidly as possible to be of assistance to the parties,” said Daniel Pollack, the attorney assigned to oversee negotiations between the Argentine government and hedge fund investors seeking a court-ordered payment of $1.3 billion in debt.

* Mexico: Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano, the head of the Tijuana drug gang, was captured by authorities shortly after Mexico’s crucial World Cup win over Croatia yesterday.

* Brazil: Six Latin American countries, and potentially two more, have qualified to the round of 16 stage of the World Cup in Brazil.

* Peru: President Ollanta Humala made three ministerial changes to his cabinet as his popularity slipped to an all-time low of 21%.

Video Source – Democracy Now via YouTube

Online Sources – Bloomberg; Newsweek; The Huffington Post; euronews