Friday, August 22, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 22, 2014

* Venezuela: Is President Nicolás Maduro’s plan to implement a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets a useful tool to combat food shortages and smuggling or a desperate attempt to reverse his tumbling approval rating?

* Argentina: In the latest chapter of the legal tug-of-war between Argentina and holdout creditors, the U.S. judge overseeing the dispute declared as “illegal” a debt swap plan proposed by President Cristina Fernandez.

* Chile: Police in Santiago clashed with a handful of the tens of thousands of protesters calling on President Michelle Bachelet to accelerate education reforms.

* Bolivia: Bolivian officials claimed that the country’s main state oil firm was Latin America's second most profitable oil company ahead of the likes of PDVSA, Petrobras and YPF.

Video Source – NTDTV via YouTube

Online Sources – BBC News; Bloomberg; Globalpost; Reuters; The State

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Senior Brazilian Party Official Quits Silva Campaign

On her first full day as the official candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), Marina Silva faced a challenge against her campaign.  The opposition however, did not come from her electoral rivals but instead from within the PSB.

“I want to put a distance between myself and Marina Silva,” declared PSB Secretary-General Carlos Siqueira who quit from the Silva campaign on Thursday.

“I will not participate anymore in her campaign.  She does not represent the PSB,” declared Siqueira who was the campaign manager for Eduardo Campos, the candidate Silva replaced after he died in a plane crash last week.

“Silva is far from representing the legacy of Eduardo Campos,” added Siqueira who claimed that she tried to remove him from his post after she was chosen as the PSB’s candidate on Wednesday night.

Siqueira’s replacement, legislator Walter Feldman, tried to deflect away from his predecessor’s harsh criticism and told the press that he will try to keep him on the Silva campaign.  Nevertheless, Siqueira’s comments reflect a distrust among some politicos in the alliance between Campos’ PSB and Silva’s Sustainability Network party.

Silva, the environmentalist and ex-minister who was Campos’ vice presidential pick prior to his untimely death, held a press conference yesterday where she blasted the economic policies of incumbent leader Dilma Rousseff.

Daily Headlines: August 21, 2014

* Latin America: A Gallup study found that Latin America and the Caribbean respondents ranked their region as the least secure in the world.

* Mexico: Exports have been cited as the main reason behind stronger than expected growth in Mexico’s economy over the last quarter.

* Honduras: According to the director of the morgue in San Pedro Sula between five and ten of the forty-two minors killed in Honduras since February were recently deported from the U.S.

* U.S.: “There is no dispute that Shakira's version of the song was based on Bello's version,” wrote a U.S. judge who concluded that a 2010 song interpreted by the Colombian musician was plagiarized from a Dominican songwriter.

Video Source – AFP via YouTube (According to Gallup “Venezuela's index score of 41 (in the latest Law and Order Index) is the worst not only in the region, but also in the world”.)

Online Sources – Billboard; Bloomberg; Los Angeles Times; Gallup

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 20, 2014

* El Salvador: “For me Romero is a man of God,” declared Pope Francis who eased the process for a possible beatification of assassinated Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.

* Argentina: President Cristina Fernandez proposed legislation for a debt swap that would prevent a U.S. court ruling forcing Argentina into default.

* Venezuela: Police in Venezuela arrested at least thirteen people accused of smuggling goods across the closed border into Colombia.

* Puerto Rico: A recent Pew Research Center report found that Puerto Rico’s population fell between 2010 and 2013 with most residents leaving the island in order to “search for economic opportunity.”

Video Source – YouTube user interestmedia (“Oscar Romero became Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. He was assassinated on 24 March 1980 while celebrating the Eucharist” during the Salvadoran civil war.)

Online Sources – USA TODAY; El Universal; The Independent; BBC News

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 19, 2014

* Mexico: Environmental officials filed a criminal complaint against a company responsible for spilling ten million gallons of acids from a copper mine into two rivers.

* Uruguay: “I say to all the fans: don’t worry, I won’t do that again,” said Luis Suarez as he pledged not to repeat actions such as his infamous biting of an opponent at this year’s World Cup.

* Argentina: A Vatican spokesman said that Pope Francis was “deeply pained” over the deaths of three of the pontiff’s relatives in a car crash in Argentina.

* Colombia: A group of victims of Colombia’s armed conflict met with government representatives and FARC guerrilla envoys, and gave their full support to peace talks being held in Cuba.

Video Source – AFP via YouTube

Online Sources – ABC News; The Guardian; The Latin Americanist; Al Jazeera; GlobalPost

Monday, August 18, 2014

Daily Headlines: August 18, 2014

* U.S.: A recent study concluded that Latino characters were represented in a scant 4.9% of movies released between 2007 and 2013 and “Latinos are the most likely to be sexualized on screen, with both male and female actors more apt to be asked to be partially or fully naked.”

* Brazil: The first poll since the death last Wednesday of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos showed incumbent Dilma Rousseff in a statistical tie in a hypothetical runoff against Campos' probable replacement, environmentalist Marina Silva.

* Ecuador: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced today that he plans to “soon” leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has resided in for the past two years.

* Chile: Ricardo Izurieta, the military general who succeeded the dictatorial rule of the late Augusto Pinochet, died Sunday at age 71.

Video Source – YouTube user MOVIECLIPS  (Scene from the 2011 ALMA Award-winning film "A Better Life").

Online Sources – The A.V. Club; NBC News; The Latin Americanist; The Huffington Post; Miami Herald