Thursday, December 31, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 31, 2015

* Chile: Education reform activists including those participating in protests since 2011 won a key victory when Congress approved a law last week dropping tuition for most state universities.

* Venezuela: Venezuelan opposition leaders blasted a high court ruling blocking the election of four legislators to the National Assembly and, thus, preventing a critical two-thirds supermajority for anti-government forces.

* Puerto Rico: 2016 will not start of well for Puerto Rico’s finances after Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla admitted that the commonwealth will default on $37 million of its $72 billion in public debt.

* Mexico: According to the Los Angeles Times, the relaxing of marijuana laws in several U.S. states has led to reduced earnings for Mexican drug gangs.

YouTube Source – AFP (Video uploaded in June 2015).

Online Sources – ABC News, Latin American Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bolivia: The Evo Strikes Back in Viral Video

In Latin American countries, the themes of political campaign ads may vary between the inventive, the edgy and the downright silly. But what type of ads is most effective? It’s a question that comes to mind after watching a recently released spot from Bolivia that has become a viral video.

“Bolivian Wars: El Despertar del Sí” (“Bolivian Wars: The Awakening of Yes”) was done for the campaign in favor of constitution reforms allowing President Evo Morales to run again in 2019. The video shows scenes from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and superimposes Morales’ face on several characters representing the Resistance such as Finn. The Dark Side is depicted by faces of former leaders prior to Morales getting into power in 1998 like ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada as the villainous Emperor. In order to hammer the good versus evil point home, the video shows real life images of deep unrest and violence during the “gas wars” of 2003. The video ends mentioning that its “premier” will be on February 21st, which is the date of the constitutional referendum next year.

Published seven days following the world premiere of the latest “Star Wars” entry, the official video on the Sí Bolivia Facebook account has received at least 139,000 views and has been shared over 3000 times.

Daily Headlines: December 30, 2015

* Cuba: President Raul Castro said that plummeting earnings from key exports like sugar and nickel led the Cuban government to slash its 2016 economic growth estimate from 4% to 2%.

* Central America: The foreign ministries of Guatemala and El Salvador expressed serious reservations over the rumored plan in January to raid and deport thousands of recently arrived Central American migrants from the U.S.

* Paraguay: The head of the Paraguayan disaster response agency said that water levels of the heavily flooded the Paraguay River should lower in the next two months but could rise again this March.
* Venezuela: The opposition could lose its supermajority in the next federal legislature after the ruling PSUV filed legal motions to dispute the election of eight congressmen.

YouTube Source – Vox

Online Sources – Reuters, Independent Online, Vox, BBC News

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 29, 2015 (Updated)

* Colombia: Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas said that the removal of landmines in Colombia “will take a generation, tens of thousands of specialists and lots of international aid.”

* Venezuela: The Venezuelan Violence Observatory claimed that Venezuela’s murder rate increased to 27,985 killings in 2015 or approximately ninety per 100,000 residents.

Update: On a related note, El Salvador's homicide rate jumped by a whopping 70% in 2015 with nearly 104 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

* Puerto Rico: Time is running out for Puerto Rico to make a $1 billion payment and prevent default by next Monday.

* Mexico: The bullet-ridden bodies of four people including that of Carlos Rosales Mendoza, co-founder of Mexico’s La Familia Michoacana drug gang, were abandoned near a highway in Morelia.

YouTube Source – CCTV America

Online Sources including Update– BBC News, ABC News,, Fox News Latino, Voice of America

Monday, December 28, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 28, 2015 (Updated)

* South America: The El Niño weather phenomenon has been blamed for massive flooding in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina as well as an elevated alert of forest fires in Colombia.

* Central America: Pope Francis called on Central American leaders to bring about a “timely solution to (the) humanitarian drama” of an estimated 5000 Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica.

Update: The SICA bloc of Central American states agreed to start a pilot program next month to help the stranded migrants travel legally northward to Mexico. (Link in Spanish).

* Haiti: The United Nations Security Council pushed Haitian officials to quickly reschedule a presidential runoff that was supposed to take place yesterday but has been indefinitely postponed.

* Chile: The Chilean government proposed eliminating a law enacted under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet that provides the military with 10% of the country’s yearly copper exports.

YouTube Source – euronews

Online Sources including Update – UPI, NDTV, The Tico Times, teleSUR English, Jamaica Observe, Agencia EFE

Thursday, December 24, 2015


One of the best Christmas songs of the past thirty years is "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl. MacColl may not have been the first choice to sing female vocals, yet her duet with Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan produced a memorable ode to love and hope for a better future.

The following post was originally published on December 13, 2013:

On December 18, 2000, English singer–songwriter Kirsty MacColl died under mysterious circumstances while vacationing with her family in Mexico. 

While scuba diving off the coast of Cozumel with her two sons, MacColl was hit and killed by a speedboat that entered illegally into a swimming-only area. The scuba instructor working with the group, Ivan Diaz, claimed that her final gesture was to save the life of one of her sons by pushing him away from the path of the boat.

Mexican business tycoon Guillermo González Nova owned the boat involved in the incident and he was on board the vessel with his family.  Crewmember José Cen Yam confessed that he drove the boat and his only punishment was to pay a small putative fine.  Yet MacColl's family and her supporters believed that Cen Yam took the blame for his boss and Nova covered up the true circumstances of the accident.  (They claimed that witnesses including Diaz saw Nova admit to police that he was driving the speedboat while Yam “drunkenly” said that Nova promised him money and a house in exchange for lying to the authorities).

The tragedy snuffed out the life of a gifted musician who was best known for having her debut solo single "They Don't Know" covered by Tracey Ullman, singing backing vocals on several songs from The Smiths and collaborating with Shane MacGowan in the holiday classic “Fairytale of New York.”  Yet at the time of her untimely death she was scheduled to present a series on Cuban music for BBC radio, which she recorded in Havana and included interviews with the Buena Vista Social Club and Ry Cooder.  Throughout her career she dabbled with Latin-themed tunes in her songs such as “In These Shoes” and “Us Amazonians” from her final album, Tropical Brainstorm. [Ed. - MacColl's love for Latin music can be seen in a portion of this 2001 documentary.]

Below the page break is the video from 1991’s “My Affair”, an upbeat song described by The A.V. Club as a “simple cure” to overcome the sadness one may feel from her untimely death:

Daily Headlines: December 24, 2015

* Brazil: Brazilian Attorney General Rodrigo Janot is investigating if embattled congressional leader Eduardo Cunha received $475,000 in bribes related to next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

* Uruguay: Eugenio Figueredo, the former vice president of soccer governing body FIFA, was extradited to his native Uruguay where he will be arraigned in connection to a massive corruption scandal.

* Canada: Canadian immigration authorities withdrew the deportation order against a Salvadoran refugee who has received sanctuary in a British Columbia church since 2013.

* Puerto Rico: Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla believes that the island will be unable to make a $1 billion debt payment due on New Year’s Day.

YouTube Source – PBS NewsHour (The toxic waters where certain aquatic events are schedules is one of numerous problems that have arisen in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics).

Online Sources – CBC, Reuters, BBC News,

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 23, 2015

* Colombia: Colombia became the latest Latin American country to partially decriminalize marijuana use after President Juan Manuel Santos decreed the production and sale of the plant for medical use.

* Venezuela: The Venezuelan legislature approved stacking the Supreme Court with thirteen new judges less than two weeks before the opposition gains control of congress.

* Mexico: The number of undocumented migrants attempting to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. has dropped by 30% in the fiscal year 2015 and by 80% from the peak year in 2000 according to Border Patrol data.

* Guatemala: Guatemala is considering voluntarily taking in several thousand Cuban migrants stuck for the past few weeks in Costa Rica.

YouTube Source – AFP

Online Sources – Washington Post, Yahoo News, Vice News, teleSUR English

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 22, 2015

* Central America: The Nicaraguan and Costa Rican governments welcomed Pope Francis’ appeal for both states to improve their relations following an International Court of Justice ruling last week.

* Puerto Rico: Legislation has been introduced to the U.S. Senate that would provide short-term help for debt-ridden Puerto Rico.

* Venezuela: According to U.S. investigators, five unnamed PDVSA employees received more than $1 billion in bribes from two Venezuelan businessmen.

* Paraguay: Several thousand Paraguayan workers protested as part of the second general strike to occur in the country since 2013.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – International Court of Justice, teleSUR English, Yahoo News, Reuters, SBS

Monday, December 21, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 21, 2015

* Bolivia: A natural disaster declaration was emitted for Bolivia’s second-largest lake, Lake Poopó, which is nearly completely dry.

* Central America: Should the U.S. help airlift an estimated 5000 of Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica since November?

* Haiti: “Violent protests and acts of vandalism’ have erupted in several Haitian cites prior to the controversial presidential runoff election scheduled for this Sunday.

* Brazil: Nelson Barbosa, Brazil’s new Finance Minister, said that the austerity plans will continue in order to jump start the recession-hit economy.

YouTube Source – Fundacion Solon

Online Sources – teleSUR English, SBS, Miami Herald, Forbes

Friday, December 18, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 18, 2015

* Cuba: A new poll found that most Cuban-Americans back the push to normalize ties between the U.S. and Cuba, and believe the decades-long embargo against the island should be eliminated.

* Venezuela: The Venezuelan government blasted U.S. prosecutors for charging National Guard leader Nestor Reverol with drug trafficking and criticized French Prime Minister Manuel Valls for congratulating the opposition’s victory in legislative elections. 

* Brazil: The impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will have to restart from square one after a Supreme Court ruling yesterday.

* Latin America: The U.N.'s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean believes that the region will suffer an economic contraction of 0.4% in 2016 despite differing growth rates among subregions.

YouTube Source – CCTV News

Online Sources – Reuters, Voice of America, Fox News Latino, BBC News, Tampa Bay Times

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 17, 2015

* Colombia: Retired Colombian army coronel Alfonso Plazas Vega might sue the state after the Supreme Court overturned his thirty-year prison sentence related to the 1985 Palace of Justice siege.

* U.S.: New data showed that the Latino high school graduation rate improved by 5.3% over three years to 76.3% for the 2013-2014 period.

* Cuba: Cuba and the U.S. agreed to an air travel deal that will allow commercial airlines to legally run some thirty flights to and from the island.

* Brazil: A Brazilian judge lifted a temporary ban that suspended the use of the WhatsApp social messaging program for twelve hours.

YouTube Source – AFP (Last October, “the remains of three Colombian women who vanished in fighting when leftist rebels briefly captured the Justice Palace in 1985 are identified”).

Online Sources – Yahoo News, Latina, ABC News, Quartz

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 16, 2015

* Mexico: At least seventeen corpses were found abandoned in a ravine days after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed two new legal initiatives in the battle against disappearances and kidnappings.

* South America: The former head of South America’s soccer federation, Juan Angel Napout, pled not guilty to charges related to the “FIFA-gate” corruption scandal while Paraguayan officials allowed the extradition one of Napout's predecessors, Nicolas Leoz, to the U.S. for questioning.

* Venezuela: U.S. investigators will reportedly charge Venezuela’s National Guard chief Néstor Reverol with cocaine trafficking as part of a widening probe aimed at Venezuelan military officials.

* Latin America: According to the Inter-American Development Bank exports from Latin American and Caribbean will drop by 14% this year and the outlook for 2016 may not be much better.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“Data just released by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office indicates that 185 mass graves containing over 500 corpses have been found in the country in the last five years.”)

Online Sources – NDTV, InSight Crime, New York Daily News, Fox News Latino, MercoPress

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 15, 2015

* Guatemala: Compensation might be provided to families of three of the 1300 victims exposed to venereal diseases as part of a U.S.-led scientific experiment in Guatemala from 1946 to 1948.

* Brazil: Police raided the homes of Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of Brazil's Congress who is leading the impeachment push against President Dilma Rousseff.

* Haiti: Haitian electoral authorities confirmed that the December 27th presidential runoff would be held as scheduled despite strong allegations of fraud in November’s first round.

* Mexico: A Mass along the Mexican-U.S. border and a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe are some of the events planned for Pope Francis during his trip to Mexico next February.

YouTube Source – Jouneyman Pictures

Online Sources – ABC News, Catholic Herald, Business Insider, GlobalPost

Monday, December 14, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 14, 2015

* Brazil: Tens of thousands of protesters in scores of Brazilian cities participated yesterday in anti-government marches and called on embattled President Dilma Rousseff to resign.

* Venezuela: Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes rejected the possibility of the U.S. providing oil to Petrocaribe states should Venezuela opt to end the subsidized oil program.

* Ecuador: Ecuadoran officials will allow Swedish investigators to enter the South American country’s embassy in London and question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

* Chile: Police arrested a Chilean army veteran who admitted in a call-in radio show that he took part in the murder of eighteen political detainees during military rule in the 1970s.

YouTube Source – NTN24

Online Sources – Deutsche Welle, Inside Costa Rica, Reuters, ABC News

Friday, December 11, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 11, 2015

* Brazil: The International Monetary Fund’s Director of the Western Hemisphere noted that “political crises and corruption scandals” have prevented Brazil from emerging out of its recent economic slowdown.

* U.S.: New Census data showed that while Latinos are generally earning more income since 2010 but wealth inequality has become worse.

* Latin America: Security researchers at Citizen Lab uncovered a “large-scale hacking campaign” targeting journalists, activists and public figures in Latin America over the past seven years.

* El Salvador: David Morales, El Salvador's human rights ombudsman, claimed that security forces are behind 90% of abuses reported to the authorities.

YouTube Source – EIU Media

Online Sources – InSight Crime, Fox News Latino, Latin America Herald Tribune, The Register

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 10, 2015

* Mexico: Mexican health officials approved the world’s first vaccine against the dengue fever, which would be applied to individuals “between ages 9 and 45 who live in areas where dengue is endemic.”

* South America: Colombia’s Independiente Santa Fe captured the Copa Sudamericana crown and, thus, broke the recent hegemony of Argentine teams in South American soccer club tournaments.

* Cuba: Some 4500 Cuban migrants continue to be stuck in limbo in Costa Rica while Central American countries continue to figure out what to do with them.

* Brazil: Stronger public pressure has reportedly led to greater scrutiny of cases of alleged abuse and extrajudicial killings by military police in Brazil.

YouTube Source – Journeyman Pictures

Online Sources – NPR, ESPN FC, Fox News Latino, GlobalPost, The Latin Americanist

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 9, 2015

* Guatemala: The Guatemalan Constitutional Court tossed out an appeal by the attorneys representing Efrain Rios Montt and stated that the ex-dictator’s genocide trial will go on as scheduled for next month.

* U.S.: A new report found that Latino neighborhoods need greater access to healthier food options sold in markets while Latino youth are more likely to be bombarded by ads promoting unhealthy snacks and drinks.

* Cuba: As part of the diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S., envoys from both countries discussed competing claims of billions of dollars in owed assets.

* Mexico: Investigators with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said that they found another inconsistency in the Mexican government probe over 43 students from Ayotzinapa missing since September 2014.

YouTube Source – NTDTV (Guatemalan high court judges are expected to resume the genocide and crimes against humanity trial of former strongman Efrain Rios Montt more than two years after the original verdict was overturned).

Online Sources – ABC News, The Guardian, USA TODAY, NBC News

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 8, 2015

* Mexico: Coca-Cola has come under fire after airing a Christmas-themed ad depicting a “group of young, white Mexicans traveling to an indigenous town…to ‘help‘ wide-eyed locals by giving them bottles of Coke and a giant Christmas tree.”

* Venezuela: Nearly three out of four Venezuelans eligible to vote participated in Sunday’s legislative elections won by the opposition coalition with a potential “supermajority.”

* Colombia: Representatives of the FARC traveled to the Colombian town of Bojaya to ask for forgiveness for the massacre of some eighty residents in 2002.

* Cuba: The Cuban government is reportedly close to reaching a deal with the Paris Club of creditors to restructure a $16 billion debt.

YouTube Source – Diario de Mexico TV (Parody video poking fun at a Mexican Coca-Cola commercial criticized as racially insensitive and offensive against indigenous people).

Online Sources – Fusion, Xinhua, Colombia Reports, Voice of America

Monday, December 7, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 7, 2015

* Colombia: The Colombian government claimed to have found the world’s largest sunken treasure, a 300-year-old vessel carrying an estimated $17 billion, though the question of who owns the spoils could become a costly legal battle.

* Mexico: Seven countries including the U.S., Canada and France issued travel warnings to visitors journeying to Mexico after authorities believed that two missing Australian surfers were killed in Sonora.

* Nicaragua: “We do not want to be accomplices to the death, damages and destruction that a 3C or 4C world will represent,” declared Nicaragua’s representative to the COP21 summit after the Central American state became the first to publicly reject a global blueprint to combat climate change.

* Chile: President Michelle Bachelet reportedly signed a decree eliminating marijuana from a list of hard drugs in anticipation of an expected Congressional debate to reform Chile’s narcotics laws.

YouTube Source – euronews (“Colombia claims to have discovered what's been described as the 'holy grail' of shipwrecks of the coast of Cartagena”.)

Online Sources – teleSUR English, Financial Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor

Sunday, December 6, 2015

OPEC Rejects Venezuelan Call for Oil Production Drop (Updated)

Venezuelan voters headed to the polls on Sunday in local elections that are expected to flip the National Assembly to opposition control for the first time since 1999. (Update: The opposition did indeed retake majority control of the legislature and could even reach a "supermajority" that would give them greater say in economic policy).

The ruling party's loss of the legislature would be the second major setback in less than a week for President Nicolás Maduro following disappointment at the latest OPEC talks.

Last Friday, members of the global oil cartel could not reach an agreement over how to boost plunging prices of crude. Venezuelan led a group of countries including Russia, Nigeria and Ecuador calling for a 5% cut in oil production despite the possibility of decreased revenue. Oil minister Eulogio del Pino advocated the move that he believed was preferable to allowing oil prices to continue tumbling.

“The overproduction we have from OPEC is going to produce a catastrophe in the price,” del Pino mentioned prior to a closed-door meeting of the group in the Austrian city of Vienna.

Ultimately, however, del Pino and his cohorts were allegedly rebuffed by nations who believe that allowing prices to fall will hurt non-OPEC entities such as U.S. shale oil firms.

Following OPEC's decision the price of Venezuelan oil slid down to $34.93 per barrel, which is the lowest price since 2009. The average price in 2014 for Venezuela's mix of heavy and medium crude was $88.42. One year later it has been reduced by almost 50% to $45.87.

Oil is the main export of Venezuela and accounts for 95% of the country's export earnings.  Its plunging value has exacerbated the country's economic difficulties including shortages of basic goods like food and medicine as well as deepening poverty rates. This has in turn led to greater pessimism with the government including 85% of Venezuelans dissatisfied with the Maduro regime based on a recent Pew Research Center study.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 4, 2015

* Latin America: A court in El Salvador ordered former President Francisco Flores to stand trial on corruption charges days after an Argentine tribunal sentenced ex-leader Carlos Menem to four-and-a-half years in jail for embezzlement.

* Ecuador: Police in Quito clashed with protesters angry over the National Assembly’s decision to approve a series of constitutional amendments including eliminating presidential term limits starting in 2021.

* U.S.: The U.S. Department of Justice named sixteen Latin American soccer confederation executives including the current presidents of the regional CONCACAF and CONMEBOL entities as part of its widening investigation.

* Brazil: Stocks in Brazil tumbled this week reportedly due to investors worried that “the process to impeach President Dilma Rousseff may take months and involve several votes in Congress.”

YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“Former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores has been ordered detained and held for trial on charges of misappropriating US$15 million in Taiwanese aid donations.”)

Online Sources – ESPN, BBC News, Bloomberg, teleSUR English, Latin American Herald Tribune

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 3, 2015

* Brazil: Lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha gave the go-ahead for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Dilma Rousseff for allegedly breaking fiscal laws.

* Central America: Some 4000 Cuban migrants are still in limbo in Central America amid heated diplomatic tensions between neighbors Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

* El Salvador: Human rights group Amnesty International blasted El Salvador’s total ban on abortion for “treat(ing) women as little more than human vessels.”

* Mexico: Archaeologists discovered a passageway at Mexico City's Templo Mayor ruin complex that could lead to the cremated remains of ancient Aztec rulers.

YouTube Source – AFP (“Pro-impeachment demonstrators (last October) set up a giant balloon caricature representing Dilma Rousseff outside the Congress, where a new petition to remove her was submitted.”)

Online Sources – Bloomberg, teleSUR English, JURIST, Business Insider

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Daily Headlines: December 2, 2015

* Colombia: Colombia’s traditional vallenato music was selected by UNESCO as a “Cultural Patrimony for Mankind” but the agency warned that the genre is in danger of disappearing.

* Cuba: Cuban authorities have reinstated restrictions against medical professionals seeking to work in foreign countries in order to halt a “brain drain” of doctors leaving the island.

* Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico paid $354 million on its debt to prevent defaulting but officials warned that they might not be able to pay $1 billion due on New Year’s Day.

* Argentina: A former Argentine political prisoner was reunited with his son that was the 119th offspring identified by the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo as having been illegally adopted during military rule from 1973 to 1990.

YouTube Source – Discos Fuentes Edimusica

Online Sources – USA TODAY, BBC News, Fusion, teleSUR English 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Progress Made in Americas Against Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

Today marked the seventeenth annual observance of World AIDS Day, which raises awareness of the pandemic caused by the disease as well as remember those lost over the last few decades.
New data presented on Monday from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) has shown that some progress is being made in Latin America and Caribbean to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.

According to a joint PAHO/WHO study, seventeen counties and territories in the Americas have mostly eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. Among the nations credited in the report are Chile, Puerto Rico and Cuba, the last of which was certified by the WHO as the world's first country to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. (Sixteen other countries including Costa Rica and Uruguay are seeking this validation). New HIV infections in children have dropped by approximately 50% in Latin America and Caribbean as a result of efforts in the entities cited in the study.

The key to reducing transmission of HIV from mother to offspring has been more widespread prenatal check-ups of expectant moms. In 2010, 94% of women in the region received pre-natal care and only 54% were examined for HIV. Four years later, the former increased by 2% but the latter grew by a notable 21% so that three in four pregnant women are tested for HIV.

Latin American and Caribbean governments, civil society and health groups agreed last year on an ambitious “90-90-90” plan to eliminate AIDS in the region by 2030. Yet the PAHO/WHO report noted that approximately 2500 infants in Latin America and Caribbean contracted HIV in 2014. Furthermore, the organizations claims that roughly 30% of the estimated two million people in the region with HIV are unaware that they are infected. These obstacles must be overcome in order to fulfill the pledge made last year:

Daily Headlines: December 1, 2015

* Guatemala: Gang violence was blamed for the deaths of at least sixteen inmates at a Guatemalan prison that is at approximately 500% overcapacity.

* Brazil: Brazil’s recession worsened in the third trimester of 2015 and posted a 1.7% quarterly drop along with a worrying 4.5% annual decline.

* El Salvador: San Salvador Archbishop Bishop Jesus Delgado apologized to victims of sexual abuse by clergy amid a crackdown by the archdiocese against suspected pedophiles.

* Venezuela: Authorities arrested three suspects in the murder of Venezuelan opposition politician Luis Diaz during a recent campaign event to rally support prior to Sunday’s legislative elections.

YouTube Source – Associated Press

Online Sources – iTV News, Reuters, UPI, Yahoo News

Monday, November 30, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 30, 2015

* Nicaragua: Construction on a controversial $50 billion interoceanic canal in Nicaragua that was supposed to begin this December will be postponed for up to a year.

* Argentina: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” declared Pope Francis at a mosque in the Central African Republic as he nears the end of a six-day trip to Africa.

* Peru: The son of former military leader Juan Velasco Alvarado cold join the daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori in the race for Peru’s next president.

* Mexico: Mexico could be barred from participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro due to the government probing possible corruption in national sports federations.

YouTube Source – France 24 English (Video uploaded on June 2015).

Online Sources – Yahoo News, Peru Reports, Voice of America, Newsweek

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Weekend Headlines: November 29, 2015

* Cuba: Several hundred protesters demonstrated outside of the Ecuadoran embassy in Havana after the South American country imposed new visa restrictions on visitors from Cuba.

* Venezuela: The death of Venezuelan opposition politician Luis Diaz by unknown gunmen last Wednesday has added to an already tense political climate prior to next Sunday’s legislative elections.

* Haiti: Presidential candidate Jude Célestin could drop out of the December 27th runoff amid allegations of fraud during the October 25th election.

* Chile: Jovino Novoa, described as a “founding member of Chile's largest party and former collaborator of late dictator Augusto Pinochet”, was found guilty as part of a corruption investigation.

* Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff will order a freeze of some $2.65 billion in spending in order to comply while the government tries to tackle a budget crisis.

* South America: Will South American neighbors Argentina and Uruguay launch a joint bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030?

YouTube Source – EFE (Starting on December 1st, Ecuador will halt becoming the only Latin American nation without visa requirements for visitors from Cuba).

Online Sources – Deusche Welle, Reuters, ABC News, SBS, NDTV

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 26, 2015

* Brazil: The Australian Senate has called on mining firm BHP Biliton to provide compensation for the Brazilian community devastated by a “toxic” mudslide earlier this month.

* Panama: Work on the already beleaguered Panama Canal expansion was delayed over calls for an independent inspection of leaks in some of the locks.

* U.S.: The number of unaccompanied and undocumented child migrants entering via the U.S.-Mexico border spiked last month though it remains to be seen if it reaches the levels seen in mid-2014.

* Venezuela: Venezuela’s opposition claimed that Democratic Action party member Luis Diaz was “assassinated by gunshot” roughly two-and-a-half weeks before legislative elections.

YouTube Source – Wall Street Journal

Online Sources – Sky News Australia,, The Independent, The Guardian, Reuters

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 25, 2015 (Updated)

* Brazil: The Brazilian Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Delcidio do Amaral, the ruling party’s top legislator in the Senate, over his potential role in the Lava Jato bribery scandal.

Update: Investigators also ordered the arrest of Jose Carlos Bumlai, a rancher who reportedly served as a close adviser on agricultural policy during the presidency of Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva.

* Chile: Ex-Chilean soccer federation chief Sergio Jadue refused to comment over rumors that he resigned from his post to become an FBI informant in the corruption probe against FIFA.

* Honduras: At least eight people in Honduras were killed when “heavily-armed” gunmen opened fire against a bus terminal in the northern city of Choloma.

* Venezuela: “Whoever betrays the legacy of Chavez destroys himself,” declared Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro who invoked the name of his predecessor at a rally prior to the December 6th legislative elections.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“Impeachment efforts are underway against the president of the the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, charged with corruption in the Petrobras scandal.”)

Online Sources including Update – Fox Sports, GlobalPost, The Latin Americanist, NBC News, Channel News Asia, MercoPress

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 24, 2015

* Cuba: Internet access is difficult for the average Cuban resident but social networking has been a vital resource for migrants attempting to make their way through Mexico and Central America.

* Latin America: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala issued decrees with the goal of halting violence against women, while a recent report revealed mixed results for Nicaragua in terms of gender equality.

* Venezuela: U.S. prosecutors accused the Venezuelan military of being involved in a shipment of cocaine seized in Haiti this month and leading to the arrest of the nephews of first lady Cilia Flores.

* Dominican Republic: Dominican officials issued arrest warrants against three French nationals accused of helping two of their compatriots escape drug smuggling convictions.

YouTube Source – AFP

Online Sources – Christian Science Monitor, NDTV, Quartz, MercoPress, RFI

Monday, November 23, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 23, 2015 (Updated)

* Argentina: At a press conference this morning, Argentine President-elect Mauricio Macri pledged that his government would overhaul the economic policies of outgoing President Cristina Fernandez.

* Update: More from Macri who said that he would push for Venezuela to get suspended from the Mercosur trade bloc.

* Guatemala: Legislators in Guatemala approved an "anti-coyote" law aimed at punishing smugglers who exploit migrants attempting to journey to the U.S.

* Colombia: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a pardon for thirty FARC rebels who were reportedly imprisoned for non-violent crimes.

* U.S.: Undefeated Gennady Golovkin will likely be the next opponent for Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez after he beat Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in an exciting bout on Saturday.

YouTube Source – AFP (“Argentina’s conservative new president Mauricio Macri may come from a privileged background but he has managed to rally voices from different parts of the political spectrum to advocate for change.”)

Online Sources including Update –, Voice of America, Reuters, The Guardian

Friday, November 20, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 20, 2015

* Colombia: On the third anniversary of the start of peace talks, the Colombian government and the FARC rebels claimed that they are very close to signing off on a final agreement.

* Caribbean: Amnesty International accused the Dominican Republic of human rights violations by stripping the citizenship of tens of thousands of “stateless” residents with a Haitian background.

* Mexico: According to a Pew Research Center report, 149,000 more Mexicans departed from the U.S. between 2009 and 2014 than those entering the country.

* Venezuela: Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro said that he would review the already fractured relations with the U.S. over allegations of surveillance against PDVSA employees.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – Business Standard, The Guardian, Pew Hispanic Center, UPI

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reports: Ex-Chilean Soccer Chief Becomes Informant In Corruption Probe

While World Cup qualifiers took place this past week throughout the continent, the real action may have taken place off the field regarding the corruption investigation known in some news reports a “FIFA-gate.”

According to the Chilean press, the former chief of Chile’s soccer federation (ANFP) plead guilty today in a U.S. federal court as part of a plea deal. Sergio Jadue admitted to playing a role in a bribery scheme where an estimated $150 million was paid for the allocation of television rights to regional tournaments and buying votes for the sites of competitions like the 2010 World Cup. He also agreed to act as an informant for the FBI in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.

Jadue on November 13th took a 30-day leave of absence after returning from a trip in Brazil where he was beloved to have met with U.S. authorities. At the time he claimed that his trip was for private reasons unrelated to soccer though the Chilean police issued a subpoena against him related to the allocation of salaries in the ANFP. Jadue flew on Tuesday from Santiago to New York where, according to an anonymous ANFP official, he was “traveling as a protected informant of U.S. justice.”

The 36-year-old officially quit from his post yesterday though the ANFP refused to publish the resignation letter. Chile’s Radio Cooperativa revealed the missive earlier today, where he did not explain why he resigned but instead claimed that his job was a “mission accomplished.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) last May issued indictments against fourteen soccer officials and marketing executives (most from Latin America) for their alleged role in the corruption scandal. The U.S. has sought the extradition of most of these figures although Jeffrey Webb, the ex-vice president of global soccer governing body FIFA, voluntarily appeared in court this past July.

Daily Headlines: November 19, 2015

* Mexico: A new study found that the first year of Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to a spike in the capture of migrants but also increased violence and “widespread abuse.”

* Honduras: Honduran migration officials affirmed that the six Syrians detained yesterday for carrying stolen Greek passports do not belong to any terrorist or extremist groups.

* Puerto Rico: Legislators will be convened to an emergency session in the first week of December to discuss an $8.2 debt-restructuring proposal for Puerto Rico’s main electric utility.

* Ecuador: President Rafael Correa rejected running for reelection in 2017 but that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from attempting to remove presidential term limits.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – Reuters, teleSUR English, Bloomberg, CBS News

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 18, 2015

* Haiti: The anticipated runoff in the race for Haiti’s next president could be in danger after electoral officials refused to appoint an independent board to verify the first round of elections held last month.

* Central America: Costa Rica proposed a “humanitarian corridor” for Cuban migrants in their journey to the U.S. though it’s unknown if such a proposal will calm a diplomatic row with Nicaragua.

* El Salvador: Despite an uptick in gang violence Salvadoran police concluded that roughly two out of every three murders were unconnected to groups like MS-13 and Barrio 18.

* Mexico: TransCanada, the firm whose planned expansion of the Keystone pipeline network was rejected in the U.S., is looking at Mexico for increased investment opportunities.

YouTube Source – euronews

Online Sources – Miami Herald, CBS News, InSight Crime, Bloomberg

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 17, 2015

* Venezuela: Recent polls show that the opposition would more than likely retake the Venezuelan legislature following Congressional elections on December 6th.

* Latin America: Several hundred protesters in Rio de Janeiro marched last week against a proposal to restrict abortions in Brazil, while a conservative backlash is sounding off against a plan to legalize first trimester abortions in Colombia.

* Argentina: A $15 billion agreement was reached on Sunday that would allow China to build two nuclear power plants in Argentina.

* U.S.: The number of students from Latin American and the Caribbean enrolled in U.S. universities jumped by 19% last year to 86,378 according to a new survey.

YouTube Source – euronews (Video uploaded on July 2015).

Online Sources –, U.S. News & World Report, Christian Science Monitor, MercoPress, Vice News

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 16, 2015

* Argentina: Mauricio Macri and Daniel Scioli sparred in a head-to-head televised debate held one week before the November 22nd presidential runoff.

* Latin America: At least five Mexican and Chilean nationals were among the 129 fatalities from last Friday’s attacks in Paris, while security was reinforced at the Panama Canal following the incidents in France.

* Brazil: Chamber of Deputies President Eduardo Cunha could be the next head to roll as part of the investigations into corruption among Brazil’s political elite.

* Mexico: Mexican officials extradited suspected Sinaloa drug gang trafficker Gastelum Serrano to the U.S. though the cartel’s chief, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, continues to be on the lam.

YouTube Source – AFP 

Online Sources – Reuters, The Inquisitr, Fox News Latino, Deutsche Welle

Friday, November 13, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 13, 2015

* South America: Ecuador continues to be the surprise team of World Cup qualifiers for the South American region while stormy weather postponed the match between historic rivals Argentina and Brazil.

* Peru: Peruvian authorities announced the creation of a new 5500-square mile national park in the rainforest though it may be in danger over plans to construct a nearby freeway.

* Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, with debts of up to $8.2 billion, reached an agreement to extend its deadline to repay bondholders.

* Brazil: Brazilian immigration officials will grant permanent residency to nearly 44,000 undocumented Haitian migrants who have entered the country since a 2010 earthquake.

YouTube Source – TV Pública Argentina

Online Sources –, ESPN FC, teleSUR English, Bloomberg, GlobalPost

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 12, 2015

* Chile: Groundbreaking commenced yesterday in the construction of the supersized Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile’s northern Andean region.

* Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro blamed “imperialist ambushes” for the arrest of two nephews of first lady Cilia Flores for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S.

* Puerto Rico: The homicide rate in Puerto Rico has fallen by 15% compared to last year and 40% in relation to 2012 according to Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla.

* Mexico: A new exhibition at a Mexico City museum attempts to link the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre with the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students missing for nearly fourteen months.

YouTube Source – Marca Chile

Online Sources – Reuters, Latin American Herlad Tribune, Endgadget, The Guardian

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 11, 2015

* South America: Polls this week have given Argentine opposition candidate Mauricio Macri a minimum six-point lead ahead of the November 22nd runoff, while Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro blasted Venezuelan officials for failing to guarantee the December 6th legislative elections.

* El Salvador: A media probe found that authorities have not looked into the murders of fourteen people by death squads despite El Salvador’s high homicide rates.

* Honduras: Indigenous people living on the Caribbean coast of Honduras claimed that their land is being illegally seized by squatters and narcotraffickers.

* Latin America: Leaders at the Summit of South American-Arab Countries called for a political settlement in Syria and condemned Iranian interference in the Middle East.

YouTube Source – Financial Times

Online Sources – Reuters, Gulf News, NBC News, InSight Crime, teleSUR English

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 10, 2015

* Argentina: “This is a result of our struggle, which we will continue until the other hundreds that are missing are found,” said Delia Giovanola de Califano after her grandson was positively identified as a victim of forced adoption during Argentine military rule.

* Mexico: In light of a Mexican Supreme Court ruling last week, President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his willingness to open a “national debate” on drug use but is opposed to marijuana legalization.

* Uruguay: French firm Total and Exxon Mobil of the U.S. will collaborate to drill Uruguay's first offshore oil well that is located some 250 miles near Montevideo.

* U.S.: A new poll showed that Latino voters in fourteen battleground states prefer Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominees for the Republicans and Democrats, respectively.

YouTube Source – Agencia EFE

Online Sources – Buenos Aires Herald, The Guardian, The Latin Americanist, Fox News Latino, Reuters

Monday, November 9, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 9, 2015

* South America: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos apologized the military’s role during the deadly 1985 Palace of Justice siege, while Ecuador will start its first trial for crimes against humanity relating to state actions some three decades ago.

* Peru: Diplomatic tensions have heightened between Peru and Chile over a disputed border area that has a population of approximately 15,000 people.

* Nicaragua: The Nicaraguan government gave permission for an environmental impact assessment on a planned interoceanic canal that critics claim will damage land and displace thousands of people.

* Mexico: Were remains of some of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students missing since September 2014 located in a shallow grave in Guerrero state?

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – The Guardian, Fox News Latino, The Yucan Times, BBC News, teleSUR English

Friday, November 6, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 6, 2015 (Updated)

* Brazil: At least one person is dead and fifteen others are missing after a dam holding mine waste burst in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state.

Update (October 8): Minas Gerais Gov. Fernando Pimentel claimed that the 28 people missing after the dam burst are unlikely to be found alive.

* Central America: A program introduced last December to curtail the influx of unaccompanied Central American children in 2014 has yet to accept a single minor according to a report originally published in The New York Times.

* Puerto Rico: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of San Juan to demonstrate against U.S. government cuts to federal health programs.

* Chile: The Chilean government called that it was “possible and highly probable” that acclaimed poet Pablo Neruda was killed days after a 1973 military coup.

YouTube Source – ODN

Online Sources including Update – Business Insider, ABC News, Latin American Herald Tribune, Flavorwire

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 5, 2015

* Colombia: The Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling on marijuana wasn’t the only key judicial decision made in Latin America yesterday as Colombian magistrates legalized adoptions by same-sex couples.

* U.S.: President Barack Obama will reportedly unveil as soon as this week a new plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and transfer inmates to mainland maximum security facilities.

* Latin America: Panamanian authorities claimed to have found a drug trafficking connection between Colombia’s FARC rebels and fugitive Mexican drug capo Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

* Puerto Rico: Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla introduced a plan to restructure the $8 billion debt held by Puerto Rico’s main electricity company.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English

Online Sources – NBC News, Reuters, The Los Angeles Times, UPI, The Latin Americanist

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mexican Supreme Court Opens Door to Possible Marijuana Legalization

Mexico’s Supreme Court by a 4-1 margin ruled in a case on Wednesday that could open the door to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

A majority of magistrates of the high court’s criminal chamber declared unconstitutional portions of the national health law that have allowed he government to prohibit personal use of marijuana. The decision thus allows for the “ludic” use, growth and consuming of marijuana exclusively for personal usage.

“The Supreme Court calls on all institutions related to public policy on drugs to revise the current prohibitionist model,” said judge José Ramón Cossío. Doing so would help refocus the problems with drugs as a public health issue, he added.

“The absolute prohibition (of marijuana) is excessive and does not protect the right to health,” noted justice Olga Sánchez Cordero. “Recreational use of marijuana should be authorized in order to respect personal liberties,” she also mentioned.

The decision only applies to the four individual plaintiffs belonging to a cannabis club and who brought up the lawsuit, and the ruling does not have the power to overturn laws currently on the books regarding drugs.

Prior to the ruling, Mexican national security chief Manuel Mondragón expressed his rejection against any proposal to legalize marijuana. “I don’t want to live in a society addicted to marijuana,” said Mondragón, who also claimed that over half of consumers in Mexico are minors.

Despite Mondragón’s criticism, the high court’s ruling could be an antecedent to Congressional action towards decriminalizing marijuana usage. Legislative leaders representing the ruling PRI, conservative PAN and leftist PRD said they would be willing to debate the marijuana issue though refrained from providing any strong opinions. President Enrique Peña Nieto, meanwhile, called on federal health officials to publicly explain the impact of the high court verdict.

Daily Headlines: November 4, 2015

* Mexico: According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, about 150 journalists were murdered in Latin America since 2010 while roughly one in three cases occurring in Mexico.

* Brazil: Brent crude futures jumped by 3.6% to $50.70 on Tuesday partly due to worries over decreased oil production from Brazilian state-run film Petrobras.

* Argentina: Credit agency Moody’s improved Argentina’s credit rating in an apparent sign that the national economy will improve regardless of who wins the presidential runoff later this month.

* Ecuador: Ecuador’s government received another legal victory over the oil industry after arbitrators reduced from $1.77 billion to $1 billion a compensation owed to Occidental Petroleum.

YouTube Source – AJ+ (“Mexican photojournalist Rubén Espinosa was found dead in his Mexico City apartment (last July), along with 4 women”).

Online Sources – Benzinga, Reuters, teleSUR English, NBC News

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 3, 2015

* Dominican Republic: The Dominican government seemingly overreacted by stripping acclaimed author Junot Diaz of national honors over his criticism of the mistreatment of Haitian migrants.

* Venezuela: Venezuela will provide additional crude to nations of the Petrocaribe oil alliance according to remarks by President Nicolás Maduro.

* Latin America: The Day of the Dead may be closely associated with Mexico but nationals residing in Peru and Honduras also observed commemorations.

* Chile: Nine of the thirty-three Chilean miners trapped underground for sixty-nine days in 2010 have sued their lawyers over allegations of fraud.

YouTube Source – Big Think

Online Sources – The Guardian, Yahoo News, The Globe and Mail, teleSUR English

Monday, November 2, 2015

Daily Headlines: November 2, 2015

* Brazil: According to Brazilian daily O Estado de Sao Paulo, Volkswagen is negotiating settling a lawsuit claiming that the automaker turned a blind eye to the detention and torture of factory workers during the military dictatorship from the 1960s to 1980s.

* U.S.: Salvador Perez became the second Venezuelan to win the World Series Most Valuable Player award after the Kansas City Royals clinched the crown in five games.

* Argentina: U.S. federal judge Thomas Griesa ordered the Argentine government to pay an additional $6.1 billion to credit holders before paying off holdouts owed for the country’s historic 2001 debt default.

* Mexico: The Mexican Navy on Sunday rescued four fishermen who went missing after leaving the Ecuadoran port of Esmeraldas on September 24th and drifted 1200 miles away.

YouTube Source – NewsBeat Social (“A lawsuit filed September 22nd accuses German Automaker Volkswagen of condoning the torture of employees by the then-military government of Brazil in 1972.”)

Online Sources – Deutsche Welle, ESPN, Latin American Herald Tribune, GlobalPost

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Weekender: Batty Bloodsuckers

“The Weekender” is our occasional feature where every weekend we hope to highlight a short film, movie or documentary pertaining to the Americas.  

To commemorate Halloween, we're running the following post originally published on October 31, 2014. The text mostly remains the same but the video below the page break is changed.

What happens when the Cuban musician nephew of Dracula finds a secret potion that allows vampires to be able to live under the sun's rays?  The answer to this can be seen in the 1985 animated movie ¡Vampiros en La Habana! (Vampires in Havana).  The film provides a satirical look at both capitalism and Communism when competing factions of vampires - a Chicago mob and a European cartel - seek to get their claws on the "Vampisol" concoction from Joseph Amadeus von Dracula.  Featuring trumpet playing by the legendary Arturo Sandoval, ¡Vampiros is not your usual scary Halloween flick but is instead a funny spoof of horror and gangster films.

An excerpt from ¡Vampiros can be seen below. (Note that the movie has some adult themes; hence, we're classifying it as Not Safe For Work).

Online Source -

YouTube Source - delamilonga 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Daily Headlines: October 30, 2015

* Peru: President Ollanta Humala lifted a state of emergency order for regions in southern Peru affected last month by violent clashes between police and protesters opposed to a planned copper mine.

* Venezuela: The U.S. could push for more sanctions against Venezuelan officials despite President Nicolas Maduro’s threats of suing the Obama administration.

* Puerto Rico: Will Puerto Rico run out of money as early as this November and fall into default?

* Costa Rica: The Costa Rica government and children’s rights advocates are planning to expand an online marketing campaign aimed at discouraging child sex tourism.

YouTube Source – AFP (“Demonstrators gather in Lima (weeks ago) to protest against a big Chinese copper mining project in the provinces of Cotabambas and Grau.”)

Online Sources – Reuters, GlobalPost, La Prensa, Seeking Alpha, Tico Times

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Daily Headlines: October 29, 2015

* Ecuador: In the latest twist to the legal telenovela that is the Ecaudoran environmental damages ordeal against Chevron, the oil giant’s main witness at a 2014 appeal recanted his entire testimony.

* Mexico: Mexican federal police committed extrajudicial killings in two incidents earlier this year that left some fifty people dead according to Human Rights Watch.

* Brazil: Community groups in Rio de Janeiro claimed that the government’s relocation program ahead of the 2016 Olympics is in reality segregating thousands of impoverished families.

* U.S.: The Kansas City Royals won the first two games of the World Series with help from Dominican starter Johnny Cueto who pitched a complete game gem on Wednesday night.

YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“The Canadian Supreme Court (last month) voted to a allow the lawsuit that seeks to recover US$9.5 billion from a 2011 compensation settlement arising from the pollution of land belonging to Amazonian indigenous villages by Chevron.”)

Online Sources – ESPN, The Guardian, Vice News, Al Jazeera America

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Headlines: October 28, 2015

* Cuba: Despite a diplomatic rapprochement towards Cuba, the U.S. once again opposed a U.N. General Assembly resolution overwhelmingly condemning the trade embargo against the island.

* Mexico: The Mexican Supreme Court may emit a ruling this week that could open the door to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

* U.S.: Kansas City Royals pitcher and World Series Game 1 starter Edinson Volquez left for the Dominican Republic hours after his father suddenly passed away at the age of 63.

* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos proposed a bilateral ceasefire with the FARC rebels to begin on New Year’s Day of 2016.

YouTube Source – euronews (191 U.N. member states condmned the U.S. embargo against cuba in a resolution that for the second straight year was only opposed to by the U.S. and Israel).

Online Sources – USA TODAY, GlobalPost, BBC News, CNN