Friday, August 14, 2015

Daily Headlines: August 14, 2015

* Cuba: The U.S. Embassy reopened in Cuba for the first time since 1961 as part of the latest action by the governments of both countries to improve diplomatic and economic ties.

* Paraguay: An 11-year-old Paraguayan girl raped by her stepfather and whose case sparked a debate over abortion gave birth to her child this week.

* Mexico: Scientists warned that the main pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza is in danger of collapsing due to a recently discovered underground river below it.

* Venezuela: Police in Aragua have been accused of the extrajudicial murder of a suspected gang member whose death was captured by an eyewitness video.

YouTube Source – CNN 

Online Sources – NBC News, The Miami Herald, BBC News, The Latin Americanist, The Guardian

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Daily Headlines: August 13, 2015

* Venezuela: Raul Baduel, the former Defense Minister turned critic of the late President Hugo Chávez, became the second notable opposition leader to be freed from prison in a 24-hour period.

* Mexico: Mexican photojournalists at last week’s Copa Libertadores deciding match in Argentina protested the torture and murders of one of their colleagues, a human rights activist and three others on July 31st.

* Argentina: At least three fatalities have resulted from torrential rain and flooding in Buenos Aires province that have also forced 11,000 people to be evacuated.

* Cuba: Should Cuban dissidents get invited to the historic reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana tomorrow?

YouTube Source – euronews (Venezuelan opposition politician Daniel Ceballos was placed under house arrest hours before ex-minister Raul Baduel was also freed from prison).

Online Sources – NDTV, Fox News Latino, Voice of America, The Latin Americanist, Vice News

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Daily Headlines: August 12, 2015

* Cuba: According to the Pew Research Center 77% of people in five Latin American states approve improving ties between the U.S. and Cuba.

* Argentina: The Argentine government won a key court appeal in its legal battle against bondholders seeking compensation for the country’s 2001 debt default.

* Panama: Drought conditions caused by the El Niño weather phenomena will affect the Panama Canal, and “could have consequences for manufacturing and trigger far-reaching delays.”

* El Salvador: Authorities ordered the arrests of some 300 suspected gang members amid a spike in violent activity and forcing bus drivers to go on strike.

YouTube Source – CCTV Americas

Online Sources – MercoPress, BBC News, Pew Research Center, The Latin Americanist, Time

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Weekender: The Body Electric

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

Back in 2013 we highlighted Neighboring Sounds, which we described as a film set in Brazil that “gradually exposes the contradictions, tensions and complex relationships among residents of varying social and economic levels.” The movie marked the feature length directorial debut of Kleber Mendonça Filho who previously examined socioeconomic relations in a 2005 short film called Eletrodomestica. In Eletrodomestica, Filho focused on “mechanics and electricity and consumerism” and was inspired by a peculiar aspect of Brazil’s burgeoning consumer culture in the 1990s:
It came from . . . I think the spark right in the beginning was my family came to the U.S. on holiday in 1991 and on our way back at Miami International Airport, I saw a pyramid of stuff: microwave ovens, and VCRs, and fax machines. This is the stuff the Brazilian tourists were taking back with them, back to Brazil. I thought that it was really kind of absurd, that so much electronic stuff was being taken back to the country.
Please check out Eletrodomestica (with English subtitles) below the page break: