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Oct 19 13:34

After Years of Delays and Alarmingly Flimsy Evidence, Security Expert Ola Bini’s Trial Set for This Week

By Jason Kelley

For over two years EFF has been following the case of Swedish computer security expert Ola Bini, who was arrested in April, 2019, in Ecuador, following Julian Assange’s ejection from that country’s London Embassy. Bini’s pre-trial hearing, which was suspended and rescheduled at least five times during 2020, was concluded on June 29, 2021. Despite the cloud that has hung over the case—political ramifications have seemed to drive the allegations, and Bini has been subjected to numerous due process and human rights violations—we are hopeful that the security expert will be afforded a transparent and fair trial and that due process will prevail.

Oct 16 06:49

U.S. Gives Central America, Mexico Another $20mln in Humanitarian Aid

The United States is providing more than $20 million in additional humanitarian aid for nearly 700,000 asylum seekers, refugees, and vulnerable migrants in Central America and Mexico, the State Department said on Friday.

In total, the United States has provided more than $331 million in such aid in fiscal year 2021, the department said in a statement.

Oct 14 06:05

Mexican President AMLO Pleads with Biden to End Failed Trillion Dollar “War on Drugs”—But Powerful U.S. Interests Prefer Deadly Status Quo

In June 2021, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) told U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in Mexico City that he wanted to end military cooperation in fighting drug trafficking and to instead promote economic development.

“We don’t want military cooperation,” he said, “we don’t want it to be like it was before when they brought us a helicopter gunship and a photo was taken of the U.S. ambassador with the president,” he said.

“We want development cooperation. We don’t even want to hear about the Merida Plan anymore.”

Launched in 2008, the Mérida Initiative aimed to combat drug trafficking with U.S. military equipment, technical support, and training for security forces in Mexico and Central America, which have received billions of dollars in aid.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oct 11 07:52

Brazil’s Bolsonaro unchained: ‘If you accept this vaccination passport’ it will lead to ‘population control’

Speaking in Portuguese in a translated clip posted to Twitter by Daily Veracy founder Vince James, President Jair Bolsonaro warns that governors of large Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo will issue decrees via the vaccine passport system. “Only those who are vaccinated can go to school, only those who are vaccinated can do such a thing, those who are not will not, would you issue a decree in this regard,” asked Bolsonaro to a member of his government. The man said no.

“Either we have freedom or we don’t. And the story says that anyone who gives up a part of their freedom for security, ends up without freedom and without security,” asserted Bolsonaro. He then warned that if cities accept the vaccine passport, “another requirement will come soon, and another and another, and you know where it will stop then?” Bolsonaro explained, “Population control. The people who most accused me of being a dictator are the ones who are doing it now.”

Oct 02 10:41

Burst of Joy, 1973

After spending more than five years in a North Vietnamese camp, Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Sturm reunited with his family at Travis AFB on March 13, 1973. Burst of Joy is a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by Associated Press photographer Slava. Years" Vader. The picture marks the end of the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, and the prevailing sentiment that military personnel and their families can begin the process of healing once they have endured the horrors of war.
Prisoners of war freed from prison camps in North Vietnam land at Travis Air Force Base in California. Although there were only 20 PWs on the plane, around 400 family members arrived to return home. Vader was part of the big press show and recalls that: "You could feel the energy and raw emotion in the air". In the photo, United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Sturm is shown reuniting with his family after spending more than five years in captivity as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. The centerpiece of the photo is Sturm's 15-year-old daughter, Laurie, who is enthusiastically greeting her father with outstretched arms, as the rest of the family follows directly behind her.

Oct 02 10:21

The only known picture of President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe together, 1962

This black-and-white image, taken by White House photographer Cecil Stoughton, is the only known photograph of JFK and Monroe together. Monroe is still wearing the infamous tight-fighting, sheer rhinestone-studded dress she wore while singing at Madison Square Garden.

President Kennedy, with his head slightly bowed, looks down as he listens to Marilyn. His brother, Robert Kennedy, stands beside the pair, watching. Singer Harry Belafonte is in the background and historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., who served as a consultant at the Kennedy White House, stands on the sidelines smiling.

The photo was taken at a private location in the Manhattan home of film executive Arthur Krim and his wife Mathilde, and the image's existence was kept a secret for decades.

Oct 01 11:27

The parallel world of American advertising targeted toward African-Americans, 1950-1960

It is said that many of these advertisements were literally created by John Harold Johnson, the founder of the Johnson Publishing Company dynasty. His hugely successful magazines Ebony and Jet – as well as other titles – catered to the black middle and upper classes and he felt that readers would be more inclined to buy from mainstream companies that really liked him and his spending power. used to accept.

John Harold Johnson personally branded the idea that they should use Black models for their audience if they expected to see high sales. When some companies (reluctantly) tried it, they realized that the results were so dramatic that it made sure they would continue. As a result, Johnson's publication and, later, others like him, saw an explosion of targeted ads.

Oct 01 10:53

The extraordinary life aboard NASA’s Skylab, 1970s

Skylab was America's first step towards creating something other than a good place to visit. Developed in the shadow of the Apollo Moon mission and using hardware originally built for Apollo, the Skylab space station took the nation's astronauts from space explorer to spaceflight. The program proved that humans can live and work successfully in space.

To many members of the public, Skylab is probably best known for two things - its beginning and its end. During the launch of the Skylab workshop in May 1973, an unexpected problem damaged the station and its way into orbit. And of course, Skylab caught the world's attention in 1979 over the Indian Ocean and Australia and made its furious return.

Sep 30 11:24

The story of New York City’s swimming pools through photographs, 1930-1960

New Yorkers have been taking the plunge in the Big Apple since the late 1800s, when the state legislature passed a law mandating free bathrooms in cities with populations of more than 50,000.

The state believed that it was necessary to provide bathing facilities for families in overcrowded homes, where hygiene issues were a major concern. Swimming pools' predecessors, bathhouses, were initially used for cleaning and therapeutic purposes, but over the years became more geared towards entertainment.

As well as the bathhouses, New York City also claimed "floating baths" along both the East and Hudson Rivers. These wooden baths were filled with river water and protected by pontoons boasting dressing rooms for men and women. However, these beautiful watering holes were short-lived due to the growing concern of river pollution and the limited number of seasons in use.

Sep 30 06:31

Brazil’s Bolsonaro: UK PM has asked for ‘emergency’ food deal

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has requested Brazil for an “emergency” trade deal to provide some food products lacking in the UK, amid concerns about further supply shortages in the market.

“He wants an emergency agreement with us to import some kind of food that is lacking in England,” the Brazilian president said on his weekly webcast to supporters on Friday.

Bolsonaro said he had passed the British premier’s request to Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina, but did not name any particular product.

Sep 27 06:33

Exclusive-Under U.S. Sanctions, Iran and Venezuela Strike Oil Export Deal - Sources

Venezuela has agreed to a key contract to swap its heavy oil for Iranian condensate that it can use to improve the quality of its tar-like crude, with the first cargoes due this week, five people close to the deal said.

As the South American country seeks to boost its flagging oil exports in the face of U.S. sanctions, according to the sources, the deal between state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) deepens the cooperation between two of Washington's foes.

One of the people said the swap agreement is planned to last for six months in its first phase, but could be extended. Reuters could not immediately determine other details of the mwpact.

The oil ministries of Venezuela and Iran, and state-run PDVSA and NIOC did not reply to requests for comment.

Sep 26 07:55

Prosecutors in Mexico seeking arrest warrants for more than 30 scientists

Mexico’s scientific community has reacted with outrage after the country’s chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants for 31 scientists, researchers and academics on accusations of organised crime, money laundering and embezzlement – charges that could land them alongside drug cartel kingpins in one of the country’s most notorious lockups.

A judge at the maximum security Altiplano prison – from which Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped in 2015 – denied granting the arrest warrants on Wednesday. But the federal prosecutor immediately announced plans to pursue arrest warrants for the third time.

The university professors have been accused of violating a law that prevents members of an advisory board from receiving money from a government science fund. But that law was passed in 2019, and the scientists got the $2.5m years earlier when it was apparently legal. Those involved have denied the funds were illegal or misused.

Sep 23 06:36

The World's Largest Log Cabin

At the turn of the 20th century, the city of Portland in Oregon, United States, was a major economic center, with a flourishing wheat and flour industry, a unique lumber industry, and a rapidly growing shipping port. Portland claimed the largest flour mill on the Pacific Coast. Its lumber industry was important because of Oregon's vast forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock, red cedar, and large-leaf maple trees. Portland's location at the Willamette's confluence with the Columbia River gives it a deep port accessible to large ships.

Sep 22 05:40

Chile earthquake: Powerful 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocks South America nation

The quake struck offshore Bio-Bio and 158.88km northwest of Lebu, the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) has confirmed. Its epicentre was near Concepcion, Provincia de Concepción, Region del Biobio in Chile. The EMSC added it was at a depth of 2km. Shallow earthquakes are often felt more strongly than deeper ones as they are closer to the surface.

Sep 16 05:51

Election Is Coming Up in Virus-Sanity Nicaragua and the Empire Is Readying Its “Color Revolution” Bag of Tricks

It is an irrefutable fact that the United States orchestrated, financed and unleashed the violent coup attempt in 2018 against the democratically elected FSLN government.

Spokespeople of the U.S. establishment, from former president Trump, extreme right-wing senators and deputies, all the way down the food chain of its formidable ‘regime change’ machinery, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, the CIA, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and, of course, USAID, repeatedly stated their aim was to bring about ‘regime change’ in Nicaragua.

In this connection, the significance of U.S. Nicaraguan proxies is ephemeral and purely utilitarian (does anybody remember Adolfo Calero, Miami-based Contra leader?). Such proxies are activated to sow chaos, violence and confusion to facilitate a U.S.-driven ‘regime change’ intervention, but for the huge U.S. democracy-crushing machine, when plans do not work, its proxies are disposable human assets.

Sep 14 06:01

Single shot of Sputnik V effective against Covid hospitalization & deaths among elderly – Argentine study published by The Lancet

A single dose of the pioneering Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine better protects the elderly against serious Covid-19 infections than a similar regime of certain other leading vaccines, a major new study from Argentina has shown.

The findings were published online by the EClinicalMedicine, which is run by the British peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

Sep 09 04:51

Brazil's Independence Day and a protest for FREEDOM!

Sep 08 07:26

Magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits southwest Mexico

Sep 08 07:08

In world first, bitcoin becomes legal tender in El Salvador

El Salvador on Tuesday became the first country to embrace bitcoin as legal tender, with consumer demand crashing its brand-new cyber "wallet" system even as the currency's value seesawed against the US dollar.

Under the initiative of President Nayib Bukele, Salvadoran consumers can now legally use bitcoin -- along with the US dollar which has been the official currency for two decades -- to pay for any good or service.

Aug 29 05:34

Brazilian President Tells Supporters "Buy A Gun, Damn It" Amid Impending Chaos

Why on Earth would Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tell supporters on Friday that "everyone should buy a rifle"? Is the unstable South American emerging economy, suffering from the virus pandemic, rapid food inflation, and out-of-control poverty about to stumble into further socio-economic chaos?

"Everybody has to buy a rifle, damn it! The armed people will never be enslaved. I know it costs a lot. An idiot says: 'Ah, what you have to buy is beans,' if you don't want to, don't buy the rifle, but do not come to disturb whoever wants to buy it," Bolsonaro told reporters.

Latin American Telesur's Nacho Lemus recorded video of the president telling supporters that "in a country with more than half of the population under food insecurity and in the midst of a new increase in the price of food, gasoline, gas, and electricity" now is the time to buy a gun.

Aug 27 13:14

Massive Indigenous Protests in Brazil Ahead of Landmark Ruling on Land Rights

By Andrea Germanos

Indigenous groups from across Brazil have been protesting this week ahead of an expected Supreme Court decision determining the fate of Indigenous lands in the country and which allies fear could unleash “devastating consequences” for human and environmental rights.

The court said Thursday that the ruling would come next week.

“The Bolsonaro government wants to do away with us. If it was up to [President Jair Bolsonaro] there would be no Indigenous people left in Brazil,” said Xukuru chieftain Ricardo, one of the approximately 6,000 protesters outside the high court in Brasilia Wednesday, reported Agence France-Presse.

Aug 25 08:10

Covid vaccines killed 32,000 people in Brazil, sources say

A Brazilian media outlet with similar online readership to CNN.com is claiming that at least 32,000 people in Brazil have died thus far as a result of getting “vaccinated” for the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).

Right now, Brazil has authorized the use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford shot, as well as Pfizer-BioNTech, Coronavac (also known as Sinovac), Johnson & Johnson (J&J)-Janssen, and Butanvac. Over the course of about five months, these injections have ended tens of thousands of lives.

The 32,000 number being reported is likely an undercount, experts say, because much like how the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) operates here in the United States, many cases of injury and death are never officially logged into the system.

“We are always alerting people to wear masks, wash their hands, use alcohol gel, and avoid crowds,” announced Brazil’s health secretary, still sticking to the script. “Even if we are vaccinated, we can acquire the virus and have complications.”

Aug 23 06:03

The Staggering Death Toll of Mexico’s Drug War

Over the course of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the number of civilian deaths has been staggering. In Afghanistan, more than 26,000 civilians are estimated to have died since the war began in 2001. In Iraq, conservative tallies place the number of civilians killed at roughly 160,500 since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Others have put the total closer to 500,000.

But as U.S. involvement in each nation has dropped off in recent years, killings much closer to home, in Mexico, have steadily, if quietly, outpaced the number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

Aug 22 05:21

Mexico President Would Consider Freeing Drug Lord Jailed for Killing U.S. Agent

Mexico's president on Friday said he was open to freeing drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, jailed for the 1985 murder of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, on the basis of old age and poor health.

A legendary figure in the drug world and co-founder of the Guadelajara cartel, Felix Gallardo was a pioneer in trafficking large shipments of cocaine to the United States in alliance with the deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

But his empire crumbled after the murder of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, an undercover DEA agent behind a string of successful drug busts. Camarena's killing triggered a large DEA investigation and damaged U.S.-Mexico ties.

In a prison interview aired this week by NBC News, a frail-looking Felix Gallardo, 75, praised leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador "as a man of goodwill" and commended him for fighting social injustice.

Aug 21 05:56

Over 32,000 People Dead in Brazil Following COVID-19 Vaccines According to Official Media Report

A Health Impact News reader from Brazil has alerted us to official media reports stating that during a 5-month period, over 32,000 people in Brazil have died following a COVID-19 injection.

Currently in Brazil, the following vaccines are authorized for use: AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, Coronavac (also called Sinovac), J&J/Janssen, and Butanvac.

The report was published on uol.com.br, which reportedly has about the same number of pageviews as CNN.com, according to data from SimilarWeb. It is so big, that ICANN has given its own domain: .uol.

Aug 21 05:31

Bolivia charges ex-President Anez with ‘genocide’ over death of protesters in 2019

Bolivia’s former interim president, Jeanine Anez, has been charged with genocide and other crimes over the deaths of 20 people who protested the ousting of the country’s longtime socialist leader, Evo Morales, in 2019.

The charges against Anez, who seized power in the Latin American nation for a year, have been “provisionally classified as genocide, serious and minor injury, and injury followed by death,” Attorney General Juan Lanchipa announced on Friday.

According to Bolivian law, the ex-president could face 10 to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

The accusations relate to two rallies in the town of Sacaba near the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba and the town of Senkata in the El Alto area outside the capital, La Paz in November 2019, in which 20 demonstrators were killed and dozens more injured in clashes with security forces.

Aug 16 09:13

And so it begins – Thousands of cattle are literally dropping dead from starvation in Northern Mexico

A lot of people didn’t think that it would ever come to this. Many simply assumed that conditions would return to “normal” eventually and that everything would work out just fine somehow. But here in the middle of 2021, everything is definitely not fine. In fact, cows are literally dropping dead from starvation in northern Mexico in very large numbers. This isn’t the sort of thing that is supposed to happen in North America.

Aug 15 07:09

Brazil’s Corn Farmers Face Devastating Drought, Frost

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Famine is coming!

Aug 14 05:45

Lima Group Loses Lima

The Canadian instigated Lima Group has been dealt a probably fatal blow that ought to elicit serious discussion about this country’s foreign policy. But, don’t expect the media or politicians to even mention it.

In a likely death knell for a coalition seeking to overthrow the Venezuelan government, Peru’s new Foreign Affairs Minister called the Lima Group the country’s “most disastrous” ever foreign policy initiative. Héctor Béjar said, “the Lima Group must be the most disastrous thing we have done in international politics in the history of Perú.”

Two days after Béjar’s statement St Lucia’s external affairs minister, Alva Baptiste, declared: “With immediate effect, we are going to get out of the Lima Group arrangement – that morally bankrupt, mongoose gang, we are going to get out of it because this group has imposed needless hardship on the children, men and women of Venezuela.”

Aug 13 12:15

Brazil's Bolsonaro defeated over printed ballot proposal

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has suffered a defeat in Congress, after his plan to change the current electronic voting system in elections to one with a paper trail failed.

The proposal fell well short of the three-fifth majority required for a constitutional amendment.

Mr Bolsonaro, who is planning to run for a second term next year, says the current system is open to fraud.

The electoral tribunal has dismissed the allegation as "disinformation".

Aug 11 07:47

Frost Bites Brazilian Sugar Crop As Prices Zoom Higher 

Brazil's top producing regions for coffee, oranges, and sugar have been devastated by the worst weather in decades and could leave a lasting impact on prices, according to Bloomberg.

The South American country is one of the world's leading coffee, sugar, and orange producers experienced a cold snap and drought this growing season in the Center-South area that has significantly damaged crops.

We have focused on coffee and orange markets and how prices are sloping higher after harvest output will likely come in well below average.

Now we're setting our eyes on the sugar market, where losses in production, exacerbated by an already tight global supply, is fueling higher prices that may be sticking around for the next 18 months.

Aug 11 07:20

Soaring Number of Nicaraguans Seek Refuge in Costa Rica Amid Domestic Crackdown

Costa Rica received the highest number of refugee applications from Nicaraguans in July since the 2018 protests in Nicaragua, according to Costa Rican government data, following a wave of arrests against opponents of President Daniel Ortega in June.

There were 5,379 refugee requests by Nicaraguans submitted in July, Costa Rica's migration agency told Reuters, triple the May figure.

The spike came as the Nicaraguan government arrested some 30 activists and political opponents, including potential candidates in the November presidential election.

The July figures also top the requests made in the same month of 2018, when thousands of Nicaraguans fled to the neighboring Central American nation amid a crackdown on protests that began in April of that year and left more than 300 dead.

Aug 10 07:31

Brazil Faces 10 Million Bag Loss Of Coffee: Preliminary Assessment

A wicked cold snap and massive drought in July have devastated Brazil's coffee belt. According to Bloomberg, preliminary reports show the South American country may lose millions of bags of arabica coffee.

A formal damage report of Brazil's coffee belt is due in the coming weeks. The government report is set to show up to ten million bags (each bag weighing 132 pounds) of arabica coffee, or one-third of annual purchases by the U.S. may have been damaged.

Aug 05 05:54

Mexico Sues US Gun Makers For "Arming The Drug Cartels" In Unprecedented Federal Filing

"Guns don't kill people, the cartels do..." or so we thought. Perhaps we could add corrupt government and police officials do too, by facilitating or turning a blind eye to the soaring violence which has long made Mexico rank within the top 20 most dangerous countries in the world based on murder rate.

But apparently Mexico officials think it's in reality the US gun companies to blame for fueling the violence with their products. Bloomberg reports Wednesday, "Mexico filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court Wednesday against Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., Glock Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Co. and other major gun manufacturers, accusing them of contributing to gang violence south of the border."

The companies stand accused of wreaking havoc in Mexican society "by persistently supplying a torrent of guns to the drug cartels," according to the civil suit filed in a Massachusetts federal district court.

Aug 04 13:10

Mexico Launches $10-Billion Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Makers

Taking a page from gun control activists, the Mexican government is now suing several U.S. gun companies in federal court in an attempt to pin the blame for cartel violence on American-made firearms. Smith & Wesson, Glock, Barrett Firearms, Colt, Sturm Ruger, and Beretta are all named in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Boston on Wednesday, which alleges that the companies are making guns that they know will end up in the hands of drug cartel members south of the border. -- The Mexican president won’t declare war on the drug cartels, but instead he’s declaring war on U.S. firearms manufacturers. It would be nice if we had an administration that would push back, perhaps with sanctions on the country for failing to stop the cartels from exporting drugs to the United States, but with Biden in the White House its far more likely that the administration will end up rooting for the Mexican government to see success in our federal courts.

Aug 03 10:28

Drought, Frost Plunge Brazil's Second Corn Yields To Decade Low

An agriculture nightmare plays out in Brazil as drought and frost cause second corn yields in the country's center-south to hit their lowest level in 10 years. Crop losses due to unfavorable weather may result in shortages and persistent food inflation due to Brazil is a top player in global corn production.

Reuters, citing a new report via agribusiness consultancy AgRural, said drought then frosts destroyed much of the crop this year. Brazilian farmers expect to harvest around 51.6 million tons of corn, down 19 million from last season's 70.5 million.

Aug 03 09:10

Colombians mourn after deadly protests as Amnesty cites ‘unlawful repression’

Nicolás Guerrero, a 26-year-old artist from the Colombian city of Cali, took to the streets on 2 May to protest against the lack of opportunities he saw in his country. He had started a family in Spain that he had hoped one day to bring to South America. But later that night, after riot police launched a brutal crackdown, his near-lifeless and bloody body was strewn across the pavement, with bullet wounds in his head and neck. He died hours later in hospital.

Aug 03 08:47

Biden Puts Nation at Risk of COVID With Border Wide Open

Political media has buzzed nonstop with stories about the new ‘delta’ variant of COVID. The Biden administration has started backtracking on freedom from face masks.

How are Americans supposed to believe the Biden administration is serious about the risks as thousands of potentially unvaccinated people come across our southern border every week?

The scene in La Joya, Texas, right now is surreal.

Spencer Brown writes at Townhall:

As President Biden, his CDC, and other officials in the administration continue to push for more restrictions in response to the Delta variant of the Wuhan coronavirus, they turn a blind eye to the growing public health threat posed by COVID-positive illegal immigrants.

Aug 03 07:16

The Saga Continues: Venezuela’s 31 tonnes of seized gold at the Bank of England

In what’s becoming one of the longest running legal dramas in the global gold market, the saga of Venezuela’s ‘frozen’ gold in London continues to roll on, most recently reaching the UK Supreme Court in a 4 day court hearing between 19 – 22 July.

At the core of the legal drama is the question of who has the authority to withdraw Venezuela’s gold reserves which are stored in custody at the Bank of England. Is it the Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) under the direction of de facto president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, or is it a team directed by self-styled interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó, who is backed by the US and UK governments. Given the multiple developments in this saga over the last few years and the complexity of the matter, a recap is in order.

Aug 02 02:54

Freak Weather Events And Drought Are Devastating Agricultural Production All Over The Globe

Did you know that Brazil just had snow for the first time in 64 years?  Millions of Brazilians were absolutely thrilled to experience real snow for the very first time in their lives, but the freakishly low temperatures have hit agricultural production really hard at a very sensitive moment.  Brazil is one of the largest exporters of corn in the entire world, and at this point corn production is expected to be way below original projections.  But for many Americans, the fate of the Arabica bean crop is of far more interest.  Higher coffee prices would affect millions upon millions of Americans on a daily basis, and that is why so many people are freaking out about the fact that coffee prices are really starting to spike…

Jul 31 07:26

Mexico won’t be ‘hostage’ to Big Pharma, president says, as internet predicts trouble after country rejects Covid jabs for kids

Social media users have theorized that President Andres Manuel López Obrador could face severe repercussions after he refused to purchase Covid vaccines for children, vowing that Mexico wouldn’t bow to pressure from drugs firms.

In remarks made earlier this week, the Mexican leader said his government was still waiting for the scientific community to demonstrate the benefits of vaccinating minors. Until conclusive evidence was provided, Mexico would refuse to purchase jabs for children, Obrador announced, adding that pharmaceutical firms seemed to be focused more on making profits than on ensuring medical necessity as they rake in record sales from Covid-19 vaccines.

Mexico will not be held hostage by pharmaceutical companies that only want to do business and scare children with the idea that it is necessary to vaccinate against Covid-19.

Jul 30 07:10

Historic: it snowed in Brazil and temperatures could be the lowest in 65 years

The historic wave of polar cold that is passing through southern Brazil left an almost unprecedented surprise for the region: a snowfall in at least 13 cities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which left white blankets on the ground and generated dozens of photos and videos that quickly went viral on social media.

// The new president of Peru announced that young people who neither study nor work will have to do military service

The unusual weather phenomenon is related to a large polar air mass that entered during the last hours. In this sense, some meteorologists had already warned about the low temperatures that would hit the region.

“The cold air mass has the potential to be one of the most intense of this century to reach the (Brazilian) national territory, in a climate scenario conducive to extreme cold events,” they explained from the MetSul site, one of the main generators of meteorological information content in the region.

Jul 29 06:12

‘Independent’ Mexico has every right to send aid to Cuba in defiance of ‘inhumane’ US sanctions, president says

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has scoffed at the notion that Mexico should honor a US-imposed embargo on Cuba, as his country sends aid to the island in defiance of Washington’s suffocating economic restrictions.

Defending his decision to fuel shipments and other humanitarian aid to Cuba, Obrador said on Tuesday that US sanctions on the socialist state were “inhumane,” and that “independent” Mexico was well within its rights to defy the unilaterally imposed embargo.

Earlier this week, a Mexican cargo ship loaded with 100,000 barrels of diesel fuel set sail for Cuba. The Mexican government said the fuel would be used to provide power for Cuban hospitals.

Two additional vessels loaded with medical supplies and food embarked in the following days. Mexico’s Foreign Ministry described the shipments as humanitarian assistance aimed at helping Cuba overcome the coronavirus pandemic.

Jul 29 05:26

New Mexican Vigilante Group's Sympathizers Set Fire to Government Offices, Businesses

Mexican villagers sympathizing with a new indigenous self-defense group torched government offices, businesses and houses in a remote mountainous region in southern Chiapas state this week, protesting rampant insecurity in the area.

The violence in the indigenous Tzotzil community of Pantelhó late on Monday and early on Tuesday came less than two weeks after a group of hooded men, calling themselves El Machete, took up arms in nearby Chenalhó to confront drug-trafficking gangs. It was unclear how many members El Machete has.

Jul 29 05:24

Mexico says officials spent $61 million on Pegasus spyware

Mexico’s top security official said Wednesday that two previous administrations spent $61 million to buy Pegasus spyware that has been implicated in government surveillance of opponents and journalists around the world.

Public Safety Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez said records had been found of 31 contracts signed during the administrations of President Felipe Calderón in 2006-2012 and President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2012-18. Some contracts may have been disguised as purchases of other equipment.

The government said many of the contracts with the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group were signed with front companies, which are often used in Mexico to facilitate kickbacks or avoid taxes.

Last week, the government's top anti-money laundering investigator said officials from the two previous administrations had spent about $300 million in government money to purchase spyware. But that figure may reflect all spyware and surveillance purchases, or may include yet-unidentified contracts.

Jul 28 05:26

Orange Juice Futures Soar Amid 'Frost Threats' In Brazil

Brazil's top growing regions for coffee, sugar, and oranges are expected to see another round of frost later this week. A cold snap last week sent coffee futures to a seven-year high. Now orange juice futures are skyrocketing.

Brazil is the world's leading orange juice producer. There are concerns about widespread frost Friday and Saturday in the southernmost regions of south Minas Gerais state could damage citrus trees.

Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc, told Bloomberg that frost later this week "would damage some trees" in the Minas Gerais state. Below are Friday morning forecast temperatures hovering around freezing.

Jul 22 12:10

Colombians to Resume Protests Against President Duque

Defense Ministry will deploy 6,000 police officers and 2,700 troops over Bogota city.

Colombia's National Strike Committee (NSC) called on citizens to take to the streets on Tuesday to protest against President Ivan Duque and support ten bills aimed at fighting the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The July 20 protest, which coincides with the celebrations of the Independence Day, will encompass 35 peaceful sit-ins, marches, and cultural activities.

NSC called on Colombians to demonstrate with helmets, masks, and shields to protect themselves from the Mobile Anti-Riots Squadron (ESMAD), which has been blamed for serious human rights violations.

Jul 22 06:19

New Self-Defense Militia Appears in Chiapas, Mexico to Fight Organized Crime

Just like the Zapatista rebels before them, the indigenous people of Chiapas state in southern Mexico have taken up arms, though this time they said it was to beat back the organized crime gangs plaguing their communities.

Dozens of armed, hooded people belonging to a group called 'El Machete' marched over the weekend in the streets of Pantelho in the mountains of Chiapas - a first public act.

In appearance, the group resembles the hooded Zapatistas, who sparked world headlines when they emerged from the jungle in 1994, seizing towns and clashing with security forces to demand indigenous rights.

Jul 21 05:32

Mexico Puts Military in Charge of Customs Operations

Mexico’s president said Friday he is putting the army in charge of customs at border crossings and seaports to combat corruption and the massive smuggling of drugs and precursor chemicals.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made the announcement during a visit to the Pacific coast port of Manzanillo, where some of the biggest multi-ton shipments of drug and illicit chemicals have been seized over the last decade.

It was the latest in a series of new roles that López Obrador has entrusted to the nation’s armed forces, which are now involved in everything from construction of government projects to running tree nurseries.

Jul 20 06:28

'You weren't paranoid': Mexico at heart of spyware scandal

Journalist Marcela Turati always suspected the Mexican authorities were spying on her. Now she's almost certain, after appearing in a leaked list at the center of a global spyware scandal.

"People have written to me saying: 'Look, you weren't crazy, you weren't paranoid,'" she told AFP on Monday.

Some 15,000 Mexican smartphone numbers were among more than 50,000 believed to have been selected by clients of Israeli firm NSO Group for potential surveillance, according to an international media investigation.

They include numbers linked to 25 journalists and even President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's inner circle before he took office.

Although the Mexican license for Pegasus software acquired under former president Enrique Pena Nieto expired in 2017, Turati believes that monitoring continues in other ways.

Jul 20 06:02

Colombia, Cuba, and the defiant hypocrisy of Marco Rubio

In Cuba, recent weeks have seen thousands of people join the largest protests in decades to voice their displeasure at the government's handling of the economy and the pandemic.

Months earlier, thousands of people did the same in Colombia.

One is governed by an elected, center-right government that is a staunch ally of the United States; the other is a one-party state subject to an array of sanctions from Washington. While the grievances might be similar, to some it is the relationship with America that makes all the difference.

Take Sen. Marco Rubio. When it comes to Cuba, the Florida Republican has been eager to show that he is the "human rights champion" that USA Today dubbed him in 2017. On Twitter, he has shared video after video of protesters and changed his avatar to a raised fist reminiscent of the one used by Black Lives Matter activists.

Jul 20 05:46

UK Reaffirms Backing for Guaido Who as Venezuela President Ahead of $1bn Gold Heist Case

The British government reiterated on Monday that it recognises opposition figure Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president, a move aimed at quashing a bid by the Nicolas Maduro-backed Venezuelan central bank to repatriate nearly $1 billion of its gold stored in London.

Legal teams representing Maduro and Guaido will be at the UK Supreme Court on Monday in the latest stage of a long-running tug-of-war over what amounts to about 15% of Venezuela’s foreign currency reserves.

Lawyers representing the central bank say selling the gold would fund the response to the coronavirus pandemic and bolster a health system gutted by more than six years of economic crisis.

The Bank of England, whose vaults house the gold, has refused to release it, however, after the British government in early 2019 joined dozens of others countries in backing Guaido on the basis that Maduro’s presidential election victory the previous year was rigged.

Jul 20 04:58

Socialist Pedro Castillo confirmed as Peru's president after weeks-long vote count

Socialist Pedro Castillo has been named Peru's next president, having narrowly defeated right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori in a tense runoff election, marred by allegations of fraud, protests, and an extremely long vote count.

The official result of the June 6 election was declared by Peru's electoral authority late on Monday. The left-wing candidate defeated Fujimori by just 44,000 votes, according to official figures.

“I proclaim Pedro Castillo as president of the republic and Dina Boluarte as first vice president,” elections chief Jorge Salas said during a televised ceremony.

The 51-year-old socialist politician has become the first president of the country with no ties to elites, having come from a peasant family. Castillo was a rural teacher and union organizer for years before getting into big league politics.

Jul 19 07:01

Mexico's Drug Cartels Are Stealing Oil Again

Fueled by copious sums of drug money, large cartels have taken control of large swathes of Mexico and for over a decade have been challenging the rule of law and the state.

The systemic theft of crude oil and derivative products, most notably the theft of gasoline, has long plagued Mexico’s hydrocarbon sector with it estimated that organized crime groups are earning up to $400 million annually from the theft of petroleum and refined products. The scale of the problem was highlighted by Mexico’s national oil company Pemex, estimating in early 2018 that oil theft was costing it more than $1.6 billion annually. Petroleum theft, including refined products, in the violence-driven Latin American country typically is performed using illegal pipeline taps. Dwindling petroleum output and heavy indebtedness along with rampant fuel theft was severely impacting the national oil company’s performance.

Jul 16 06:45

Jews Enlist US Government to Intervene In Chilean Politics As Palestinian-Descendant Rises to Frontrunner In Presidential Election Polls

Jews in America are demanding the United States intervene in Chile’s internal politics in the run up to their presidential election next November.

Daniel Jadue, a descendant of Palestinian refugees and member of the Chilean Communist Party, is currently the frontrunner in polls. Jadue is an unapologetic anti-Zionist who has in the past directly confronted the Jewish power structure of his country.

Gerardo Gorodischer, president of Chilean Jewish lobby, has successfully recruited Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress to call on Secretary of State Antony Blinken — a Jew himself — to meddle in Chile’s internal affairs and prevent Jadue from becoming president.

Jul 15 07:12

Is the CIA Preparing a False Flag Operation from Colombia?

Colombia’s role in the already permanent regime change operation against Venezuela is broad and eloquent. Some recent events in that country may be worthy of attention and analysis, however, all that would go through a series of questions that help to clarify what is behind these events and where they are headed.

Perhaps the most curious event is the visit of the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, William J. Burns, to that country to participate in a “sensitive” security mission, as part of the cooperation between both countries. The visit follows a telephone conversation between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Colombian counterpart Iván Duque.

Colombia’s ambassador in Washington, Francisco Santos, declined to give further details about Burns’ visit to Bogota. When questioned about the mission, Santos said, “I prefer not to tell you that it is a delicate mission, an important intelligence mission that we managed to coordinate.”

Jul 14 13:20

Colombia used 'excessive force' against protesters, says human rights report

An international human rights body has accused Colombia's security forces of applying "disproportionate and excessive force," in dealing with street protesters, more than two months since demonstrations began in Bogota, which left dozens dead.

The report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), released on Wednesday, adds to criticisms of the government of Colombian President Ivan Duque, who has faced accusations of a heavy-handed crackdown since protests erupted on April 28.

The protests were sparked by a controversial tax overhaul Duque proposed as part of the country's recovery from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics argued the changes would hurt the middle class.

The tax reform has since been abandoned. But marches and demonstrations have only increased in scale and pace over a series of issues, including the country's chronic income inequality and allegations of police brutality.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Funny how the corporate media isn't giving this the attention they are giving to Cuba and Haiti.

Jul 13 09:04

Venezuela Forces Raid Juan Guaido's Apartment Building, "Threaten" Arrest

Since the tail-end of the Trump administration the intensity of Washington efforts to prop up the Venezuelan opposition has waned, and at the same time external supporters of Caracas like Russia appear to have stepped up efforts at maintaining the international legitimacy of the Nicolas Maduro government - even as Biden has quietly continued the Trump policy (since 2019) of deeming Juan Guaido 'interim' or de facto president (despite him not actually ruling anything).

After this period of relative quiet, opposition leader Juan Guaido says Maduro's security forces are now looking to detain him once again. He issued a statement Monday saying security forces had departed his apartment building after "threatening" him with arrest. His wife, Fabiana Rosales, had earlier said that security forces had entered their apartment building in an attempt to detain him.

Jul 13 09:02

Avocado farmers take up arms as Mexico violence spikes

A convoy of vigilantes snakes along a road in western Mexico, vowing to defend their avocado orchards from gangs sowing terror in a country reeling from a new wave of bloodshed.

Armed with assault rifles and other firearms, the masked men travel between plantations and maintain checkpoints in Ario de Rosales in Michoacan state, the scene of a bloody cartel turf war.

Before they began patrolling the area, residents lived in fear of kidnapping, extortion and theft of avocados, according to a member of the self-defense group Pueblos Unidos, which says it has 700 members.

"We need to be armed to defend ourselves," he told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity, wearing a badge reading "Down with injustice, no more dead."

Previously, criminals "came to do what they wanted to us, and that doesn't happen anymore," he added.

Jul 13 08:52

U.S. govt-linked PR firm ran fake news networks for right-wing Latin American regimes

A Washington, DC-based PR firm linked to the US government and Democratic Party, CLS Strategies, ran a fake news network on Facebook and Instagram, spreading propaganda for Bolivia’s coup regime and the right-wing opposition in Venezuela and Mexico.

Jul 06 08:37

Argentina approves law forcing gov’t to hire transgenders

Argentina has approved a law reserving one percent of government jobs for transgenders.

Argentina’s Senate passed the law last Thursday, after the country’s lower chamber also endorsed it last month. 55 senators voted for the legislation, one voted against it, and six abstained, MercoPress reported.

“It is established that, in the national public sector, personnel positions must be occupied by a proportion of not less than one percent of all of them by transvestites, transsexuals and transgender people who meet the conditions of suitability for the position,” the law reads.

Jul 03 23:17

Houston, We Have A Problem: The True Story Of Apollo 13

The Apollo 13 mission was supposed to be NASA's third lunar landing, but it was plagued with misfortune from the start. In fact, the crew that got injured, consisting of James Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise, was not even the original crew. A few days before takeoff, it was revealed that many of the Apollo astronauts training had been exposed to measles due to an outbreak at their children's school, so Jack Swigert was hired only two days before Ken Mattingly as command module pilot. Had to change lift off.

Jul 03 05:20

Venezuela To Chop Off Six Zeros From Bolivar In 3rd Currency Redenomination In 13 Years

Prior attempts of the Venezuelan government to get a handle on several years of hyperinflation included the dramatic and unprecedented recent step of issuing 1 million bolívar bills. The high denomination bill issued in March of course did literally nothing to solve the underlying problems which started in earnest in 2016 under a collapsing system, but it only made ordinary Venezuelans' lives harder.

For example a single 1 million bolívar note would not currently be enough to buy a single cup of coffee, as a million bolivars is worth just over $0.32 US. The vast majority of working class people still need cash for daily transactions, including for public transit or local grocery and goods stores.

And now the next iteration of an attempted "solution" to the ongoing crisis is a fresh currency redenomination, which will mark no less than the third one in 13 years.

Jul 01 06:03

Venezuelan Tycoon Sues US to Lift Narcotics Sanctions

A top Venezuelan businessman close to President Nicolas Maduro's government has sued the U.S. Department of Treasury, alleging he's the victim of a false campaign identifying him as a international narcotics kingpin.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Samark López in Washington federal court said sanctions in 2017 designating him a “drug kingpin” had devastated his wealth, reputation and economic livelihood.

The lawsuit raises the stakes in one of the most far-reaching of dozens of sanctions cases brought against Venezuelan insiders in recent years and could undermine furtive attempts by the Biden administration to support a negotiated solution to the country's long running political impasse.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, in 2017 accused López of serving as a “frontman” for his friend and then Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who was sanctioned the same day.

Jun 29 07:00

Mexico high court mandates permits for personal pot use

Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the government Monday to issue permits for the personal use of marijuana and for the growing of limited amounts of pot plants, after the country’s Congress took too long to approve a limited legalization law.

In 2019, the court ruled that prohibiting marijuana was unconstitutional, and gave lawmakers until this past April 30 to pass a law. In March, the lower house approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it bogged down in the Senate.

Under Monday’s court ruling, people who want to smoke marijuana or grow a few pot plants for their own use can ask for a government permit until some legislation is enacted. They would have to be adults, abstain from using marijuana around children and refrain from driving or engaging in other risky activities while under the influence.

Jun 29 05:21

Mexican President AMLO Avoids ‘Terrorism’ Label for Gulf Cartel Attack Killing 15 in Border City

Days after Gulf Cartel gunmen killed 15 innocent civilians last week, Tamaulipas state congressmen moved to call the attack terrorism while Mexico’s President is avoiding the term over expressed fears of international interference.

Last week, Gulf Cartel gunmen entered Reynosa, Tamaulipas, from the east and carried out attacks targeting civilians, killing 15. While Tamaulipas state police rushed to the scene for a clash, Mexico’s National Guard and Army did not respond until after to help secure the perimeter.

Since then, the border cities of Reynosa and Rio Bravo have seen daily shootouts as state police try to crack down on cartel activities in the area. Authorities have arrested nearly 20 gunmen and several key commanders all connected to the terrorist attack.

Jun 27 11:13

Entire U.S. Figure Skating Team Killed in 1961 Plane Crash

In 1961, 18 members of the American figure skating team, which included the nation's top figure skating talent, all died when their plane crashed for the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague. It was a world-shattering event in the sporting world, and figure skating was never quite the same in the United States.

We Are The Champions

Jun 25 09:49

Bolivia Moves Closer To Gold Confiscation With Latest Law Blocking Bullion Sales/Exports

What is Bolivia worried about?

Perhaps the 25,000% hyperinflationary evaporation of the peso in the '80s has left a deep scarring on the South American countries lawmakers.

In 2018, The Bolivian Central Bank (BCB) took the administrative measure to suspend the sale of dollars in order to maintain its peg to the dollar.

Jun 24 07:13

How many places does this have to happen before people will accept it’s real? Colombia is in the midst of a brutal third #Covid wave that began practically to the day when it started vaccinations.

Jun 23 07:37

China Seizes "Large Cache Of Drugs" Hidden In Soy Ship From Brazil

China's Brazilian soybean imports have skyrocketed in May after previously delayed cargo arrived. In one of the shipments, Chinese customs agents found hundreds of pounds of cocaine.

Qingdao Customs in east China's Shandong Province seized 474 pounds of cocaine, the largest bust this year by the customs office.

According to state-run media Xinhua, "authorities swung into action after receiving a tip-off that a foreign ship with a large cache of drugs was heading for Qingdao Port." The ship originated from Brazil, hauling 67,000 tons of soybeans, and had 21 crew on board.

Upon arriving at Qingdao, customs agents searched the vessel and found nine suspicious packages in seven cargo holds filled with soybean. Further laboratory tests confirmed the suspicious packages have a total of 474 pounds of cocaine.

Jun 23 05:31

US Doubles Down on Venezuela Sanctions as Guaido Tours Europe Touting Penalties as Leverage Tool

The Biden administration has rebuffed pressure from within and without to lower its destructive sanctions against Venezuela’s economy, saying that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro must first negotiate with Juan Guaido, a no-name Venezuelan former politician who has been championed by the US and its allies as the legitimate ruler of the country.

On Sunday, a US State Department spokesperson told Bloomberg that US sanctions would only be dropped against Venezuela after extensive reforms to end the “repression and corrupt practices” it claims Maduro’s government is engaged in. They also said Maduro would have to engage with Guaido to end the country’s political crisis, including agreeing to “free and fair elections” and the restoration of economic and political freedoms.

Jun 23 05:31

US Reportedly Monitoring Iranian Warships Suggested as Destined for Venezuela in ‘Provocative Move’

Iran and Venezuela, two nations that have been shackled by Washington’s sanctions, have sought to deepen their decades-long relationship, with Iran’s shipments of gasoline to the struggling South American nation hailed by President Nicolás Maduro last year as an example of “the brotherhood of free peoples”.

US national security officials are reportedly closely monitoring the movements of two Iranian naval vessels which are believed to be heading for Venezuela, according to Politico.

A frigate and a former oil tanker, the Makran, converted to a floating forward staging base and commissioned this year, have been heading south along the east coast of Africa, the outlet cites sources as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

US warships prowl the oceans of the world and nobody notices, yet Iran sends a few warships into the Atlantic and it's a big stink?

Jun 22 09:14

Foreign Ministers of Russia and Venezuela Hold Joint Press Conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Venezuelan counterpart Jorge Arreaza met in Moscow on 22 June to discuss bilateral relations and the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sputnik is live from Moscow, Russia, where Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Foreign Minister of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza are holding a joint press conference following their meeting on 22 June.

The diplomats have discussed global and regional issues as well as cooperation within the United Nations.

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed Moscow's support for Caracas during a consultation on the current situation in Venezuela, as the country has been mired in a political crisis since the then-head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust re-elected President Nicolas Maduro from power.

Jun 21 09:52

Mexico In Line To Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

After El Salvador made history by being the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender, other countries in Latin America are in hot pursuit with Mexico the latest, to show interest.

A senator of Mexico’s federal government, Eduardo Morat Hinojosa, revealed that he intends to submit a proposal in parliament to enable Mexico to shift to crypto.

In an open show of support for crypto, Hinojosa’s profile picture appeared to speak into a laser eyes microphone. He later wrote that he would promote and propose a legal framework for crypto coins in Mexico’s lower house.

There could be a few days left before legislation is moved in Mexico’s parliament because Hinojosa was not alone in leaning towards crypto adoption. Nuevo Leon senator Indira Kempis Martinez also swapped his profile to display laser eyes, an act that prompted Hinojasa to label her as a friend to the cause.

Jun 17 15:05

Iranian ships once believed to be headed toward Venezuela change course, U.S. officials say

The Iranian navy ships believed to be originally headed toward Venezuela changed course early this week and are now steaming north up the west coast of Africa, U.S. officials said.

The ships, which U.S. officials believe may have been preparing to conduct an arms transfer, have appeared to change course several times during their journey from Iran — and could do so again. But after the course change early this week, they are likely now headed either into the Mediterranean — potentially planning to sail off of Syria — or north toward Russia, according to a defense official briefed on the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject.

Jun 16 05:20

Covid-19 pandemic: Chile capital locks down despite mass vaccination

Chile has announced a lockdown in the capital Santiago amid rising Covid cases, despite nearly 60% of the country being fully vaccinated.

More than eight million residents living in and around the capital now must stay at home from Saturday.

On Thursday, Chile reported 7,716 new daily cases, with the vast majority of infections being among those who had not been fully vaccinated.

Intensive care beds are nearing full capacity, health officials warn.

Jose Luis Espinoza, the president of Chile's National Federation of Nursing Association, says his members are "on the verge of collapse", Reuters reports.

Jun 16 04:54

Left-Wing Wave Sweeps Latin America as Peru's Pedro Castillo Declares Victory (Ollie Vargas)

Jun 14 09:15

Litigation Without End: Chevron Battles On in 28-Year-old Ecuador Lawsuit

Chevron Corp. was fixated on roses.

The giant U.S. oil company objected last June when Washington proposed allowing duty-free rose imports from the world’s poorest countries, including Ecuador.

A decade earlier, an Ecuadorean court had blamed Chevron for oil pollution and told it to pay $9.5 billion in damages, one of the largest-ever penalties of its kind.

Chevron had since proved the verdict fraudulent, it told the U.S. Trade Representative. But Ecuador refused to render it unenforceable despite an order to do that from an international arbitration tribunal. Letting Ecuador save money on flowers after blatant “acts of defiance” would tell the world the U.S. rewards bad behavior, the oil company said.

Chevron lost the war of the roses. But it still hasn’t paid a cent of the Ecuadorean judgment, and says it won’t stop legally battling until it can ensure that it never has to.

Jun 11 08:58

El Salvador Plans To Use Electricity Generated From Volcanoes To Mine Bitcoin

The president of El Salvador announced Wednesday that the country's state-run geothermal energy utility would begin using power derived from volcanoes for Bitcoin mining.

The announcement on social media came just hours after the Central American nation's congress voted to make the cryptocurrency an acceptable legal tender.

"I've just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos," president Nayib Bukele tweeted. "This is going to evolve fast!"

Bitcoin mining has taken a lot of heat for being harmful to the environment, since it requires massive amounts of electricity to power the computers that generate the invisible currency.

Jun 11 08:45

Iran Issues Video Showing Missile-Laden Warships Steaming Across Atlantic For 1st Time

US officials this week have been calling on Iran to immediately halt and turn around two of its warships believed bound for Venezuela. A trade and defense relationship between Tehran and Caracas has grown especially under the prior Trump administration sanctions on both countries. This has in the past year included Iranian fuel tankers engaged in sanctions-busting by delivering badly needed gasoline to Venezuela (Venezuela has abundant crude but derelict refineries for meeting domestic fuel needs).

Two Iranian warships, the Sahand and Makran recently rounded the tip of Africa for the first time, which is considered the farthest west that Iranian warships have ever gone. For the past week the US Navy is said to be tracking their movements, but on Thursday Iranian state media released footage of the ships as they traverse the Atlantic Ocean, in a direct "message" to Washington that they remain undeterred.

Jun 10 08:22

Rural Teacher Pedro Castillo Poised to Write a New Chapter in Peru’s History

With his wide-brimmed peasant hat and oversized teacher’s pencil held high, Peru’s Pedro Castillo has been traveling the country exhorting voters to get behind a call that has been particularly urgent during this devastating pandemic: “No más pobres en un país rico” – No more poor people in a rich country. In a cliffhanger of an election with a huge urban-rural and class divide, it appears that the rural teacher, farmer and union leader is about to make history by defeating–by less than one percent–powerful far-right candidate Keiko Fujimori, scion of the country’s political “Fujimori dynasty.”

Jun 09 10:06

Socialist Candidate Who Vows To Nationalize Mineral Resources Pulls Ahead In Peru Presidential Election

In a continuing trend in Latin American politics of Left-wing political movements on the ascendancy which has seen successful attempts to roll back free market friendly policies in favor of "starting from scratch" toward erecting more interventionist socialist states, the next political and electoral earthquake is set to hit Peru, where socialist candidate Pedro Castillo is maintaining a narrow lead over right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori as votes are still being counted and increasingly contested from Sunday's run-off election.

As of early Tuesday it's still being deemed "too close to call", but with Castillo pulling away Fujimori is now alleging election "irregularities". Son of peasant famers and an outspoken union leader, Castillo has "vowed to nationalize Peru's vast mineral resources, to expel foreigners who commit crimes in the country, and to move towards reinstating the death penalty," according to one profile.

Jun 09 09:42

Colombian president vows police ‘modernization’ amid global censure of brutal tactics

The Colombian government has announced plans to “modernize” its police force in the face of persisting criticism of its brutal tactics against protesters, highlighted again during the recent anti-state rallies.

President Ivan Duque declared on Sunday that he had ordered the establishment of "a decree that will modernize the structure of the national police, especially to strengthen the policy... on human rights."

The announcement, however, came as an umbrella national strike committee, made up of unions, student groups and other civil society organizations, suspended negotiations with Bogota officials -- aimed at reaching a deal to end protest rallies -- since the government has so far refused to sign a pre-agreement reached late last month.

Jun 09 06:29

El Salvador Passes Bitcoin Law

The Latin American nation has passed the bill for its Bitcoin Law after a session in congress earlier today, shortly before 6AM UTC. According to a tweet by President Nayib Bukele, the law was backed by 62 out of 84 seats in the congress, making it a supermajority vote.

The new law assigns Bitcoin as legal tender within El Salvador’s economic jurisdiction. Bukele said that it would “[go] into effect immediately,” with the El Salvadorian government providing 90 days for the technological infrastructure to be built and implemented.

“The purpose of this law is to regulate Bitcoin as unrestricted legal tender with liberating power, unlimited in any transaction, and to any title that public or private natural or legal persons require carrying out,” the document states.

Jun 09 06:19

"SHOT HEARD AROUND THE WORLD" - EL SALVADOR PRESIDENT PUSHES BILL TO ADOPT BITCOIN AS LEGAL TENDER

In a pre-recorded video, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele made a somewhat shocking announcement in the final hours of the Bitcoin 2021 conference in Miami on Saturday afternoon.

Jun 05 04:10

HOW USAID CREATED NICARAGUA’S ANTI-SANDINISTA MEDIA APPARATUS, NOW UNDER MONEY LAUNDERING INVESTIGATION

SOURCE: THE GRAYZONE
With tens of millions of dollars over years of work, CIA front USAID helped create and train Nicaragua’s anti-Sandinista opposition. At the center of its operations is the elite Chamorro Foundation, which stands accused of money laundering.

The US government has spent years cultivating a ring of right-wing media outlets in Nicaragua that played a central role in a violent 2018 coup attempt. This network is now being investigated by the Nicaraguan government on allegations of money laundering.

These publications are an integral part of a political opposition that Washington has carefully managed, trained, and funded with millions of dollars over the past decade. While relentlessly accusing Nicaragua’s leftist government of corruption, they have been suspiciously obscure with their own finances and record-keeping.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to love the stench of the hipocrisy here.

Jun 04 10:06

Panama temporarily closes its borders with Colombia

The Government of Panama announced the closure of its land, sea and river borders with Colombia.

"The National Government has determined to temporarily suspend the entry into the national territory, by land, sea and river, of any person coming from the border with the Republic of Colombia, as of May 20, 2021," says a statement from the ministry of Foreign Relations of Panama published Wednesday night.

The measure is a response to Colombia's decision to open land, river and sea crossings along all its borders.

The Colombian government reopened from zero hours on Wednesday its borders with Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, closed 14 months ago to prevent the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, which at that time was just beginning in the country.

Jun 03 06:58

New Investigation Reveals Role of Israeli Operatives in Colombia’s “Political Genocide”

On April 6, 1984, a group of men dressed in police uniforms arrived at the home of Milcíades Contento in the town of Viotá, Colombia. Contento was a peasant, communist and member of the Patriotic Union (UP), a newly-formed experimental political party born out of the 1985 peace negotiations between the conservative President Belansio Betancourt and the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The men seized Contento, tied him up and dragged him away. The next day, his corpse was found in a nearby village.

Jun 01 12:49

Drug cartels hunting down and killing cops — in front of their families — on their days off

Mexico’s Jalisco cartel is hunting down law enforcement officers and killing them in their homes, on their days off, in front of their families, according to reports.

The drug gangs have systematically tracked down members of the elite Tactical Group by using personal information extracted from a team of its officers recently captured and tortured in the state of Guanajuato.

The cartel declared war on law enforcement in May, despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s plans to avoid bloodshed in dealing with the crime syndicates.

“If you want war, you’ll get a war,” read a banner that was hung from a building in Guanajuato. “We have already shown that we know where you are. We are coming for all of you.”

The banner also warned that for every one of its members arrested, two Tactical Group police officers will be executed “wherever they are.”

Jun 01 08:13

US Warns Venezuela Against Welcoming Persian Warships in Venezuela

It may seem strange with the US parking warships off the Iranian coast as a matter of course, but US national security officials are watching with serious concern as a pair of Iranian warships have neared the African coast, sparking speculation that they conceivably might wind up in the Western Hemisphere.

The two ships – a frigate and an old oil tanker that was converted to a staging base, are still off Africa’s east coast. The supposition of them going south is that they’ll eventually loop around Africa and then maybe cross the Atlantic. From there, it’s possible they’d show up in Venezuela.

This leads to intense US monitoring of the two otherwise insignificant ships, and a formal warning to Venezuela that they’d better not welcome the Iranian ships that are currently nowhere near Venezuela, if at some point they come by.

Jun 01 06:55

Mexican Cartels Respond To AMLO's "Hugs, Not Bullets" By Hunting Down, Torturing, And Executing Cops At Their Homes

BY TYLER DURDEN
MONDAY, MAY 31, 2021 - 09:00 PM
After Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) attempted to combat cartels through peaceful means - namely his "hugs, not bullets" campaign to appease criminal organizations, the notoriously violent Jalisco cartel responded by kidnapping several members of an elite police force in the state of Guanajuato, torturing them to obtain the names and addresses of other cops, and is now hunting them down and killing them at their own homes, "on their days off, in front of their families," according to the Associated Press.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Unfortunately, what Obrador will not do, is break the financial backs of the cartels, by legalizing every drug upon which they depend to make their profit, and make them available through legal distribution units.

Yes, I do know that some poor souls will get horrifically hooked on some of that product; but is that really going to be worse than the situation going on in Mexico at this time?!?

I remember, many years ago, going down to the Mexican border for day trips; I would not go to ANY place in Mexico right now, because of the blatant, in- your -face, violence occuring at the moment, with no end in sight.

Jun 01 06:47

Iran Warns Against "Miscalculations" As US Military Monitors Pair Of Venezuela-Bound Warships

In a seeming repeat of the Trump admin attempt to impose a full naval blockade on Venezuela to prevent fuel and oil imports and exports, especially involving Iranian tankers, the US military is said to be actively monitoring two Iranian naval vessels which are believed headed toward Venezuela.

Washington has reportedly warned the Maduro government against receiving the warships, which likely have elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force members aboard. The two "rogue states" (as the US sees them) have become increasingly close especially under the prior four Trump years as they cooperated in circumventing US sanctions, and have grown militarily more cooperative.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that Team Biden, is not planning something unalterably idiotic here; the problem, is that just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing a US administration could possibly do, is utterly no guarantee that it won't do it.

May 29 09:16

Colombians “Save the Evidence” as They Denounce Social Media Censorship of Protests

By Isabella Barroso

Colombian protesters have denounced social media platforms’ censorship of their posts about the country’s “paro nacional” (“national strike”)—ongoing anti-government demonstrations. This includes internet disruption in Cali, one of the major sites of the protests. To strike back at this censorship, a number of initiatives have emerged that aim to preserve the memory of this historic moment; this is crucial as it guarantees the independence of the historical content from platforms’ servers and content moderation policies.

May 28 10:08

After Mexico City introduced ivermectin plan, COVID hospitalizations and deaths disappeared

A city-wide initiative in Mexico’s bustling capital to prescribe ivermectin to COVID-19 positive patients has resulted in a 52–76 percent reduction in hospitalizations, according to research by the Mexican Digital Agency for Public Innovation (DAPI), Mexico’s Ministry of Health, and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

Concerned about hospital capacity in the summer of 2020, the Mexican government devised an aggressive testing regime, ramping up from 3,000 tests per day in June to around 24,000 antigen tests every day by that November, according to TrialSiteNews. Mexico City Ministry of Health head Oliva López later announced that doctors will give ivermectin and azithromycin to treat COVID-19.

“The Ministry of Health has identified that there is enough evidence to use in people positive for SARS-CoV-2, even without symptoms, some drugs such as ivermectin and azithromycin,” López confirmed in a press conference.

May 28 06:39

Mexican election candidate SHOT DEAD shortly after going LIVE on Facebook to ask locals to join her at rally

A local elections candidate in Mexico has been gunned down in the middle of a campaign event and just after going live on Facebook, becoming the latest victim in a string of murders of politicians ahead of the June vote.
Electoral candidate Alma Barragán was shot to death on Tuesday afternoon in the Mexican town of Moroleón in the central state of Guanajuato as she was taking part in a campaign event. According to local media, a group of armed men arrived at the spot where Barragán was holding a rally and opened fire. Two others have been reported injured.

Shortly before the attack Barragán had gone live on her Facebook page telling the audience where she was and inviting local residents to join her: “Hello, how are you? I am here in La Manguita with Pedro Guzmán. If you want to accompany me, come and listen to my proposals and socialize. Thank you very much, I am waiting for you here.”

May 27 03:54

Mexico police chief is ambushed and shot dead in 'cowardly' attack just two weeks after surviving assassination attempt by El Chapo's Sinaloa Cartel

  • Joel Ernesto Soto, state police director in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, was assassinated Monday
  • The suspects fired more than 200 shots at Soto's vehicle, which veered off a highway in the municipality of La Angostura
  • Soto survived a May 6 assassination attempt when alleged Sinaloa Cartel gunmen opened attack a police convoy in Mazatlán
  • Authorities have not made any arrests in connection to Soto's murder as of Tuesday

The director of the state police in the cartel-plagued northern Mexico state of Sinaloa was killed during an ambush.

Joel Ernesto Soto was traveling on a road that connects the cities of Los Mochis and Culiacán when gunmen unleashed an attack Monday morning, forcing the official to drive off the road in the municipality of La Angostura.

May 24 09:37

Mass grave filled with dead women found in ex-cop’s backyard

A mass grave filled with dozens of female corpses — believed to be victims of a violent sex and murder ring — was found in an ex-cop’s backyard in El Salvador, reports said Friday.

Police made the grisly discovery this week while investigating former police officer Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez for the double homicide of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter — a crime the ex-cop has apparently admitted to, the Daily Beast reported.

When cops went into Chavez’s backyard in Chalchuapa, about 50 miles from the capital San Salvador, they noticed the ground appeared to be uneven and soft.

Investigators soon discovered eight pits filled with what they believe could be at least a dozen bodies each, the outlet reported.

May 24 08:33

CHILE:What Happens When the Government Becomes Your Worst Enemy :In the U.S we need to defend our Second Amendment rights.

Chile has struggled to become a thriving democracy. Once a dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, the country has gone through considerable turmoil since his death. Capitalism has not treated everyone fairly in this country, even though Pinochet was once lauded for the dynamic free-market economy he created, once cited as the “model for the developing world.”

By no means has Chile been the only country which has struggled to become a free-market democracy. Russia is still struggling, decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Iraq really hasn’t accepted democracy as a political model, even after enormous amounts of investment by the US government. Other countries have struggled as well, but not with the same results.

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