Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome.
Still, Pope Francis's visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation's main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.
A helicopter carries VIPs to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2010. Politicians taking expensive helicopters and government planes have generated controversy in Brazil.
Credit Helmut Reuter / Landov
A helicopter is refueled at an airfield in Sao Paulo in 2009. The wealthy rely on helicopters in Brazil to avoid the gridlocked traffic. Politicians who frequently use helicopters, even for short commutes, are now coming under criticism.
Unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often takes the subway to work, some prominent politicians in Brazil have a far more impressive way of getting around: private helicopters and government planes.
Perhaps the most over-the-top example of the trend is that of Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral. A recent magazine expose showed that his commute to work is only about 6 miles.
Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.
In mythology, opening Pandora's Box released evil into the world. But there's no need to panic. This new family of virus lives underwater and doesn't pose a major threat to human health.
"This is not going to cause any kind of widespread and acute illness or epidemic or anything," says Eugene Koonin, an evolutionary biologist at the National Institutes of Health who specializes in viruses.
Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 11:57 am
The crew of a North Korean ship carrying a clandestine cargo of Cold War-era weapons from Cuba has been charged with endangering public security by Panamanian authorities, who seized the vessel earlier this week.
The North Korean vessel en route from Cuba was seized as it attempted to transit the Panama Canal.
A statement from Cuba's foreign ministry says weapons that Panama seized in a North Korean ship were mid-20th Century models that Cuba was sending to North Korea for repair, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters.
Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 12:42 pm
Latin American cartels are fueled by U.S. drug demand, so their illegal retail networks often stretch throughout America. Mexico's arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales was a reminder that the connections between drug traffickers and the U.S. are not just commercial — they're also personal.
When Alfredo Corchado went to cover Mexico for TheDallas Morning News, he was determined not to focus on drugs and crime but rather to cover issues critical to the country's future — immigration, education and the economy.
Like a lot of idealistic U.S. presidents, Barack Obama took office in 2009 hoping to establish better dialogue with communist Cuba. Remember his plan to “pursue direct diplomacy” with Havana? Then he quickly discovered what most U.S. presidents find out:
First, communist Cuba really doesn’t want improved dialogue with Washington, since conflict with the U.S. offers more political payoff on the island. Hence Cuban leader Raúl Castro’s 2009 Christmas gift to Obama: the arrest of U.S. aid subcontractor Alan Gross on dubious espionage charges.
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents poured out onto the streets across much of Egypt, launching an all-out push to force him from office on the first anniversary of his inauguration.
Credit Felipe Dana / AP
Protesters gather near a line of security blocking a road that leads to Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday. Anti-government protesters marched near the soccer stadium before a major international match, venting their anger about the billions of dollars the government is spending on major sporting events rather than on public services.
Credit Oren Ziv / AFP/Getty Images
Turks protest Saturday at Taksim Square in Istanbul against the government. Demonstrations initially sparked by a police action against a local conservation battle to save Istanbul's Gezi Park snowballed into nationwide demonstrations against the Islamic-rooted government, leaving four dead and nearly 8,000 injured.
Florida Governor Rick Scott on Thursday signed a “bong ban” bill that outlaws the sale of pipes and other marijuana-smoking paraphernalia.
We’re used to Scott being out of step with his state: in this case, a recent poll shows 70 percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana legalization. And with his country: most Americans now back marijuana legalization. And maybe with his hemisphere: Latin American and Caribbean government representatives gathered this week primarily to urge the Obama Administration to consider making pot legal.
On Sunday nights this summer, Lifetime is hoping to draw audiences with a campy, soapy drama from Marc Cherry, the creative mind behind Desperate Housewives. It's called Devious Maids, and it looks nothing like anything else on television because it has five Latina stars. It's an unprecedented lineup for a prime-time drama.