Americas

Americas
7:00 am
Fri September 6, 2013

How Venezuela's Maduro Mess Keeps Getting Worse

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (right) next to an image of the late Hugo Chavez.
Credit aim.org

I’m becoming more certain that leftist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro keeps a Ouija board on his desk at Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

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Americas
7:00 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Why Jamaica's Falling Crime Rate Can't Last Without Rising Employment

Kingston gang members being rounded up by Jamaican police.
Credit newxcorp.com

In May of 2010, the streets of Kingston, Jamaica erupted in fierce gun battles between security forces and followers of drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke. It took most of us in the international media by surprise -- and many of us were also at a loss to explain what had sparked such an epic showdown, which would leave more than 70 people dead.

To help me understand the upheaval, which revolved around efforts to extradite Coke to the United States, I turned to respected Jamaican-American legal scholar David Rowe.

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Americas
4:04 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Mexico Summons U.S. Ambassador, Seeking Answers To Spying Claims

New reports allege that the NSA spied on Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, seen here walking with President Barack Obama in June, when he was a candidate for office. Mexico and Brazil have demanded a response to charges of U.S. spying on their internal affairs.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:14 pm

Allegations that U.S. agents spied on Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was a candidate during last year's campaign have led Mexico to summon U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and demanded "a thorough investigation."

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Americas
4:00 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Pena Nieto Encourages Mexicans To Embrace Change

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto presents his first annual report to the nation during a ceremony before the Congress at his presidential residence in Mexico City on Monday.
Omar Torres AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:23 pm

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto says his nation is undergoing a major change — one his country should not fear. Pena Nieto gave an upbeat assessment of his nine-month-old administration in his first State of the Union address on Monday.

Despite his positive review of Mexico's condition, the new president is dealing with chaotic protests in the capital, intractable levels of violence and a less favorable economic outlook than predicted.

He campaigned on the promise of creating a modern and prosperous Mexico. And according to his appraisal, he's done just that.

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Americas
3:48 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Tlacoyos: A Mexican Grilled Snack That Tempted The Conquistadors

Tlacoyos can be filled with beans, potatoes, mushrooms or cheese and are often topped with grilled cactus, onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Jasmine Garsd for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 2:10 pm

For the last in a summer series of grilled food from around the world, we head to Mexico, where a small doughy treat is found everywhere from street corner grills to high-end restaurants. It's called a tlacoyo (pronounced tla-COY-yo) and although it may sound novel, it's an ancient food that's older than Hernan Cortes.

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Americas
9:54 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Ecuador To World: Pay Up To Save The Rainforest. World To Ecuador: Meh.

An aerial view of the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador's northeastern jungle.
Dolores Ochoa AP

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 7:04 pm

The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.

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Americas
7:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Why We Can't Blame Cuba For Our Doctor Shortages

Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha (right) welcomes Cuban doctors in the capital Brasília.
Credit Cadenagramonte

Millions of angry Brazilians have taken to the streets this summer to demonstrate against their government and political class. And right now we’re seeing a vivid example of why: the controversy over Brazil’s recruitment of 4,000 Cuban doctors to work in its remote regions.

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Americas
12:11 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

In Colombia, Starbucks To Take On Juan Valdez

Drew Angerer AP

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:07 pm

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia.

The country is known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years. Starbucks has cafes in 50 countries. And now, it's coming to perhaps the country most associated with coffee.

Howard Schultz, the company's chief executive, announced that the first shop will open in Bogota in 2014, followed by 50 more cafes and in other cities over five years.

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Americas
7:23 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Why The Alarm Is Going Off About Students Learning English As A Second Language

Full disclosure: My wife is a bilingual teacher and my children grew up speaking English and Spanish. But you don’t need those factors in your life to have a vested interest in how well the school program commonly known as ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages – is faring in this country, state and community.

Latinos are now the largest minority in the US. Florida’s population growth today is driven largely by Latinos. And Latinos make up almost two-thirds of Miami-Dade County’s residents.

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Americas
7:24 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Tons Of Molten Glass Go Into Making Mirror For Giant Telescope

An artist's concept of the completed Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
Giant Magellan Telescope

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 4:08 pm

Technicians on Saturday are set to cast 20 tons of glass for the third of seven ultra-precise primary mirrors that will make up the 72-foot Giant Magellan Telescope, scheduled for completion in northern Chile's arid Atacama Desert in 2020.

The parabolic mirror will be cast at the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The molten borosilicate, made by the Ohara Corporation, will be spun cast at 2140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Economics
4:24 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

India And Other BRIC Economies Now Facing Headwinds

The Indian rupee has fallen nearly 16 percent against the dollar since May. The drop comes amid a slowdown in the country's economy. India's troubles are mirrored in other emerging economies that drove global growth for the past decade.
Zheng Huansong Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 5:21 pm

High food prices, a currency in free fall, battered investors and slowing growth: India is facing a host of problems that have taken away the sheen from an economy that's had a decade of mostly stron

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Americas
7:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Biographer Shoer Roth On 'The Spiritual Father' Of Miami’s Cuban Exiles

Daniel Shoer Roth (right) with Alicia Castroverde Aixala of the Bacardi Family Foundation (left) and the Rev. Juan Rumin Dominguez, current rector of the Our Lady of Charity shrine, with a photo of Román behind them.
Credit Catholic Archdiocese of Miami

A month before he died last year at the age of 83, Augustín Román was honored by the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews for his interfaith work as a Roman Catholic bishop. So the fact that a Jewish author will pen Román’s authorized biography  isn’t just fitting -- it is itself a reassuringly Miami narrative.

During the final months of his life, Román designated El Nuevo Herald religion writer Daniel Shoer Roth, a Venezuelan Jew, to tell his life story.

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Americas
10:48 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Samsung Under Fire For Alleged Brazil Labor Violations

A man holds up a Samsung S4 smartphone against a video screen. Samsung is accused of labor violations in Brazil, home to its largest manufacturing operation.
Dado Ruvic Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:15 am

We told you recently about new allegations of violations at three Chinese factories that make Apple's popular iPhones and iPads. Now, we have more allegations of labor violations – this time against Apple's main rival, Samsung, and its operations in Brazil.

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Americas
7:51 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Can Quinoa Farming Go Global Without Leaving Andeans Behind?

A man cleans quinoa grain in Pacoma, Bolivia.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:53 pm

I ate quinoa-and-turkey chili in a cafeteria today, which, when you think about it, is pretty amazing. Rarely does an entire culture, almost overnight, adopt an entirely new food.

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Americas
8:40 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Top Foreign Real Estate Buyers In Miami Are Brazilians

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 9:16 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen, in Miami. To gauge the impact of Brazilians here, you only need to go downtown and look up.

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINERY)

ALLEN: Just a few years after the housing downturn, in Miami, once again, cranes and construction crews are hard at work building high-rise condominiums. Thousands of units are going up all over town, and many are being built for Brazilians.

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