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Thursday:  July 31, 2014

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus

 

(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)

LINKS TO OTHER STORIES

                                

Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler

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Entries in chile (6)

Monday
Apr092012

Mr. Gay World Takes Africa by Storm as Controversy Continues on the Continent (NEWS) 

(PHOTO: A billboard advertises the Mr. Gay World finals at South Africa's Gold Reef City, Johannesburg, on Sunday/MABUTI KALI)(HN, April 9, 2012) - A 32-year-old New Zealand manager for a chain of stationery stores, won the title of Mr. Gay World during the final competition that ended late Sunday at the Gold Reef City resort in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The grand finale was hosted by local stars Soli Philander and Cathy Specific, who were joined onstage by the group African Umoja, and international performers such as Ukraine's top pop star, Kamaliya and guest artist Baby M from Japan, as well as local stars Terrence Bridgett and Alexander Steyn.

Andreas Derleth, 32, a German man who lives in New Zealand won the competition which included 24 other delegates from all over the world including:  Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the United States. Only three of them are from Africa and it's also the first time black Africans took part.

Founded in 2008, the Mr. Gay World competition was created as`a positive environment for gay men to share their stories. The winner would not only have the inner beauty of confidence, self-assurance, charisma and natural leadership abilities, but would also take care of his physical beauty.'

Prizes included $25,000 in travel vouchers to enable the winner to spread his message around the world.

Gay rights have been under pressure in many parts of the globe recently - Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East - but primarily in African nations where gay rights activists have been threatened and killed and where dozens of countries have passed laws banning homosexuality.  

Of particular concern in recent years have been attacks on lesbians sometimes called "corrective rapes."

(PHOTO: Lexus sponsors the Mr. Gay World contest, Johannesburg, SA/Mr. Gay World) Prominent African politicians ridicule gays and minor politicians grab headlines by proposing even tougher anti-gay laws.

In nations such as Uganda, Zimbabwe  and Ethiopia court battles and street clashes have defined the movement with strong feelings on both sides as the continent modernizes.

Therefore, many of the African participants faced the most intense discrimination and prejudice, though the location of the event took place in South Africa - the only country on the continent where gay marriages are allowed.

The bill of rights adopted after apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994 explicitly bans `discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation'. Same-sex couples can marry and adopt children in South Africa.

Originally, Africa was to be represented by South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, as a lack of sponsorship and funding prevented delegates from Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya from taking part.

But relentless government pressure on the Zimbabwean delegate, Taurai Zhanje, forced him to withdraw from the competition fearing the publicity was making life difficult for his mother. 

Namibia's representative, Wendelinus Hamutenya, was attacked in early December and landed in hospital but his family accompanied him to the airport for a warm send-off when he left for the competition.  "Bring the trophy home,"  Hamutenya's mother said to him.

Though he lost, a disappointed Hamutenya said he would nonetheless return to Namibia to fight "for gay rights and human rights."

Since becoming Mr. Gay Namibia, Hamutenya has lobbied for a repeal of his country’s anti-sodomy law. And he says, politicians have been receptive to his arguments.

The Ethiopian delegate, Robel Hailu, is a student in South Africa and after his candidacy was announced on Ethiopian radio a media storm broke out and his father cut off all communications.

(PHOTO: Andreas Derleth beat out 24 other contestants to be crowned Mr. Gay World/Mr. Gay World) It wasn't just African gays who faced difficulties this year however. The Chinese contestant was unable to come to Johannesburg because of anti-gay pressure there, organizers said. 

Mr. Gay World includes an essay test on the history of the gay rights movement. But the swim suit competition counts for more, according to the judges’ handbook. The seven judges from around the world include journalists and an actor.

South Africans Charl van den Berg and Francois Nel were Mr. Gay World in 2010 and 2011 respectively, bringing home the honor of winning a world event twice in a row.

"We look for the best man, whether he’s white or black or any other color," said Tore Aasheim, one of the Mr. Gay World organizers, adding he hoped more contestants from Africa would participate in future contests.

---HUMNEWS

Sunday
Mar252012

No Nukes? Or More Nukes? As the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit Begins (REPORT)  

(PHOTO: Activists attend a rally opposing nuclear power in Seoul March 19, 2012/ChinaDaily)(HN, 3/25/2012) - World leaders including US President Barack Obama Monday will launch the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit a meeting on the threat from nuclear-armed terrorists, but the atomic ambitions of North Korea and Iran are set to feature heavily.

Leaders or senior officials from 53 nations will attend the Nuclear Security Summit, with Interpol, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Union and the UN also taking part.

Participating countries, which also gathered at the 1st Washington Nuclear Security Summit in 2010 include:  South Korea, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, Ukraine, USA and Vietnam.

Though not at the summit, next -door, North Korea’s upcoming rocket launch has overshadowed the run-up to the two-day meeting in Seoul, which seeks agreement on locking down fissile material that could be used to build thousands of terrorist bombs.

The nuclear-armed North says its rocket will merely put a peaceful satellite into orbit. The United States and others believe next month’s launch will test a long-range missile which could one day deliver an atomic warhead.

Gary Samore, coordinator for arms control at the US National Security Council, warned that North Korea would face a “strong response” from Washington and its allies if it goes ahead with the launch. “We will be working with other countries, when President Obama is in Seoul, to try to discourage North Korea from going ahead with the proposed satellite launch,” he told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Friday.

Obama will hold talks on the launch plan and other issues with leaders of China, Russia and host South Korea during his visit.

The IAEA, while worried about nuclear proliferation by North Korea, also suspects that Iran is bent on making nuclear weapons. Iran says its uranium enrichment activities are peaceful.  Neither Iran nor North Korea are on the formal agenda in Seoul. (Source: Wikipedia)

   NPT Nuclear Weapon States (China, France, Russia, UK, US)
   Non-NPT Nuclear Weapon States (India, North Korea, Pakistan)
   Undeclared Nuclear Weapon States (Israel)
   States suspected of having nuclear weapon programs (Iran, Syria)
   NATO weapons sharing weapons recipients
   States formerly possessing nuclear weapons

 

But leaders of five nations involved in stalled nuclear negotiations with the North — the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan — will all be present, offering an opportunity for consultations.

 Pyongyang sees the summit as a chance for Washington and Seoul to gang up on it. Any South Korean move to address the North’s nuclear program at the summit would be seen as a "declaration of war", it said.  

Seoul says the formal event is not about nations but “non-state actors” such as al-Qaeda, Nigeria's Boko-Haram terrorist group, and others groups which it fears could lay their hands on loose nukes as proliferation continues.

(via PressTV)

Obama in a 2009 speech described nuclear terrorism as “the most immediate and extreme threat to global security”, and announced a drive to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide within four years, a process which led to the first nuclear security summit in Washington in April 2010.

Since then, according to a joint report by the Washington-based Arms Control Association (ACA) and the Partnership for Global Security (PGS), which campaign against nuclear proliferation, acknowledged major progress since then.

Former Soviet republic Kazakhstan secured over 13 tons of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium, while Chile eliminated its entire HEU stockpile, the report said.

The United States and Russia signed a protocol under which each will dispose of 34 tons of plutonium — enough for 17,000 nuclear weapons.

Russia ended plutonium production. Ukraine eliminated two-thirds of its HEU and was expected to dispose of the rest by the Seoul summit.

But experts say much more must be done to end an apocalyptic threat.

“The commitments on the books will not get the job done,” said Michelle Cann of PGS, the report co-author.  “To prevent nuclear terrorism in the years ahead, the global nuclear security system must grow and adapt to new threats,” she said.

“There is a danger that early successes of the summit process will lead to complacency.”

The ACA says there have been 16 confirmed cases of unauthorized possession of HEU or plutonium documented by the IAEA since 1993, mainly in the former Soviet Union.   Alexandra Toma of the Connect US Fund, which promotes nuclear non-proliferation, said a sophisticated extremist group could plausibly take advantage of such lapses.

“It takes only 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of highly enriched uranium to make a crude nuclear bomb” the size of a grapefruit, she told a Seoul forum Thursday.

The summit agenda has been expanded to cover the securing of radioactive material, freely available from hospitals and other sources, which Stanford University expert Siegfried Hecker told the forum Thursday would be the most likely nuclear threat as a “dirty bomb... a weapon of mass disruption” since radiation sources were everywhere.

The meeting will also discuss the link between nuclear security and nuclear safety after Japan’s March 2011 Fukushima disaster.   Experts say the accident showed terrorists could create the same conditions as a tsunami did, by damaging cooling systems and cutting off power.

 -- HUMNEWS. An abbreviated version of this article originally appeared in The Arab Times

RELATED:  Fidel Castro on defense of Iran’s right to nuclear power

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RELATED:  Activists oppose nuclear summit in Seoul

Friday
Jan132012

THE HUM - WORLD HEADLINES - JANUARY 13/14, 2012

(PHOTO: Poppy field in Afghanistan/UN NEWS CENTRE)Afghanistan 

UN-backed survey shows sharp rise in opium production and prices

Albania 

Energy shortages mean a difficult winter for Albanians

Albania Condemns Call for Blockade of Serbia

Albania to Sell Nine Obsolete Chinese-Made Military Aircraft

World Bank will provide a fund worth USD 40 mln to the Albanian government

Tirana Airport – an unlikely East European success story

Algeria 

Algeria chairs G-77, vows group "will be heard" in 2012 

Algeria’s Leader Tells Turkey to Stop Making Political Capital Out of Massacre History

Desertec Nation Algeria to Host Huge Solar Trade Fair in Algerica

Angola 

Over 200 Tried for Helping Illegal Immigration

Minister admits development of culture industry

Media organs must promote morally uplifting songs

(PHOTO: Runner Ray Miller recently returned fr/Antarctica, where he ran in the Antarctica Ice Marathon. For Miller, it completed a goal of running a marathon on every continent/Post Crescent)

American Samoa 

American Samoa lawmaker says 14 too young for marriage

American Samoa census puts population at 55,500

Antarctica 

Runner braves Antarctica during trek across globe

Beleaguered Antarctica Mission Cut Short

Mawson commemoration in Antarctica

Helen Skelton’s a Blue Peter World Beater

Warming helps albatross speed - for now

Antigua & Barbuda 

Antigua Power Plant - No Straight Answers

Policy on agriculture complete

Customs Officers Worried About Overtime

Argentina 

Argentina and IMF moving closer, admit holding regular bilateral contact

Argentina faces a continuous drought

Argentina Heat Stresses Summer Crops

Armenia 

OSCE chair concerned about Armenian-Azerbaijani contact line

Armenia ranked 39th in annual Index of Economic Freedom

Armenian Urban Development Minister to lead ruling coalition party headquarters - newspaper

Iran, Armenians and Armenia‎ (Perspective)

Australia 

Three whaling activists transferred to customs boat

New global seed bank where deposits are guaranteed to grow

Australian man sentenced to lashings in Saudi Arabia for blasphemy conviction returns home

Australia fumes over smoking kangaroos

Dwarf left wheelchair-bound after being dropped on night out celebrating his birthday

Miranda Kerr named new Qantas ambassador

Australia ranked highest on nuclear security (Press release)

Austria 

(PHOTO: Youth Olympics Opening Ceremony firworks at the Bergisel Stadium in Innsbruck/Tom Degun)Innsbruck 2012 winter Youth Olympic Games get off the ground

Aruba 

Missing American teen Natalee Holloway declared legally dead

Azerbaijan 

Turkish FM to visit Azerbaijan to attend a trilateral meeting of Azerbaijani, Iranian and Turkish ministers 

Azerbaijani FM says African challenges should be addressed diplomatically

Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector provided 52.5% of budget tax revenue in 2011

(PHOTO: Mehriban Aliyeva is the First Lady of Azerbaijan) First lady of AZ to open exhibition of Azerbaijani art and culture in Davos

Bahamas 

Marathon Bahamas ready for the off

The Bahamas to launch wage and productivity survey with IDB support

New Fast Ferry Links Grand Bahama Island & Ft. Lauderdale, US

Bahrain 

Bahrain tries police for beating detainees to death

Bahrain: Rights Activist Attacked says Human Rights Watch

Major road projects planned in Bahrain

Ashrafs to build $10.6m tower 

Bangladesh 

(PHOTO: Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari confers the honorary Doctor of Literature on Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Agartala on Thursday. Also seen in the picture is HRD Minister Kapil Sibal./THE HINDU) Connectivity will generate economic vibrancy: Hasina

India, Bangladesh to cooperate in power sector

Biswa Ijtema begins, 6 devotees die

Barbados 

300 km natural gas line to Barbados coming

Belarus 

Belarusian Presidential Candidate Gets Three Years In 'Closed Regime'

Belarus Ranks 26th from End in Economic Freedom Rating

Have Belarusians Always Used the Cyrillic Alphabet?

World Ice Hockey Championship as leverage over Belarusian regime (Perspective)

Belgium 

Agreement reached in Belgium on Google Street View privacy concerns

Belgium Grocery Chain Food Lion to Cut 5,000 Jobs in U.S., EU

Belgian minister wants anti-gay Primate replaced

Belize 

Belize Maintenance Workers Rage Against City Hall

Belize's Minister of Education at a Georgia US college on BC Monday

PM's Wife Donates Wheelchairs

Belizean Studies Focus On Culture

Benin 

IMF co-hosts civil service reform conference in Benin

(PHOTO: Congolese rapper Baloji put behind him the life of an illegal migrant who survived for years through petty crime/TELEGRAPH)Water sectors of Benin and the Netherlands join forces

Bermuda 

Bermuda Marathon this weekend

Bermuda registers 54 new insurance companies in 2011

Soldiers are in line to get new uniforms

'Leaving Bermuda saved my life' (Perspective)

Bhutan 

Bird Flu back in Bhutan

Consumer protection bill passed

A new village takes shape in the woods after water source dries up

Bolivia 

Bolivia's Morales set for another showdown

Bolivian Parliament to Prioritize 70 Bills from Social Summit

Urban Growth Contaminating Lake Titicaca

McDonald’s Left Bolivia in 2002; Fast Food Still Abundant on City Streets

Bosnia-Herzegovinia 

Illegal weapons worry BH law enforcement

Botswana 

Botswana Diamonds beefs up efforts to find new deposits

Botswana bans South Africa imports of cloven animal products after new outbreak of foot and mouth disease

Prolonged blackouts in Botswana go unresolved

Alcohol consumers contribute positively to economy says official

Botswana metal head rock subculture on show in San Francisco, USA  

(PHOTO: The Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati votes for its President today/FILE) Brazil 

Brazilian orange juice in chemical scare

Brazilian security director for 2016 Olympics faces fraud charges

Heavy rain disrupts operations at Brazil's major iron ore miners

Floods, mudslides kill 39 in Brazil

Overtime pay for Brazil employees who answer work emails after shift

British Virgin Islands 

British Virgin Islands to grant Taiwan visa-free entry 

Brunei Darussalam 

Brunei Minister attends tourism meetings in Asia

Brunei hotels expect brisk business on Chinese New Year

Tainted ‘symbiotic partnership’ between Brunei regime and Shell (Perspective)

Bulgaria 

Bulgaria launches anti-mafia tribunal

Burundi 

Burundi opposition leader arrested in Tanzania 

Government officials cleared of embezzling debt repayment funds

Cameroon 

Teenage Mum Raped By Uncle Dares to Speak Out

Banana Production - Cameroon Targets 500,000 Tons Annually by 2013

(PHOTO: An Irrawaddy dolphin emerges from the Mekong River in Cambodia/ABC]Cambodia

Cambodian govt working to save Mekong dolphins

Canada

Canada PM to visit China in bid to secure higher oil sales

Billionaire jailed for failure to complete US-Canada Ambassador Bridge project

Conservatives to change civil marriage law

Cape Verde

Water Resources Group capital raising supports lead up to maiden contract

Cayman Islands

Mayo Clinic takes on Cayman’s overseas patient car

(PHOTO: Hydrothermal ‘black smoker’ vents near the Cayman Islands may offer new clues to the dispersal of deep sea organisms/NOAA)Caribbean yields deepest-ever ‘black smoker’ vents

Central African Republic

UN highlights "security vacuum" as northern clashes continue

Can you make a film about corruption in Africa and not be corrupted?

Chad

Work to begin on Chad rail network

Chile

Chile needs to boost hydroelectric output - govt

Syrah tops Wines of Chile Awards

Coma reclaims Dakar lead 

China

China's food prices increase as inflation drops in December

Beijing Reports Air Quality in Real Time

China vows to advance people-to-people links with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova

China to build "maritime highway"

(PHOTO: A Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing/SCMP)Chinese vice premier calls for advancing poverty alleviation, reconstruction

A New Approach to Solving Climate Change, Part 4: China

Beijing Apple store egged after iPhone delay

Hello Kitty themed restaurant opens in Beijing

China cannot stop buying Iranian oil (Perspective)

Christmas Island

Shipwreck a disaster that keeps on taking from Christmas Island

Cocos Islands

How TVShack blazed a trail for illegal downloaders

Colombia

Former Head of Colombian Army Denies Links to Paramilitaries

4 survive as Colombia plane make emergency landing

(PHOTO: The clove market in Comoros & other countries is on the rise/GK Nair) Comoros

Cloves market revives on upcountry buying

Congo

Baloji: the sorcerer of African rap

Congo (DRC)

Smugglers bleed DRC dry

Cook Islands

Cook Islands police confirm amount stolen in Aitutaki bank robbery

Costa Rica

Trade visit boosts Costa Rica ties with Germany

Costa Rica: Low Temperatures Cause Pineapples To Fruit Early

Costa Rica Measles And Rubella Free: First In The Americas

Costa Rica: Rolling Back of Speeding Fines Generates Frustration 

Croatia 

Zagreb-Belgrade flights to take off this summer

Cuba 

French Mayor Demands Release of Cuban Five 

Cyprus

Hundreds delayed at Larnaca airport after unannounced strike

`Supercomputer’ unveiled at Cyprus Institute

Group of experts continues meetings in Cyprus on natural gas issue

Postal services go online

Euronews secures DTT in Greece and Cyprus

(PHOTO: German Minister of Economic Cooperation Dirk Niebel talks with a worker during a visit Wednesday to the Valle Central Wind Project in Santa Ana, Costa Rica southwest of San José/TICO TIMES)Czech Republic

Czech Facebook campaign calls for Klaus to be renamed Havel

Denmark

Danish presidency seeks a greener, safer Europe

Kurdish TV in Denmark to Appeal ‘Terrorism’ Ruling

Half a million more join Denmark’s e-Boks digital mail service

Dominica

Dominica Social Security to invest in millionaire club resort in Barbados

IMF approves funds for Dominica

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Repatriates 1st Group Deported from U.S. in 2012, 132 Ex-Convicts

East Timor

East Timor to hold presidential elections in March

Ecuador

Ecuadorian Military Contingent to Travel to Haiti on Saturday

Egypt

Jimmy Carter disappointed with women's meager representation in Egypt's parliament

Carter: Egypt's Military Should Be 'Subservient' to Elected Officials

El Salvador

El Salvador to Declassify Reports from Commission on Truth 

Life in San Salvador (Video)

(PHOTO: On the streets of Malabo, Equatorial Guinea/SKYCRAPER CITY)Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea agrees to sell crude oil to Swaziland

Equatorial Guinea’s Malabo II, a metaphor of Africa’s rejuvenation (Perspective)

Eritrea

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Estonia

Ex-Estonian spy chief charged with piracy

Ethiopia

Africa’s largest dam to lift Ethiopia out of poverty

Wars At Home And Abroad

Falkland Islands

Falkland Islands dispute gets heated

William Hague warns against Falklands intimidation

Argentina says no change in Mercosur decision to bar Falklands’ flagged vessels

Chile ratifies its position and denies existence of a Malvinas blockade

Fiji

Fiji TV investigated over belated text poll win for Bainimarama

Fiji Attorney General says New Zealand media "obtuse"

(PHOTO: Indonesian Fitria Nahdi left a job working for an international company to start a career as a collector & maker of jewelry. She has shown off her collection around the world, in countries as diverse as Singapore, Algeria, Germany, France & Japan/JG Photos)France

France to Lose AAA Rating From S&P, Finance Minister Says

France wants independent probe into death of journalist in Syria

French Polynesia

Suspected Tahiti bank robber identified as known musician

Gambia

Gambian president-elect Jammeh to be sworn in

Gaza and West Bank

'Gaza hackers' target Israel fire service website

Controversial Makeover for Gaza’s Beachfront

Georgia

President: Georgia is a small country and must fight for its citizens

Germany

Forced marriage in Germany: Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo leading the list

Ghana

Ghana’s oil find to affect women negatively – Research

Women Still Sidelined Politically As 2012 Election Approaches (Perspective)

(PHOTO: Gangs of San Salvador/ALJAZEERA)Greece

Price hikes making Greeks put out their cigarettes

Guatemala

Guatemala Overwhelmed by Seizures of Drug Chemicals

Guatemala ratifies UN-backed treaty banning nuclear tests

Guinea-Bissau

Angola donates US$16.5 million to rehabilitate Guinea Bissau armed forces

Death of West African leader leaves nation in disarray (Perspective)

Guyana

Guyana government calls out US mining company

Haiti

Haitian Diaspora Tests Brazil's International Solidarity

Haiti to Host Music Festivals Network Africa-Caribbean-Pacific 

Red Cross movement helping empower affected Haitians

Honduras

Hugo Chávez: "We Need Honduras"

Iceland

Iceland placing “great emphasis” on mackerel peace deal 

Iceland Unemployment Rate At 7-month High

Danish unions in action against Icelandic-owned airline

Northern Lights tour in Iceland holds 80 percent sighting rate

(PHOTO: Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC's `Top Gear' program & the controversial 'muffins' banner in the India special/BBC)India

Top Gear special prompts complaint from Indian high commission

Sagar fish found to have uranium

Yoko Ono on India’s ‘fertile ground’

Indonesia

Putting Sabah, Sarawak on the global map

Indonesian Culture, Illustrated in Jewels

Iran

EU to delay oil embargo on Iran for sx months

Ahmadinejad visits Ecuador

Iranian speaker visits Turkey

Tehran supports idea of holding nuclear talks in Turkey

Iraq

Iraqi PM cancels Czech visit, talks on L-159s to go ahead

Israel

Iran paper calls for retaliation against Israel for assassination

Was Israel behind Iran nuclear scientist's assassination? (Analysis)

Ivory Coast

Clinton to visit Ivory Coast, other W. African countries

Former finance minister Bohoun Bouabré dies

Jamaica

Give PM space to paint her legacy (Perspective)

(PHOTO: After 21 years, Croatia Airlines restarts the Zagrb-Belgrade route between Croatia & Serbia/CROATIAN AIR)Japan

Japan PM shuffles cabinet to rescue tax hike plan 

Jordan

Jordan authorities deny people injured in demonstration

Kazakhstan

Four Belarus’ MPs to monitor parliamentary election in Kazakhstan

Kenya

New crop varieties can cut poverty, study finds

UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen Backs ‘Small is Beautiful’ Energy Solutions on First Official Fact-finding Mission to Africa / International Year of Sustainable Energy for All

Kenyan Security Forces Accused of Abuses Against Somalis

Kiribati

Kiribati heads to the polls to pick President

Kosovo

Analysts urge greater emphasis on Kosovo's agriculture sector

(PHOTO: Head of the Asian & Kuwaiti Olympic bodies Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah/GOVT) Kuwait

Kuwait ranks 71 on ‘economic freedom’ 

Kyrgyzstan 

Kyrgyzstan intends to take an active part in Afghanistan’s restoration – Ruslan Kazakbaev

Laos 

Nine more Cambodian ‘loggers’ nabbed in Laos

Latvia

Latvian PM promises foreign investors to continue improving judicial system

Secretariat for Latvia’s EU presidency likely to start work in February

Lebanon

UN chief to start trip to Lebanon, United Arab Emirates

Luxembourg

Luxemburg Speedway loses its promoters

Macedonia

Subsidies give boost to housing sector

Luxurious suburbs spring up in Macedonia

E-democracy: making government closer to the people in Macedonia

Orthodox Macedonians celebrate faith, family

Malawi

Malawians paying highly for tolerating bad governance

Malaysia

Malaysia ranked as No. 1 halal-friendly OIC nation

Maldives

Maldives faces tides of change

(PHOTO: The affluent Zlokukjani suburb in Macedonia reflects the new living arrangements in the country's capital/SETimes]Mali

Mali boosts security as desert festival starts in Qaeda zone

India loans $100 million to Mali for power project 

Marshall Islands

Dengue fever declines in Majuro but on increase on Ebeye

Mauritius

Mauritius tops African household lighting survey

Mexico

Mexico expects millions to visit for 2012 solstice

US GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Mexican roots unearthed

Calderon Adviser Falls Short in Defending Boss' Security Policy (Perspective)

Moldova

Fowl cholera spreading actively in Moldova and Ukraine

Mongolia

China, Mongolia to boost ties

Montenegro

Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro sign free travel agreement

Morocco

Senior Libyan official denies imposition of visa restriction on Moroccans

Mozambique

Seed management improving food security in Mozambique

(PHOTO: Burmese negotiators & opposition work to ink peace deall/KUENSEL)Myanmar

End in sight for Burma's 63-year old insurgency

Myanmar frees more political prisoners

Namibia 

Fitch Maintains Our BBB - Rating but the Outlook Slips From Positive to Stable

Nepal 

Nepal detains 90 illegal Tibetan immigrants - police

Nicaragua

Maquilas Shift to El Salvador and Nicaragua

Nigeria

Negotiations Fail to End Strike in Nigerian Fuel Subsidy Showdown

Nigerian oil shutdown to begin Sunday: union

Protests: 4,000 displaced in Benin, 300 injured nationwide —Red Cross

North Korea

Kim Jong-il to be embalmed and put on display

North Korea Launches English Version Of Party Newspaper

Northern Mariana Islands

New Northern Mariana Islands cargo airline on Guam leg

Pakistan

President Zardari’s exit fuels Pakistan coup fears

Papua New Guinea

PNG watchdog warns of govt’s growing irrelevance

Philippines

Women killed, found in bag at Philippines airport

Qatar

Doha 2020 using the YOG to fine tune their bid / GOALS event in Doha

Russia

Users pour cold water on Putin's Internet foray

Rwanda

Man accused in Rwandan genocide wins temporary reprieve

Some Truth and Justice for Rwanda at Last (Perspective)

Saint Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts crowned in regional teen pageant 

(PHOTO: St. Lucia/GOVT) Saint Lucia

St Lucia Ranks Highest in Caribbean for Economic Freedom: Report

Sao Tome and Principe

President of Sao Tome and Principe to visit Angola

Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces shoot dead Shiite protester 

Senegal

Senegal, Burkina Faso regulators sign co-operation agreement

Serbia

Plugged in: Serbians embrace social media

Media war crimes under investigation in Serbia

Policies on Kosovo ignite Serbian bloggers

In Serbia, an effort to encourage organ donation

Solomon Islands

Former Solomon Islands prime minister says re-arming is a positive sign

Somalia

ICRC Suspends Food Aid to 1.1 Million Somalis

AU Asks UN Security Council to Expand Somalia Mission

South Africa

Durban listed as South Africa's most costly city: study

South Korea

South Korea’s National Assembly arrives in Azerbaijan  

Spain

Spanish Navy Thwarts Pirate Attack in Indian Ocean

Gays in Spain get retirement home

Tanzania

Tanzania Leads in Region On Well-Being

(PHOTO: Flooding in Thailand/New Strait Times)Thailand

Possible terrorist attacks in Bangkok, warns US

More flood victims evacuated in Pahang

Tokelau

Below average rainfall predicted for Tokelau and Tuvalu this wet season

Tonga 

Tonga’s parliamentary speaker yet to return despite impending court appearance

Tonga’s public servants threaten industrial action over retirement fund

Tunisia

Several Arab leaders invited to Tunisian celebrations 

Turkey

Gul can’t serve second term - parliamentary commission

Turkish FM set to visit Russia and US for nuke, Syria talks 

Turkish court charges Britain’s Fergie over orphan TV show

Uganda

Country Improves in Democratic Rankings

Ukraine

Tymoshenko is granted asylum in Czech Republic

United Kingdom

Bahrain visit loses sparkle as Arab jewels cause controversy for Crown

United States

Wealth conflict trumps racial hostility: Pew study

US President, Israeli Premier discuss Iran

I will pay if you will, Buffett tells Republicans

US first lady wins thousands of followers as @michelleobama

US FDA tests Brazilian orange juice at Port Newark after fungicide scare

Coca-Cola Warns FDA of Fungicide

Global Challenge: Springfield students test their knowledge of world geography

(PHOTO: The image of Che Guevara appeared briefly during a presentation by Dieter Zetsche, head of Daimler AG's Mercedes unit, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas/The Miami Herald/Daimler)Venezuela

Use of Che Guevara image by Mercedes-Benz outrages South Florida's Cuban exiles

Vietnam

Vietnam to launch earth-monitoring satellites

Wallis and Futuna Islands

Wallis and Futuna pulls out of Pacific Arts Festival citing financial concerns

Wallis senator says cost of living concerns remain

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's Swav gaining in African handset market

World

The State of Global Ultra-Wealth

Despite end-of-year decline, 2011 food prices highest on record – UN

Development: Ban, Al-Nasser task G-77 on development agenda

Africa begins to rise above aid as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth

New cables to Africa bring hope for telecom sector

South American weather dominates market news

Addicted! Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain

IRENA meeting heralds new Regional Energy Era

GLOBAL: Branch campus growth has moved to Asia

Container and Bulk Freight Handling Company Sees a Century Milestone

(PHOTO: Sizing up exoplanets: this chart compares artists' concepts of the smallest known exoplanets, or planets orbiting outside the solar system, to our own planets Mars & Earth/NASA/JPL-Caltech)Brics look nothing like a solid investment (Perspective)

Destabilizing the world (Perspective)

Space

Space station avoids orbiting junk

Astronomers discover three alien planets smaller than Earth

(PHOTO: Youth Olympic Rings, Innsbruck, Austria/EPA)SPECIAL FOCUS:

Winter Youth Olympics open at Innsbruck, Austria for the first time ever Friday, 1/13/12.  

Innsbruck ready to host record third Olympic event

Olympics: Youth Olympics get winter world premiere in Innsbruck

Youth Olympic Games get underway

Heavy snowfall will not stop us hosting great Games, says Innsbruck 2012 chief

There will be no gigantism at our Opening Ceremony, reveals Innsbruck 2012

Youth Olympics: Great rehearsal for Sochi 2014

Asian, Kuwaiti Olympic chief heads to Innsbruck for Winter Youth Games

Doha, Baku, Promote 2020 Summer Games Bids

Innsbruck 2012 will prove truly inspirational just as Singapore 2010 did, says IOC President (Perspective)  

Curlers gear up for Winter Youth Olympics

Taekwondo kicks in for youth at Team Trials

 

Athletes:

Austria hockey goalkeeper dedicates Winter Youth Olympic Games to his friend

Highly touted forward to play in inaugural Winter Games in Austria, Kemptville hockey player skates to Youth Olympics

Nicholson set to take on world at Winter Youth Olympic Games

(PHOTO: Thomas Scoffin from Whitehorse, Canada will head to Austria to compete in the Winter Youth Olympic Games. He is the skip for the Canadian Youth Olympic Curling team/CBC)Whitehorse teen to compete in winter youth Olympics  

Local skier headed to Youth Olympics

Cayman’s teen skier to make Olympic youth debut

Travers injury may halt Olympic quest

Kim Yu Na encourages young athletes to enjoy first-ever winter YOG

Youth Olympics bring ancestry into focus for Eritrean Alpine Skier

Iranian teenage girl competes in Winter Youth Olympics

Ireland’s Florence Bell at Youth Winter Olympics

Winter Youth Olympics: Woodward leads Team GB in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Sive Speelman flying the South African flag at the Winter Youth Olympics/Gap 2011)McNeill sets her sights on Olympic success

Small to carry flag at Winter Youth Games

Menzies targeting Olympic glory after schools success

Summerhayes to Carry Flag for Team GB at Youth Winter Olympics

Brakeman Sawyers ready to go full throttle for bobsleigh medal

South Africa teen off to Winter Youth Olympics

Gordon honoured by refereeing role at first Youth Winter Olympics

Sackville woman to represent Canada at 1st Youth Olympic Winter Games

Jake Peterson chosen as Team USA flag bearer for inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

(PHOTO: Skiier Katie Summerhayes for Great Britain) NZ flag bearer for Winter Youth Olympic Games named

Russian Youth Olympics Team leaves for Innsbruck

Holy Ghost’s Kerr to Play in Winter Youth Olympics

Park City snowboarder excited about Youth Olympics invite

Three locals ready for Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck

Edwin Minney of Wind Gap to play in Winter Youth Olympic Games

Willowbrook speed skater competing at inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games

Eau Claire teen soars to Youth Olympics (updated)

Friday
Dec232011

THE HUM - HEADLINES FROM THE GEOGRAPHIC GAP - 12/23/2011

Algeria 

Algeria Eyes 2.5 Million Tourists Per Year By 2015

(PHOTO: Marriott, 198 room hotel expected to open in 2014 in Setif) Courtyard by Marriott Announces Its Second Hotel in Algeria

Bhutan 

Health referral cost escalates

Cambodia 

Challenges Ahead as Cambodia Preps for Asean Presidency

Cambodian PM Pays Last Tribute to DPRK's Leader Kim Jong Il

MSF Steps Up Tuberculosis Support in Cambodia

Finding profit potential in the rich soil of Pailin

Digital content key to growth for Kingdom’s telecom firms (Perspective)

Central African Republic

CAR: UNSC extends mandate of UN office

Chile

Pinera Says Chile Will Be First Developed Latin America Nation

Christmas Island

(PHOTO: Kirimati, Christmas Island, NASA) Seen from Space: Christmas Island

Congo (DRC)

Congo Opposition Leader Ready To Take Oath Office, Says Adviser

Egypt

Meeting condones peaceful use of nuclear power for generating electricity

India

Much anticipated short film fest in Gauhati today

Kenya

Ebola fear strikes Kenya

Morocco

Snake Charmers, Old Markets and Friendly People

Myanmar

Myanmar to allow private mining in noted ruby area

Samoa

Samoa considers decriminalising female impersonations

Slovenia

Stay at a former military prison turned art hostel in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Suriname

Suriname, Fiji ink comminique at UN

UAE group to set up mint house in Suriname

Swaziland

Over 600 armed officers hunt ‘scarface’ in Swaziland

High tech ticketing system comes to SD

Switzerland

Concern as asylum seekers forced onto street

Revised CO2 law reflects uneasy compromise

Syria

Syrian company owner  molests Pinay, 2 other workers in UAE

Violence, sectarianism stalk Homs

Taiwan

PFP VP candidate to visit Bhutan in search of happiness

Tajikistan

Tajiks need more private investment to spur economy, WB says

Tanzania

Kindle, eBooks and the future of Tanzania’s poor readership

In Tanzania, two journalists charged with incitement

Police fail to charge Tanzania media boss

Thailand

Shipbuilding seeks revival

Junie Browning Finally Surrenders to Thailand Police

China signs currency swap deal with Thailand

Turks and Caicos

Sandals Foundation brings Christmas joy to TCI kids

TCI draws more than 1 million tourists in 2011

Togo

Togo to Receive Assistance to Better Manage Flood and Land Degradation Risks

Tokelau

Tokelauan New Zealanders get help to maintain language

Tonga

Tonga speaker at risk of arrest over bail breach

Investor embarks on beef plan

Trinidad and Tobago

Chicken prices will eventually go up

Key and ministers off to Oz

Turkmenistan

Native of Turkmenistan Oleg Kononenko in second space flight

Tunisia

New Tunisian premier names coalition government dominated by Islamists

American Children Kidnapped and Taken to Tunisia By Father

Turkey

Turkey: Post-Earthquake, How Easy to Stop Substandard Construction?

Tuvalu

The Tuvalu Drought: A Microcosm of Things to Come

Uganda

Don't Break Your Nails. Hire a Chef

Lazy Ugandan men face arrest

Ukraine

Ukraine will start 2012 in precarious condition

United Arab Emirates

Citizenship law for Emirati women sets good example

Young people spend nearly 10 hours a day online

United Kingdom

Sony - Netflix's U.K. Plans Undermined By Amazon Deal

England riots: all-night courts praised, but were they a publicity stunt? (Perspective)

United States

U.S. Population Grows at Slowest Rate Since 1940s

The U.S. Isn’t Into Social Networking as Much as You’d Think, and Females are Into It More Than Males

Uruguay

Uruguay Set to Invest in Its Dairy Farmers to Make Them More Green

Vanuatu

Vanuatu minister accused of making threats

Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Calls Obama a 'Clown'

No more kumbaya

Malicious Spam Depicts Demise of Venezuela President

(PHOTO: Theresly Malavé, Venezuelan criminal defense lawyer & president of NGO Justicia y Proceso Venezuela (Venezuelan Justice & Process) & Jackeline Sandoval, the director of the Foundation for Due Process (Fundepro); Credit Gustavo Bandres)NGOs count 24 political prisoners in Venezuela

Vietnam

Vietnam fuel companies suspected of dodgy tax practices 

Wallis and Futuna Islands

Real Estate In Wallis And Futuna Islands Look Great

Western Sahara

Justice for Killing of Young Saharawi Boy Demanded

Yemen

Unrest puts child marriage issue on back burner

Yemen faces critical period to cement political settlement: UN envoy

Zambia

Zambia’s Free Education Policy to Benefit Poor

(PHOTO: Lusaka, Zambia; CREDIT: Jacqui Wintle; September 2011)Women farmers need funding in face of climate change says environment advocates

Zambia to host 200th David Livingstone celebrations

Zimbabwe

Women still marginalised in Zimbabwe

Blitz Triggers Transport Woes

Friday
Jun102011

(HEADLINES) - The Americas - June 11, 2011

THE AMERICAS

(File: Eva Peron) Latin ladies take crack at presidential glass ceiling

EU challenges and opportunities with LatAm

Latin America ponders role of the renminbi

Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru shoppers, most promising for retail expansion

New South American exchange opens with uncertainty

Visit of EC Vice-President Tajani to Chile, Argentina and Brazil

UPS expands Latin American capacity

UN chief starts tour of four Latin American nations

Rainforest Leaders to Sign Sustainability Action Plan in 2012

Latin America’s Glossed Decade  

Central America losing war on crime (commentary)

Argentina

(Photo: NASA, A cloud of ash billows from the erupting Puyehue volcano in southern Chile)Flights resume tonight in Argentina from Aeroparque, Ezeiza airports after Chile Volcano eruption

Argentine satellite launches to monitor ocean saltiness from US base

Yum! Brands looks to Argentina for expansion

Israel and Argentina 'most engaged' on Facebook

Argentina's Film `COLD SWEAT’ Will Dynamite U.S. This Fall

Argentinean doctors claim they have cloned the world’s first cow capable of producing human breast milk

Argentinean Air Force launches new UFO commission

Belize

University of Belize Makes History, Offers First Masters Degree

(Photo: ZUMA Press)Destination of the week: Belize

Overturning the Belize Constitution (commentary)

Bolivia

Bolivia switches on modified foods ban

Bolivia asks Iranian official to leave country after Argentine complaint

Bolivia to strengthen ties with Peru's new government

Swapping sugar cane fields for school in Bolivia

Bolivia's stunning salt flats

(Photo: Bolivia's `Bus-train', JALOPNIK)Take a scenic ride in Bolivia’s bizarre Mercedes bus-train

Brazil

Amazon Deforestation Increases Alarming

Brazil to fight drugs with drones

Italy recalls ambassador to Brazil

Brazil is improving on human rights (Commentary)

Rio's Favela Tours: Helpful or Just an Exercise in Voyeurism? (Commentary)  

Canada

Ensure measles shots up to date, health officials urge, as Quebec cases top 300

Vancouver still leads country in reported gay bashings

The Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - a tremendous success (Blog)

Chile

Chinese VP Xi visits 'gateway to Latin America'

(Photo: The Nilahue River, Chile. EPA)Chilean volcanic eruption turns waterway into a steaming torrent

Protest at world’s largest underground copper mine in Chile, drags on (Blog)

(Photo: Lollapalooza, Santiago Chile 4/3/11. Jane's Addiction. Credit: Jeremiah Alexis)Lollapalooza Evolution

Colombia

Ban Ki-Moon arrives in Colombia

Colombian gunman kills victims' rights campaigner

Land and Victims Law Crucial for Millions of Displaced Farmers in Colombia

Costa Rica

Energy expert: Costa Rica needs to define path

(Photo: Containers of Hope. Benjamin Garcia Saxe. INHABIT) Containers of Hope: Cool Costa Rican Shipping Container House Only Costs $40,000

A fair deal for Costa Rica’s indigenous artisans

Ecuador

Ecuador: Correa’s Economic Legacy

Germany's Withdrawal of Funding Threatens Plan to Save Ecuador Forest

The UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Ecuador's 17 year battle against Chevron

Ecuador's vice president to head country’s Special Olympic delegation

El Salvador

Journalist Slain in El Salvador

El Salvador Investigates Mysterious Deaths of Sea Turtles

OAS and El Salvador Work together for a Greener General Assembly

Canada to Give $1 Million to El Salvador to fight crime, human trafficking (blog)

Falkland Islands

(Photo: Gilbert House, Falkland Islands Legislative building. MERCOPRESS)Falklands tells OAS sovereignty is “non negotiable”, but seek “neighbourly relations” with Argentina

Obama Administration Votes Against England, Supporting Argentine-Backed Resolution on the Falkland Islands (commentary)

French Guiana

Astra 1N readies for a July 1 liftoff in French Guiana

Guatemala

Future Interoceanic Corridor in Guatemala Will Rival Panama Canal

Guyana

President Jagdeo named first Goodwill Ambassador for global tropical forest

The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission is advocating the marketing of non- traditional minerals

Land is the most valuable asset a person can have (commentary)

Honduras

'Up in Smoke' Chronicles Slash and Burn Agriculture in Honduras

Zelaya returns to Honduras

Honduras Levies Security Tax to Pay for Prison

Spain to aid Honduras on basic education

Honduras Readmitted to OAS (commentary)

Mexico

Bank of Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens Remains on IMF Chief Short List

(Photo: US Mexico Ambassador Nominee, Earl Anthony Wayne, Foreign Policy) Obama nominates new ambassador to Mexico

Mexico tourism chief blasts 'ludicrous' travel warnings

Twitter Saves Lives in Mexico (blog)

Nicaragua

Nicaragua to begin cotton production

Nicaragua, Honduras Restore Bilateral Trade

Nicaragua, Ecuador Condemns U.S. Threats against Venezuela at OAS

Solidarity Plan with Cuba Approved in Nicaragua

Panama

More than 60,000 Children Work in Panama

Panama’s “litter pigs” get tongue lashing from Mayor Bosco

Dam construction threatens Ngöbe

Citizens’ groups fight on as government steams ahead with Cinta Costera

Paraguay

Under UN pressure, Paraguay agrees to ‘open debate’ on abortion issue

Indigenous still marginalized 200 years later (commentary)

Paraguayan Senate approves Unasur charter; new Venezuela Mercosur bid

Peru

Humala: 'Peru's economy is rock solid'

Peru’s Humala Visits Brazil To Meet With Rousseff; Looks To Distance Himself From Chávez

(Photo: Lima skyline. Peru is expected to grow by 6.9% this year. LivinginPeru.com) World Bank says that Peru will be star performer in South America

Suriname

Significant mining pollution in Suriname

Heavy rain triples price of some Suriname vegetables

Suriname soccer chief describes alleged bribery attempt

Suriname not giving up claim to New River – Bouterse

United States

Mexicans protest against Alabama's new anti-illegal immigration law

Cancer patients struggle as drug costs soar

Endless 'war on (some) drugs' fills our prisons, wrecks lives and wounds society (commentary)

Uruguay

Hundreds of Dead Penguins Wash Up on Uruguay Shore

(Photo: Uruguay President Jose Mujica received Vice President Xi Jinping of China. MERCOPRESS)China and Uruguay sign 17 cooperation accords and 530m USD trade package

Uruguay: A Bitter Lesson in Forgiving (analysis)

Venezuela

Venezuela ranks sixth in Gallup wellbeing survey

Venezuela-Iran ties go beyond the oil issue

Venezuelan government to borrow additional USD 10.5 billion

Venezuela’s Chavez and Senior Officials in Cuba for Talks (Commentary)

Monday
Nov292010

Eliminating poverty in Latin America one house at a time (Report) 

(HN, November 29, 2010) -- Today in Haiti there are 800 new homes that have been built since the devastating earthquake 10 months ago. All over Latin America slums are being turned into functioning communities.

The group making this all happen is Un Techo Para Mi Pais (in English ‘A Roof for My Country’)

UTPMP working in Chile (photo: UTPMP) Founded in 1997 by a group of university students in Chile who were appalled by the country’s deplorable slum conditions and were compelled to take an active role in denouncing extreme poverty, Un Techo Para Mi Pais has grown and works in 18 countries today: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

UTPMP invites the society they work in to recognize the injustices of poverty and acknowledge its responsibility to address the lack of opportunities of the most marginalized families in Latin America and the Caribbean.

UTPMP headquartered in Chile coordinates the efforts of local offices, each of which shares basic goals and methods, while adapting the project to the particular challenges of poverty in each country working with local and regional government and community leaders.

The goal is economic empowerment. The “Trojan Horse” as director of UTPMP, Marisol Alarcon calls it, are the pre-fabricated modular homes that are each built in 2 days by 8-10 volunteers.

The modular homes, which are 18m2 (3m x 6m), with wood floors and sides and a zinc roof, are a way into the slums and provide a concrete solution that allows a family to benefit from a dignified and protected living space, which also generates a sense of property and motivation for saving money. UTPMP works with other organizations, different in each country, for clean wanter and proper sanitation in the homes or in the area. Additionally, the construction process builds bonds of trust between families and volunteers. Families participate in the construction of their own homes 100 percent.

UTPMP volunteers in Brazil (photo UTPMP) Volunteers, most of which are university students are from within the country that UTPMP works in. Marisol says “the idea is that the volunteers be from the country where the poverty is around them so that they want to continue to work with these communities – we are not interested in social tourism we are interested in eliminating poverty from within the countries we work in where the people who live in the country have an invested interest in seeing the change they bring about”.

In order to do this the homes are but the first phase leading to the second which is social inclusion through the implementation of training programs led by volunteers in areas such as education, healthcare, economic development, microfinance vocational training legal aid and others. Through this settlers begin to believe in themselves and in the strength of community organization allowing them to overcome their learned helplessness and participate in formal networks and democratic space.

The final phase is for UTPMP to help families, living in slums to develop their own sustainable community, with bonds between neighbors and links to external  networks. The community then works to prioritize needs, elect representatives, and brainstorm to find solutions they need to have for their own needs.

The current construction in Haiti is the first time UTPMP has ever worked in an emergency response environment.

UTPMP in the Dominican Republic (photo: UTPMP) The biggest challenge for UTPMP, when first arriving in Haiti, was getting enough volunteers. It is very difficult to ask people to help build a house for someone else when most don’t have a home themselves says Marisol Alarcon. She adds, “Haitians are used to not having a government work for them and are used to poverty even before the earthquake so getting them to volunteer to help others was a challenge.”

At the beginning, most of the volunteers came from the Dominican Republic and surrounding Central American countries to build homes in Haiti. Recently however, more volunteers are Haitian and they are seeing the difference they are making in their own country helping their neighbors and building a community.

In remembrance of the earthquake one year ago, UTPMP will build 1000 homes from January 7-17. “We will do this with 1000 Haitians and 700 other volunteers from countries all over Latin America and the Caribbean”, Marisol says.

The funding for the homes in Haiti and for all of the 18 countries UTPMP works in are financed from partnerships with businesses, international nonprofit foundations, and individuals. Some of their most important partners are the Inter-American Development Bank/Multilateral Investment Fund, Deloitte, Banco Santander, LAN Airlines, Chevron, Arauco, Dakar, and Young & Rubicam.

-          HUMNEWS Staff