Friday: July 31, 2015
When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open?
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
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)
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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As of 5am EDT Tuesday Hurricane Earl was located about 150 miles to the north-northwest of San Juan Puerto Rico with top winds near 135 mph. Earl is still a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Some additional strengthening is possible over the next 24 hours. Earl is moving toward the west-northwest at 13 mph, but should turn to the northwest by this evening. A northwestward motion should continue during the day Wednesday. Hurricane Earl is moving away from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Conditions should gradually improve with diminishing wind and flooding today. Tropical storm warnings are still in effect there, but could be discontinued later today. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos. Conditions there should gradually worsen during the day today with increasing wind and rain. The worst conditions are expected on those islands this evening and overnight with gradually improving conditions Wednesday. The southeastern Bahamas are under a tropical storm watch. Earl should pass well east of the Bahamas tonight through Wednesday night. Some squally showers and stronger winds are possible later today through early Thursday morning as Earl passes by. Earl turns northward later Wednesday and could move toward the Carolina coastline Thursday. Tropical storm watches could be issued as early as this afternoon or evening. Hurricane Earl could threaten the Northeast and New England coasts Friday and Friday night. (SOURCE: The Weather Channel)
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
TURKS AND CAICOS