News Around the Americas
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After WikiLeaks, No-Shows Trouble Argentina Summit
Debora Rey & Almudena Calatrava
Leaders of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world held their annual goal-setting summit Friday amid tensions raised by the publication of U.S. diplomatic cables that in some cases plant doubts about the unity and friendship they publicly profess.
Weekly Address: Tax Cuts & Unemployment Insurance
The White House Blog
With President Obama visiting troops in Afghanistan, Vice President Biden says Congress must extend both the middle class tax cuts and unemployment insurance for the sake of those families and the broader economy.
DREAM Act Nears Vote; US States Push Harsh Immigration Bills
Catherine A. Traywick
It's a now-or-never moment for the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a conditional path to citizenship for certain immigrant youth. The bill's prospects won't improve with next Congress' influx of Republican legislators, and thousands of undocumented students and their bipartisan supporters are urging the Senate to pass the DREAM Act.
Group Calls on Electeds to Stop Taking Booze Money Until Marijuana is Legalized
With Texas politicians collecting a significant percentage of their campaign contributions from the alcohol industry after the November election, the Safer Texas Campaign (a project of ProtectYouth.org) is renewing its call on elected representatives to stop accepting such money until Texas passes legislation allowing the regulated use and sale of marijuana as a safer alternative to alcohol.
Brazil Hunts Drug Traffickers
Police in Brazil are searching for one of the country's most powerful suspected drug traffickers, as well as nine of his associates.
UN Finds Irregularities in Guatemalan Adoptions
A United Nations anti-corruption commission has found irregularities in Guatemala's adoption program despite government efforts to prevent fraudulent adoptions.
Mexico Prez: Latam Needs Visible US Presence
Mexican President Felipe Calderon told a U.S. official last year that Latin America "needs a visible U.S. presence" to counter Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's growing influence in the region, according to a U.S. State Department cable leaked to WikiLeaks and posted online Thursday.
Top US Military Leaders Still Opposed to Open Gay Service
The top uniformed officers of the Army and the Marines say letting gays serve openly in the military at a time of war would be divisive and difficult, sharply challenging a new Pentagon study that calculates the risk as low.
Cholera Rages in Rural Haiti, Overwhelming Clinics
Many feared Haiti's growing epidemic would overwhelm a capital teeming with more than 1 million people left homeless by January's earthquake. But, so far, it is the countryside seeing the worst of an epidemic that has killed nearly 1,900 people since erupting less than two months ago.
Pentagon Study Shows Gay Service Would Not Harm Military
The Pentagon study that argues that gay troops could serve openly without hurting the military’s ability to fight is expected to re-ignite debate this month on Capitol Hill over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Clinton Condemns Diplomatic Leaks
New York Times
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton this week condemned the disclosure of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables, leaked by WikiLeaks, an organization dedicated to exposing secret documents, saying that it was an attack not only on American foreign policy interests but on the international community.
Clock Ticks on US Immigration Reform Bill
Democratic lawmakers will attempt to summon up their waning power by using the so-called "lame duck" session of Congress to pass what will likely be the closest they will get to comprehensive immigration reform.
Rio Slum Dwellers Caught in Battle to Pacify City
To the police who raided Vila Cruzeiro, it was a fortress for heavily armed drug dealers. To tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, it was home.
Migrant Population on Track to Hit 400 Million
The population of migrants worldwide could rise above 400 million by 2050 if present rates of growth continue, says a report by the International Organisation for Migration released Monday.
Inside Story - WikiLeaks and Its Impact on Diplomacy
As the US braces itself for another wiki-leak, what will come with the release of millions more classified US documents? Will international relationships suffer?
U.S. Delivers 'Merida Initiative' Helicopters to Mexico
U.S. Department of State
The United States Department of State announced the delivery of three Black Hawk UH-60M helicopters to the Government of Mexico’s Federal Police force (SSP).
North & South Korea 'On Brink of War'
North Korea warned last week that U.S.-South Korean plans for military maneuvers put the peninsula on the brink of war, and appeared to launch its own artillery drills within sight of an island it showered with a deadly barrage.
Ontario’s SIU Clears Officers in G20 Probe
Last week, the Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit announced no charges will be laid against police officers for injuries to civilians during the G20 protests.
War for Rio? Olympic City Facing Gang Backlash
Rio is seeing violent, chaotic days. Just as Jogador, who spoke to The Associated Press two weeks before the recent clashes, said it would be.
Authorities Find Mexico Drug Tunnel to California
Investigators suspect a major drug cartel was the driving force behind two long, sophisticated tunnels connecting Mexico with the U.S. that were discovered this month along with more than 40 tons of marijuana.
Obama's Weekly Address: Giving Thanks for Those Who Serve
The White House Blog
The President expresses gratitude to America’s military men and women and their families, and discusses the steps his administration is taking to help create jobs so that next Thanksgiving, Americans can give thanks for a stronger economy.
Violence Against Women Linked to HIV Risk
Testimonies from women living with HIV/AIDS were published in a report released this week in Buenos Aires, revealing the different forms of violence that most of these women face of the course of their lives.
History Making Win in New Mexico May Alter National Scene
Ruben Navarrette Jr
Poised to make history by becoming the first female governor of New Mexico and the first Latina to be a governor of any state, Susana Martinez will easily be one of the country's most consequential elected officials.
2009 STD Data in the United States: Not a Pretty Picture
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its annual update of sexually transmitted disease (STD) data for the United States.
Bare Feet to Pat-Downs: Five Big Changes in TSA Screening at Airports
Security screening at US airports has undergone waves of changes in the years since 9/11. Here are five of the biggest changes to affect air travelers in recent years.
Arizona Approves Medical Marijuana Amid Conservative Landslide
Arizona voters have approved a compassionate and progressive marijuana law at precisely the same time that openly hostile anti-immigrant forces in the state have consolidated their political power in an unprecedented manner.
South American Leaders Envision Democratic Charter
South American leaders plan to create a democratic charter that would serve as a guide for their 12-nation bloc if any of them face an attempted coup, Guyana's foreign minister said Wednesday ahead of a regional summit.
Airport Lines Move Smoothly as Protest Fizzles
The lines moved smoothly at airports around the country Wednesday afternoon despite an Internet campaign to get Thanksgiving travelers to gum up the works on one of the busiest days of the year by refusing full-body scans.
Lions Await Trip to US Refuges
The last of Bolivia's rescued circus lions - 12 females and five males - are now in the hands of animal rights activists, who say the big cats will be sent to wildlife refuges in the United States.
DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering Charges
R.G. Ratcliffe & Peggy Fikac
Eight years after former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay helped engineer a Republican takeover of the Texas House and state congressional delegation, a Travis County jury Wednesday convicted him of felony money laundering in the 2002 elections.
Next Step for Tight US Security Could be Trains, Boats, Metro
The next step in tightened security could be on U.S. public transportation, trains and boats. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says terrorists will continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities, making tighter security standards necessary.
Climate Change is the New Global Terror, Says Al Gore
Nobel Peace Prize winner and champion climate campaigner Al Gore outlined the doom the world is awaiting because of climate change and expressed disappointment at world leaders failing to clinch a treaty to fight the new global terror.
Guatemala: U.S. Should Look Beyond Mexico in Fighting Drug Trade
The United States should provide more money to fight drug trafficking in Central America instead of focusing aid dollars only on neighboring Mexico, a top Guatemalan official said.
End Coming for Color-Coded US Terror Alert System
The Homeland Security Department is proposing to discontinue the color-coded terror alert system that became a symbol of the country’s post-9/11 jitters and the butt of late-night talk show jokes.