Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
For more information: CNN
Friday, March 26, 2010
Mechanical crop sprayers called spiders or mosquitoes would spray soy fields and then return to the village spreading harmful chemicals. Some villages got wise and started to prohibit the storage or entry of the "spiders" into a town's perimiter. Paramo says that, of course, this is not the only case of harmful chemicals and refers to another example from India. Our book mentions other examples. Paramo says its hard to deal with because people know about the dangers but they're getting ignored. Soy is an important crop for Argentina, but the protection of life is more important.
Read more at:http://www.lapress.org/articles.asp?art=6089
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
This incident led to outrage over the teenagers' deaths. The city's residents directed their anger towards the police and torched the city hall as well as the vehicle registry office.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Many countries in South America face this same issue: select regions are resource-rich, while others have very few natural resources. So far, these resource-rich regions have benefited greatly off these extra profits, without much accountability. However, this bill shows that change may occur, and perhaps equality can occur for the whole nation, and spread to the rest of Latin America.
Another problem for these turtles is that long-line fishing boats catch female turtles of the coasts of Peru and Chile, which are both nations with important fishing industries. People are saying that they can't stop the fisherman, so they need to stop the Costa Rican government from selling the land. The turtle population seems to be decreasing with every new year. The problem is that Costa Rica will need to pay the people who own houses in the national park expropriation fees. The government stands to lose as much as US$500 million if they can't allow the people to build their houses. Costa Rica has been known for its stringent environmental policies, but it is in a bind.
I thought that this topic was appropriate for our class section on land. It is nice to see that the govenment has to pay people for their land, instead of just taking it. But let's hope the turtles make it out alright.
link at: http://mytulane.blackboard.com/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_id=_2_1&url=%2fwebapps%2fblackboard%2fexecute%2flauncher%3ftype%3dCourse%26id%3d_31847_1%26url%3d
The CEO of the non-profit stated that, "We're completely aware of all the issues currently surrounding US and Cuba but we approach this from the point of view that we have this unique history that both societies are connected by. It gives us an opportunity to transcend contempoary issues."
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tourist, don’t take my picture
Don’t take my picture, tourist
I’m too ugly
Don’t take my picture, white man
Mr. Eastman won’t be happy
I’m too ugly
Your camera will break
I’m too dirty
Whites like you won’t be content
I’m too ugly
I’m gonna crack your Kodak
Don’t take my picture, tourist
Leave me be, white man
Don’t take a picture of my burro
My burro’s load’s too heavy
And he’s too small
And he has no food here
Don’t take a picture of my animal
Tourist, don’t take a picture of the house
My house is of straw
Don’t take a picture of my hut
My hut’s made of earth
The house already smashed up
Go shoot a picture of the Palace
Or the Bicentennial grounds
Don’t take a picture of my garden
I have no plow
Don’t take a picture of my tree
Tourist, I’m barefoot
My clothes are torn as well
Poor people don’t look at whites
But look at my hair, tourist
Your Kodak’s not used to my color
Your barber’s not used to my hair
Tourist, don’t take my picture
You don’t understand my position
You don’t understand anything
About my business, tourist
“Gimme fie cents”
And then, be on your way, tourist.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
An update reported that "some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused."
It is said that Haitian police and U.N. peacemakers are important to maintaining security.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
The Dominican Republic produced 10 percent of major league players last year. Some people think there needs to be more regulations. Commissioner Bud Selig hired former MLB vice president Sandy Alderson to confront some of these issues. Recently, it was disclosed that the Dominican Summer League had the highest rate of positive drug tests in all baseball. Also teams have given expensive contracts to players who lie about their ages. Alderson is restructuring the MLB office in Santo Domingo, the capital. He says that some people are embarrassed about the state of the irregularities from the Dominican Republic, but they are not sure about how to deter ill practices.
The baseball league is trying to figure out how to verify players' ages and identities without drawing criticism. The MLB has no legal standing in the country, so members cannot enforce any regulations. They can only hope for cooperation. Hopefully Anderson can effect some changes and take any suspicion away from the Dominican Republic. He is trying to keep baseball in a good light; it is America's pastime (and the Dominican Republic's).
Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/sports/baseball/11dominican.html?ref=americas
The Inauguration of Chile's New President, Sebastian Pinera, Is Interrupted By a 6.9 Magnitude Aftershock
Thursday, March 11, 2010
A Mexican man was named as the world’s richest person by Forbes magazine, surpassing even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. This businessman, Carlos Slim, is the first person from a developing country to be named as the wealthiest person on earth. This is an important step in demonstrating the great advances in economic growth in developing countries of Latin America, but it also shows the huge poverty gap that still exists in the region. While some Mexicans are proud of Slim’s achievement, many citizens are actually upset with the naming because of the immense amount of poverty that remains in the region. In a way, the naming of Carlos Slim as the world’s richest person only demonstrates the social inequality and practice of exploitation of the poor majority by the elite minority in Latin America, a practice whose roots lie in colonialism.
Here is the update on my cousin Connor. His initial reaction was only to my aunt feel better. Here's what happened:
Despite the severity of Chile's most recent disaster, I had no idea of the seriousness of what had just happened that morning. Friday night I was out with friends at a party and around 3 am we left to go to a discoteca. We were outside haggling the prices to get in when the floor started to rumble-- we all initially thought it was just the bass from the music, but figured out pretty quickly what was going on when we looked and saw the windows and umbrellas of the restaurant across the patio shaking violently too. We turned back around to a wave of about 200 people rushing out of the one exit of the club with the sound of tiles and glass crashing to the ground behind them.
A friend of mine and I sprinted down the broken escalator, moving from side to side with everything else, got to the bottom and found somewhere that seemed safe to sit down. The earthquake lasted for a full 3 minutes, and I cannot think of a longer 3 minutes in my life. It started with a small rumble and very quickly escalated to full-scale chaos, and for about 30 seconds it definitely felt like the world was coming to an end.
I haven't been witness to many natural disasters-- the worst I'd lived through were a couple hurricanes and some ice storms-- so I can't say much for tornadoes or tsunamis, but I'm pretty sure an earthquake is just about the worst kind of disaster a person can experience. It is a terrible feeling of hopelessness, like on an airplane when the turbulence hits hard and for just a split second you are sure the plane is going down. An earthquake, especially an 8.8 earthquake, is like the worst kind of turbulence hitting everything that is supposed to be solid, safe and concrete, and it feels like it will never end.
Amazingly, since the walls of the mall we were near didn't fall down, the ground didn't split in half and the roofs didn't cave in, we were all left with the impression that it hadn't been as bad as it felt. I was actually surprised in the morning when the metro wasn't running. Santiago, at least where we were, seemed to have held up as if the earth beneath it had never moved an inch, so as far as we were concerned the rest of Chile must have been okay too.
It took until Saturday evening when we went to a family member's house whose electricity was running for me to realize the true extent of the damage. Santiago, whose older and poorer parts were destroyed, looks as good as new compared to pretty much everywhere south of here. Curicó and Talca, towns where I have a bunch of friends, were left with city centers and plazas filled with the rubble that used to be banks, government offices, stores and adobe houses. Concepción, a hugely important port and the second biggest city in Chile was essentially flattened by almost the epicenter of the quake, followed by about a 40 foot tsunami wave. Concepción's smaller neighboring towns were hit by the same tsunami and in Talcahuano it carried a huge fishing boat 400 meters into town, razing everything in its path. The aftershocks have come strong as well, (there was actually one just now as I write this) and in the two days following the initial quake there were over 90 of them, most of which over 5.0 and the strongest of which was about 7.0-- as strong as the disastrous main Haiti earthquake last month. It was only thanks to strict building codes that the majority of Chile was not leveled.
In the rest of his update, he explains that many people are still in need. Two good ways to help out are to send boxes of toiletries to the Red Cross or to send money.
Also, another earthquake hit today. This one was 7.2.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Now the Cuban government pays for a few sex-change operations every year. Some of the controversy over this fact has stemmed from religious beliefs, although Cuba is officially atheist. Another source of controversy is the presence of homophobia in the Cuban culture. Some Cubans remain shocked or outraged that the government would allow these operations, much less pay for them. However, the main controversy comes from the fact that Cuba has limited resources and many citizens feel sex-changes should not be a goverment expense.
While there are diagreements about the government's involvement, it is apparent that Cuba is moving on from come of its old ways. Former President Fidel Castro said, "I'd like to think that discrimination against homosexuals is a problem that's being overcome. Old prejudices and narrowmindedness will increasingly be things of the past."
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
I saw a video about this story. People can now walk through parts of the town. One resident who had lived there 25 years ago said the sight saddened him because it only brought back old, sad memories.
You can check out the story (and see a picture of the falling water line on the church) at http://news.gather.com/viewImage.action?fileId=3096224746252909&articleId=281474978070814
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
Despite his success, Uribe has been denied to run for a third consecutive term. The Constitutional Court remains loyal to the constitution's limit of two presidential terms. Uribe comments, "I accept and respect the decision of the Constitutional Court."
Many Colombians believe Uribe's policies have gotten the country onto the right track and potential presidential candidates are likely to continue his policies and plans.