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Guatemala expels McAfee to the United States

first_imgNo related posts. U.S. computer anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee escaped immediate deportation to Belize on Wednesday as Guatemala expelled the colorful U.S. man back to the United States instead.Wearing a blue suit and white shirt, McAfee, who is wanted in next-door Belize for questioning over his neighbor’s murder, got out of a police vehicle and walked freely to the waiting area to catch a Miami-bound flight.McAfee and 20-year-old girlfriend Samantha Vanegas spent more than three weeks on the run in Belize after his neighbor’s Nov. 11 murder before crossing illegally into Guatemala, where he was arrested on Dec. 5.His high-profile lawyer, former Guatemalan Attorney General Telesforo Guerra, successfully fought his deportation back to Belize after he failed to win political asylum in Guatemala.“Under national migration laws, Mr. McAfee has been expelled to the United States,” said Guatemalan immigration spokesman Fernando Lucero.An AFP photographer witnessed McAfee, 67, being taken from his detention center in Guatemala City to the airport by police convoy.“I am being forcibly separated from Sam,” McAfee posted on his blog shortly before takeoff, indicating that his girlfriend and another female friend, Amy, would join him later in Miami.Guatemalan officials, who said McAfee had been expelled back to his country of origin because he was in the country illegally, confirmed shortly after the posting that the plane had taken off.It was not immediately clear if McAfee would still face possible deportation to Belize once back in the U.S.In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said only that the U.S. was looking into reports that McAfee had been ordered released by a judge.Guerra told reporters that McAfee had chosen to leave the country for personal safety reasons. “He prefers to be in the United States where he will be safer than here or in Belize,” the lawyer said.McAfee denies murdering his neighbor and says he went on the run because he feared for his life if apprehended in Belize.Authorities in Belize want to question him about the death of 52-year-old Florida expatriate Gregory Faull, who was found by his housekeeper with a 9-mm bullet in his head, lying in a pool of his own blood.Prior to his murder, Faull had orchestrated a letter of complaint to the local mayor, urging the authorities to take action because McAfee’s “vicious” dogs and aggressive security guards were scaring tourists and residents.McAfee shot dead four of his dogs before fleeing, claiming they had been poisoned by Faull.Police in Belize said weeks ago that ballistics experts were seeking a match between bullets founds in the dog carcasses and one found in the murder victim, but no results have been announced.McAfee has not been directly accused of Faull’s murder, but police have said he is wanted for questioning as a “person of interest” in the case.Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow has shrugged of McAfee’s claims of official intrigue in his country, saying the U.S. man is “extremely paranoid.”McAfee amassed an estimated $100 million fortune during the early days of the Internet in the 1990s, designing the pioneering anti-virus software that bears his name, before cashing out to become an intrepid adventure-seeker.He decamped to Belize in 2009 after losing most of his fortune due to bad investments and the financial crisis.McAfee was briefly incarcerated in April after police found him living with a 17-year-old girl and discovered an arsenal of seven pump-action shotguns, one single-action shotgun, and two 9-mm pistols. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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What is killing the young men of Cañas

first_imgJosé Manuel Calvo stands outside his home in Verdero de Cañas with his family behind him. Calvo was diagnosed with renal deficiency months ago and is beginning to search for a possible organ donor.Lindsay Fendt A crop-dusting plane flies over a field of sugarcane outside of Cañas. A popular local theory is that pesticides are causing kidney disease in the area, but there is little scientific evidence to support it.Lindsay Fendt Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) plagues more than 400 people in the Cañas area, an agricultural town 166 kilometers northwest of Costa Rica’s capital, San José. Most of the afflicted are men between the ages of 20-55, and almost all of them worked the sugarcane plantations or some other job as field hands. In Cañas, the disease has a rate 18-20 times higher than anywhere else in the country. Two months ago, 15 people died from kidney failure in the same week, including two people in their early 20s. There is no cure.The agricultural workers affected by the disease have largely remained quiet about the problem, and many have continued working to support their families.Their reticence has been a contributing factor in a growing problem that now threatens agricultural communities across Central America and also in Sri Lanka and India, leading doctors and scientists to label CKD an epidemic. The causes of the disease have remained elusive, but the number of patients continues to grow along with the list of patients requiring kidney transplants. In Guanacaste, the northwestern province that includes Cañas, hospitals are struggling to treat the incoming floods of patients, and the transplant list in Cañas alone is 40 people long. These patients are all in the final stages of the disease and without a new kidney, they will die.The making of an epidemic Since its discovery, kidney disease has widely been considered a disease for the old, the overweight and the out of shape. Only in the late 20th century did the disease creep up in parts of the rural third world, where it silently afflicted agricultural workers for nearly three decades, until the problem became too grave to ignore.Data suggest that Central American farm workers have suffered from CKD since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that clinicians began to notice an influx of young, otherwise healthy men to hospitals in Central America. By then, the disease had already taken hold, and the dead and dying numbered in the thousands. Related posts:Study links sugarcane fieldwork with kidney disease epidemic in Central America Costa Rica banana workers affected by Nemagon still waiting on compensation Honduras, Myanmar, Haiti top disaster risk list, says climate group Chikungunya and dengue viruses overtake Guanacaste From an oversized chair in his air-conditioned office, Ingenio Taboga’s Human Resources Director Carlos Barboza flatly denied that work in the sugarcane fields causes kidney problems.“Some of these guys just don’t take care of themselves,” he said. “There are external factors that we can’t control.”Roy Wong, an investigator for the Costa Rican Social Security System, known as the Caja, says patients’ habits at home can become a factor, but on their own do not seem significant. Alarmed by the high rates of the disease in Guanacaste, Wong and a team from the Caja have been researching possible causes of the disease since last September. “Because the disease does not affect many women, we are looking for a behavioral factor that has to do with being a young man,” Wong said. “That may be drinking unadulterated, contraband liquor, or it may be working in agriculture.”For Wong and a host of other researchers, frequent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen is another potential contributor.Though Barboza has heard that heat is a possible problem, he says the area’s exorbitant CKD numbers are the result of high arsenic levels in the town’s water. He isn’t the only one who thinks so.Since 2009, scientists have warned the public about arsenic in wells throughout the Cañas area. Tested wells have shown arsenic levels as high as 136 micrograms – the WHO’s recognized level for safe drinking water is 10 micrograms.Despite pressure from the community and an order from Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court to President Laura Chinchilla to solve the problem, the country’s Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) has denied responsibility and promised rate hikes if it must decontaminate the water. With CKD-related deaths mounting, though, community groups are increasingly concerned about arsenic.“They say there are multiple factors,” said Mainor Picado Camareno of the People’s Voice Association of Bagaces, “but even if there are thousands of variables, here we have one. Arsenic is a dangerous poison. It’s a carcinogen. These people are dying and it is their fault.”Rebecca Laws, a doctoral student at the Boston University School of Public Health, is currently analyzing data from when she studied arsenic levels in Nicaraguan sugarcane workers. The study found that workers with the highest levels of arsenic in their urine also had the lowest levels of kidney function. There is also some evidence that many CKD hotspots in Central America have problems with arsenic contamination.Other factors, however, have been deemed more relevant than arsenic on the list of possible causes.“Arsenic is not generally recognized to cause kidney disease,” Laws said. “We think that if arsenic is the cause, it is probably not the sole cause, because then we would expect that men and women would be affected equally.”Also on the table as potential causes are pesticides, STDs, genetics, and lead and mercury poisoning, all of which could be combining with other factors to create a perfect storm for kidney failure. A nurse removes a tube from a patient’s catheter after dialysis in the Cañas hospital.Lindsay Fendt “This epidemic emerged in rural and sometimes remote areas at a time when there was less access to specialized medicine in such areas,” said Catharina Wesseling, a researcher with the Work and Health Program of Central America (SALTRA). “It is a slow disease, a chronic disease. It was simply not so evident in the beginning.”Today, an estimated 68 percent of men in southwestern Nicaragua have some form of renal deficiency. In El Salvador, kidney disease ranks as the country’s third leading cause of death, and preliminary studies in Guatemala and Costa Rica show similar upward trends in CKD.Similar outbreaks have cropped up in other parts of the world. In Sri Lanka, 8,000 people suffer from the same kidney disease wreaking havoc in Central America, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).Although they are suffering thousands of miles apart, those with the disease in Central American and Sri Lanka share a strikingly similar profile. The disease in these countries primarily affects young men and agricultural workers, and seems to be exacerbated by hard work.Researchers also found that in both locations, the specific kind of kidney damage people suffered suggested that dehydration, and in some cases toxic poisoning, might be the culprit.What’s causing the disease?It’s a typical Friday at the Cañas Hospital’s dialysis ward. Three nurses run around carrying bags of fluid and emptying metal bowls as they slowly fill with toxins that the patients’ failing kidneys can no longer filter.Dago González is among them. It’s 4 p.m. now, and like the others, he’s been in the ward since 7 in the morning, a routine he’s been through four to six times a week since January.Dago was diagnosed with renal deficiency last July, but the first time he could really feel that something was wrong was at the beginning of the last zafra, or sugarcane harvesting season, when he was out in the fields with a fertilizing machine. There was a pain in his legs and his feet felt swollen. He remembers the hot sun overhead, then waking up on the ground, then again in Liberia Hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine.Dago’s story is not unusual. He and the other three men in the ward that day, along with almost all of those suffering from CKD in Central America spent most of their lives working on sugarcane plantations. Iysabel López shows off his box of medicine outside his house. López is on some of the same pills as his brother Juan was before he died at the age of 49.Lindsay Fendt Manuel Camacho flips through his medical files outside of a bunkhouse used by sugarcane workers. Camacho continues to work in the sugarcane fields, despite his severe case of renal deficiency.Lindsay Fendtcenter_img “It’s very unlikely that it is just heat,” said Wesseling. “Some people think it’s arsenic. We think maybe it could be heat with arsenic, but it is under-studied. There is still a lot of research to be done.”Research requires funding, and funding requires outspoken people to create awareness and spearhead campaigns. Poor, immigrant sugarcane workers in a tiny town far from Costa Rica’s capital don’t hold much sway.Those affected have little powerEvery year in late July, Guanacaste holds its annexation festival. Like most Costa Rican fiestas, there are carnival games, rides, dancing and meat on a stick. At this year’s festival there were also massive protests.“Guanacaste does not only exist on July 25,” read one sign. Another said, “Guanacaste: Victim of bullying for 189 years.”In addition to protesting the lack of infrastructure, poor health care and uncorrected earthquake damage, the Guanacastecos were decrying contaminated water and high rates of kidney disease. But back in Cañas, the men keep working in the fields, the same way that they always have, even when they are sick.“The people affected by this are some of the poorest in the area,” said a doctor at the Cañas Hospital who asked to remain anonymous. “They struggle to manage this illness.”In Costa Rica, sugarcane harvesting is largely immigrant work. During zafra each year, Ingenio Taboga busses in sugarcane cutters from Nicaragua. Many of them return every season to work, while some of them permanently relocate.Costa Rica has socialized health care available to all citizens, but immigrants only qualify if they hold down a job and are put into the system by their employer.“The doctor said my defenses are low, but I’ve kept working,” Camacho said. “It costs $10 for me to get to the doctor even with insurance. If I stop working, I don’t have social security and it costs even more.” A farm worker fertilizes the sugarcane crops at Ingenio Taboga, the country’s largest sugarcane producer.Lindsay Fendt CAÑAS, Guanacaste – Riding in the passenger seat down the dirt roads of Verdero de Cañas, José González, or “Dago” as he is known around town, points out the houses where the other sick people live.José Manuel Calvo – a man seeking a kidney transplant – stands on the corner, his son tugging at his shirt. Down the street, Manuel Camacho limps out of the field worker’s bunkhouse, coughing, just back from a hospital visit. Iysabel López lives in the stilt house next to the irrigation ditch, and he takes the same medicine as his brother Juan used to. Juan died at 49.All of these men, including Dago, are under 55. All of them have worked on the country’s largest sugarcane plantation, Ingenio Taboga. All of them will likely die from kidney failure.“There are more,” Dago says. “I just don’t know where they all live.” For men like Camacho, the situation creates a Catch-22. In order to manage their condition, CKD patients need to make regular doctor visits, take medication and stop working. But if they stop working they will no longer be able to pay for their health care.Those who do make it into the health care system often don’t follow their medical regiments until they reach the later stages of the disease and experience symptoms. According to doctors at the Cañas Hospital, it’s difficult to convince a hardened farmworker who is in no pain of the seriousness of his ailment. Last November, 50 health experts from 15 different countries converged on Costa Rica in order to begin uncovering the root of the mysterious disease. The workshop’s results are laid out in a 255-page document, with 17 possible causes and dozens of ongoing studies. No one knows for sure why the workers are dying, but heat stress tops the list of possibilities.“When you look at heat stress there are two major factors, the climate and the metabolic energy required for an activity,” said Jennifer Crowe, a SALTRA researcher. “When we compare the metabolic load for cutting sugarcane to other agricultural work, the load is much higher for sugarcane.”The research shows that isolated heat stroke incidents are not linked to CKD, but chronic heat stress and dehydration caused by working conditions are. According to Jorge Herrera, the company doctor for Ingenio Taboga, heat strokes are the most common occupational hazard for the company’s workers. In his experience, if a field worker has too many heat strokes, it can lead to renal deficiency. It’s also difficult to secure government health resources in rural areas. The Cañas kidney and dialysis department was formed two years ago because of the high demand for care in the area. In those two years, only one person has ever gotten a transplant.“There is inequity in delivery of health care, since renal replacement therapy is mostly not available for poor people with CKD in Central America,” Wesseling said.Back in Verdero, the sun is beginning to sink towards the horizon. It’s nearly 4 p.m., and clusters of sugarcane workers are leaving the fields. Dago points still to more homes, with more sick people.They don’t all know Dago personally, but they know of him. When he introduces himself, they try not to look at the bulging bandage under his shirt, where the permanent catheter pokes out of his stomach. It’s not something they are used to seeing.Dago’s concern for his disease is a rarity around here. He knows things like the names of the pills each person is on and which hospitals they should go to if they don’t have insurance. He gives advice, but doesn’t seem to expect that it will be followed.Others seem resigned. Some can’t read the documents in their medical files, some have been turned down for medical pensions repeatedly and don’t know why. Even with all of his knowledge about his own condition, Dago can’t think of any way to change it.“I might put something out on the Internet about a transplant,” he said. “You never know. Besides that, there really isn’t anything that I can do.” Facebook Comments A field worker chops weeds away from sugarcane plants with a machete in one of Ingenio Taboga’s many fields.Lindsay Fendtlast_img read more

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Late director of salsa legends Los Van Van Juan Formell honored in

first_img Facebook Comments The late Cuban musician Juan Formell, who headed the famous Los Van Van band and won two Latin Grammys, is now featured at Cuba’s Wax Museum, local media reported on Tuesday. A wax sculpture of late musician Juan Formell is seen at the Wax Museum of Bayamo City, 735 km east of Havana on Oct. 20, 2014. AFP/STRThe life-sized sculpture of Formell, portrayed singing in front of a microphone and dressed in blue pants with a red shirt and jacket, was unveiled on Monday to coincide with Cuba’s National Day of Culture, the official newspaper Granma reported.“Formell already was in the imagination of Cubans, and now he always will be in the popular memory,” the vice president of Cuba’s Artists and Writers Union, Pedro de la Hoz, said at Monday’s ceremony, which was attended by Formell’s family members and former bandmates.Los Van Van is now directed by Formell’s son, Samuel.Juan Formell died last May at the age of 71, five months after receiving the Latin Grammy for Musical Excellence. A superb bassist, Formell also composed, sang and directed Los Van Van, one of the most popular Cuban dance bands of the past four decades.In 1999, Formell received his first Latin Grammy for the disc “Llegó Van Van.”Cuba’s Wax Museum, located in the city of Bayamo, 760 kilometers east of Havana, also features other Cuban musicians such as Benny Moré (“El bárbaro del ritmo”), Francisco Repilado (Compay Segundo), Rita Montaner (“La única de Cuba”), Ignacio Villa (“Bola de nieve”), Carlos Puebla (“El cantor del pueblo”) and Sindo Garay (a traditional trova great). Related posts:Kevin Johansen and The Nada to join illustrator Liniers in live art-music show in Escazú Singer-songwriter Kevin Johansen makes everyone feel good in Costa Rica debut Selena died 20 years ago – why we’re still talking about her Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club says ‘adiós’ with sounds of old Cubalast_img read more

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InterAmerican Dialogue honors Guatemalan businessman civic activist Salvador Paiz

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – Fighting violent crime, reducing malnutrition, helping children learn to read and getting rid of corrupt judges – any of these would be commendable goals to pursue in one of Latin America’s poorest countries.Last Thursday, Guatemala’s Salvador Paiz received the Inter-American Dialogue’s Award for Civic Engagement for his success in all of these areas. Paiz is co-chairman of Grupo PDC and chairman of Fundación Sergio Paiz Andrade (Funsepa).Donna Hrinak, president of Boeing Brazil and former U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela, called Paiz “a corporate leader deeply committed to fostering quality education throughout our region.” Words of praise also came from Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think tank, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, now president of Hills & Co., and José Miguel Insulza, secretary-general of the Organization of American States, where the 10th Sol M. Linowitz Forum gala dinner took place.“The importance of this award cannot be understated,” Paiz said in his acceptance speech. “Transforming a nation is a process fraught with uncertainties. But there are also many rewards, and seeing tangible changes in Guatemala is the most rewarding of all. My father, who died while trying to improve our region, taught me that a country is only as good as its citizens, and that we each have a role in shaping its future. Your validation of work reaffirms our commitment in building a more prosperous and just Guatemala.”Paiz spoke before an audience of some 300 people that included former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, former Vice President Rebecca Grynspan, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and dozens of ambassadors and other dignitaries.“Latin America has made progress over the last century, but for most of our countries, the rate of progress is far from sufficient,” he said. “The often-desperate votes that favor outlandish populist policies are all symbols of a mountain of discontent. It is with a sense of urgency that we must grow our economies faster, and in a more inclusive fashion. And even though Guatemala is small, it could play an important role in furthering that trend.”Paiz’s company, Grupo PDC, is a holding company with interests in distribution and real estate finance throughout Central America. The young entrepreneur, who’s also a member of the board of Walmart Mexico, has a bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Business.“I firmly believe that education is the most important long-term capability we need, in order to break free from our poverty trap. However, it is also the most elusive,” he said. “Short-term agendas imposed by political parties distract us from the central priority of education: the kids. Only 24 percent and 7 percent of our graduates pass the basic reading and math exams, respectively. Fewer than 40 percent of our teachers pass those same tests.” Hundreds of teachers demonstrate along the streets of Guatemala City on Jan. 23, 2014 demanding an increase in the education budget. Johán Ordóñez/AFPFunSEPA, which Paiz chairs, has installed more than 16,000 computers in 1,050 public schools throughout Guatemala, benefitting some 400,000 students. It has also trained and certified more than 85,000 schoolteachers – more than 60 percent of the country’s total teacher population.Paiz has been a leading advocate for “Mejoremos Guate,” a long-term holistic development roadmap with short-term actionable projects.“Very early on in this process, we realized that there is simply too much noise and volatility to be handled by our institutions. Our president felt frustrated by the lack of progress, due to meager institutional competencies. Therefore, we must focus on enhancing a few key capabilities, identifying the ones that have the most impact and letting the future take care of itself,” Paiz explained.“We do this by engaging citizens and encouraging them to bolster our often-rundown institutions so they can do the work they’re meant to perform. Our donations, albeit in the millions of dollars to date, are but a drop in the bucket relative to our national budget,” he said. “Therefore, our focus has to be altering those public institutions. Our most recent work targets the eradication of corruption that is corroding our institutional framework. In its first year of operation, the Escuela de Gobierno Guatemala has become the country’s leading post-graduate educator of future civil servants, and is disrupting the current logic of cronyism.”But such efforts cannot bear fruit if violent crime continues to plague Guatemala.“We need to satisfy the need for personal safety before we can move on to other issues,” said Paiz, noting that in 2009, Guatemala’s homicide rate was 46 per 100,000 inhabitants – making it the third most violent country in the world.Related: Giuliani lends Guatemala crime-fighting advice as murders climbTo that end, FunSEPA has sponsored, a new platform that recruits citizens to report crimes using email, Twitter, Facebook, mobile apps and text messaging. Alertos and other citizen security initiatives, he said, have helped slash Guatemala’s homicide rate to 34 per 100,000 – still high, but far less than what it was five years ago.Other FunSEPA projects include the Alliance for Nutrition, an initiative to reduce the country’s 49 percent chronic malnutrition rate, as well as Guatemala Visible, a citizen movement whose main objective is to improve the quality of the nomination process for candidates to Guatemala’s Supreme Court and Attorney General’s Office, among others.Recommended: Guatemala has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Latin America, and it’s getting worse Facebook Comments Related posts:For justice in Guatemala, ‘2 steps forward, 1 step back’ Remittances account for 10 percent of Guatemala’s GDP Guatemala high court paves way for new genocide trial against ex-dictator Ríos Montt Guatemalan ex-police chief handed 90 years over embassy raidlast_img read more

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Red Cross concerned about number of violent deaths in first few weeks

first_imgRelated posts:Red Cross warns of increase in violent deaths last month Life jackets not distributed before Costa Rica catamaran began sinking, killing 3, says president’s office UPDATE: US tourist drowns in Costa Rica rafting trip Police to streamline crime reporting in far-flung beach spots Costa Rica’s Red Cross reported that 79 people died by accidents and other violent causes in the first 19 days of this month. That exceeds by 27 the number of deaths registered in the same period last year, when the Red Cross reported 52 deaths.The figure likely will surpass last year’s total for the month, 81 deaths, according to the Red Cross.As was the case last year, traffic accidents are the leading cause of violent deaths for the period, totaling 27. Of those, 19 are classified as vehicle crashes, four are vehicle rollovers, and four people died after being struck by a vehicle.Homicides by firearms or knives are the second-leading causing, killing 17; seven people drowned in beaches or rivers; six died of unknown causes; five by poisoning; two were electrocuted; and two died from injuries caused by falls. In addition, 142 people resulted injured and were hospitalized.Among the drowning victims are three tourists who died on Jan. 8 when a catamaran sank in high winds and rough seas off the central Pacific beach of Herradura.Red Cross officials are concerned about the high numbers in the report, as they believe the number could increase significantly due to drowning and automobile accidents, which increase during upcoming weeks as many people are still on vacation across Costa Rica. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Strong waves blamed in drowning of 2 Canadian tourists in Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:Big waves expected this weekend on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast Experts extend alert for strong waves in Costa Rica’s northern Pacific, Caribbean through Sunday Oceanographers forecast strong waves, rip tides along Costa Rica’s Pacific shores starting Thursday US Coast Guard to assist in investigation of deadly catamaran accident Update, 9:06 p.m., Jan. 26: A reader on our Facebook profile disputed the Red Cross’ initial suspicions that strong waves or a rip current may be to blame for the drownings. While the Red Cross investigation is ongoing, the reader, who said he was at the scene Monday, said ocean conditions were normal, and the accident likely could be blamed on a lack of lifeguards at the beach, an ongoing concern at many beaches in Costa Rica.Original story continues here:Two Canadian tourists identified by the Red Cross in Puntarenas as Andrea Bell, 70, and 2-year-old Jasmine Rodríguez Olching drowned on Monday afternoon at Playa Hermosa, a northern Pacific beach in Cóbano, on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.According to the Red Cross, an emergency call at 1:43 p.m. reported the young child was being pulled out to sea. Paramedics arriving at the scene found both victims out of the water with no vital signs. Crew members of a private emergency service unsuccessfully performed CPR on both victims.Bell was pronounced dead at the scene, and Rodríguez was rushed to a nearby hospital in Cóbano, where she died minutes after arrival, Red Cross official Christian Castro said.Pending an investigation, officials initially suspect that strong and high waves that have been pounding the northern Pacific shores since the weekend likely contributed to the deaths.Experts from the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Ocean Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) last Friday warned that strong winds coming from the northeast would create strong waves at several coastal areas, particularly in the northern Pacific, and conditions were expected to intensify on Monday.CIMAR experts urge beachgoers this week to take precautions against powerful waves and rip currents, which are being reported at several beaches along the Pacific. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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In Castros home region Pope Francis praises Church sacrifices

first_imgRelated posts:Pope Francis meets the Castros after mass on iconic Havana square When Pope Francis visits Cuba, he’ll find many priests aren’t Cuban Cuban Americans make pilgrimages to see Pope Francis in their native land Pope Francis tells bishops that clergy abuse must not be repeated HOLGUÍN, Cuba –Pope Francis on Monday praised the sacrifices made by Cuba’s Catholic Church to work on the island as he visited the home region of communist leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro.Tens of thousands of fans and faithful braved the tropical heat to attend an open-air mass by the first Latin American pope, whose role in brokering the thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States has made him immensely popular on the island.“I know the efforts and the sacrifices being made by the Church in Cuba to bring Christ’s word and presence to all, even in the most remote areas,” Pope Francis told the packed square in the eastern city of Holguín, his second stop on an eight-day, six-city tour that will also take him to the United States.Cuba’s Church has slowly gained a prominent role in social welfare programs on the island after years of hostilities with former leader Fidel Castro’s regime, which was officially atheist for more than three decades. Catholic nuns attend Pope Francis’ morning mass at the Calixto García square in Holguín, in eastern Cuba, on Sept. 21, 2015. AFP/Pool/Tony GentileIt has also taken on the part of mediator with Castro’s brother and successor Raúl, who took power in 2006, as he undertakes tentative reforms.Pope Francis himself met Fidel Castro, 89, at his home in Havana on Sunday, before holding a closed-door meeting with Raúl, 84, at the government’s headquarters.But the Church still faces numerous problems in Cuba. It struggles to recruit clergy in a country where only 10 percent of the population describes itself as Catholic. Half the island’s priests are foreigners. It also relies heavily on donations from abroad to do its work in the deeply impoverished country, and is still banned from operating Catholic schools. People cheer as Pope Francis arrives to give a morning mass at the Calixto García square in Holguín, in eastern Cuba, on Sept. 21, 2015. Rodrigo Arangua/AFPPope Francis and GuantanamoAmong the faithful gathered in Holguín, hundreds had made a seven-hour trek by bus from the eastern province of Guantanamo, the site of the U.S. Naval base and detention center that is one of the most delicate issues in ongoing negotiations between Havana and Washington. Cuba has long called for the return of the base, which the United States rents for $4,085 a month under a permanent lease granted in a 1903 treaty.“We want to ask the pope for peace, tranquility, unity around the world and to help us get back the base,” said 54-year-old builder Noel Pérez from the town of Caimanera, near the base.“Francis is the third pope to visit us in Cuba, but the first Latin American, and he can help us get back the base,” said Norales Mendoza, 45, from Arroyo Hondo de Paraguay in Guantanamo province.Holguín is the only stop on Pope Francis’ trip that has never received a papal visit. It is known for a cross that has overlooked the city from a hilltop since a Franciscan monk hauled it up there in 1790 — though the original wooden version succumbed to old age and the 1950 replacement was destroyed by lightning.Pope Francis was later due to visit the five-meter (16-foot) cross, now made of concrete, to bless the city of 291,000 inhabitants, Cuba’s fourth-largest.After his seven-hour stop in Holguín, the pope takes off for Santiago, the country’s second city — dubbed “the heroic city” by the communist regime because Fidel Castro declared there on Jan. 1, 1959 that his revolution had toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista. A woman waits for the start of Pope Francis’ morning mass at the Calixto García square in Holguín, in eastern Cuba, on Sept. 21, 2015. Rodrigo Arangua/AFPVatican and dissidentsFrancis arrived Saturday afternoon and headed into a packed itinerary Sunday. He delivered mass to hundreds of thousands of people on Havana’s Revolution Square, met both Castro brothers, gave an off-the-script speech to local clergy and then addressed a crowd of young Cubans — all in the tropical heat.At his morning mass in Havana, three Cuban dissidents were arrested as they approached Francis shouting “Freedom!” when he arrived in his “Popemobile.” Cuba bans opposition groups and routinely arrests dissidents who try to protest. Several leading dissidents have criticized the pope for not accepting their requests to meet him during his visit.Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists that Vatican officials had in fact been in contact with some dissidents, but that they had not managed to arrange a meeting.The pope will leave from Santiago Tuesday for the United States, where his itinerary includes stops at the White House, the U.S. Congress and the United Nations General Assembly.Read more about Everyone’s Favorite Pope here Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rica considers flights for Cuban migrants as options shrink

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica serves as a corridor for Asians, Africans migrating to the US Photos: More than a thousand Cuban migrants in limbo following Costa Rica raids Costa Rica calls for regional meeting to address flood of Cuban migrants Cuban migrants with children to be among first out in Costa Rica airlift Costa Rica’s options for dealing with the more than 4,000 Cuban migrants marooned in the country on their way to the United States are growing fewer by the day, leaving the government to consider arranging flights for the migrants out of the country.The latest complication in the saga comes as President Luis Guillermo Solís plans to travel to Cuba Dec. 15 and 16. Solís has said the Cuban migrant crisis will not be a main focus of his trip to the island.Nicaragua refuses to let the Cubans cross into the country. And Guatemala also has now refused to allow Cuban migrants to pass through its territory, Costa Rica Foreign Minister Manuel González said Thursday.González said negotiations were set to begin with Belize as an alternative route for the thousands of Cubans who have been waylaid in Costa Rica for three weeks now. A response is not expected from Belize until Tuesday, González said.No corridor for the ‘humanitarian corridor’The news from Guatemala and Nicaragua’s continued blockade of Cuban migrants at its border with Costa Rica means the “humanitarian corridor” proposed by Costa Rica at a summit of Central American leaders in El Salvador on Nov. 25 is effectively dead.González said Guatemala — a country that sends thousands of migrants to the U.S. yearly — listed the large number of Cuban migrants, along with security and logistical concerns among its reasons for not agreeing to safe passage for the migrants.The foreign minister mentioned that the Costa Rican government was exploring the possibility of flying the Cubans out of the country, but González had no specifics on when or how many fights could be used to move the Cubans. Migrants would be responsible for paying for their own flights, González said, but the government is in talks with airlines to explore affordable options for the migrants to leave.President Solís’ upcoming trip to Cuba was scheduled a year ago, González said. According to Casa Presidencial, Solís’ trip was designed to “formalize the reestablishment of diplomatic relations” with the island, and the delegation would discuss business investment opportunities, health and sports.According to Immigration Administration figures, more than 4,300 temporary transit visas have been issued to Cuban migrants in recent weeks. More than 3,000 Cuban migrants are living in temporary shelters across northwestern Costa Rica.Minister González said that Cubans continue to arrive at Costa Rica’s southern border with Panama at the rate of more than 100 a day.Meanwhile, Ecuador announced on Nov. 26 that it would start requiring visas from Cubans traveling there, the first leg in an increasingly popular route through South and Central America to the U.S.Cuban and U.S. representatives met earlier this week to discuss several issues, including migration, but no new agreements on the issue were made. The Cuban government has said that the current U.S. immigration policy for Cubans — which affords them U.S. visas after they set foot on U.S. soil — is a detriment to the recent détente between the Cold War foes.González ruled out U.S. involvement in resolving the crisis of Cuban migrants here. Citing the U.S Cuban Adjustment Act, González noted that U.S. immigration law allows Cubans without visas to stay in the U.S. when they arrive but not to travel there legally.“There’s a certain contradiction there,” González said, “but it’s not my place to comment on it.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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A Tribe Called Quests Phife Dawg dies at 45

first_imgRelated posts:Phife Dawg brought humor and humanity to A Tribe Called Quest VIDEO: AZ’s ‘Back To Myself,’ filmed in Costa Rica, makes the rounds ahead of ‘Doe or Die, Vol. 2’ Mathematics tracks the hip-hop ‘revolution’ Radiohead announces 2016 world tour ahead of possible new album NEW YORK – Phife Dawg, the high-pitched but street-smart rapper whose pioneering group A Tribe Called Quest brought a fresh artistic aesthetic to hip-hop, has died, a colleague said Wednesday. He was 45.DJ Chuck Chillout, a prominent New York hip-hop DJ who has long played A Tribe Called Quest, announced Phife Dawg’s death on Twitter but did not reveal further details.Phife Dawg, whose real name was Malik Taylor, has long spoken of health problems including his struggles with diabetes and had a kidney transplant in 2008.Phife Dawg formed A Tribe Called Quest in the mid-1980s with Q-Tip, his classmate in the New York borough of Queens whose thoroughfare of Linden Boulevard would feature in the lyrics.The two rappers became one of hip-hop’s defining pairs, with Phife Dawg, whose voice in early recordings was markedly high, generally playing the shrewd back-up man to the cerebral Q-Tip.Tensions were never far from the surface, with Phife Dawg gradually taking more vocals but Q-Tip becoming the face of A Tribe Called Quest and going on to a successful solo career, recently being named the first artistic director for hip-hop at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Phife Dawg will be sorely missed. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival/AFPA Tribe Called Quest — at times a four- or three-man group and best known for the hit song “Can I Kick It?” — helped chart a new direction for rap beyond straightforward rhyming and beats, with the group often described as pioneers of alternative hip-hop.The group’s debut album, 1990’s “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm,” on which Phife Dawg appeared on only four tracks, offered quirky humor that brought an early following.The group’s two follow-up albums, “The Low End Theory” and “Midnight Marauders” quickly became considered hip-hop classics for their incorporation of jazz which eschewed standard radio formulas.“Midnight Marauders” also brought in a more political edge, with references to racial oppression and spiritual uplift.Phife Dawg, in an interview last month as A Tribe Called Quest prepared to reissue its albums, said that he never expected to become famous out of his neighborhood.He attributed the group’s success with thinking big rather than pursuing individual tracks, unlike many rappers.“We wanted the longevity of Earth, Wind and Fire and Prince and people of that nature. We didn’t want to be two-hit and three-hit wonders,” he told Rolling Stone.Phife Dawg — who called himself the Five-Foot Assassin for his short physique — tried a solo career with a 2000 album, “Ventilation: Da LP,” but met mixed reviews and eventually saw his career clouded by health issues.Phife, always on point: Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Central Bank That ₡5000 counterfeit bank note message is fake

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Central Bank issues new improved ₡5,000 banknotes Old banknotes lose their value from January 1 New ₡5,000, ₡10,000 and ₡50,000 bills to circulate in August Costa Rica circulates new ₡1,000 and ₡2,000 bills The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) warned the population that a message circulating on social media and in SMS messages about the alleged circulation here of counterfeit ₡5,000 bank notes is completely false.The messages include, in some cases, a link to a news report about counterfeit money in other countries.“Those messages are fake and do not correspond to any situation currently happening in Costa Rica,” the BCCR said.The bank indicated in a news release that those messages are the same that went viral in January in Venezuela. Messages there warned people about counterfeit 5,000 Bolívares banknotes.The BCCR said that all colones banknotes are manufactured “under the highest safety standards.”Improved securityCurrent ₡5.000 banknotes (worth about $10) began circulating in November 2016 when the bank released a new series of bills with improved security measures.The BCCR is asking people to, when in doubt, “touch, watch and turn” the bills, meaning that those security measures can help them identify counterfeit banknotes. Verification measures include touching the texture on the “5 Mil Colones” text and the “5000” printed on the bill; you can also hold the bill against the light and look for the watermarked image of President Alfredo González on the right. The image should look exactly the same as the one printed on the left side of the bill.The bank also advises people to turn them to observe a “movement effect” in the symbols printed in the red security thread and the color change on the Costa Rican map at top right.See the effects in the following video:last_img read more

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KLM Air Canada increase flights to Costa Rica

first_imgRelated posts:American Airlines expanding service to Costa Rica Costa Rica ‘does not comply with International Civil Aviation Organization safety standards,’ FAA says Limón sees 60 percent jump in cruise ships Air Canada passengers delayed for 32 hours in Costa Rica, including nine on runway Costa Rica’s status as a tourist destination continues to grow.This month, two major international airlines have announced additional flights to Costa Rica. KLM, the flag-carrier airline of the Netherlands, added a route to Liberia, while Air Canada will now offer uninterrupted service to the Guanacaste province throughout September and October.KLM announces flights to Liberia, Costa RicaIn early April, KLM announced it will expand its network with flights to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. The new route, which will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, will commence in October.“Guanacaste is the second-largest region of Costa Rica,” said Pieter Elbers, KLM’s CEO. “The region is known for its beautiful nature, which makes it a unique holiday destination in combination with San José. All this makes Guanacaste Liberia a valuable addition to our KLM network.”Starting Oct. 29, Costa Rica will receive KLM flights from Amsterdam-Schiphol to San José (SJO) and Guanacaste-Liberia (LIR) on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Passengers will be able to fly to or from either Costa Rican airport on the same ticket, according to KLM.Air Canada will fly up to 6,500 more visitors to Costa RicaThe Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) announced Air Canada will also increase its offerings to Costa Rica. This year, the Canadian flag carrier will fly to Liberia in September and October for the first time.Previously, Air Canada had suspended its Liberia route during those months and resumed it during the tourist-heavy month of November.ICT says Air Canada’s Toronto-Liberia and Toronto-San José routes will have the capacity for 6,500 more visitors in 2019 than in 2018.“We are very happy to announce this important step from Air Canada for Costa Rica,” said María Amalia Revelo, the Minister of Tourism. “Above all, maintaining operations during the months of September and October to both international airports is a great boost to the tourism sector, especially to the province of Guanacaste.”Data from ICT shows more than 217,000 Canadians visited Costa Rica in 2018, and 92% of them arrived via air travel.Canadian tourism comprised 7% of total international arrivals to Costa Rica, according to ICT. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Costa Rica announces provisional 40man roster for Gold Cup

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica returns with full-strength lineup in last step toward World Cup qualifying Without Navas, Costa Rica to face Chile and Peru in friendlies ‘La Sele’ draws Nicaragua, Haiti and Bermuda in Gold Cup group No Navas as Costa Rica names roster for Peru friendly Costa Rica on Monday announced the 40-man provisional roster that will serve as the basis for its 2019 Gold Cup campaign.The list contains Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell, Kendall Waston and other stalwarts for the Costa Rican national team. Alvaro Saborío, who came out of retirement and helped San Carlos to the Clausura title earlier this month, is also included.Manager Gustavo Matosas’s final 23-person roster will be announced the first week of June. Costa Rica’s 40-person provisional roster for Gold Cup 2019. (Via CONCACAF.)Elsewhere in CONCACAF, 40-man rosters feature Christian Pulisic (Chelsea FC/United States), Raúl Jimenez (Wolverhampton FC/Mexico) and Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/United States).The 2019 Gold Cup begins June 15, and La Sele starts its campaign with a home match the following day against Nicaragua at the National Stadium in La Sabana.The 2019 Gold Cup final will be July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Scottish govt continues to investigate Lockerbie

first_img Comments   Share   LONDON (AP) – The Scottish government says it will continue to investigate the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people even though the only man convicted over the case is dead.First Minister Alex Salmond said in a statement Sunday that the Lockerbie investigation remains live and Scottish officials are cooperating with the new Libyan authorities in their investigations.Salmond said prosecutors have always believed that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, whose death was confirmed by his son Sunday, did not act alone in blowing up the PanAm flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Parents, stop beating yourself up Scotland released al-Megrahi from his Scottish prison in 2009 on humanitarian grounds to the fury of the U.S. government and some of the families of those who died.Salmond said he still believed Scotland had acted correctly in releasing him.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

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1st US ambassador to Myanmar since 1990 begins job

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Mitchell previously was President Barack Obama’s special envoy to Myanmar. The U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment as ambassador in late June.Washington announced in January it was restoring full diplomatic relations with Myanmar, encouraged by reforms that have swept the nation since a long-ruling army junta ceded power last year.Thein Sein, who took office after a general election, has instituted liberal reforms after almost five decades of repressive military rule. The initiative in large part is meant to attract foreign aid and investment. The previous military regime was shunned by many Western countries, who applied economic and political sanctions because of its poor record on human rights and democracy.Prior to Mitchell’s arrival, the highest level American diplomat in Myanmar was the charge d’affaires.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Top Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – The first U.S ambassador to Myanmar in 22 year formally assumed his job Wednesday by presenting his credentials to the country’s president.Derek Mitchell carried out the formality at the presidential mansion in the capital Naypyitaw, said the website of the office of President Thein Sein. Mitchell had arrived earlier Wednesday in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, before proceeding to the capital. Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Deaths spur French govt to pay for shark hunt

first_imgPARIS (AP) – French fishermen will be on the hunt for a vulnerable shark species off the coast of the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion soon _ and will pocket government cash for their kills after a dramatic rise in deadly attacks pushed Paris to take unprecedented measures.Financial incentives will come into force as early as next week _ and it’s provoked an outcry from animal rights groups, who call it a legalized “extermination.” Some researchers contend that the French initiative will not work as planned. Christopher Neff, a shark attack researcher at the University of Sydney, said that statistics and an ineffective decade-long cull in Hawaii prove that “shark hunts just don’t work to reduce the number of attacks.”“It’s understandable that people _ and politicians _ want a quick solution if there have been fatalities, like in Reunion. But it doesn’t exist,” he said. “If the sharks migrate that way, then a cull won’t stop that.”Neff says that there has been a rise in shark attacks across the Indian Ocean in recent years, including in South Africa, the Seychelles and off the Australian coast.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Thierry Robert, a lawmaker from and the mayor of Saint-Leu, a district where an alarming number of bull sharks have been spotted in recent months, initially offered fishermen (EURO)2 ($2.46) per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of dead shark. But a spokesman for the French Overseas Ministry, Olivier Nicolas, said this sum was too little.“It’s not enough as an incentive for the catching, so the state will contribute and remunerate the catchers,” Nicolas said.Although shark fishing is legal in most areas to the west of the island, bull sharks have typically not been hunted because their flesh contains a toxin and can’t be eaten.In response to the government’s proposal, former actress Brigitte Bardot, who is an animal rights campaigner, wrote a letter of protest to the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Wednesday calling the decision “blind.”“The government is in favor of an extermination, pure and simple,” said Christophe Marie, a spokesman for the Brigitte Bardot Foundation. “The sea belongs first to marine life. We can’t condemn sharks to death just to please surfers. It’s ridiculous.”Environmental groups instead advocate measures that limit would limit the disposal of waste in coastal areas, a practice believed to lure sharks inland to feed. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Sponsored Stories center_img The sharks to be targeted are bull sharks, a large and aggressive species common in the Indian Ocean which is widely believed to be behind several recent attacks on people.The International Union for Conservation of Nature, a leading conservation group that produces the world’s main list of endangered species, the so-called Red List, designates the bull shark as “near threatened,” meaning it could face the threat of extinction in the near future.From 2000 to 2010, there were no shark attacks off Reunion and no calls for culling, but the last two years have seen several deadly attacks, the most recent coming last week when a 22-year-old surfer died after a shark bit off his leg. It was the seventh attack _ and the third fatality _ since the start of last year.The attacks have frightened many local residents into staying on dry land.“A couple of weeks ago, I allowed my son to go swimming,” said 49-year-old Philippe Nanpon, who spoke by telephone Wednesday from Saint-Paul, a district that has seen fatalities. “But now I won’t let him in. Until it’s over, it’s not safe.”It’s not yet clear how much fisherman can earn from killing sharks, and the Paris government says it will give leeway to local authorities and fishermen in setting prices. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Chinas lines around islands suggest more conflict

first_img Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories It also plans to submit a document outlining the outer limits of its sea bed _ those that stretch beyond 200 nautical miles from land _ in the East China Sea to a U.N. commission. The move is a way for China to underscore its claim, but has little real impact. The commission, which comprises geological experts, evaluates the markers on technical grounds but has no authority to resolve overlapping claims.“That puts a line in the sand, but it doesn’t have any legal impact,” said Ian Townsend Gault, director of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada.He doubts whether the islands would be capable of generating a 200-nautical-mile EEZ because they are too insignificant _ too small and without a population.“They are not important in the economic sense, no matter how beautiful they look on postcards,” he said.Legal questions aside, China sees the waters within its baselines as its internal waters under Beijing’s administration.That raises the risk of a confrontation in the clear waters around the disputed islands between Japanese coast guard vessels and Chinese fishing boats and law enforcement vessels, and even Taiwanese vessels _ all ostensibly with orders to patrol the area. Already there has been sparring the past two weeks, with Chinese maritime surveillance vessels entering waters Japan claims, and the Japanese coast guard firing a water cannon at Taiwanese boats approaching the islands.The parties could legally resolve their dispute if they submit it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany, or their own court.“Both would be equally terrified of losing on flimsy grounds,” said Townsend Gault. “They have snookered each other legally and diplomatically speaking. They have driven each other into a corner. We need some third party to say can you put this to bed so we don’t have this enormous disruption in your bilateral relations whereby people are smashing up Toyota dealerships.”___Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.___Follow Louise Watt on Twitter at China hastily published the map to help maintain public outrage over the Japanese government’s purchase of some of the islands from their private Japanese owners. Beijing also has engaged in another type of mapmaking that may end up escalating the conflict.It has drawn new territorial markers, or baselines, around the islands and submitted them to the United Nations. That could lead to a more serious attempt to claim the islands, and broad swaths of valuable ocean around them.“The status quo has been broken in the last month by Japan’s purchase and China’s publishing of the baselines,” said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt of the International Crisis Group. She said friction is likely to reach its worst level since the 1980s when China and Japan tacitly agreed to set aside the dispute in pursuit of better overall relations.Beijing has been firm rhetorically. On Saturday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the country must safeguard its territorial integrity at a reception celebrating the upcoming National Day.State television on Saturday reported that the country’s navy and air forces conducted joint military exercises with live fire targeting a small island in the East China Sea. Associated PressBEIJING (AP) – One of the hottest items in bookstores across China is a map for a place that is closed to visitors, home only to animals such as goats and crabs, and the reason China’s relations with Japan are at their lowest point in years.China calls them the Diaoyus; Japan, the Senkakus. The new map shows a satellite image of a kidney-shaped main island with splotches of green and a list of 70 affiliated “islands” that are really half-submerged rocks. Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Check your body, save your life More than lines on paper are at stake. By submitting the baselines to the U.N., China is spelling out its claim to the waters, the fish in them and the oil, gas and other minerals beneath them. Up until now, China has sought to jointly exploit resources with Japan through negotiation.Japan says it bought to islands to maintain stability, noting that the nationalist governor of Tokyo had been pushing a more radical plan to not only buy the islands but develop them. China, however, was outraged, and considered Japan’s move a violation of their earlier agreements.The dispute has brought nationalism and patriotism to the fore, and sparked sometimes-violent protests in China targeting Japanese businesses, restaurants and cars. A Chinese man driving a Toyota Corolla was beaten unconscious by a mob in the tourist city of Xi’an and left partially paralyzed, according to state media. Chinese and Japanese coast guard vessels have been facing off in the contested waters.The dispute is testing perhaps the most important economic relationship in Asia, between the world’s second- and third-largest economies.Japan has claimed the islands since 1895. The U.S. took jurisdiction after World War II and turned them over to Japan in 1972. China says they have been part of its territory since ancient times, and that it opposed and never acknowledged the deal between Japan and the United States. Taiwan also claims them. The islands make a strange setting for a potential conflict zone. The largest is less than 4 square kilometers (1.5 square miles). It is home to a growing population of goats _ the offspring of a pair brought there by right-wing Japanese activists in 1977 _ as well as moles, crabs, Okinawan ants, albatross and lizards, and plants including azalea.The islands themselves are remote, “intrinsically worthless features” that were largely forgotten for decades, said Clive Schofield of the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at the University of Wollongong.“The reason why there is uncertainty over the ownership, sovereignty is because they have essentially been ignored over a large period of time,” Schofield said.A U.N. survey in the 1970s that said oil and gas may lie beneath the surrounding waters changed that. Then, the Law of the Sea Convention introduced the idea of 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones, or EEZs, which give coastal countries sole exploitation rights over all natural resources contained within.China’s new baselines are a prelude to defining that exclusive zone. It has drawn straight lines around the main group of islands and a separate set around isolated Chiwei Island, some 50 nautical miles to the east. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

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Chile police clash with vandals in Mapuche march

first_img Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Associated PressSANTIAGO, Chile (AP) – Chilean police on Monday clashed with hooded vandals who infiltrated a protest by Mapuche Indians demanding land rights and autonomy.Police shot tear gas and water cannons when the demonstration by 3,000 Mapuches in Chile’s capital turned violent. Sixteen people were arrested.The rally was timed to protest a national holiday for “Dia de La Raza,” which celebrates the first encounter by Native Americans and Europeans during Christopher Columbus’ arrival to America. Top Stories New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The Mapuches, which means “people of the land” in their native language, fiercely resisted the Spanish conquest for 300 years and their desire for autonomy remains strong. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that they were defeated militarily and forced into Araucania, south of the Bio Bio river, about 550 kilometers south of the capital. Most now live in poverty.Mapuche demonstrations demanding land rights have flared up in recent months in Auracania. Logging trucks were burned by unidentified attackers earlier this year and small groups of tribesmen have periodically attacked police. But police officers have also been accused of violent abuses in the indigenous communities.The Mapuches accused of violent acts against police _ Daniel Levinao and Paulino Levipan _ were sentenced to 12 years in prison, while cousins Eric and Rodrigo Montoya await trial.The four members of the Wente Winkul Mapu community were taken from prison to a hospital for treatment after they lost between 8 and 13 kilograms during the hunger strike, which began on August 27.The tribesmen remain conscious and their vital signs, pulse and temperature are normal, Sergio Opazo, director of the Concepcion hospital where they are held, told local radio Bio Bio. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Check your body, save your life Protesters also demanded the release of four Mapuches who have been on a hunger strike for more than 50 days after they were accused of the attempted murder of Chilean police officers and carrying weapons illegally during a raid.Military police Gen. Rodolfo Pacheco blamed anarchist groups for infiltrating Monday’s demonstration and vandalizing several bank branches. Marches in Chile demanding improvements in education and land reforms are common and generally peaceful, but often end with clashes between police and a minority of hooded anarchist activists armed with rocks and molotov cocktails.“Unfortunately, these social rejects of the CRA anarchist group who also caused damaged at last year’s Dia de La Raza… infiltrated into the march wearing hoods and looted banks like Santander, BBVA and Itau, which was the worst damaged,” Pacheco said.Officials say the demonstration in Santiago is now under control and members of the tribe are showcasing cultural events in a downtown park. Many danced in traditional clothes and carried banners bashing the arrival of Columbus.“Today is a day of protest, not of celebration because there’s nothing to celebrate,” Mapuche Leader Natividad Llanquileo told state TV. “We’re going to insist on the freedom of the Mapuche people.” Mapuche leaders say they will go to the Supreme Court to protest the planned force feeding. Amnesty International says the Mapuches have a right to demonstrate and to reject medical treatment including food.President Sebastian Pinera will visit the areas where police and Mapuches have clashed on Tuesday.__Follow AP’s Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixlast_img read more

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Centerra ups reserve estimate of major gold field

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Sponsored Stories How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) – A Canadian-based mining company said Thursday that reserves at the major gold field it is developing in Kyrgyzstan are 58 percent larger than previously believed.The announcement by Centerra Gold comes as a much-needed boost for the Central Asian nation, whose tiny economy has floundered in recent years.Kumtor goldmine accounts for about 12 percent of the economy.Centerra says the end-date for open-pit mining will be extended five years, to 2023. Comments   Share   Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Kumtor’s probable mineral reserves are now estimated at a total 9.7 million ounces of gold.Kyrgyzstan, a country of 5 million people on China’s mountainous western border, has come to prominence in recent years because it hosts a U.S. air base used to support military operations in nearby Afghanistan.Kumtor has come under significant public pressure in Kyrgyzstan amid claims that it is major source of pollution and that Centerra Gold has used accounting tricks to reduce its tax liabilities.A demonstration in the capital Bishkek in October to demand the nationalization of Kumtor spiraled into an unruly confrontation with police that ended with prominent opposition politicians scaling the gates of a government building.Centerra denies all allegations of financial wrongdoing and says the new projections for the mine’s future will prove beneficial to Kyrgyzstan.“The increase in reserves and mine life will provide significant tax revenue to the Kyrgyz Republic of approximately $1.5 billion based on a gold price of $1,350, along with significant employment, community development and other benefits,” Centerra Gold chief executive Ian Atkinson said in Thursday’s statement. The company warned, however, that its optimistic forecast could be undone by persisting political unrest in Kyrgyzstan or any major revisions to the concession agreement.Kyrgyzstan has seen the overthrow of two governments in its short history since gaining independence amid the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.President Askar Akayev was cast out of power in May 2005 after protests in the center of the capital against corruption and misrule.Five years later, several dozen people were shot dead by government troops when angry mobs attacked the presidential administration building in unrest that led to President Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s ouster.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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Spain withdraws permit for Airbus A400M test flights

first_img Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Seville is the final assembly point for the A400M — a 20-billion-euro program that saw its first deliveries in 2013. Some 194 aircraft have been ordered by eight countries — including Spain — to replace their aging military transport fleets.Also Tuesday, authorities were to hold a funeral Mass in Seville for the four people killed in the crash.____Associated Press writers Angela Charlton and Jamey Keaten in Paris contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. FILE – In this June 26, 2008 file photo, Spanish King Juan Carlos, fourth from right, poses with other officials in front of the new military Airbus A400M in Seville, Spain. Investors pushed Airbus shares down Monday May 11, 2015 on Paris’ stock exchange after an Airbus military transport plane undergoing final flight testing in Spain crashed, killing four aboard and injuring two. Airbus shares were down 4.3 percent to 60.67 euros ($67.88) as authorities investigated what caused the A400M to crash into a farm field Saturday after taking off from Seville, where the planes are assembled.(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File) The southern Andalusian justice department in Seville said the judge in charge of the crash probe, Ana Rosa Curra, had placed a secrecy order on investigations, meaning no details would be released officially for the time being.Airbus said it was going ahead Tuesday with a test flight of a similar model to the one that crashed. The A400M test flight was due to leave Toulouse, France in the afternoon and land at Seville two hours later.The Spanish withdrawal of flight permission only affects A400Ms that are destined for delivery to customers, not Tuesday’s test flight, which is a plane that but belongs to Airbus itself as one of its five test planes, according an Airbus official who was not authorized to speak publicly because of company protocol.Fernando Alonso, the head of military aircraft at Airbus Defense and Space, is expected to take part in the test Tuesday as a flight engineer in a symbolic show of confidence in the plane. Alonso took up his post in January, after Airbus dismissed his predecessor following complaints by governments about continued delays in finishing the cargo plane whose rollout went billions over budget and years over deadline.Four of the five countries that already have A400Ms — Britain, Germany, Malaysia and Turkey — have grounded the plane. France, which has six, says it will only use the aircraft in urgent operations. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 0 Comments   Share   Morenes said the permits were being temporarily removed by Spain’s National Institute for Aerospace Technique, which means that planes in the final stages of assembly in Seville will not be able to carry out test flights.An Airbus statement said it was too early to say how this would affect the delivery schedule for the planes.“We are working very closely with the military authorities as well as our customers to manage this situation,” the statement said.Spain’s air traffic controllers said on Twitter that the plane’s pilots had communicated just before the crash that a fault was affecting the flight. Some media outlets also quoted Airbus Seville labor union representative Francisco Figueroa as saying by landing the plane in a field, the pilot apparently avoided crashing it into a shopping mall or nearby factories.“It appears that the pilot made a maneuver to try to avoid worse things happening in the accident,” Morenes said Tuesday.Morenes said he had no details on the progress of the crash investigation, but called such probes incredibly complicated. He said both human and technological factors would be taken into account but added that the possibility that the pilot maneuvered the plane in the final moments to avoid a more serious accident may provide some clues as to what happened. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation MADRID (AP) — Spain has withdrawn its permission for test flights of Airbus A400M planes still in production until an investigation determines the cause of a crash last weekend near the southern city of Seville that killed two pilots and two flight test engineers, the defense minister said Tuesday.Defense Minister Pedro Morenes said all precautions must be taken.“It’s not a good idea for those planes in the production phase and about to do tests to fly without knowing what really happened with the (crashed) plane,” he said on Onda Cero radio.last_img read more