Captive orangutan has human right to freedom

Reuters, December 21

An orangutan held in the Buenos Aires zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a “non-human person” unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media reported.

Animal rights campaigners filed a habeas corpus petition – a document more typically used to challenge the legality […]

Obama announces U.S. to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama announced the United States would restore diplomatic relations it severed with Cuba more than 50 years ago, drawing resistance from lawmakers opposed to reconciling with the communist-run island.

After 18 months of secret talks facilitated by the Vatican and Canada, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed by phone on […]

Last-minute deal reached at U.N. climate talks

CBS/AP, December 14

Lima, Peru – After late-night wrangling at U.N. talks in Peru, negotiators early Sunday reached a compromise deal that sets the stage for a global climate pact in Paris next year.

The main goal for the two-week session in Lima was relatively modest: Reach agreement on what information should go into the […]

US Congress passes bill to impose Venezuela sanctions

The United States Congress has passed a bill which would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials found to have violated protesters’ rights.

BBC, December 10

The vote was passed by the House of Representatives and received similar approval by the Senate earlier this week.

The bill is now likely to be signed into law by President […]

Tabare Vazquez wins Uruguay’s run-off election

Uruguay’s leftist candidate Tabare Vazquez has easily beaten rival Luis Lacalle Pou in a presidential run-off.

BBC, December 1

Final results gave Mr Vazquez, from the governing Broad Party, 52.8%, compared with 41% for Mr Lacalle Pou, of the right-wing National Party.

Mr Vazquez, 74, is a cancer doctor who served as president from 2005-10.

[…]

Military Personnel Trained by the CIA Used Napalm Against Indigenous People in Brazil

Truthout, By Santiago Navarro F., Renata Bessi and Translated by Miriam Taylor, November 9

For the first time in the history of Brazil, the federal government is investigating the deaths and abuses suffered by Indigenous peoples during military dictatorship (1964-1985). The death toll may be twenty times more than previously known.

Just as in World […]

Brazil’s Rousseff re-elected by grateful working-class, country divided

Reuters, By Paulo Prada, October 27

Despite opposition from nearly half of Brazil’s voters, leftist President Dilma Rousseff won re-election on Sunday and will have another four years to try to revive growth in a once-booming economy gone stagnant.

The 66-year-old Rousseff, who was a Marxist guerrilla in her youth, overcame growing dissatisfaction with the […]

Protests in Mexico Over Missing Students are Biggest in Years

GlobalPost, By Ioan Grillo, October 24

Mexico City — The fathers of the disappeared students took to the stage one by one. They spoke of their sons’ hopes of becoming teachers, of the last time they saw them, of their agony in going almost a month with no news after they vanished.

As one dad […]

Water crisis worsens as Sao Paulo nears ‘collapse’

Bloomberg News, By Vanessa Dezem, October 22

Sao Paulo, Brazil — Sao Paulo residents, half of whom are already complaining of hours-long water shortages, were warned by a top water regulator Tuesday to brace for more severe cutoffs.

“If the drought continues, residents will face more dramatic water shortages in the short term,” Vicente Andreu, […]

Quick count: Bolivia’s Morales coasts to 3rd term

Associated Press, By Carlos Valdez, October 12

La Paz – Evo Morales easily won an unprecedented third term as Bolivia’s president Sunday on the strength of the economic and political stability brought by his government, according to an unofficial quick count of the vote.

Morales, a native Aymara from Bolivia’s poor, wind-swept Andean plateau, received […]

I escaped Venezuela for North America. Here’s how.

Washington Post, By Rafael Osío Cabrices, July 2

At the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas, my wife, 8-month-old daughter and I stopped to take photos of our feet. We were standing over a colorful, geometric mosaic made by the famous artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, a symbol of the modern and cosmopolitan Venezuela we loved and […]

Vatican Reverses Anti-Liberation Policies in Mexico

Religion Dispatches, By Ruth Chojnacki & Jennifer Scheper Hughes, June 24

Late last month Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel announced that after a 14 year church-ordered suspension of the rite, indigenous deacons would again be ordained in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas—where the local church serves a largely Maya population.

A […]

Brazilian police fire tear gas on Sao Paulo subway strikers ahead of World Cup

Subway strikers in Sao Paulo threaten chaos for World Cup as union vows to continue stoppage that has caused gridlock in Sao Paulo regardless of legal ruling.

South China Morning Post / AFP, June 8

Police in Sao Paulo fired tear gas on Monday to disperse protesters supporting a subway strike that has unleashed transport […]

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden seeks asylum in sunny Brazil

AFP, June 2

Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, wanted by US authorities and currently living in Russia, said in a TV interview that he has applied for asylum in Brazil.

“I would love to live in Brazil,” Snowden told Brazil’s Globo TV on Sunday.

Snowden’s temporary asylum in Russia expires in August. Washington has revoked […]

Largest dinosaur? Paleontologists unearth new heavyweight in Argentina

The Guardian, By Uki Goni, May 17

Buenos Aires – Paleontologists in Patagonia, southern Argentina on Friday announced they have unearthed a 90-million-year-old fossil of what they claim is the largest dinosaur found to date.

“It’s the largest example ever found,” said Ruben Cuneo, director of the Feruglio Museum of Trelew, a city founded by […]

Users