Violence Claims Another Celebrity in Venezuela: Boxer Antonio Cermeno Shot to Death

on Thursday, 27 February 2014. Posted in Americas, World

Former boxing champion found killed after kidnappers grab him, his wife and others in Caracas.

Violence Claims Another Celebrity in Venezuela: Boxer Antonio Cermeno Shot to Death

In the 1990s, boxer Antonio Cermeno was at the top of his sport. By the time he retired in 2006 he had a record in the ring of 45-7 and had twice won the world title, once as the WBA Super Bantamweight Champ and once as the WBA Featherweight Champ.

New Gas Reserves Found in the Gulf

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Friday, 06 July 2012. Posted in Americas, World

As North American gas reserves continue to soar due to shale gas development, Mexico finds new, enormous gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico.

New Gas Reserves Found in the Gulf

Mexico's state-run oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, better known as Pemex, said it has found a massive new gas reserve in the Gulf of Mexico.

Fascist Canada Declares Man too Fat to be a Father

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Friday, 22 June 2012. Posted in Americas, World

Though he has committed no crime, and the courts find his home suitable, a Canadian father has lost custody of his children. His “crimes”? Being too fat, too strong, and playing video games.

Fascist Canada Declares Man too Fat to be a Father

If government considers you too fat, can they take away your children

Brazilian Prosecutors Seek Huge Fines for Chevron Spill

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Wednesday, 28 December 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Oil Platform off the coast of Brazil. Prosecutors in Brazil are hoping a federal court will permanently bar Chevron and rig contractor Transocean from any further drilling in Brazil and are also asking that the companies be fined R$20 billion ($10.7 billion) in the wake of an oil spill that say 3,000 barrels of oil leak into waters off the coast of Brazil.

According to the Rio Times, “State prosecutor Eduardo de Oliveira Santos said that the two companies had demonstrated a lack of environmental planning and management, had not prepared an adequate contingency plan and omitted information to the National Petroleum Agency (ANP).”

In response to the news that prosecutors would file a lawsuit seeking the fines and the injunction, Chevron said it had not received “any formal notice” of the action.

The company also said it acted properly in handling the spill.

Protests Stop Mining Project, Lead To Suspension of Civil Liberties in Peru

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Wednesday, 07 December 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Yanacocha gold mine in Peru. A U.S. based mining company has suspended operations at a Peruvian mining operation as a result of ongoing protests in the region.

Opponents of Newmont Mining’s $4.8 billion Minas Conga gold and copper mining project have demonstrated over several weeks in a bid to stop the mine’s operations over fears that it will pollute and deplete the local watershed.

Partly at issue are four lakes that the project envisions displacing, to be replaced with reservoirs. According to a company “water fact sheet,” the reservoirs are to be “designed to assure a year-round supply of water to downstream users” but they “will replace the four lakes to be removed by the Conga Project.”

Post Apocalyptic Scene of Drug Violence on Mexican Freeway

Written by ADH Staff on Thursday, 22 September 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Boca del RioThe classic post-apocalyptic film Mad Maxdepicts the violent breakdown of law and order in a society ravaged by criminal road gangs. The over-the-top motor vehicle mayhem of the movie elicited acidic reviews from critics, likely because the movie, starring the then-unknown Mel Gibson in the lead role, seemed entirely divorced from any reality that could be conceived in 1979.

How times change. In 2011 in Mexico, Mad Max has come to life with the violence this time stemming from drug and human trafficking instead of a fuel shortage as depicted in the movie.

The most recent graphic example of Mexico’s Mad Max reality came this week in the city of Boca del Rio where gang members stood guard blocking a highway while 35 bodies were dumped in the center of the road.

Chile Hit With Dramatic Snowfall

Written by ADH Staff on Saturday, 23 July 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Huge snowfall covers ChileIt’s always winter somewhere.

Americans may find that hard to believe as much of the nation east of the Rockies swelters through this year’s most intense heat wave. But in Chile, parts of the country face, quite literally, the polar opposite: heavy snow and intense cold.

According to the Patagonia Times, a “polar wave has left up to nine feet of snow and possibly 6,500 people isolated.” The heavy snow caused Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to declare the affected region a disaster area.

“The government has resolved to help those affected, especially those living in Lonquimay,” Piñera said on July 20. “We declare the zone a disaster area in order to give us greater tools to help our fellow Chileans.”

The affected area lies several hundred miles south of the capital, Santiago. Located in northern Patagonia, the region regularly experiences snowy, cold winter weather. This week’s heavy snowfall, however, has been the most extreme in several decades.

“Intermittent since Sunday, the snowfall has piled as high as nine feet in some areas,” the Patagonia Times reported. “Although this part of the country is no stranger to the cold weather, Piñera described the current polar front as the worst the region has seen in 30 years.”

Oxi: New Dangerous Drug Spreads In Brazil

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Friday, 20 May 2011. Posted in Americas, World

More powerful than cocaine and more deadly too. A new drug is sweeping Brazil and leaving death in its wake.

Oxi: New Dangerous Drug Spreads In Brazil

It’s cheaper, perhaps more powerful and definitely more dangerous than even crack cocaine. The new illicit drug is “oxi,” known, The Rio Times of Brazil notes, “as the drug of death” because those hooked on it often die within a year. But what it amounts to before death is an attempt by users to turn themselves into insensible zombies.

Grisly Murders in Guatemala Lead to State of Siege for the Country

Written by ADH Staff on Wednesday, 18 May 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Migrant workers massacred at the Guatemala and Mexico border. Twenty-seven migrant workers were massacred in a grisly attack on a farm in Guatemala over the weekend, prompting president Alvaro Colom to declare a “state of siege.”

According to the Telegraph of London, “at least 27 people were decapitated” at the ranch near the border with Mexico where the attack occurred.

The attack reportedly resulted in a shoot-out with authorities, CNN reported. One of the criminals was captured and two were killed by police. Authorities believe that the attackers were members of the Zeta drug cartel which operates primarily in Mexico.

CNN, describing reports in the Guatemalan press, said that one survivor was a pregnant woman who “covered her daughters and begged for mercy.” According to CNN, “The woman said the group that attacked the farm consisted of more than 50 armed men in fatigues, who had Mexican accents.”

Dengue Fever a Danger in Brazil

Written by ADH Staff on Sunday, 10 April 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Dengue FeverIt’s thought of as a disease of the African tropics, but it has become a danger world wide, and Brazil, the number of Dengue Fever cases is on the rise.

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Dengue fever is caused by one of four different but related viruses. It is spread by the bite of mosquitoes, most commonly the mosquito Aedes aegypti, which is found in tropic and subtropic regions.” 

And, because of the increase in travel world wide, NIH warns that “Dengue fever is being seen in more world travelers.”

In Brazil, the disease has officials worried.

According to the Rio Times, to raise awareness of the disease the government of Rio organized “the Day of Crusade Against Dengue during the first weekend of April. Some 5,000 volunteers, members of the Fire Brigade and government officials went door-to-door in 126 neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro” to raise awareness.

Mass Graves Found in Mexico Near Texas Border

Written by ADH Staff on Thursday, 07 April 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Mass Murders found by the Mexican border. Mass graves containing the bodies of 59 people have been found in northern Mexico, not far from the U.S. Border.

Mexican security forces found the graves while searching for passengers who had been abducted from a bus. It was not known if any of the bodies belonged to the kidnapped bus passengers.

According to London Daily Mail, the mass graves were found “near the ranch where drug cartel gunmen less than a year ago massacred 72 migrants who were trying to reach the United States.” 

In response to the find, Amnesty International demanded that Mexico conduct a full investigation into the deaths.

“The mass graves found yesterday once again show the Mexican government’s failure to deal with the country’s public security crisis and reduce criminal violence which has left many populations vulnerable to attacks, abductions and killings,” said Rupert Knox, Amnesty International researcher on Mexico, in a press release from the organization. 

Controversial Belo Monte Dam Halted in Brazil

Written by ADH Staff on Saturday, 26 February 2011. Posted in Americas, World

James Cameron from Avatar.A federal judge in the Para state in Brazil has halted the construction of a huge and controversial hydroelectric project on a tributary of the Amazon River.

Judge Ronaldo Desterro stopped the construction after ruling that environmental requirements had not been met.

The Belo Monte dam project, if continued, would result in the construction of the third largest dam in the world. The construction, however, would take place within the fragile ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest, and, critics say, would put the traditional lifestyle of the region’s indigenous people at risk, while displacing tens of thousands. Supporters, however, say that the proposed dam would create jobs while providing badly needed energy. The huge structure, when completed, would have a capacity of 11,000 MW, enough to power 23 million homes, according to the BBC.

Thousands would benefit from the dam, according to the head of Brazil’s environmental agency. “Our studies show that today the population does not have adequate sanitation or healthcare,” Roberto Messias said according to London’s Guardian newspaper. “The conditions outlined in the license [for the project] are designed so that the local population have a superior quality of life … at the end of the construction.”

Production Halted At Oil Sands Facility in Canada After Explosion

Written by ADH Staff on Sunday, 09 January 2011. Posted in Americas, World

Horizon Oil SandsWork has been halted by a stop-work order at the Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. oil sands plant north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, after an explosion at the facility sent workers running for cover.

According to a statement issued by the company, the facility “experienced a fire at its Primary Upgrading facility at the Horizon Oil Sands Plant at approximately 3:30 pm on January 67, 2011. Emergency crews immediately responded and an orderly shutdown took place.” The company said that the fire was extinguished by 7:15 pm that evening, and that no evacuation of the facility was required.

Some members of the crew at the facility were injured, however. Three workers were burned in the fire, and one was still hospitalized as of January 7.

Enabling Law to Grant Chavez Dictatorial Power

Written by Dennis Behreandt on Thursday, 16 December 2010. Posted in Americas, World

Hugo ChavezVenezuela is set to approve an Enabling Law that will grant President Hugo Chavez sweeping new dictatorial powers. Officially, the purpose of the law is to give Chavez the capability to assist Venezuelans whose homes were destroyed by storms and flooding. As written, however, the law appears to give Chavez the power to control the most fundamental aspects of the lives of the Venezuelan people.

One section of the law, for instance, gives Chavez the power to address “the vital and urgent human needs resulting from the social conditions of poverty.....”

Another section of the law gives Chavez the power “to design a new geographic regionalization that reduces the elevated levels of demographic concentration in certain regions, to regulate the creation of new communities and ... to establish a more adequate distribution and social use of urban and rural lands that have the conditions to install basic services and habitat that humanizes community relations.”

U.S. DOT Proposes $423,600 Civil Penalty Against Chevron for Pipeline Failure Near Salt Lake City

on Monday, 01 November 2010. Posted in Americas, World

Chevron Pipeline PHMSA The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that its Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is proposing a $423,600 civil penalty against Chevron Pipe Line Company after an investigation into the June 2010 pipeline failure near the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The pipeline failure resulted in the release of 800 barrels - or 33,600 gallons - of crude oil into the ground and nearby Red Butte Creek.    

“The Department’s top priority is safety, and we remain committed to ensuring America's pipelines are capable of safely delivering vital energy products to U.S. households and businesses,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

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