Survivors Recall Genocide of Amazon Tribe in Brazil, the Waimiri-Atroari.
Abortion stalls Dominican Republic Penal Code vote
El Salvador President to Cuba for Checkup after Falling Ill in Mexico, since that worked so well for Hugo Chávez.
Guatemala: Breaking the silence
How do a country and its people come to terms with the atrocities committed during a decades-long, bloody civil war? Dialogue is key here, and that’s a focus of DW Akademie projects in Guatemala.
Haitian President May Drop His Premier
To end an impasse and allow for elections, President Michel Martelly said that he would accept the recommendations of a commission that has called for the prime minister to resign.
Frantic efforts to save Lima climate change talks
Main talks suspended as delegates from 190 countries admit there is ‘no consensus’, while frantic efforts have begun to reach some token agreement, but few are optimistic of a quick resolution, if any
Mother of slain beauty queen seeks asylum in the US
María Eugenia Tovar, mother of beauty queen Génesis Carmona, killed during an anti-government protest in February, would not explain the reasons for her decision
The week’s posts:
White privilege, indeed
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
U.S. releases 6 al-Qaeda detainees to Uruguay
Morales confident he will win Sunday’s election in all nine Bolivian districts
At an event to mark the closing of his campaign ahead of Sunday’s elections, a self-assured Evo Morales told Bolivians that he will win all over the country and will even take the opposition’s bastions of support in the east.
Number of Attacks in Southern Brazil State Rises to 100
The wave of violence, which has left at least three people dead and 41 buses destroyed, has spread to 31 cities in Santa Catarina, whose authorities say the attacks are ordered by a criminal gang from Argentina.
Brazil Suspected Ebola Case Tests Negative
A West African man held in isolation at a Rio de Janeiro hospital on suspicion of bringing the deadly Ebola virus to South America has tested negative for the disease, the Health Ministry said Saturday.
Former Cayman Premier Acquitted
Hours later, President Juan Manuel Santos said that he personally signed off on the trips, which he described as “part of the process, normal.”
— Coco Farinas (@cocofarinas) October 9, 2014
El escándalo uruguayo
A Raúl Sendic, candidato vicepresidencial de Uruguay, junto a Tabaré Vásquez, por el movimiento izquierdista Frente Amplio, del presidente José Mujica, le salpicó la “maldición“ del petróleo. Un cuestionado convenio de canje de crudo por derivados entre Ancap/Trafigura/Petroecuador que involucra USD 6.400 millones, empezó a pasar las primeras facturas, en medio de la campaña electoral. El escándalo ampliamente cubierto por la prensa uruguaya, hace referencia al libro Ecuador Made in China, y a una carta remitida al gobierno uruguayo y a varios legisladores de ese país.
. . .
La referida cláusula del Convenio señala que Ecuador proveerá hasta 36000 barriles diarios de crudo, sin embargo en el contrato firmado el mismo día en Montevideo, se estableció la entrega de hasta 100000 barriles diarios, con lo que se violó el Convenio. Incluir un volumen de 100000 barriles día notificaba al más ingenuo que el crudo no estaba destinado a la refinería uruguaya, cuya capacidad máxima, cuando está operativa, es de 50000 barriles día, y de un crudo diferente al ecuatoriano. Al respecto, la Contraloría abona con conclusiones que dejan sin respuesta a los autores del Acuerdo: “se contrató con Ancap, sin que existan estudios técnicos que demuestren los beneficios para el país de una contratación directa”, señala en organismo.
The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund urged the appeals court to rule for Chevron on a highly technical but critical issue. You read that correctly: The nation’s oldest women’s-rights legal advocacy organization, a left-leaning group that helped enact the landmark 1994 Violence Against Women Act and represents victims of sexual harassment and spousal brutality, supports the multinational oil company in its struggle against a crusading lawyer who claims to represent the impoverished and oppressed.
Mexico Arrests Alleged Head of Juárez Drug Cartel
Federal police arrested alleged Juárez drug cartel leader Vicente Carrillo Fuentes in the northern city of Torreón on Thursday, Mexican officials said. His Arrest Is Seen as Symbolic Amid Police Scandal
Trinidad and Tobago Mulls Postponing Carnival over Ebola Fears
Wouldn’t it be better if they had done this while Maduro was speakinVenezuela: Exxon wins $1.6 billion settlementg at the UN? UN urges Venezuela to release dissenter leader Leopoldo López
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations (UN) described as illegal the actions of the Venezuelan authorities in the proceedings against the political opposition leader for the events of February 12
Venezuela: a land of political killings and gang turf wars
Politician Robert Serra was murdered in his home
The grisly murder of a young politician and killing of a pro-regime militia leader in police shoot-out signal a bloody power struggle for the legacy of Hugo Chavez, writes Phillip Sherwell
The week’s posts and podcast:
Why Venezuela should not have a seat at the UN Security Council
At Da Tech Guy Blog:
Why bother covering up the Cartagena, Colombia, prostitution scandal?
Judge Robert Bork, 1927-2012, died today, age 85. His friend John Podhoretz writes his obituary,
Perhaps the most important legal scholar of his day, whose work on matters ranging from anti-trust to the complexities of privacy laws was both accessible and deeply considered, Bork was exactly the sort of choice serious-minded people should have welcomed. The Court had been in large measure the province of lightweights who were considered politically safe or somehow controllable, men who possessed no intellectual compass and were either the captives of their clerks or of the conventional wisdom. His nomination did the Court credit. It was an effort to elevate it.
But no. Nothing like the campaign to deny Bork the Supreme Court had ever been seen before. It was a systematic campaign of personal destruction undertaken by liberal interest groups who had come to see the growing conservatism of the Reagan-era judiciary as an existential threat to them. Only a year earlier, Antonin Scalia had been affirmed by a 98-0 vote in the Senate, but in the interim, Democrats had taken hold of the body in the 1986 elections and the stage was set for a new era of personal destruction in the pursuit of a supposedly higher good.
I had the honor of briefly meeting Judge Bork a few years ago. He was one of the most brilliant men of our times. Adam J. White points out that
The changed course of future Supreme Court nominations was the Bork nomination’s most obvious legacy, but that was not its only legacy. Indeed, the Bork nomination’s most significant impact may be not the manner in which Supreme Court justices are selected, but rather the content of constitutional law itself. For while Bork himself was pilloried for embracing an originalist approach to constitutional law, his nomination’s failure laid the basis for originalism’s eventual success. The Bork hearings galvanized conservatives and challenged them to refine originalism to achieve greater political effectiveness.
White concludes, “Only 25 years after Robert Bork suffered public defeat at the hands of Ted Kennedy and the left, the most interesting question in constitutional law is not whether conservatives can prevail with originalism, but whether liberals can prevail without it. Welcome to Robert Bork’s America.”
Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.
No doubt Fidel Castro will die, and keeping track of the rumors has become a pastime not only for all Cubans but also for all Latin America watchers – including the ones, like myself, who bring up the Zombie Fidel. And Cubans are restless.
This at first sounds like progress. But it doesn’t come close to setting Cubans free to roam the world. Citizens will still be required to secure a passport validation stamp, and for many Cubans the costs will add up to more than the fee for the white card. The stamp can also be withheld at the discretion of the regime.
As spelled out in the law, scientists, doctors and anyone deemed to be of high value to the state will have a hard time getting permission to travel—and even if they get it, they will have to wait five years between filing an application and actually boarding a plane. An editorial in the Cuban state newspaper last week said that the regime intends to protect itself from “the theft of talent applied by the powerful,” i.e., the U.S. The law also stipulates a catchall rejection category marked “defense and national security interests.” Translation: Nobody gets out without the dictator’s blessing.
Meanwhile, you can’t make this up: Hotel official: Fidel Castro appears in public
HAVANA — Fidel Castro has appeared in public for the first time in months, a top hotel executive told The Associated Press on Sunday, challenging persistent rumors that the aging revolutionary is near death.
The 86-year-old leader dropped off a Venezuelan guest at the Hotel Nacional on Saturday afternoon, then stayed for about half an hour to chat with hotel staff, commercial director Yamila Fuster said.
Here’s the photo (Jaua’s finger holding it),
Colombia, Argentina Trade Barbs on Economic Might
Colombia is bragging that its economy has surpassed Argentina to become is the third-largest in Latin America, marking a turnaround for a country that until a few years ago had its reputation mauled by violence.
Brazilian newspapers pull out of Google News
Brazilian newspapers decide to pull out of Google News, saying the search engine refuses to pay for content and takes traffic away from their websites.
este sábado, la influyente revista Veja publicó que uno de los condenados, el publicista Marcos Valerio Fernandes (cuyo grupo publicitario pagaba a los diputados y a la tesorería del partido de Lula con prestamos fraudulentos de bancos estatales), ha dicho que “Lula era el jefe” de toda la trama que juzga el STF. “Todo lo que hacía era del conocimiento de Lula”, lanzó. Aunque el abogado de Valerio negó la declaración (una aparente amenaza cifrada), ésta podría ser la primera acusación directa en contra del ex presidente.
Colombia Peace Talks Have Bumpy Kickoff
Colombia’s main guerrilla army used the opening salvo of peace talks to attack some of the country’s most prominent oil and mining firms, suggesting the Marxist group will try to use the meetings to assail Colombia’s market-friendly economic policies.
In the short-term, the Party is trying playing the immigration card a few weeks before the U.S. presidential election. Why? In part, because it can. They think they can influence votes in South Florida’s large Cuban-American community by using the immigration/family reunification talisman to divide voters in Miami. I can think of at least one Congressional race where this could become an minor issue, but it is mostly quixotic.
Feds: Remittance firm at center of Medicare-Cuba laundering scam
Federal prosecutors named Caribbean Transfers as the financial backer that sent millions of dollars to Cuba as part of a Medicare-fraud scheme.
An offshore remittance company called Caribbean Transfers financed a complex money-laundering ring that moved more than $30 million in stolen Medicare money from South Florida into Cuba’s banking system, federal authorities said Thursday.
The revelation surfaced in the widening case of a now-convicted check-cashing store owner who was first believed to be at the center of the federal case. It marked the first time that investigators traced tainted Medicare proceeds to Cuba’s state-controlled bank.
Two more Germans held over Dominican Republic ‘sect’ shootout
The Dominican Republic authorities have arrested two more German suspected doomsday cult members over a deadly shootout earlier this week.
Heist in Honduras leaves 4 dead
Fujimori wants a pardon: Pardon me
A request for clemency puts the president in a bind
La Comay makes the news: Puerto Rico enthralled by cheeky newscaster puppet
What Chávez inherits from Chávez
The week’s posts,
Cuba: FIDEL CASTRO DEAD?
[Opening paragraph re-redacted for clarity.]
… they came up with a worthless report on the “Bain Files”, which Dan Primack had already studied,
Let me save you some time: There is nothing in there that will inform your opinion of Mitt Romney.
How do I know? Because I saw many of the exact same documents months ago, after requesting them from a Bain Capital investor. What I quickly learned was that there was little of interest, except perhaps for private equity geeks who want to know exactly how much Bain paid for a particular company back in 2006. Sure I would have loved the pageviews, but not at the expense of tricking readers into clicking on something of so little value.
Let’s go over what Gawker believes it found:
“Mitt Romney’s $250 million fortune is largely a black hole: Aside from the meager and vague disclosures he has filed under federal and Massachusetts laws, and the two years of partial tax returns (one filed and another provisional) he has released, there is almost no data on precisely what his vast holdings consist of, or what vehicles he has used to escape taxes on his income.”
There actually is plenty of data on Romney’s Bain-related holdings. For example, Bain’s own website lists most of its active private equity portfolio companies. Then there are third-party databases operated by such organizations as Dow Jones, Thomson Reuters and CapitalIQ — each one of which includes searchable lists of past Bain Capital deals (often with detailed financial information). And, finally, Bain isn’t really in the business of doing tiny purchases of unknown family businesses. When it buys something, there is almost always a press release and/or media coverage. Perhaps Gawker hasn’t yet discovered the magic of Lexis-Nexis. Maybe it should sign up for the daily Term Sheet email.
“Today, we are publishing more than 950 pages of internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested… Many of them are offshore funds based in the Cayman Islands.”
I get it. “Cayman Islands” is supposed to be code for tax avoidance or shady dealings. But the reality is that most private equity firms form Cayman-domiciled funds to accommodate investors based outside of the United States (particularly when those funds also are making some non-U.S. investments). One private equity fund formation attorney I spoke with says that the Caymans structure usually doesn’t have real tax benefit for the non-U.S. investors, but that they nonetheless feel more comfortable. He added that, for most U.S. private equity executives, the Cayman structure has little to zero impact in terms of personal taxes.
Primack has a lot more on “the Bain Files”, but Roger L. Simon looked at Gawker and the Caiman Islands,
Owner of Liberal Outlet Attacking Romney for “Cayman Islands” Accounts Based in… Cayman Islands.
Gawker Media has been going through a big corporate revamp over the past year or so. The ultimate parent company has never been in the U.S.: it used to be Blogwire in Hungary, but now Blogwire Hungary has become a subsidiary of a Cayman Islands entity called Gawker Media Group Inc, which also owns various U.S. operations like Gawker Media LLC, Gawker Entertainment LLC, Gawker Technology LLC, and Gawker Sales LLC.
Then there’s this little tidbit of information; something regarding obscene profits, untaxed revenue, and side-stepping the IRS…
The Hungarian companies get all of Gawker’s international income, which flows in from 13 different salespeople in ten different countries and which, since it’s international income flowing to a Hungarian company owned by a Cayman Islands parent, is basically pure profit which never comes close to being taxed in the U.S. The result is a company where 130 U.S. employees eat up the lion’s share of the U.S. revenues, resulting in little if any taxable income, while the international income, the franchise value of the brands, and the value of the technology all stays permanently overseas, untouched by the IRS.
As Rusty says, “This is weapons-grade hypocrisy…” but what else can you expect?
Mitt Romney: What I Learned at Bain Capital
My business experience taught me how to help companies grow—and what to do when trouble arises. When you see a problem, run toward it before the problem gets worse.
Paul Ryan was on Kudlow
President Obama turned down a chance to have Timothy Cardinal Dolan deliver a prayer at the Democratic National Convention after Dolan told Democrats he would be “grateful” to deliver a blessing in Charlotte.
Obama doesn’t know his Navy from his Army or Marines – the Daily Mail shows that Biden ‘s “gaffes” aren’t the only ones.
The Dems may try to run their convention agenda on Todd Aiken,
an issue that registers at less than 1 percent in Gallup’s poll asking about voters’ most important issues
while Anderson Cooper obliterates DNC Chair over her lies about Romney’s stance on abortion. The Right Scoop has the video. And, Oops — Looks Like That Pro-Obama Joe Soptic Ad Backfired.
Heritage held a press conference with Bob Fu, President of China Aid and Tiananmen Square student leader and Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers. Both have long established relationships with Chen.
It is worth noting that Chen shares with Cuban dissident Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet a concern for the rights of women not to endure forced abortions.
and making the right decisions,