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October 2, 2010 | reuters
? President Rafael Correa's victory over violent police protests in Ecuador is not yet fully assured, though the situation is under control for now, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Friday. Correa was physically attacked and trapped in a hospital for several hours Thursday before troops rescued him in a blaze of gunfire. The leftist president said police officers protesting spending cuts were joined by some elements of the military and made an attempt to oust him. "We can't claim total victory.
October 1, 2010 | By Chris Kraul and Paul Rosero, Los Angeles Times
Amid volleys of gunfire and concussion grenade blasts, Ecuadorean armed forces Thursday night rescued President Rafael Correa from a hospital where he had been held for several hours against his will by police mutineers. The rescue ended a 12-hour standoff between the government and dissident police officers who shoved Correa and threw tear gas canisters at him Thursday morning when he arrived at a north Quito police barracks to confront protesters upset over his veto of legislation that would have given police better benefits and salaries.
August 7, 2010
What is a barrel of oil worth? Generally, the answer depends on a number of factors, including the mood of the commodities markets, the grade of the oil and demand at the gas pump. The basic assumption, however, is that the oil has a value because it eventually will be available for use. But in a historic move, Ecuador is asking the world to put a dollar figure on oil that will not be used — oil it intends to protect from excavation. On Tuesday, Ecuador and the United Nations Development Programme began soliciting donations for a trust fund that would remunerate the country if it forgoes drilling in a pristine portion of its Amazon rain forest for 10 years.
July 16, 2010 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals panel has ruled quickly that though Joe Berlinger does not have to surrender all 600 hours of outtakes from his film "Crude" to Chevron Corp., the documentary filmmaker must immediately hand over several categories of unused film footage. In an order issued Thursday, a day after the closely watched 1st Amendment case was argued in New York, the three-judge panel said that Berlinger must turn over outtakes related to three issues covered in his 2009 film about environmental litigation in Ecuador.
July 6, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Police in Ecuador seized a 100-foot submarine being built by suspected drug traffickers capable of carrying a crew of six and 10 tons of cocaine on underwater voyages lasting up to 10 days — a "game changer" for U.S. anti-drug and border security efforts, officials said Monday. A raid Friday by 120 police officers and soldiers netted the fiberglass sub as it was nearing completion in a clandestine "industrial complex" hidden in mangrove swamps near San Lorenzo, a town just south of the Colombian border.
April 16, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Special to The Los Angeles Times
I've often fantasized about retracing the steps of such naturalists as Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt and William Bartram, who saw exotic places and recorded, in detail, the plants and animals they described so vividly on their expeditions. But the armchair naturalist in me didn't want to work too hard or subject myself to the tribulations they suffered as they circumnavigated the globe, climbed the South American Andes or slogged through the swamps of the Southeastern United States, all places where one might encounter sharks, bugs, snakes, piranhas, jaguars and crocodiles.
April 12, 2010 | From The Los Angeles Times
Ecuador's beauty shines through The beauty and "aliveness" of Mindo, Ecuador, came through clearly in "An Eden in the Clouds" [April 4], by Chris Kraul, who has reported for The Times on damage done in Ecuador by oil drilling. Beauty like Mindo's must be protected. Kraul is more than the armchair naturalist he says he is: He walked, saw, listened. And shared the beauty. -- Damiana Chavez, Los Angeles Coastal trip can be a bargain too I am surprised that in the current economic recession the L.A. Times highlighted a $1,185 overnight stay at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur ["You, Me and Hwy. 1," by Sally Horchow, April 4]
April 4, 2010 | By Avital Binshtock
UZBEKISTAN AND TURKMENISTAN 'Cities of the Silk Road' A key highlight of Wild Frontiers' 16-day "Cities of the Silk Road" itinerary is seeing Darvaza, fondly called Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell," a 280-foot-wide crater that's been ablaze since 1971, when geologists ignited its natural gases. Besides that fiery spectacle, there's plenty else to take in between these two rarely visited Central Asia nations, with their many archaeological sites, culture and history aplenty, the world's largest carpet, the Oxus River, the moonscape of the Karakum Desert and Ashgabat's impressive architecture.
April 4, 2010 | By Chris Kraul
THE BEST WAY TO MINDO, ECUADOR From LAX, connecting service (change of planes) is available to Quito, Ecuador, on Continental, American, Copa, Delta, LAN and Avianca. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $368. Regular bus service from Quito to Mindo is available hourly and costs $4 each way. Taxis charge about $50. Or visitors can arrange transportation from Quito as part of a package tour (see below). TELEPHONES To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code)
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