February 21, 2010 |
Ecuador is trying to salvage its campaign to enlist international sponsors to protect a pristine nature reserve in the Amazon, after an initial drive ended in disarray and doubts about whether President Rafael Correa would leave the park's oil riches untouched. Correa recently appointed former Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa to head a new panel to seek donations from Arab and Asian countries for the 2.4-million-acre Yasuni National Park, one of the world's most biodiverse nature reserves.
March 12, 2010 |
The numbers were apocalyptic: More than 220,000 people killed and 300,000 injured. Over 1 million people displaced from homes. About 280,000 houses either obliterated or damaged. An estimated 25 million cubic yards of rubble to be cleared, much of it from the narrow, congested streets of Port-au-Prince. Add to that a crippled government, its ministry buildings and presidential palace destroyed. And in a bitter coup de grace, aid organizations already working in Haiti before the Jan. 12 earthquake were left reeling, most notably the United Nations, which lost its top two officials and more than 80 others.
December 29, 2009 |
Journalist Bladimir Antuna put up with the death threats. He wasn't afraid of dying, he told friends, but he really didn't want to be tortured. The government assigned bodyguards to the crime reporter for El Tiempo newspaper in Durango, but as time wore on and there were so many other crises, the escorts were withdrawn. A couple of days later, he was snatched by gunmen; his strangled, bruised body was discovered at nightfall. With the corpse was a hand-scrawled message: "This happened to me for giving information to soldiers and writing too much."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2010 |
The catastrophic quake that struck Haiti on Tuesday involved a collision of lethal circumstances: a massive, shallow eruption below a densely populated city with few, if any, building codes. The magnitude 7.0 quake occurred near the boundary between two major tectonic plates, the Caribbean and North American plates. Most of the movement along these plates is what is known as left-lateral strike-slip motion, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, with the Caribbean plate moving eastward in relation to the North America plate.
December 22, 2009 |
The dead drug lord lay on his back, blood-soaked jeans yanked down to the knees. Mexican peso notes carpeted his bullet-torn body, and U.S. $100 bills formed neat rows next to his bared belly. The gory photograph of Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of Mexico's most wanted kingpins, was among those widely published here during the last few days following his death in a shootout Wednesday with Mexican marines in Cuernavaca, capital of the central state of Morelos. Even in a country where pictures of gruesome crime scenes routinely show up on the front pages of newspapers, the Beltran Leyva images have stirred controversy over who staged the tableau and whether Mexican authorities did so to send a taunting message to the rest of his powerful drug trafficking gang.
April 14, 2010 |
A chaotic shootout Wednesday on a hotel-lined boulevard in the beach resort city of Acapulco left as many as six people dead, Mexican authorities said. Federal police officers patrolling the area came under fire after they heard gunshots and saw attackers shooting at two men in a car, authorities said. The gunmen also shot at other vehicles as they tried to flee, riddling dozens of cars with bullet holes. The victims included a woman and her 8-year-old daughter. No tourists appeared to have been killed.
January 19, 2010 |
When something goes bump in the night, Benedesmo Palacios not only jumps but also reaches for his revolver. Who could blame him? The Afro-Colombian father of eight led his riverfront community's successful effort to remove a fleet of polluting vessels that dredged for gold, and now he fears he's a marked man. "My nerves are on edge. I'm afraid of people following me and I trust no one," said Palacios, who is Paimado's community council leader. "I've heard there are two contracts out to kill me. But I've left it in the hands of God."
January 24, 2010 |
The earthquake destroyed just about everything Georges Marceau owned, even his shoes. For 10 days, the 38-year-old engineer couldn't even withdraw money to buy food: All of the banks in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, had been closed since the Jan. 12 quake. So on Saturday, the day the banks reopened, Marceau was up early and in line at a Sogebank branch shortly after 5 a.m. A tall man with a dignified bearing and a neatly trimmed beard, he was dressed in slacks, a sports jacket and awkward-looking clogs.
March 30, 2010 |
Take a vast, teeming megalopolis where the car is king, bicycle paths are few and motorists often seem determined to mow down anyone not tucked behind a steering wheel. Now try talking residents into pedaling to work every day to help the environment. That's the task facing Mexico City officials, who have parked hundreds of bikes in busy neighborhoods in hopes of getting people to avoid cars and instead bicycle to the office, class or a lunch date. The new project, called Ecobici, is modeled on bike-lending programs in such cities as Barcelona, Spain; Paris; and Copenhagen.
December 15, 2009 |
An overwhelming majority of Chileans are happy with President Michelle Bachelet, grateful for the social safety net she has extended to women and the poor, and optimistic about the future. Then why did Eduardo Frei, the candidate for her ruling center-left Concertacion coalition, fare so poorly in Sunday's presidential election, finishing a distant second to right-wing billionaire businessman Sebastian Pinera in the first round of voting? For all the social progress under Bachelet, who leaves office in March because she is limited to one term under the constitution, there is dissatisfaction over Chile's economy and educational system.