A city suffocating: most polluted city in Americas struggles to change

Wood smoke smothers Coyhaique, Chile, in June and July. Yet despite the WHO ranking its air worst in the Americas, residents are reluctant to alter their habits I was born and raised beside a roaring fire, says Yasna Seguel proudly, as wet snowflakes tap against the kitchen window behind her and orange flames warm an outstretched palm. A tobacco-yellow stain soaks into the table cloth as she sets her mate gourd down to select a fresh log for the fire. Every evening through the bitterly cold winter months of June and July, the southern city of Coyhaique, the most populous in the region of Aysn in Chilean Patagonia, is smothered by a thick, fragrant blanket of damp wood smoke that …

Brazil’s ban on Cuban cigars leaves left fuming

Havana alleges servile and perverse bid to back US embargo but Bolsonaro government cites strictly technical criteria for ban The Cuban government has accused Brazils far-right president of depriving Brazilian smokers of the best Habano cigars in the world as part of a servile and perverse US-backed campaign against the communist-run island. Jair Bolsonaro has made attacking authoritarian regimes a mainstay of his discourse since taking office in January wing. And some suspect that hostility lay behind Cubas flagship Cohiba cigars. The decision was reportedly based on the discovery that one batch of imported Cohibas contained an excess of sobric acid. Cubas foreign trade minister, Rodrigo Malmierca Daz, slammed the ban on Tuesday. A ridiculous pretext, he branded Brazils move …

The new drug highway: Pacific islands at centre of cocaine trafficking boom

Explosion in number of boats carrying cocaine and meth from Latin America to Australia is causing havoc for islands on the way It is the drug route youve never heard of: a multibillion-dollar operation involving cocaine and methamphetamines being packed into the hulls of sailing boats in the US and Latin America and transported to Australia via New Caledonia, whose waters and beaches are being used as storage grounds for billions of dollars worth of illicit drugs. Hundreds of kilograms of cocaine have washed up on remote Pacific beaches, ships laden with drugs have run aground on far-flung coral reefs, and locals have discovered huge caches of drugs stored in underwater nets attached to GPS beacons. Draw a direct line …

The Guatemalans who pay the price for the wests need for nickel

A vast European-owned mine is operating near Mayan villages, sparking a battle for survival The road to Guatemalas biggest nickel mine is barely visible through a cloud of red dust, churned up by the 25-tonne trucks that thunder past loaded with ore. From the choking haze a cyclist emerges, weaving between the lorries. On his back he carries a bundle of firewood. Goggles protect his eyes, a bandana covers his nose and mouth. Manuel Choc, a grandfather with greying hair, lives in the settlement of El Paraso, almost opposite the gates of the Fenix mine. Each bundle sells for 10 quetzals (1). It is a precarious living. Many people have died on the road, says Choc. The trucks run them …

Canada: endangered orca pod produces its first calf in three years

Researchers spotted newborn off the west coast of British Columbia on 31 May as the last successful calving occurred in 2016 A pod of endangered killer whales on Canadas west coast has produced its first calf in three years, a promising sign for the really excited by the orange hue of the calf (which will eventually turn white) as well as the presence of foetal folds on its skin, indicating a recent birth. The pod has chinook populations have collapsed in recent years, the whales have also experienced a string of deaths, putting pressure on the ageing population. The discovery of the new calf was confirmed by the Centre for Whale Research, a non-governmental organisation which tracks the health of …

Alan Garca: former Peru president dies after shooting himself before arrest

Alan Garca, who faced accusations of taking bribes from Brazilian company Odebrecht during presidency, shot himself at his home Perus former president Alan Garca has died after deliberately shooting himselfin the head when police tried to arrest him in connection with a multibillion-dollar Latin American corruption scandal. I am saddened by the death of former president Alan Garca, told local media his client took the decision to shoot himself early on Wednesday after officers arrived at his home in the capital, Lima, to place him under preventive detention. Perus interior minister, Carlos Morn, told journalists Garca had told police officers he was going to call his lawyer and had shut himself in his bedroom before a shot was heard. The …

‘He’s not a bad person, but ‘ scandal-hit Justin Trudeau turns voters off

In the Canadian prime ministers Montreal base the Lavscam imbroglio has taken a toll on previously staunch support Nicola Papadakis says he is done voting for Pierre the a consistent and sustained effort on the part of senior members of Trudeaus Liberal government to secure a deal for the company that would have seen it avoid criminal prosecution on bribery charges against which the company has said it will vigorously defend itself. Play Video 3:05 Quebec, which is a crucial political battleground in the general election this fall. Nowhere is that clearer than in Papineau. The multi-ethnic neighbourhood of 111,000 is home to recent immigrants and burgeoning gentrification and in many ways reflects Trudeaus conspicuous liberalism. It is also a …

Venezuelan opposition leader arrives in Bogota for meeting with Pence after weekend of violence

(CNN)Venezuela’s self-declared interim president and opposition leader, Juan Guaido, arrived in Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday ahead of a Monday meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence. CNN cannot independently confirm the number of fatalities, but Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said there were four deaths and 300 injuries Friday and Saturday. Sunday was quieter. Small clashes broke out again at a town near the border with Colombia. CNN’s team in Ureña, Venezuela, saw dozens of people throwing rocks toward Venezuela’s National Guard, who fired back with rubber bullets. There was no report on injuries. Maduro put out a defiant message Sunday. “The people are united in the streets, mobilized and alert in every corner of the …