Cuban doctors arrive
More than 200 Cuban doctors have arrived in the country to work in impoverished areas where physicians and medical services are scarce in Latin America’s biggest country, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Ministry press officer Ed Ruas said 206 doctors arrived in the city of Recife to take a connecting flight to Brasilia, the capital. He said another 194 doctors were to arrive yesterday in the city of Salvador. The 400 are the first of an expected 4,000 physicians from Cuba who will eventually work in the country. About 250 doctors from other countries arrived in Brazil on Friday, along with Brazilians who studied abroad. They and the Cubans are part of the “More Doctors” program to get more physicians working in underserved areas. Foreign doctors in the program will receive the equivalent of US$4,080 a month. In the case of the Cubans, the country will send their wages to Cuba’s government through the Pan American Health Organization and Havana will decide how much each doctor will receive.
Drug lord’s release appealed
Federal prosecutors have filed an appeal with the Supreme Court against a court’s decision to free a drug lord. The Attorney General’s office says it has asked the country’s highest court to review a federal court’s decision to release Rafael Caro Quintero because the court’s arguments are “absurd and illogical.” Caro Quintero was 28 years into a 40-year sentence for helping orchestrate the 1985 killing of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. He has disappeared from the public eye since his release two weeks ago. A three-judge federal appeals court overturned his sentence in Camarena’s case on procedural grounds, saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of federal court.
Peace talks to restart
The government has announced that peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla army will be renewed today in Cuba after the rebels temporarily walked away from the negotiations. Almost simultaneously, the army said that 13 members of the military were killed in a rebel ambush on Saturday in Arauca Province, about 390km northeast of the capital, Bogota. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, temporarily walked away from the talks on Friday over President Juan Manuel Santos’ refusal to agree to modify the constitution if a peace pact is struck. On Saturday, government negotiator Humberto De la Calle said: “After an evaluation, it is confirmed that the FARC has made the decision to return to the negotiating table at 8:30am on Monday to continue the talks.”
Helicopter crash kills four
Four people were killed when a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed into the sea off Scotland’s Shetland Islands, raising fresh questions about safety in the remote North Sea energy sector. Fourteen people were rescued after the Super Puma L2 helicopter, made by EADS unit Eurocopter, came down — the fourth incident in the area involving different models of the widely used aircraft in just more than four years. Scottish police said three bodies had been recovered and work was underway to recover the body of the fourth person. Sky News said the fourth body was in the wreckage. The helicopter hit the sea as it approached Sumburgh airport.