Greater access to world markets and more foreign investment is crucial to sustaining democracy in Latin America, foreign ministers from around the region said Tuesday. \nIn a statement prepared for the closing of the 33rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the ministers vowed to fight poverty and corruption and promote respect for human rights. \nUS Secretary of State Colin Powell opened the assembly Monday calling on ministers to "hasten the inevitable democratic transition in Cuba." \nHowever, ministers did not even mention Cuba in the assembly's final statement issued after Powell flew to neighboring Argentina early Tuesday. \nDemocratic rule has spread throughout the continent, the ministers noted, but several countries "have faced serious problems, worsened by poverty" in their efforts to preserve democracy. \nThey urged a world economic order that promotes growth, open markets for the region's exports and increased investment in the region. \n"Support by international financial institutions to democratic governments is also essential and requires the creation of creative financial mechanisms to strengthen democratic governance," the document stated. \nThe two-day assembly opened the way for a regional treaty against terrorism to become effective next month. Under the Interamerican Convention against Terrorism, countries commit to jointly fighting terrorism by denying asylum to suspects, increasing border controls and fighting money laundering. \nColombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti are the Latin American countries that have the most worrisome records on human rights, said Marta Altolaguirre, president of the Interamerican Human Rights Commission. \nIn Colombia, Altolaguirre said, a four-decade civil war involving Marxist guerrillas, right-wing paramilitary groups and the Colombian army has resulted in massive abuses against the civilian population. \nShe blamed most of the abuses on the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
A long line of people on Sunday snaked across the sand of Miami Beach, Florida, as dozens of travelers from Latin America waited their turn at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination booth. Sweating under the afternoon sun, visitors checked into an online system — no proof of residence required — and soon after received a free, single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a vaccination card. People had come from all over Latin America — Ecuador, El Salvador, Venezuela — where the vaccine rollout has been slow and hampered by supply shortages. “In my country, [COVID-19] is getting out of hand and there’s
A man was left stranded on a glass-bottomed suspension bridge in northeastern China after sudden gale-force winds shattered the transparent panels around him. The man was on the 100m-high bridge at Piyan Mountain in Longjing city, when it was hit by sudden strong weather, the local tourism department said. TRAPPED Gusts of up to 150kph blew out several glass panels, trapping the tourist until he could be rescued by firefighters, police, and forestry and tourism personnel more than half an hour later. Photographs shared on social media showed the man clinging to the side of the bridge, surrounded by gaping holes where the
US actress Scarlett Johansson on Saturday urged the film industry to “step back” from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) as criticism of the opaque film industry group, which controls the Golden Globe awards, continues to mount for sexism and racism. The Avengers star said in a statement that the “HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition.” Johansson said that “as an actor promoting a film,” participating in the organization’s news conferences and award shows “has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on
‘COVERT’ ACTIVITY: The High Court ruled against a Chinese-born Australian former adviser to a state lawmaker, who allegedly advanced ‘policy goals of a foreign principal’ A Chinese-born Australian political adviser yesterday lost his challenge in Australia’s highest court against laws banning covert foreign interference in domestic politics. John Zhang (張智森) also lost his Australian High Court challenge in a unanimous decision of seven judges to the validity of search warrants executed by police at his Sydney home and offices last year as part of an investigation into illegal foreign interference on behalf of China. Zhang was an adviser to New South Wales Lawmaker Shaoquett Moselmane, whose membership in the opposition Labor Party was suspended after he was also the target of police raids. The raids in June last