Karen Tei Yamashita to receive honorary National Book Award
The National Book Foundation announced Friday that Karen Tei Yamashita has been awarded its medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, a $10,000 honor previously given to Toni Morrison, Robert Caro and Isabel Allende among others.
2 US men, ex-Colombia soldiers held in assassination of Haiti president
Haiti’s interim government has asked the U.S. to deploy troops to protect key infrastructure as it tries to stabilize the country and prepare the way for elections in the aftermath of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
Ex-minister says Brazil leader didn't interfere on pandemic
A former Brazilian health minister has denied receiving any direct orders from President Jair Bolsonaro during his 10 months in the post, providing Senate testimony analysts see as an attempt to shield the country’s leader from any blame over the government’s pandemic response.
In Brazil, moms are bearing the brunt of pandemic's blow
The overwhelming response offers a glimpse at how Brazilian women — particularly mothers — have been disproportionally sidelined by the crisis. Worldwide, as schools remain closed, many mothers juggle fewer work hours with homeschooling and household duties. Brazil is battling a brutal resurgence in COVID-19 cases, making it one of the hardest-hit countries in the world. But just a month after Sao Paulo hired the women in mid-February, the city closed its schools again on March 15. This is partly due to Brazilian women facing worse labor choices or requiring flexible hours to raise their children, particularly since public schools provide only half days of classes.
Brazil court rules Car Wash judge was biased in Lula case
(AP Photo/Andre Penner)RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil’s Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that former judge Sergio Moro was biased in the way he oversaw former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s corruption trial, providing vindication for the leftist leader who has long claimed political persecution. The decision further darkens the shadow over the reputation of Moro and the sweeping Car Wash corruption investigation he presided over for years. Leaked messages published by The Intercept Brasil in 2019 showed apparent collusion between Moro and Car Wash prosecutors during the process that ultimately jailed da Silva for corruption and money laundering. Da Silva is universally known as Lula in Brazil. The justices didn’t rule whether evidence gathered previously could be used when retrying da Silva’s other conviction, or in his other two unresolved criminal cases.
Nancy Grace to host crime series in new deal with Fox Nation
The long-running crime series returns to the Fox broadcasting network on Monday with Elizabeth Vargas as host. After each show, Grace's Americas Most Wanted Overtime' will include discussion of the case on Fox Nation. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)NEW YORK – Veteran news anchor Nancy Grace will host a weekly program on Fox Nation tied to the return of “America's Most Wanted.”The long-running crime series starts a new season on the Fox broadcasting network next Monday, with Elizabeth Vargas as host. Immediately after each episode ends, Grace will discuss it on the Fox Nation streaming service on a new show, “America's Most Wanted Overtime.”Grace also hosts a SiriusXM series, “Crime Stories,” that is simulcast on Fox Nation. That arrangement will continue as part of a new multi-year contract she has signed with the streaming service, Fox News Media said.
New York cinemas reopen, brightening outlook for theaters
Kathyn Dennet, center, and Brian Haver leave the IFC Center after viewing a screening on "Mank", Friday, March 5, 2021, in New York. Theaters in many other areas reopened last summer around the release of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” but that attempted comeback fizzled. “It’s a symbolic moment,” said Michael Barker, co-president of the New York-based Sony Pictures Classics, which on Friday released the Oscar contenders “The Father” and “The Truffle Hunters” in Manhattan theaters. Some of the city’s prominent theaters, including the Film Forum, the Alamo Drafthouse, the Metrograph and Regal Cinemas were targeting openings in the coming weeks. “We in the movie theater business live off of movies that play all around the country and all around the world.
Brazil receives vaccine cargo from India amid supply concern
A container of vaccines against COVID-19 produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca arrives from India at the International airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Marcelo Chello)RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil's government on Friday received 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from India, but experts warned the shipment will do little to shore up an insufficient supply in South America’s biggest nation. Fiocruz said in a statement Thursday the Health Ministry could begin distribution of the imported AstraZeneca shots Saturday afternoon, following a quality control inspection. Butantan had planned to supply Brazil's Health Ministry with 46 million doses by April. Fiocruz had initially scheduled the delivery of 100 million doses to begin in February and 110 million more in the second half of the year.
Time, transparency needed as Biden inherits frazzled census
“We are optimistic that things at the Census Bureau will be better. The Biden administration also has pledged to give the Census Bureau the time it needs to process the data. He will report to Biden's new pick to head the Commerce Department — which oversees the Census Bureau — Rhode Island Gov. Former Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt said he’s optimistic the final product will be as accurate as past censuses, especially now that Jarmin is at the helm. “The Census Bureau faced a number of challenges with the 2020 Census,” Schatz said in a letter.
Spaniards killed women, kids over slaying of conquistadores
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2015 file photo, the skeletons of sacrificed Spaniards are displyed inside a glass case at the museum of the Zultepec-Tecoaque archeological site in Tlaxcala state, Mexico. “Women and children who were sheltering inside rooms were mutilated, as evidenced by the discovery of hacked bones on the floors. The heads of the captive Spanish women were strung up on skull racks alongside those of men. Little by little, the town sacrificed and apparently ate the horses, men and women. But pigs brought by the Spaniards for food were apparently viewed with such suspicion that they were killed whole and left uneaten.
Amazon city scrambles to provide oxygen to COVID-19 patients
(AP Photo/Edmar Barros)SAO PAULO – Doctors in the Amazon rainforest’s biggest city are having to choose which COVID-19 patients can breathe amid dwindling oxygen stocks and an effort to airlift some of the infected to other states. In a city considered to be the capital of the Amazon, every oxygen tank counts. Despairing patients in overloaded hospitals waited as oxygen arrived to save some, but came too late for others. “We are starting to remove patients with less serious (conditions) to reduce the impact.”Hospitals in Manaus have admitted few new COVID-19 patients, suggesting many will suffer from the disease at home, and some may die. Governors and mayors throughout the country offered help amid a flood of social media videos in which distraught relatives of COVID-19 patients in Manaus begged for people to buy them oxygen.
Bolsonaro's tough 2021 balance between ideology, pragmatism
Resurgent COVID-19 has lifted Brazil’s death rate to its highest in three months, despite the president’s insistence the pandemic is petering out. During the 2018 presidential campaign, Bolsonaro’s broadsides against the political establishment and intellectual elite resonated with disaffected voters, including many moderates. Unlike Trump, Bolsonaro does not have a powerful party standing behind him. But any signs of conciliation seem to be overshadowed by Bolsonaro’s hardline stands against pandemic restrictions on gatherings and his skepticism over vaccines. This is something that is deeply embedded in his political DNA: to polarize, divide and not govern,” Stuenkel said.
Brazil scrambles to approve virus vaccine as pressure mounts
Sao Paulo Gov. João Doria announced plans to start distributing shots on Jan. 25 if federal health authorities approve the vaccine. The government also expects an additional 42 million doses from the global vaccine partnership known as COVAX, with no set date, and has signed a memorandum with Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, for 38 million doses of its single-shot vaccine when it becomes available. “Brazil is getting a mix of bad faith and incompetence on the vaccine issue," Ferreira said as he walked through the Sao Paulo international airport. "There are serious administrations around the world giving out the shots, but this isn’t our case.”_____Savarese reported from Sao Paulo.
Peru's Congress selects centrist lawmaker to be new leader
Peru's new interim President Francisco Sagasti waves to the crowd after he was designated by Congress to lead the nation, in Lima, Peru, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. Congress chose Sagasti to become the nation's third president in the span of a week after Congress ousted Martin Vizcarra and the following protests forced his successor Manuel Merino to resign. People waved the nation's red-and-white flag and blared horns outside the gates of Congress as Francisco Sagasti of the centrist Purple Party was selected the legislature's new president. Shortly after the vote, he took an oath to become Congress' president. In his speech before Congress, Sagasti recognized the deep wounds the legislature must work to repair before the election.
Protests in Brazil support president in anti-vaccine stance
Supporters of Brazilian President Bolsonaro burn protective masks while rallying in favor of Bolsonaro's position that no one will be forced to use them and get an eventual coronavirus vaccine, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. People assembled in downtown Sao Paulo calling for the removal of Sao Paulo state Gov. A PoderData poll said this week the percentage of Brazilians who say they would take a coronavirus vaccine dropped to 63% in October from 85% four months earlier. The president quickly responded that he would not allow the import of vaccines from China. While the spread of the virus has begun slowing, public health experts warn people not to let their guard down.
Virus hits beach resort, as pandemic surges in Argentina
A woman sits next to a statue of a sea lion on the waterfront during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)MAR DEL PLATA – Hundreds of Argentine flags dotted the sand of a beach at the Mar del Plata resort, a poignant memorial to the victims of the novel coronavirus in one of this South American country’s new virus hotspots. “Today, from a health standpoint, Mar del Plata is in a very serious problem,” said Argentine Cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero. Martin said the pandemic initially felt far away when it attacked Buenos Aires, but this feeling disappeared in August. “Nobody does this to be dishonest or clever or to hurt other people,” said Nicolás Parato, secretary of the Mar del Plata resort chamber.
Brazil’s poor squeezed by less virus aid, surging food costs
RIO DE JANEIRO – Many people in Brazil are struggling to cope with less pandemic aid from the government and jumping food prices, with millions expected to slip back into poverty. “For a family that receives aid of 300 reais, how can we take care of our 5 kids with this? Meanwhile, rising food prices have also been hurting the poor. Food prices have increased 7.3% during 2020, with some staples like rice, milk and tomatoes jumping 41%, 30% and 26%, respectively. There’s also been heightened domestic demand due to the government’s COVID-19 aid program.
Pandemic takes toll on business of pisco producers in Peru
The area enjoys year-round sunshine and, according to the farmers, produces grapes with high sugar content and low acidity, the key combination for a good pisco. Pisco has been immersed for years in a fierce dispute between Peru and Chile over its origin. Pisco producers, who have their stocks in storage, hope to sell them when social events are reactivated. It’s a difficult situation because pisco is not a staple product but is linked to leisure and celebration, Zacnich said. La Caravedo is producing ready-to-serve, pre-mixed drinks in six varieties that also include the well-known Pisco Sour - a local cocktail of pisco and lemon juice.