Brazil approves and rolls out AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines

A nurse has received the first vaccine dose of Brazil’s Covid-19 immunisation programme after health regulators gave emergency approval to two jabs. Regulator Anvisa gave the green light to vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and China’s Sinovac, doses of which will be distributed among all 27 states. Brazil’s vaccine programme has started later than many of its regional peers. This is despite the severity of its epidemic, and the world’s second highest death toll. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has played down the pandemic from the beginning, has come under renewed fire in recent months as Brazil has gone through a devastating … Continue reading Brazil approves and rolls out AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines

Pop megastar Shakira sells 145-song catalogue

Colombian pop superstar Shakira has become the latest artist to sell the rights to her catalogue of 145 songs to London-listed Hipgnosis Songs Fund, the investment firm said on Wednesday, as the coronavirus crisis crushes concert earnings. The three-time Grammy Award winner famous for her songs such as Hips Don’t Lie; Whenever, Wherever; Underneath Your Clothes and 2010 FIFA World Cup song  Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) has sold over 80 million records and has a strong following on music streaming platforms Spotify and YouTube. The coronavirus pandemic has all but shut down live concert earnings and a growing … Continue reading Pop megastar Shakira sells 145-song catalogue

Mexico moves to create world’s largest legal cannabis market

Mexico’s health ministry on Tuesday published rules to regulate the use of medicinal cannabis, a major step in a broader reform to create the world’s largest legal cannabis market in the Latin American country. The new regulation, signed off on by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will now allow pharmaceutical companies to begin doing medical research on cannabis products. The cannabis reform taking place includes the recreational use of marijuana and would create the world’s biggest national cannabis market in terms of population. The new medicinal rules state companies that wish to carry out research have to obtain permission … Continue reading Mexico moves to create world’s largest legal cannabis market

Update: Second Indigenous activist killed in Honduras this week

Honduran authorities said Wednesday they are investigating the murders of two activists and Indigenous leaders killed in separate incidents during the weekend. On Sunday, Jose Adan Medina was found shot to death in a remote location in the community of El Volcan, also in western Honduras, Medina was a member of the Tolupan Indigenous group. Felix Vasquez, a longtime environmental activist from the Lenca Indigenous group, was shot by masked men in front of relatives Saturday in his home in Santiago de Puringla. Vasquez, who was seeking the nomination of the opposition Libre party to run for congress, had fought hydroelectric … Continue reading Update: Second Indigenous activist killed in Honduras this week

Breaking News: Argentine Senate approves bill to legalize abortion

Argentina’s Senate on Wednesday passed a landmark abortion bill, becoming the first major country in Latin America to legalize abortion. The Senate voted by 38 in favor to 29 against with one abstention to approve a bill allowing the procedure through the 14th week of pregnancy, bucking the traditionally strong influence of the Catholic Church in the region. The contentious vote followed a marathon debate that began at 4 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday. Thousands of pro-choice activists cheered in the streets of the capital after the Senate approved the bill. More soon. Continue reading Breaking News: Argentine Senate approves bill to legalize abortion

Senate to vote on Argentina abortion legalization

Senators in Argentina are debating a bill which would legalize abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy. If it passes, the bill would be groundbreaking for Latin America, a region which has some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. The bill has already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies but the result in the Senate is predicted to be tight. In 2018 senators narrowly voted against legalizing abortion but this time the bill has the backing of the government. “Today is a day of hope, we’re going to start debating a project that will avoid more unjust … Continue reading Senate to vote on Argentina abortion legalization

Indigenous environmental activist Felix Vasquez killed in Honduras

Masked men armed with guns and machetes have killed a Honduran environmentalist activist in front of his family, police said on Monday, the latest in a string of such attacks in the Central American country. Felix Vasquez, a defender of environmental and human rights, died on Saturday night after the attack in the village El Ocotal, in central Honduras. A law enforcement spokesman told the news agency Reuters the killing was under investigation. “Police authorities immediately decided to initiate a corresponding investigation … we hope to have an answer soon,” police official Kevin Hernandez told journalists. The violent killing met … Continue reading Indigenous environmental activist Felix Vasquez killed in Honduras

Buenos Aires hit by huge power cut

A huge power cut in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires caused a blackout to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses on Tuesday and brought metro lines to a standstill. Power company Edesur said about one million people in the south-central area of the city were affected, the outage was traced back to a fire at a substation, it said. Power cuts are not uncommon in Buenos Aires in summer, usually caused by hot weather creating surges in demand. In June 2019, a massive electrical failure left tens of millions of people in the dark in Argentina and also in neighbouring Uruguay. … Continue reading Buenos Aires hit by huge power cut

Ex-governor of troubled Jalisco state shot dead

The former governor of Mexico’s troubled western state of Jalisco was shot dead on Friday, marking the latest of a series of violent attacks in a country already plagued by drug-related gangs. Aristoteles Sandoval was killed in an attack at 1.40am (07:40 GMT) in a restaurant’s toilet in the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarta, according to the state attorney general, Gerardo Octavio Solis. The killer waited until Sandoval left a table he was sharing with three other people, before shooting him several times in the back, Solis said that although only one gunman fired at Sandoval, he may have … Continue reading Ex-governor of troubled Jalisco state shot dead

OMG: Another bank heist recorded as armed men take hostages in attack on Cametá

A gang of armed men has reportedly stormed a city in northern Brazil, attacking a bank and taking hostages. From initial reports, the overnight attack on Cametá appears to be almost identical to the storming of Criciúma, a city in the south, by gunmen in the early hours of Tuesday. There is no suggestion that the two incidents are linked. Video footage from Cametá appeared to show a group of hostages being led through the streets. One hostage died, a local MP tweeted. However, there has been no official confirmation of anyone being dead or injured. Footage posted online appears … Continue reading OMG: Another bank heist recorded as armed men take hostages in attack on Cametá

Update: Armed gang mount fierce assault on city in Brazil bank heist

Armed men have violently stormed the southern Brazilian city of Criciúma, mounting an assault on a bank, shooting started about midnight local time (03:00 GMT) and lasted more than an hour. Footage posted on social media showed men with guns on the streets. A security guard and a military police officer were injured, the target of the raid was Banco do Brasil in the centre of Criciúma, the bank has not yet commented on how much money was stolen. Residents of the city of approximately 200,000 people first reported hearing gunshots at around midnight. Military police reported that a fire … Continue reading Update: Armed gang mount fierce assault on city in Brazil bank heist

Developing story: Armed men raid bank in Criciuma Brazil

Armed men have stormed a number of banks in the southern Brazilian city of Criciúma, Brazilian media report. Shooting started around midnight local time (03:00 GMT) and lasted more than an hour, footage posted on social media showed men with guns on the street. At about 03:00 local time, Criciuma mayor Clesio Salvaro said in a tweet that ” a major assault” was taking place and urged people to stay at home. At least two people were injured and hostages were reportedly taken. According to the Globo news website, the criminals smashed into bank branches, blew up ATM machines, set … Continue reading Developing story: Armed men raid bank in Criciuma Brazil