The Americas

Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president, pauses as he speaks during an interview in Caracas, Jan. 31, 2019.
Momentum is growing for Venezuela's opposition movement led by lawmaker Juan Guaido, who has called supporters back into the streets for nationwide protests Saturday, escalating pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro to step down.      A defiant Maduro's socialist government has called on its own loyalists to flood the streets waving…
Carlos Catarldo Gomez, of Honduras, center, is escorted by Mexican officials after leaving the United States, the first person returned to Mexico to wait for his asylum trial date, in Tijuana, Mexico, Jan. 29, 2019.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has started returning to Mexico new asylum seekers who have arrived at the southern border, rather than allowing them to wait in the U.S. while their cases are adjudicated.Senior DHS officials told reporters Friday that they had begun the policy, which they call "Migrant Protection Protocols," this week by returning a dozen individuals. The officials said they planned to increase the number of returnees soon."We…
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Fri, 02/01/2019 - 18:07
A 777-200ER plane owned by Russia's Nordwind Airlines descends before landing and completing a direct flight from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas at Vnukovo International Airport outside Moscow, Russia Jan.31, 2019.
The Kremlin may have helped Venezuela's embattled socialist leader Nicolas Maduro swap gold for cash, transporting Venezuelan bullion deposited in Moscow to the United Arab Emirates and then flying U.S. currency into the Venezuelan capital, an investigative newspaper has claimed. 
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Fri, 02/01/2019 - 15:32
Map of Mexico
A strong earthquake jolted southern Mexico on Friday, rattling nerves and swaying tall buildings hundreds of miles away in the capital, but there were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.6. It was centered about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the city of Tapachula in Chiapas state and struck at a depth of 40 miles (68 kilometers).   Chiapas civil defense official Arturo…
Vice President Mike Pence arrives to speak at Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center for a round-table discussion on the political crisis in Venezuela with community leaders in Doral, Fla., Feb. 1, 2019.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that the United States "calls on every nation to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's president and take the side of freedom." Pence said the United States stood with Venezuela amid a power struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Guaido.He warned, "Nicolas Maduro would do well not to test the resolve of the United States." Pence was speaking at a meeting with Venezuelan…
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Fri, 02/01/2019 - 13:07
In this Dec. 4, 2018 photo, Jaime Bayly speaks during an interview in Key Biscayne, Florida.
An emigre who once fled a right-wing strongman in Peru has made his U.S.-based television program a forum for hardline opponents of Venezuela's leftist President Nicolas Maduro — including some who are quite ready for the shedding of blood.“I am a conspirator in favor of freedom,” Jaime Bayly says.Bayly's news and opinion program airs each weeknight on Mega TV, a relatively small network of Spanish-language stations around the United States. But YouTube…
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido talks to media next to his wife Fabiana Rosales, while carrying their daughter outside their home after a meeting with supporters to present a government plan of the oppos
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido says security forces showed up at his wife's Caracas apartment Thursday in an effort to intimidate him.Guaido said the agents from a feared police unit arrived at the unit Thursday, asking for his wife, Fabiana. In a tweet, Guaido said the incident happened while his 20-month-old daughter and her grandmother were home and that if anything happened to the child, he would hold socialist leader Nicolas Maduro responsible. There was no…
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Thu, 01/31/2019 - 15:25
Defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, left, gives closing arguments during the trial of accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in this courtroom sketch in Brooklyn federal court in New York City,  Jan. 31, 2019.
Lawyers for alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman are calling the government's case "a fantasy."Guzman is on trial in New York for 10 charges ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering, and murder when he allegedly led the Sinaloa drug cartel.In summing up, the defense's case for the jury, attorney Jeffrey Lichtman says prosecutors failed to see what he calls the "600 pound gorilla" in the courtroom — reasonable doubt.Lichtman told the…
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Thu, 01/31/2019 - 13:29
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a meeting with soldiers at a military base in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 30, 2019.
The commanding ranks of the military have remained loyal to the socialist president despite increasing political repression, corruption, hyperinflation and food shortages
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Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:30
Friends and relatives carry the coffin with the body of Vale SA employee Janice Helena do Nascimento, victim of the collapsed dam, during her burial in Brumadinho, Brazil, Jan. 29, 2019.
Brazilian rescue teams have recovered the bodies of 99 people buried after the rupture last week of a Vale tailings dam, and with over 250 people still missing, relatives at the disaster site are fast losing hope.No survivors have been found in the area of the dam burst since Saturday, indicating the death toll could rise to as many as 350 people, which would make it Brazil's deadliest-ever mining accident.Some relatives of people unaccounted for are joining rescue teams…
Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido talks to the media before a session of the Venezuela's National Assembly in Caracas, Jan. 29, 2019.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido is calling on the international community to back his efforts to force embattled President Nicolas Maduro from power and restore democracy to the South American nation.Guaido, the president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president last week after the Assembly declared that Maduro's re-election last May was illegitimate, as most either boycotted the race or were prevented from running. The United…
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Thu, 01/31/2019 - 07:35
Members of Venezuelan security forces are seen on the background as documents regarding a proposed amnesty law for members of the military, police and civilians stand in a fence in Caracas, Venezuela, January 27, 2019.
Venezuelan authorities detained three foreign journalists and a driver working for the Spanish news agency EFE on Wednesday, the company said, in the latest arrests of reporters covering U.S.-backed efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. Colombian photographer Leonardo Muñoz was arrested with his Venezuelan driver Jose Salas while reporting on protests against the government. Hours later intelligence officers detained Spanish reporter Gonzalo Domínguez Loeda…
A woman walks in front of the Canada's Embassy in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 30, 2019.
Canada has decided to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Cuba by up to half after another person fell ill, Ottawa said Wednesday, bringing the total to 14 Canadians suffering mysterious symptoms since 2017.Canadian and U.S. diplomats in Havana first began complaining of dizziness, headaches and nausea in the spring of 2017. The United States reduced embassy staffing in Cuba from more than 50 to a maximum of 18, after more than two dozen personnel developed unusual illnesses.
A woman chants anti-government slogans in a walkout against President Nicolas Maduro, in Maracaibo, Venezuela, Jan. 30, 2019.
Venezuelans of every age, class and profession poured into the streets of the capital on Wednesday to demand that President Nicolas Maduro step down and to express their support for the young opposition leader who has declared himself interim president.   Dressed in suits, scrubs, and jeans, they waved the national flag, displayed signs, and chanted slogans. One disgusted vendor threw devalued national currency into the air.   Protesters who made an…
Residents gather in the Complexo da Penha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  Aug. 22, 2018. Last year 523 workers were found in slavery-like conditions during labor inspections in Brazilian cities, about 225 more than in 2017 according to government da
A surge in cases of urban slavery in Brazil brings new challenges for prosecutors and labor inspectors, top government officials said on Wednesday. Last year 523 workers were found in slavery-like conditions during labor inspections in Brazilian cities, about 225 more than in 2017, government data released Friday shows. "We found that there is fragmentation happening. Instead of one big sweatshop with 20, or 30 people, we now have many, with four of five,…

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