The Americas

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg points at Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, back row center, in this courtroom sketch during Guzman's trial in Brooklyn federal court in New York City,  Jan. 30, 2019.
USA
Federal prosecutors in New York say there is an "avalanche of evidence" to convict alleged Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. Guzman is on trial for 10 charges ranging from drug trafficking, money laundering and murder. U.S. Attorney Andrea Goldbarg displayed some of that apparent evidence to the jury Wednesday, including rifles, a bulletproof vest and a brick of cocaine. Intercepted phone calls, text messages, and…
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Wed, 01/30/2019 - 17:45
Israeli military personnel search for victims of a collapsed tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA, in Brumadinho, Brazil, Jan. 30, 2019.
For Marco Antonio Ribeiro da Silva, a 39-year-old maintenance worker at iron ore miner Vale SA, God took the form of a Toyota Hilux pickup truck last Friday afternoon.Leaders at the local mining union in the Brazilian town of Brumadinho, where a tailings dam burst Friday, likely burying over 300 people, describe the deeply devout father of two as one of the disaster's most unlikely survivors.He is one of a handful of Vale workers who escaped from around a company…
Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and defense attorney A. Eduardo Balarezo, sit in court in this courtroom sketch during Guzman's trial in Brooklyn federal court in New York City, Jan. 30, 2019.
In Mexico's drug trafficking heartland, the northwestern state of Sinaloa, admiration for captured kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman burns brightly even as the government makes progress in the fight against cartel violence.Rising from humble origins to become Mexico's most wanted man, Guzman is on trial in a New York federal court, facing the prospect of spending his final years behind bars after an unparalleled career that made him a criminal sensation.In his home state,…
FILE - A farmer harvests coffee beans at a coffee farm in the jungle of Villa Rica, Peru, June 8, 2012.
Thousands of coffee farmers in Peru hope to produce higher and more profitable crop yields to better cope with the impact of climate change under a landmark United Nations-backed project. More than 1.3 billion people live on farmland that is deteriorating and producing less, putting them at risk of worsening hunger, water shortages and poverty, the U.N. says. Land degradation could displace 135 million people by 2030 unless action is taken to restore their land,…
Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido take part in a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 30, 2019.
The White House says President Donald Trump reinforced his "strong support" for efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela during a conversation Wednesday with oppositon leader Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself as the country's president.White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump and Guaido also committed to maintaining "regular communication to support Venezuela's path back to stability, and to rebuild the bilateral relationship" between the two countries.
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Wed, 01/30/2019 - 12:00
A dead fish floats in the Paraopeba River, full of mud that was released by the collapse of a mining company dam near a community of the Pataxo Ha-ha-hae indigenous people in Brumadinho, Brazil, Jan. 29, 2019.
A torrent of mining waste unleashed by a dam breach that killed at least 84 people in southeastern Brazil is now heading down a small river with high concentrations of iron oxide, threatening to contaminate a much larger river that provides drinking water to communities in five of the country's 26 states.The release of the muddy waste has already turned the normally greenish water of the Paraopeba River brown about 11 miles (18 kilometers) downstream from the southeastern city…
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Maracay, Venezuela, Jan.  29, 2019. (Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters)
USA
U.S. President Donald Trump says embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is willing to negotiate with his opponents to solve the political crisis in the South American nation, but warned Americans not to travel to Venezuela "until further notice."  Trump's early Wednesday morning tweet referred to Maduro's offer to hold talks with the country's opposition forces and hold early legislative elections. 
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Wed, 01/30/2019 - 05:27
Venezuelan migrants cross the Simon Bolivar bridge from Venezuela to the Colombian city of Cucuta, May 31, 2018.
More than 1,300 Colombians forced to flee their homes in January alone to escape fighting between armed factions despite a peace deal signed two years ago, aid groups say
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido arrives to attend a holy mass in Caracas, Jan. 27, 2019.
The rise of Juan Guaido from back-bench obscurity to the U.S-backed, self-declared interim president of Venezuela in just three weeks has been meteoric - and by his own recognition risky.Few Venezuelans had even heard of the fresh-faced, 35-year-old lawmaker when he was plucked from anonymity and named as president of the opposition-controlled National Assembly in early January. The move set up a high-stakes standoff with President Nicolas Maduro, who is increasingly seen as a…
A couple with missing relatives look at the flooded area, after a dam collapsed in Brumadinho, Brazil, Jan. 26, 2019. An estimated 300 people were still missing and authorities expected the death toll to rise during a search made more challenging by ...
Brazilian miner Vale SA identified concerns around its tailings dams in 2009 and studied but did not implement several steps that could have prevented or lessened the damage from last week's deadly disaster, according to a corporate presentation seen by Reuters.      A tailings dam, used to store the muddy detritus of the mining process, collapsed on Friday, killing at least 65 in one of Brazil's largest industrial accidents on record.   …
A tanker truck transporting fuel is pictured along the streets en route to a gas station, in Mexico City, Mexico, Jan. 15, 2019.
Authorities discovered a tunnel Tuesday beneath an industrial building in Mexico City that fuel thieves dug to tap gasoline and diesel pipelines.   Mexico discovers thousands of such taps each year, but seldom are they found connected to tunnels or located in such heavily populated areas.   The tunnel was several yards long and deep, and had timber framing to prevent collapse. The tunnel accessed four pipelines that carried fuel to a nearby tank farm…
An Indigenous woman from the Pataxo Ha-ha-hae tribe looks at dead fish near Paraopeba river, after a tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA collapsed, in Sao Joaquim de Bicas near Brumadinho, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2019.
Miles (km) downstream from where a dam owned by miner Vale SA burst on Friday, killing hundreds, a small indigenous village in Brazil faces doubts about its very existence as the river at the center of life here runs dark with mining waste.For members of the Pataxo-Hahahae tribe living at the end of a sinuous dirt road, fish from the Paraopeba River are the principal source of food…
A plane from Russian company Nordwind is seen at Simon Bolivar Airport in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 29, 2019.
The unusual arrival of a Russian passenger plane in Caracas has set social media abuzz with rumors about its mission after the Kremlin pledged to support its ally Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro against a U.S.-backed effort to drive him from office. The Boeing 777, with space for some 400 passengers and belonging to Russia's Nordwind Airlines, was parked by a private corner of the airport after flying direct from Moscow, according to flight tracking data and…
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan speaks with the media as he waits for the arrival of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon, Jan. 28, 2019, in Washington.
Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan on Tuesday would not rule out sending U.S. military forces to Colombia or the region in connection with the ongoing political upheaval in Venezuela.   Shanahan told reporters that he hasn't spoken to national security adviser John Bolton about sending troops to Colombia. But he said he wouldn't comment when asked if he had other conversations about such a deployment plan or if he could rule it out.   Bolton had "5…
FILE - Alondra Poula, a five-year-old migrant from Nicaragua seeking asylum, walks down a dirt road with her mother after illegally crossing the Rio Grande river into the U.S. from Mexico in Penitas, Texas, Jan. 10, 2019.
A new element has joined the flood of migrants clamoring to get into the United States — Nicaraguans fleeing their homeland's political unrest and violence.In recent years, Nicaraguans had been only a small drop in the wave of Central Americans trying to migrate to the U.S., mostly from the poor and crime-wracked nations of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.Now physicians, taxi drivers and other Nicaraguans are streaming in and applying for asylum or at least…

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