Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (C) addresses the
audience during a meeting of the annual Mercosur trade bloc presidential
summit in Mendoza June 29, 2012. (Credit: Reuters/Enrique Marcarian)

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals

Chinese leader woos Latin America with deals
Chinese President Xi Jinping (4-L, first row) poses with leaders of the CELAC group of Latin American and Caribbean states, in Brasilia, on July 17, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)


.
A student holds a sign reading "Don't shoot, listen!!!" during a protest
on June 17, 2013 in Brasilia (AFP, Evaristo)

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'

Brazil's Rousseff claims nation 'ready for greatest World Cup'
Google: Ready, set, goooaaallll! The WorldCup is finally here.

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ

Paraguay police search S. American football HQ
The Conmebol headquarters in Luque, Paraguay, is seen on January 7, 2016, during a raid within the framework of the FIFA corruption scandal (AFP Photo/Norberto Duarte)

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses

'Panama Papers' law firm under the media's lenses
The Panama Papers: key facts on the huge journalists' investigation into tax evasion (AFP Photo/Thomas Saint-Cricq, Philippe Mouche)

Mossack Fonseca

Mossack Fonseca

.

.
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Friday, March 31, 2017

Maduro attacked from own camp over Venezuela power grab

Yahoo – AFP, Alexander MARTINEZ, March 31, 2017

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is rarely criticized on state television,
which usually sticks to pro-government programming (AFP Photo/FEDERICO PARRA)

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro faced the strongest criticism ever from within his own camp Friday as his attorney general condemned recent court rulings that consolidated the socialist president's power.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega broke ranks with the president live on state TV to denounce two Supreme Court rulings this week that effectively dissolved the opposition-majority legislature and revoked lawmakers' immunity from prosecution.

Ortega is seen as staunchly loyal to the socialist "revolution" launched in Venezuela by Maduro's mentor Hugo Chavez in 1999.

But with Venezuela -- once a booming oil producer, now mired in food shortages, political chaos and an epidemic of violent crime -- Ortega fired off the most severe public criticism yet from a high-ranking "Chavista" official.

The Supreme Court rulings are a "rupture of constitutional order," she said at an event to mark the release of her 2016 annual report.

It was a shocking departure from script for Venezuelan state TV, where the programming is strictly pro-government and Maduro often delivers long speeches or shows off his salsa dancing.

"It is my duty to inform my country of my deep concern over these events," said Ortega, drawing a long salvo of applause from the crowd.

She delivered her remarks while brandishing a copy of what she referred to as "Chavez's constitution," adopted the year the late leftist firebrand came to power.

Venezuela's attorney general Luisa Ortega speaks during the release of
her 2016 annual report in Caracas, on March 31, 2017 (AFP Photo/HO)

Crisis talks, protests

The criticism came two days after the Supreme Court, which has staunchly backed Maduro through an economic and political crisis, assumed the powers of the National Assembly.

The legislature was the only pillar of power in Venezuela that was not under the control of the president and his allies.

The legislative speaker, Julio Borges, called on the military and other institutions to follow Ortega's example and speak up against Maduro.

"Now is the time to obey the orders of your conscience," he said.

Street protests erupted for a second day Friday in Caracas. Students marched on the Supreme Court, where they scuffled with soldiers.

Protesters also blocked streets in the working-class Petare neighborhood, and opposition lawmakers clashed with Maduro supporters downtown.

Two students and a journalist were arrested, activists said.

International condemnation continued pouring in, adding to the criticism already voiced by the United States, the European Union and a host of Latin American countries.

Colombia recalled its ambassador to Venezuela, joining Chile and Peru.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said Venezuela's high court had "finally made the overthrow of parliament official."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Twitter that "when you break the division of powers, you break democracy" -- a comment echoed by the UN high commissioner for human rights.

Many have said the Supreme Court's move amounts to a coup.

Venezuela's Supreme Court has staunchly backed President Maduro through 
an economic and political crisis (AFP Photo/JUAN BARRETO)

Venezuela rejected that accusation Friday, lashing out at its critics as "imperialists."

The head of the Organization of American States called for the regional group's permanent council to hold crisis talks on the situation.

South American regional bloc Mercosur -- which suspended Venezuela in December -- will also hold crisis talks Saturday, Argentina announced.

Venezuela's center-right opposition has meanwhile called for more street protests Saturday.

Power struggle

The Supreme Court ruled the National Assembly leadership was in contempt of court for swearing in three lawmakers who were banned over alleged electoral fraud.

The opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) condemns the fraud charges as a trumped-up bid to curb the party's power after it won a landslide in legislative elections in December 2015 with a promise to oust Maduro.

The court has overturned every law passed by the current legislature.

Venezuela has the world's biggest oil reserves, but the collapse in prices has sapped its revenues, prompting shortages of food, medicine and basic goods.

Maduro, who was elected to succeed Chavez in 2013, is not up for re-election until October 2018.

But his popularity has plunged amid the crisis, forcing him to fend off opposition efforts to call a referendum on removing him from power.

Related Article:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Brazilian ex-speaker sentenced to 15 years for corruption

Yahoo – AFP, Sebastian Smith, March 30, 2017

Brazil's former President of the Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha, arrives
 at the Forensic Medicine Institute in Curitiba, on October 20, 2016 (AFP Photo/
Heuler Andrey)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Eduardo Cunha, the once-powerful speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress who spearheaded the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff, was sentenced Thursday to more than 15 years in prison for corruption.

The sentence, imposed by top anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro in Curitiba, was a landmark for the country's battle against rampant, high-level graft.

Moro, frequently cited as a hero by Brazilians at demonstrations, cited Cunha's conviction for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion in handing down the sentence of 15 years and four months.

Cunha "took wrongful advantage of his mandate as a federal (congressional) deputy," Moro wrote. "There can be no more serious offense than betraying the parliamentary mandate and the sacred trust placed in him by the people for personal gain."

Cunha's defense lawyer immediately said an appeal would be lodged, G1 news site reported. However, Cunha will remain incarcerated in Curitiba, in the south of Brazil.

Prosecutors said he took millions of dollars in bribes as part of a sprawling corruption network in which politicians and major contractors embezzled from state oil company Petrobras. The investigation, dubbed Operation Car Wash, has upended Brazilian politics, with dozens of politicians accused of participating in the scheme.

A member of current President Michel Temer's PMDB party, Cunha, 58, was one of Brazil's most influential politicians until he was removed from his speaker's post in July and arrested in October 2016.

When he outmaneuvered Rousseff and triggered impeachment proceedings, she was replaced by Temer, then her conservative vice president in a coalition between the PMDB and Rousseff's Workers' Party. This briefly left Cunha first in the line of succession for the presidency.

Widely hated by Brazilians, Cunha earned a reputation as the ultimate master of dark political arts and was dubbed Brazil's Frank Underwood -- the scheming, corrupt anti-hero of the hit Netflix series "House of Cards" about a US politician.

Symbol of rot

Cunha is only one of many politicians tainted by the Car Wash probe or by other investigations. No less than one in three members of the lower house -- 155 out of 513 deputies -- face criminal cases, according to the specialist political website Congresso em Foco.

That number could shoot up soon when the Supreme Court, which handles all cases involving sitting politicians, acts on a request by the prosecutor general to open new Car Wash-related probes against about 100 as-yet unnamed politicians.

Among the many big names already in the crosshairs is former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a larger-than-life figure in leftwing Latin American politics who founded the Workers' Party and helped Rousseff into power.

Like Cunha, Lula is accused of corruption and money laundering.

However even in this rogue's gallery Cunha stood out, a feared and grudgingly admired political operator who ended up symbolizing the thieving and lack of accountability in the capital Brasilia.

Even before his arrest, Cunha was already in trouble for lying to Congress. Through a variety of delaying tactics he managed to avoid his eventual expulsion from the legislature for months.

According to analysts, Cunha triggered the impeachment of Rousseff -- after a long period of merely threatening to make the move -- in order to stave off his own legal problems.

Argentine Congress votes to legalize medical marijuana

Yahoo – AFP, March 30, 2017

Argentina is set to join Uruguay, Colombia, Chile and Mexico in legalizing
medical marijuana (AFP Photo/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)

Buenos Aires (AFP) - Argentina's Senate voted unanimously to legalize medical marijuana, joining the lower house and setting the country on course to become the latest to relax its laws on pot.

President Mauricio Macri is all but certain to sign the bill, which garnered an unusual level of cross-party support and was applauded by patients and their families.

A group of mothers with sick children burst into tearful applause in the Senate as lawmakers voted 58-0 to pass the bill.

"This is a dream fulfilled, an immense happiness because it will bring solace to patients," said Maria Laura Alasi, whose four-year-old daughter Josefina suffers from West syndrome, a form of epilepsy that causes her to have dozens of seizures a day.

The new law lifts a ban on importing cannabis oil and allows Argentines to buy it with a prescription.

It stops short of allowing home-grown marijuana, something young patients' families had demanded.

"I have faith the senators will find a way around that," said Alasi. "A lot of mothers are already growing their own."

Latin America has seen a major political shift on pot in recent years.

In 2013, Argentina's neighbor Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana at every stage of production, sale and consumption -- though users must be registered.

Colombia, Chile and Mexico have all legalized the cultivation and use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

'When I'm 64': Beatlemania blooms belatedly in Cuba

Yahoo – AFP, Carlos BATISTA, March 23, 2017

A woman puts glasses on a statue of John Lennon, in a park in Havana,
on March 11, 2017 (AFP Photo/YAMIL LAGE)

Havana (AFP) - While their American and European peers twisted and shouted to The Beatles in the 1960s, in Cuba childhood sweethearts Gisela and Hector kept their Beatlemania a naughty secret.

Now, still Beatles-crazy after all these years, but with the communist island's Cold War-era censorship of rock music a thing of the past, they are making up for lost time.

"We are very happy that Cuba is becoming reconciled to the Beatles," says Gisela, 64.

She and Hector, 65, have decorated their home with pictures, posters and souvenirs dedicated to the British band.

Whenever they can, they join crowds of fellow Cubans in their 60s and 70s, singing and dancing at the Yellow Submarine bar -- El Submarino Amarillo -- in downtown Havana.

"This is not nostalgia," says the artistic director of the club, journalist Guillermo Vilar, 65.

"This is about them claiming their right to experience what they could not experience before because of all the contradictions of the time."

A fan of The Beatles shows John Lennon's driver's license at his home in
Havana, on March 12, 2017 (AFP Photo/YAMIL LAGE)

You Can't Do That

Fidel Castro's revolutionary regime banned songs in English, the language of its enemy the United States, for fear such music would spawn ideological deviance.

Gisela Moreno and Hector Ruiz would listen to The Beatles on US radio stations they captured on short-wave radios.

Records lent by the occasional returning traveler were copied in state recording studios, with the complicity of staff, onto low-quality metal discs.

"You put it on the record players we had back then and you just heard noise with the music in the background," Ruiz recalls.

"It was terrible, but hey, at least it was The Beatles."

At their high school, skinny-leg trousers, miniskirts and long hair were also banned.

But times have changed. The Yellow Submarine, opened in 2011, is one of at least six Beatles tribute bars across the island -- all of them run by the culture ministry.

One of them, in the eastern city of Holguin, is said to be an initiative of ruling party leader Miguel Diaz-Canel -- widely touted as the country's possible next president.

A man with his sons sit next to a statue of John Lennon in a park in Havana, 
on March 11, 2017 (AFP Photo/YAMIL LAGE)

I Should Have Known Better

On a bench near the Yellow Submarine sits a bronze statue of late Beatle John Lennon.

Fidel Castro himself inaugurated the statue in 2000. In footage of the ceremony, the late leader can be heard bewailing the former censorship of Beatles songs.

"I greatly regret not having met you sooner," Castro told the statue.

The censorship was not his idea, Castro went on: he delegated cultural policy to underlings while he was busy leading Cuba through the Cold War.

Fidel Castro's death last November marked the end of an era in Cuba. His brother Raul, in charge now for more than a decade, has been gradually opening up the economy and foreign relations.

The bronze Lennon has become an attraction for locals and the growing number of foreign tourists visiting the island.

The statue's spectacles have been stolen several times and a guard has been appointed to take care of them, getting them out for passers-by when they want to take photos.

A man with his dog walks next to The Beatles bar in Varadero, Matanza, 
on March 17, 2017 (AFP Photo/YAMIL LAGE)

From Me To You

Fans trace the rise of Beatlemania in Cuba to 1990, when Vilar organized a tribute concert to mark the 10th anniversary of Lennon's murder.

For many Cubans, that marked the belated birth of rock on the island -- for the old generation and the new.

At the Yellow Submarine, gentlemen's bellies bulge under black Beatles t-shirts and grey ponytails, while the ladies show off their miniskirts and long boots.

On stage, Cuba's top Beatles tribute singer Eddy Escobar, 46, plays the band's hits for scores of ageing revelers.

This ponytailed rocker was not yet born when The Beatles lit up the counter-culture movement before they broke up in 1970.

But he discovered the music, like younger Cubans are doing now.

"Good music will always last as long there is someone who somehow appreciates it, right?" says Escobar.

"The Beatles are here to stay," he says. "I give the bug to anyone I can."

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mexico threatens to ditch US corn imports

Yahoo – AFP, Yussel GONZALEZ, March 21, 2017

Mexico imports billions of dollars' worth of corn from the US to feed its
livestock (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

Mexico City (AFP) - Mexico has identified a potential weapon in its trade wrangle with US President Donald Trump: lucrative yellow cobs of American corn.

The Latin American nation imports billions of dollars' worth of the yellow grain from the United States to feed its livestock.

But with Trump pushing to shake up the countries' trade ties, Mexico is now threatening to buy from elsewhere.

That is worrying corn growers in some of the very same US states that voted heavily in favor of Trump: Iowa, North Dakota, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

Trump has vowed to restrict free trade with Mexico in order to protect US jobs and industry.

But with Mexico gearing up for a potential trade battle, the effect could be the opposite -- at least when it comes to corn.

"For US corn producers, Mexico is their number one export customer," Thomas Sleight, president of the US Grains Council, told AFP.

"They are concerned about maintaining excellent relationships with long standing customers that they've built over generations."

Leverage for NAFTA talks

Mexico's Agriculture Secretary Jose Calzada said Mexico is in advanced talks with two other corn producers, Brazil and Argentina.

The US grain is cheaper than those countries' corn at $198 a ton, says Juan Carlos Anaya, head of the Agricultural Markets Consulting Group, a Mexican research firm.

Brazilian corn costs $210 a ton and Argentine corn $217, Anaya said.

Buying corn from other countries would drive up the price of certain products in Mexico, he warned.

The US grain is cheaper than Brazil and Argentina's corn, at $198 a ton
(AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan)

But Mexico needs alternative sources of corn to gain leverage in trade negotiations.

Trump has vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada.

He wants new conditions that will help shift manufacturing jobs back to the United States and boost US production and exports.

Talks are expected to start this year.

"We do not know what the United States will propose," said Calzada.

"We have to act first to be sure that when we arrive at that negotiating table we are starting from a position of total strength."

One leftist opposition senator, Armando Rios Piter, has launched a legislative proposal to buy corn from Brazil and Argentina.

US "corn producers may have been fooled by Donald Trump when he said that Mexico was the only one benefiting from NAFTA," Rios told AFP.

"Now that they see what is at stake, they will have to change their minds."

US farmers concerned

Corn is Mexico's fourth-biggest import from the United States, after gasoline, diesel and natural gas.

Mexico imported $2.32 billion worth of corn in 2016 -- 10 percent more than the previous year, according to Mexican government figures.


By comparison, it imported just $17.7 million of corn from Argentina and $10 million from Brazil.

Mexico is also a major importer of US dairy products, pork, rice, wheat and soya.

Sleight said producers in five big corn-exporting US states have been lobbying lawmakers in Washington to stress how important NAFTA is for their business.

On January 23, agriculture industry leaders wrote to Trump saying that US food exports had quadrupled since NAFTA came into force in 1994.

"The sector in the US is struggling under the weight of low prices, reduced land values and rising interest rates, meaning farm profitability has declined", said analysis firm BMI Research.

"US farmers would suffer considerably from trade disruption with Mexico."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Flash floods take dramatic toll in Lima and northern Peru

Yahoo – AFP, Luis Jaime CISNEROS, Carlos MANDUJANO, 18 March 2017

Residents of the Huachipa populous district, east of Lima, are helped on
March 17, 2017, by police and firemen rescue teams to cross over flash floods
hitting their neighbourhood and isolating its residents

Flash floods and landslides hit parts of Lima, leaving some communities cut off from roads Saturday, as others in Peru fled rising rivers, and millions fretted that they won't have drinking water.

The government announced Saturday that so far this year 72 people have died as a result of heavy rains and flash floods around the country.

Peru's geographic extremes help fuel the often deadly force of the mudslides known locally as huaycos, the indigenous Quechua word for flash flood-landslide.

The South American nation of over 30 million has plenty of extremes: its Pacific coastal deserts in the west are interrupted by the soaring Andes, famed for the Inca people and Machu Picchu in the south. Further east, Peru has hot Amazon basin lowlands.

The tremendously steep mountains combine with many rocky and sandy areas that lack the topsoil found in more temperate places, meaning fewer trees are there to stop mudslides.

After weeks of heavy rain swept toward the coast late this week, many riverbeds in coastal areas went from empty to overflowing in no time.

In Lima, some residents on the outskirts of the capital of 10 million awoke Friday to realize their bedrooms were filling with water.

On Thursday and Friday, 10 people died in a landslide in the northern town of Otuzco. Seven of them were in trucks crushed by the huge flow of earth.

Others found themselves cut off by mudslides that blocked portions of the main highway linking Lima to the center of the country.

In one dramatic scene, rescuers used zip lines to help residents of Lima's Huachipa neighborhood escape over the torrent of brown water that was once their street, as it swallowed up cars and trucks.

The floods have been triggered by the weather event known as El Nino, a warming of surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that wreaks havoc on weather patterns every few years.

Men take a shower with water from a municipal cistern in Lima on March 18, 2017
 after weeks of heavy rain came sweeping toward the Peruvian coast and filled 
many riverbeds in coastal areas that went from empty to overflowing in no time

'A difficult situation'

But this year it has hit Peru particularly hard.

"It's a difficult situation, there's no doubt about it. But we have the resources" to deal with it, said President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

The government announced it would release 2.5 billion soles ($760 million) in emergency funds to rebuild affected areas.

Over half a million people were getting assistance.

While Peruvians have been dealing with huaycos for centuries, many poor residents of cities and towns build makeshift homes in areas that they may not realize could be flash-flood zones.

At times, authorities tell different groups to move, but they voice frustration that they have nowhere to go. And authorities' presence in the poorest peripheral districts, many perched on mountainsides, can be inconsistent.

The inundation came as the National Emergency Operations Center said at least 72 people have been killed in Peru this year in natural disasters. A total of 72,115 have lost their homes.

Some opposition politicians have called for the president to declare a national state of emergency, instead of local ones.

Among them were a few lawmakers urging Kuczynski to drop a bid for Lima to host the 2019 Pan-American Games so that more funds could be used for recovery efforts.

Residents of a populous district of Lima queue to collect drinking water from
a municipal tank truck on March 17, 2017

Roads become rivers

In metro Lima -- areas such as Huachipa as well as Carapongo -- locals had to form human chains to avoid being swept away to their death.

Police and firefighters also used zip lines to evacuate people from the roofs of their homes.

Frank Luis Limache, a resident of Huachipa, told El Comercio he was trapped with a group of more than 30 people.

"Please. Help us. We are trapped in here and haven't eaten since last night," he said.

The Rimac River in Lima toppled a pedestrian bridge linking El Agustino and San Juan de Lurigancho.

In the Punta Hermosa district south of Lima, a getaway of posh beach flats, the usual upscale quiet was jarred by a huayco that on Wednesday swept a farm woman, 32, far from her farm, leaving her standing awkwardly near the beach with her bloodied cow. Caked in mud, her distraught image has become one of the local symbols of this flash-flood season.

Meanwhile, city authorities slapped tight restrictions on drinking water use due to worries over the cloudiness of local river water.

Those who could afford it, pounced on supermarkets and neighborhood shops to buy drinking water, causing shortages in many areas. In less-well-off areas, people lined up to fill buckets from tanker trucks.

Friday, March 17, 2017

First fluorescent frog found in Argentina

Yahoo – AFP, March 17, 2017

Argentine and Brazilian scientists at the Bernardino Rivadaiva Natural Sciences
Museum discovered the first naturally fluorescent frog almost by accident

The first naturally fluorescent frog was discovered recently in Argentina -- almost by chance, a member of the team of researchers told AFP Thursday.

Argentine and Brazilian scientists at the Bernardino Rivadaiva Natural Sciences Museum made the discovery while studying the metabolic origin of pigments in a tree-frog species common to South America.

Under normal light the frog's translucent skin is a muted yellowish-brown color with red dots, but when the scientists shone an ultraviolet light on it, it turned a celestial green.

According to one of them, Carlos Taboada, the case is "the first scientific record of a fluorescent frog."

"We were very excited," said his fellow researcher Julian Faivovich. "It was quite disconcerting."

He said the discovery "radically modifies what is known about fluorescence in terrestrial environments, allowing the discovery of new fluorescent compounds that may have scientific or technological applications."

It also "generates new questions about visual communication in amphibians," he said.

The team studied some 200 more examples to ensure the phenomenon was not due to the frog's captivity, and detected the fluorescent properties in all the specimens.

Maria Lagorio -- an independent researcher and expert in fluorescence, who the research team contacted after the discovery -- told AFP that the trait is common in aquatic species and seen in some insects, "but has never been scientifically reported in amphibians."

The finding was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Article:


Amazon tribe has lowest heart risk ever seen: study

Yahoo – AFP, March 17, 2017

Most members of the Tsimane community, an indigenous Amazonian tribe, are
active for between four and seven hours a day --  hunting, gathering, fishing and
farming, the study found (AFP Photo/ANTONIO SCORZA)

Paris (AFP) - Researchers said Friday they had found an indigenous Amazonian tribe with the lowest levels of artery hardening -- a portender of heart disease -- ever observed.

And while they hailed the group's "subsistence lifestyle" as a heart-protecting factor, others cautioned against romanticising the community's hand-to-mouth existence.

Known as the Tsimane, the small forager-farmer community in Bolivia was five times less likely to develop coronary atherosclerosis (artery hardening) than people in the United States -- where it is a major killer, scientists wrote in The Lancet medical journal.

They pointed to the community's low-fat, high-fibre diet and non-smoking, physically active lifestyle -- factors which most scientists agree contribute to good health.

The study was an observational one, meaning it merely uncovered a correlation between lifestyle and heart health, and cannot conclude that one causes the other.

Yet, "the loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles could be classed as a new risk factor for vascular (blood vessel) ageing," study co-author Hillard Kaplan of the University of New Mexico concluded.

"We believe that components of this way of life could benefit contemporary sedentary populations."

The Tsimane diet comprises unprocessed, high-fibre carbohydrates such as rice, corn, nuts and fruit, as well as wild game and fish.

The community eats little fat, few smoke, and most are active for between four and seven hours a day -- hunting, gathering, fishing and farming, the study found.

Observers pointed out that while the Tsimane had lower levels of artery calcification and heart disease, the most common age of death was 70, compared with about 80 in most developed countries.

And these were just the ones who survive childhood -- one in five die in the first year of life.

"There may not be many old Tsimane men with heart disease but that's probably because only the fittest and healthiest Tsimane survive to old age," commented Gavin Sandercock, a cardiology expert from the University of Essex.

For Tim Chico, a University of Sheffield cardiologist, it is important "not to romanticise" the Tsimane existence.

"Two-thirds of them suffer intestinal worms and they have a very hard life without fresh water sewerage or electricity," he said.

Rates of diseases other than heart disease were much higher in the Tsimane -- especially of the infectious kind.

"So, would I live like the Tsimane to reduce my risk of heart disease? No way," Chico said via the Science Media Centre in London.

Researchers took CT scans of the hearts of 705 adults aged 40-94 in 85 villages in 2014 and 2015 for the study.

Based on the results, they concluded that almost nine in 10 Tsimane people (85 percent) had no risk of heart disease, 13 percent had a low risk, and only three percent a moderate or high risk.

By comparison, about half of Americans aged 45-84 have a moderate or high risk of heart disease.