HAVANA, CUBA - Raul Castro confirmed he was handing over the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party to a younger generation at its congress that kicked off on Friday, ending six decades of rule by himself and older brother Fidel.
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations on Thursday released $1 million from its emergency fund to provide aid to the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines following a series of devastating volcanic eruptions, the body's spokesman said.
WHITE HOUSE - The United States cannot allow a foreign power to intervene with impunity in American elections, President Joe Biden said Thursday, after he took action to punish Russia for that and a major cyberattack.
GENEVA - The United Nations refugee agency is scaling up programs in Mexico to help the country tackle the growing number of asylum applications and assist asylum seekers while their claims are being processed.
The number of people seeking asylum in Mexico has increased dramatically in recent years. Mexico’s Commission for Refugee Assistance says that between 2014 and 2019 registered asylum claims jumped from just 2,000 to 70,000 per year — a spike of over 3,000 percent.
WASHINGTON - Members of Haiti's diaspora expressed concerns Tuesday about the country’s ongoing insecurity, the economic crisis and the lack of information about the new draft constitution, during a virtual event hosted by the Haitian Embassy in Washington.
WASHINGTON - Vice President Kamala Harris said Wednesday that she intended to visit Mexico and Guatemala soon as part of her plan to use diplomatic efforts to slow migration to the U.S.-Mexican border.
WASHINGTON / PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI - Haiti’s President has accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister, Joseph Jouthe, who announced on Twitter early Wednesday he would be stepping down, without saying why.
“I gave my letter of resignation to the President of the Republic, SEM @moisejovenel. It has been an honor to serve my country as prime minister. I thank the members of my government, our technical and financial partners for their collaboration. God Bless Haiti!" he tweeted.
J’ai remis ce soir ma démission au Président de la République, SEM @moisejovenel. Ça a été un honneur de servir mon pays comme Premier ministre. Je remercie les membres de mon Gouvernement, les partenaires techniques et financiers pour leur collaboration.Que Dieu bénisse Haïti!
La démission du Gouvernement, que j’ai acceptée, permettra d’adresser le problème criant de l’insécurité et poursuivre les discussions en vue de dégager le consensus nécessaire à la stabilité politique et institutionnelle de notre pays. Le ministre Claude Joseph est nommé PM a.i
KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT - Leaders of volcano-wracked St. Vincent said Tuesday that water is running short as heavy ash contaminates supplies, and they estimated that the eastern Caribbean island will need hundreds of millions of dollars to recover from the eruption of La Soufriere.
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden and U.S. lawmakers Tuesday paid tribute at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda to the U.S. Capitol Police officer killed when a motorist rammed a car into two police officers and brandished a knife earlier this month.
QUITO, ECUADOR - Ecuador will be led for the next four years by a conservative businessman after voters on Sunday rebuffed a left-leaning movement that has yielded an economic boom and then a recession since it took hold of the presidency last decade. That election certainty, however, did not extend to neighboring Peru, where the presidential contest is headed to a runoff after none of the 18 candidates obtained more than 50% of the votes.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday named Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley as the State Department's first chief diversity officer, a position created to make the U.S. diplomatic corps more representative.
The appointment of an award-winning journalist to lead the Office of Cuba Broadcasting was criticized this week by a U.S. lawmaker who suggested she does not have a strong enough track record of promoting liberty for Cuban citizens.
WASHINGTON - The Biden administration released an outline Friday of how it wants the federal government to spend its money in Fiscal 2022, and if anyone was surprised by the contents, they must not have been paying attention.
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 and deaths remain high in Brazil as the country’s campaign to vaccinate against the disease stumbles.
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Brazil recorded more than 70,000 new cases of the virus in the past day.
Its seven-day rolling average has risen to 2,820 deaths, or about one-fourth of the world’s average deaths for the same period, according to Johns Hopkins. At more than 353,000 total deaths, Brazil has the second highest toll from the pandemic, behind only the United States, which has more than 562,000.
Less than 3% of the South American nation’s population has been fully vaccinated. The U.S. has fully vaccinated more than 20% of its population, according to Johns Hopkins.
ICU wards in cities within Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan area are reportedly nearly full, with many patients sharing space and oxygen bottles.
Much of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent remained without power and covered in ash Sunday as another “explosive event” occurred at La Soufriere volcano.
The volcano initially erupted on Friday, its first time since 1979, spurring evacuations as well as warnings to people on neighboring islands to stay indoors to avoid ashfall.
About 16,000 people have fled their communities, but there have been no reports of deaths or injuries, according to the Associated Press. People took refuge in 78 government-run shelters and four empty cruise ships stood by to evacuate residents to nearby islands, the AP said.
Scientists anticipate that more eruptions are likely to occur. St. Vincent is the main island in the 32-island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The island’s National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) said Sunday that “another explosive event” had led to power outages across the island.
Massive power outage following another explosive event at La Soufriere Volcano. Lightning, thunder and rumblings. Majority of the country out of power and covered in ash #lasoufriereeruption2021 #explosion # rumblings #poweroutage #
RABAKA, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES - The small eastern Caribbean island of Saint Vincent was blanketed with a thin layer of ash and a “strong sulfur” smell hung in the air on Saturday, a day after a volcano spectacularly erupted after decades of inactivity.
JOSE CARLOS MARIATEGUI, PERU - On the banks of the Amazon River, in a village without electricity or drinking water, Andrea Rodrigo makes the yuca flour that her family sells in markets along Peru's remote borders with Brazil and Colombia.
WASHINGTON - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani oversaw on live television Saturday the launch of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, a key component for nuclear weapons, while reiterating his country’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. and Iran have agreed to a second round of indirect talks in Vienna next week to try to bring each other back into compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, but Iran has insisted that all U.S. sanctions against it be lifted and the U.S. warned that such a demand may lead to an impasse.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered a study on overhauling the Supreme Court, creating a bipartisan commission Friday that will spend the next six months examining the politically incendiary issues of expanding the court and instituting term limits for justices, among other issues.
WASHINGTON - White House border coordinator Roberta Jacobson is leaving her job at the end of April, the White House said on Friday, a surprise move that solidified Vice President Kamala Harris' control over U.S. diplomatic efforts in Central America.
WASHINGTON - A centrist U.S. Democratic lawmaker, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is renewing his opposition to changes in the parliamentary rules in the politically divided Senate, imperiling President Joe Biden’s ambitious legislative agenda.
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS - Honduran Foreign Minister Lisandro Rosales will lead a delegation to Washington on Friday to seek economic help following two devastating hurricanes that have contributed to increased immigration, Honduran government officials said.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden will unveil a series of executive actions aimed at addressing gun violence on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the plans, delivering his first major action on gun control since taking office.
The political dispute over a new election law in the southern state of Georgia has broadened into a debate over whether the United States should participate in a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
CARACAS - Venezuela has created a special military unit for an area on its border with Colombia that has been the center of clashes between troops and illegal armed groups since last month, the defense minister said Monday.
Top Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee on Monday proposed major shifts in former President Donald Trump's 2017 tax reforms to eliminate what they say are incentives for companies to move operations overseas and shift profits to tax haven countries.
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Joe Biden would be willing to push through his $2 trillion infrastructure plan without the support of Republican lawmakers if he cannot reach a bipartisan deal, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Sunday.
WASHINGTON - The United States, South Korea and Japan agreed in high-level security talks Friday to work together to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
- U.S. President Joe Biden holds his first Cabinet meeting Thursday.
The gathering of top officials comes as the administration rolls out a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal that it hopes will gain congressional approval.
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR - El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said on Wednesday that a missing teenager had been found, identifying her as the daughter of Victoria Salazar, who died in Mexico after a Mexican female police officer was seen in a video kneeling on her back.
President Joe Biden’s plan announced Wednesday to plow $2 trillion into an eight-year overhaul of U.S. infrastructure was met with only limited carping from many voices normally critical of government spending. Meanwhile, economists expressed broad agreement that the plan, as proposed, would power long-run economic growth.