South America

Brazil election frontrunner leaves intensive care after surgery due to stab wound: hospital

  SAO PAULO, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil’s far-right presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro was released from intensive care Sunday after undergoing surgery for complications from a stab wound he suffered while campaigning. The candidate, who had surgery to remove an intestinal blockage on Wednesday, has been moved to a “semi-intensive care unit,” doctors at Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein hospital said. A leftwing assailant stabbed Bolsonaro, 63, on September 6 during a campaign walkabout in the town […]

Foreign journalists freed from Venezuela detention

  CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) —Two British journalists and an Argentine were freed on Friday eight hours after being detained by the Venezuelan military, the national press union (SNTP) said. Argentine Laura Saravia along with British nationals Barney Green and Dan Rivers were released after being held incommunicado, the SNTP said on Twitter. They were detained “as they left the country” after having been in “Venezuela for three days reporting on tourism,” the union said earlier. Three people […]

Three shot dead in popular Mexico City tourist plaza

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AFP) — Gunmen dressed as mariachi musicians killed three people and wounded seven others in a square in downtown Mexico City popular with foreign tourists, police said. The three assailants carried out the shootings shortly before 10pm on Friday (0300 GMT Saturday) in the busy Plaza Garibaldi, police said. Neither the motive for the attack nor the identities of the gunmen were known, but the area is located near the Tepito neighborhood, […]

Venezuela’s Maduro seeks deals with ‘big sister’ China

BEIJING, China  (AFP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hailed China as a “big sister” as he prepared to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping Friday, hoping to broker economic deals for his crisis-hit country. Maduro declared after landing in Beijing overnight that he came with “great expectations” to further deepen strategic ties with Venezuela’s key creditor. The leftist leader said his visit would give a “big push” to energy investments, trade and the “successful financial […]

Hurricane Florence closes in on US east coast

by Sébastien DUVAL / with Leila Macor in Columbia, South Carolina Agence France-Presse WILMINGTON, United States (AFP) — Dangerous Hurricane Florence edged closer Thursday to delivering a powerful blow to the east coast of the United States, with forecasters warning of life-threatening rainfall and flooding even as it weakened to a Category 2 storm. As day broke for millions of jittery Americans in the monster storm’s path, rain from the Florence’s outer bands approached the […]

Hurricane Florence weakens to Category 2: US forecaster

WILMINGTON, United States (AFP) — Hurricane Florence weakened to a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, but remained on course to deliver a powerful blow to the US east coast. “Florence is now a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind scale,” with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph), the NHC said in its latest update at 0300 GMT. © Agence France-Presse

Brazil’s Lula quits presidential race, Haddad to run instead

  by Rosa Sulleiro Agence France Presse CURITIBA, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil’s jailed ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tapped his runningmate Fernando Haddad on Tuesday to replace him on the ballot in next month’s presidential election, bowing out of the race after he was barred from seeking a new term. The switch was approved at a meeting of the Workers Party in the southern city of Curitiba — where Lula has been held since […]

US recalls envoys from Latin American countries for cutting Taiwan ties

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The United States on Friday recalled its envoys to three Latin American countries that recently switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan to China, saying it would hold consultations with the diplomats. The move comes after Washington accused Beijing last month of destabilizing cross-Strait relations and engaging in a campaign of “political interference” by poaching Taiwan’s allies in the western hemisphere. “The Department of State has called back the US Ambassador […]

Attacker stabs Brazil’s right-wing presidential frontrunner

  RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil’s right-wing presidential front runner Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed and seriously injured while campaigning Thursday, with police saying the suspect claimed to be acting on orders from God. It was the latest bizarre twist in a presidential race in which the most popular candidate, former president and leftist hero Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is trying to run from prison. The Supreme Court disqualified Lula on Thursday. First round […]

Ecuador hit by 6.2 magnitude quake: USGS

QUITO, Ecuador (AFP) — A deep 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on Thursday night, USGS said. The quake hit at 9:12 pm local time (0212 GMT on Friday) at a depth of 93.5 kilometers, near the center of the South American country. It was felt across several provinces, according to Twitter users, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Local authorities recorded its magnitude as 6.5. Ecuador suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake […]

Mass grave site with 166 bodies found in Mexico

by Ignacio Carvajal Agence France Presse COATZACOALCOS, Mexico (AFP) — Mexican authorities discovered at least 166 bodies at a mass grave site in Veracruz state, prosecutors said Thursday, the latest horrifying find in a region hit by bloody drug cartel turf wars. Home to the city of Veracruz, one of Mexico’s largest ports, the eastern state has a history of corrupt politics and grisly power struggles between rival cartels — a toxic mix that has […]

Tropical Storm Gordon makes landfall on US Gulf Coast

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Tropical Storm Gordon was making landfall Tuesday night on the US Gulf Coast along the border of Alabama and Mississippi as hurricane warnings remained in place. Authorities declared a state of emergency in both states as well as in the city of New Orleans in Louisiana — devastated in 2005 by mega hurricane Katrina. The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Gordon, which formed near the upper Florida Keys Monday, […]