Mexico

now browsing by tag

 
 

US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White House

“MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US, Canada and Mexico to hold talks at the White HouseThe WorldNovember 18, 2021 · 10:45 AM EST

President Joe Biden waves towards the White House balcony in Washington, Nov. 17, 2021.

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

US-Canada-Mexico
US President Joe Biden will host trilateral talks with Canada and Mexico on Thursday at the White House. While the neighboring allies have to discuss their significant differences on migration, climate and trade issues, the summit will have a strong focus on furthering economic cooperation. The US is a top trade partner for Mexico and Canada and both countries are concerned by the US’ “Buy American” provision, central to the US president’s agenda, and a proposed tax credit for the purchase of electric vehicles in the US that will favor US-based car makers. Protectionist policies could keep Canadian and Mexican companies from lucrative contracts and the countries plan to argue for a level playing field to lure EV supply chain manufacturers.

Greece
A trial for a group of 24 volunteers who took part in search-and-rescue operations of migrants at sea on the Greek island of Lesbos has been adjourned shortly after opening, after a judge ruled that the local court was not competent to hear the case. The defendants, made up of Greek and foreign nationals, including Syrian competitive swimmer Sara Mardini, are facing a myriad of charges ranging from espionage and assisting criminal activity. Aid groups and human rights organizations have criticized the trial as being politically motivated and have called for all charges to be dropped.

Belarus
Hundreds of Iraqis have flown home from Belarus after nearly two weeks of tensions at the Poland-Belarus border. Some 2,000 people, mainly of Middle Eastern origin, were stranded at the border with security forces of both nations facing off. Belarusian state media reported that there were no more migrants at the makeshift camp along the border. At least 12 people died in the area. There were 430 Iraqis who registered for the repatriation flights, according to Iraq’s Consulate in Russia.

From The WorldMeet the 11-year-old on a mission to clean up the Seine

Alexandre de Fages de Latour and his son, Raphael, 10, are pictured near the Seine in Paris, where they fish out treasures — and junk.

Credit:

Rebecca Rosman/The World

Raphael has dedicated his free time to fishing waste out of the Seine in Paris using a magnetic rod. He's already managed to pull out 7 tons of waste including electric bikes, scooters, scrap metal and cellphones.

Go behind the scenes with one of our correspondents.

Shirin Jaafari, a correspondent with The World since 2015, traveled to Afghanistan in July 2021 to report on the quickly evolving situation as the US withdrawal process was underway.

Take a behind-the-scenes look at her reporting from Herat days before the Taliban overtook the city.

Putting together stories in hostile environments is time- and resource-intensive. Make a gift today to support the work of Shirin and others here at The World. Thank you!

Double Take

You've heard of online colleges, but what about an embassy on the metaverse?

Barbados says it will be the world's first country to establish a digital embassy in a 3D digital world hosted by Decentraland. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade struck the deal for the virtual embassy set to open in January 2022. 

In case you missed itListen: New Delhi struggles with smothering smog

Morning haze and smog envelops the skyline after air quality fell to hazardous levels in New Delhi, India, Nov. 5, 2021.

Credit:

Altaf Qadri/AP

Soaring pollution levels in New Delhi, India, have prompted officials to indefinitely close schools and some coal-based power plants. We hear from a climate analyst about the health implications and causes of the smothering smog. And, the Biden administration has announced a major new investment in vaccine manufacturing, with an aim to help address global inequalities. But critics say it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Plus, since the 1950s, Mexican painter and intellectual Frida Kahlo has been revered as a feminist icon. One of her famous self-portraits just sold for nearly $35 million — more than any other work of art from Latin America.

Don't forget to subscribe to The World's Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

A forgotten mangrove forest around remote inland lagoons in Mexico’s Yucatán tells a story of rising seas

A forgotten mangrove forest around remote inland lagoons in Mexico’s Yucatán tells a story of rising seas

Mangroves grow in saltwater along tropical coastlines, but scientists have found them along a river in Mexico’s Yucatán, more than 100 miles from the sea. Climate change explains their shift.

By
Sula E. Vanderplank

A stand of red mangroves in the calm, calcium-rich, fresh waters of the San Pedro Mártir River, Tabasco, Mexico. 

Credit:

Ben Meissner, CC BY-ND

Share

The San Pedro River winds from rainforests in Guatemala through the Yucatán Peninsula in eastern Mexico.

There, this peaceful river widens into a series of slow-flowing lakes. Along a remote 50-mile (80-kilometer) stretch, thousands of red mangroves — trees commonly found along tropical coastlines — line the river’s banks and gentle waterfalls.

Unlike mangroves elsewhere, these trees grow in freshwater. This means that many other species can grow with them: orchids, bromeliads and other air and land plants that cannot tolerate the saline conditions where red mangroves are normally found. It’s a magical garden, and also a scientific puzzle: How did these mangroves come to be growing some 125 miles (200 kilometers) inland, 85 to 120 feet (25 to 37 meters) above sea level, in an entirely freshwater ecosystem?

I am part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from Mexico and the US that sought to answer this question by comparing these trees to other mangroves across the broader Yucatán Peninsula region. We also analyzed sediment cores from the San Pedro River terraces, which showed strong indications that the sediments had been created in coastal areas.

We found that the mangroves of the river have been separated from coastal mangroves for around 120,000 years. This coincides with the Last Interglacial — a warm period between ice ages, about 125,000 years ago, when glaciers and polar ice caps melted almost entirely.

During that time, the Earth was even warmer than at present and sea levels were 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) higher. These mangroves’ ancestors were coastal trees that were left isolated as the planet cooled during the Wisconsin Glaciation — the last era when glaciers expanded across North America. As the glaciers spread, sea levels fell, exposing more land around them. Now, this unique forest, a footprint of the past, is at risk of deforestation and development that could prevent scientists from studying it for more insights into Earth’s climate history.

Fish and other aquatic life in the San Pedro Martir River in Tabasco, Mexico, amid submerged red mangrove roots. 

Credit:

Octavio Aburto, CC BY-ND

Mangroves and freshwater

The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) is an iconic tree that is enormously important to commercial and artisanal fisheries around the world. Juvenile fish shelter among mangroves’ tangled roots, feeding and growing until they are large enough to avoid predators.

Our study focused on two inland lagoons created by giant cenotes — natural sinkholes in the Yucatan’s limestone bedrock — near the Caribbean coast. Red mangroves reproduce via seeds that germinate while they are still attached to mother plants, then drop onto a bank or into the water, where they float away and establish themselves on adjacent banks. This adaptation enables mangroves to spread along coastlines, even though saltwater is toxic to most seeds and makes germination very difficult.

We were fascinated to know how the San Pedro mangroves got there. Their seedlings couldn’t float upstream for so many miles, and the forest on the banks was large and well-established, which made it seem highly unlikely that an animal or human could have brought the seeds inland. To our knowledge, the San Pedro River mangroves are unique in existing so far from the coast.

Mangroves store 3-5 times more #carbon per unit area than other tropical forests. But 67% of global #mangroves have been lost. More and more countries understand their value for #ClimateChange mitigation & adaptation policies #NDCs @ThomsonFiji#WorldMangroveDay #RestoreWetlands pic.twitter.com/JHwmoMN6hy

— Martha Rojas Urrego (@martharojasu1) July 26, 2021Isolation and fragmentation

One way to determine where plants may have come from is to see whether they are genetically related to colonies of similar plants elsewhere in a region. So we conducted a genetic investigation that looked for single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or “snips” — differences in a single DNA building block between one plant and another.

We found that the closest relatives to the San Pedro River’s isolated mangroves were mangroves at the Terminos Lagoon on the Yucatán’s western coast, along the Gulf of Mexico. Mangroves from both river communities also were closely related to other coastal populations on the Gulf of Mexico. However, they were very distinct from other freshwater inland mangrove populations in cenotes on the Yucatán’s eastern coast along the Caribbean, and those populations are distinct in turn from other coastal mangroves.

We cored the largest mangrove trees at three sites, extracting pencil-shaped samples from their trunks that showed their growth rings, to get a sense of how long these trees lived — about 100 years — and how many generations of trees had lived there. Then we multiplied that figure by a mean genetic mutation rate to estimate how old the San Pedro mangroves were when they diverged genetically from other mangroves, and how long ago that divergence occurred.

We calculated that the San Pedro River and Terminos Lagoon mangrove populations separated genetically approximately 100,000 years ago. This supports our hypothesis that the San Pedro River mangroves are a relict from the last interglacial, some 120,000 years ago.

Our data also suggests that something drastically reduced the size of the isolated inland population of San Pedro River mangroves. This created what scientists call a genetic or population bottleneck, meaning that its gene pool became much smaller. As a result, the current population has a more unique genetic signature than mangroves elsewhere. Amazingly, this change was caused by just 30 feet (9 meters) of change in sea level.

What else does this unique forest hold?

Our discovery raises an obvious question: Which other species have been isolated in this unique ecosystem for the past 125,000 years? Are there insects? Fungi? We hope scientists who study other types of organisms will explore this area and look for more relicts.

But this special place is at risk. The region was systematically deforested in the 1970s as part of a development plan, but the banks of the San Pedro River escaped the bulldozers because the terrain was challenging. New threats loom today, such as a proposed 950-mile (1,529 km) train route that would carry thousands of visitors to Mayan archaeological sites.

Mayan river systems contain a wealth of cultural and biological riches. Now, we also know that the story of extreme climate change and sea level rise during the Pleistocene is recorded in the DNA of these plants.

They show how dramatically climate change could alter coastal ecosystems along the Gulf of Mexico and many other shorelines if nations do not take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. My colleagues and I believe the San Pedro River deserves protection as a testament to both resilience and adaptation in a changing climate.

Sula E Vanderplank is an adjunct professor at San Diego State University. This article is republished from The Conversation a nonprofit, independent news organization dedicated to unlocking the knowledge of experts for the public good.

Suicide bombings kill at least 37 at a mosque in Afghanistan

Suicide bombings kill at least 37 at a mosque in Afghanistan

By
The World staff

The scene after a bomb blast hits Shia community mosque in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15, 2021.

Credit:

Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Afghanistan
A group of suicide bombers have attacked another Shiite mosque in Afghanistan — killing at least 37 people and injuring dozens of others — during Friday prayers in Kandahar in the south of the country. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, but a similar attack just last week on a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz was claimed by the ISIS-Khorasan group. Witnesses say a suicide bomber attacked  the entrance of the mosque, followed by two others inside the building. Journalists have posted photos and mobile phone footage on social media of the bloodied floor of the Bibi Fatima mosque.

Lebanon
The Lebanese government has called for a national day of mourning on Friday after heavy gun battles in Beirut left at least seven people dead as protests were taking place on the streets. Schools, banks and government offices were closed. Heavily armed militias had used automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades on the streets of the capital, reminiscent of the country’s 15-year civil war. Lebanon has been reeling from a humanitarian and  economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive Beirut port blast in August of last year.

Mexico
The Biden administration is planning to reinstate the controversial  “Remain in Mexico” policy in November, which was implemented during the Trump administration. The US Supreme Court upheld a decision made in August by the US District Court in Texas requiring the government to restore the policy, known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Under the agreement, the Mexican government would have to accept the return of asylum seekers to its territory. “Mexico is a sovereign nation that must make an independent decision to accept the return of individuals without status in Mexico as part of any reimplementation of MPP,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. The Trump administration returned more than 60,000 asylum seekers under the policy, requiring them to wait outside US territory as their claims were processed in US courts.

From The WorldNovelist Abdulrazak Gurnah: ‘Colonialism and its consequences are still with us’

Zanzibar-born writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for literature, smiles ahead of a press conference in London, Oct. 8, 2021. 

Credit:

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Last week was an adrenaline rush for novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah. Since his phone rang with the news that he’d been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, he’s had a few quiet moments.

Gurnah joined The World’s host Marco Werman to talk about what motivates him to continue exploring the ongoing consequences of colonialism in his literary works, and the power of literature to help us understand the plight of the other.

UN court favors Somalia in maritime border dispute judgment

Fishermen set out for their day’s work in the Indian Ocean shortly after dawn in the former pirate village of Eyl, in Somalia’s semiautonomous northeastern state of Puntland, March 7, 2017.

Credit:

Ben Curtis/AP

The UN International Court of Justice ruled to split the disputed triangular maritime area — believed to be rich in oil, natural gas and valuable fisheries — in half. But Kenya has been clear that it would not recognize any judgment by the court.

Double Take

If you thought your alarm clock was startling, how about waking up to a meteorite crashing down onto your pillow?! Ruth Hamilton in Golden, British Columbia, woke up recently to the sounds of dogs barking. And, it was a good thing she did, because moments later, a charcoal-grey meteorite about the size of a melon crashed through her roof and struck her pillow … where she had just been sleeping.

A chunk of rock plummeted from space, tearing through a B.C. woman’s roof before coming to rest on her floral pillowcase, inches from where her head had been moments earlier. https://t.co/E4CzdW8lEg

— CBC News (@CBCNews) October 12, 2021In case you missed itListen: Violent clashes in Beirut over blast investigation

A Lebanese special forces soldier takes his position, as he points to his comrades to a position of a Shiite group sniper who was sniping at the Christian neighborhood of Ain el-Remaneh, in Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 14, 2021. 

Credit:

Hussein Malla/AP

Gunfire erupted on the streets of Beirut on Thursday, killing six people. The violence erupted when armed supporters of Shiite militant and political groups, Hezbollah and Amal, marched through a Christian neighborhood in protests against the judge presiding over the August blast investigation. And police say a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway Wednesday night in which a man is suspected of killing five people appears to be an “act of terror.” It’s the worst attack in Norway since Anders Breivik, the far-right extremist who killed 77 people in 2011. Plus, The World remembers Irish musician Paddy Moloney, master of the uilleann pipes, slide whistle and penny whistle, and co-founder of the Chieftains.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Mexico expels Central American migrants to rural Guatemala

Mexico expels Central American migrants to rural Guatemala

Mexico is forcing hundreds of migrants to the small border outpost of El Ceibo, Guatemala. Many are would-be asylum-seekers in the US.

By
Jorge Valencia

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Honduran migrants Bianca Emerita Galvan, 22, left, and Dani Omar Suazo, 21, holding their son 1-year-old sone Daniel Emir, arrive at El Ceibo, Guatemala, Aug. 12, 2021, after being deported by air from the US to Mexico and then shipped into Guatemala by land. The Central American migrants were expelled by the US after being denied a chance to seek asylum under a pandemic-related ban. 

Credit:

Santiago Billy/AP

Share

The town of El Ceibo is but a little speck along the Guatemala-Mexico line.

Retailers work at a handful of stores catering primarily to Mexican shoppers who cross the border on day trips, and farmworkers tend to bean and corn crops on the surrounding land.

Over the past month, though, El Ceibo, Guatemala, has been crowded with the daily arrival of buses full of migrants being expelled from Mexico.

Some are young mothers with small children, others are young men traveling alone. Some are fleeing poverty, others are fleeing persecution. Many were pushed out of the US into Mexico without their cases being heard, while the rest were taken into custody in Mexico.

As the Biden administration and their Mexican counterparts grapple with the Supreme Court’s order to reinstate the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced tens of thousands US asylum-seekers to wait out their cases south of the border, the Mexican government is quietly sending hundreds of Central American migrants every day to rural Guatemala.

The high court this week told the Biden administration that it’s violating federal law by trying to rescind the policy, which hasn’t been in effect since March 2020.

Meanwhile, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a news conference Thursday that Mexico helping the US on immigration “can’t go on forever.”

Most migrants arriving in El Ceibo find themselves lost in a small town surrounded by marshlands and hills. This week, they included Walter Videz, a 31-year-old salesman who said he fled his native Honduras because he couldn’t find work and could no longer afford to pay the extortion demanded by a local gang.

Videz said he had been taken into custody by Mexican immigration officials earlier in the day and immediately put on a southbound bus. He and the other migrants with him realized they were being dropped in rural Guatemala only when they saw a border sign — even though immigration officials told them they were taking them to Honduras, he said.

“They lied to us,” Videz said.

Videz said he hadn’t eaten in the 24 hours since he was detained, and that he didn’t have any money to buy food.

United Nations agencies and human rights organizations expressed concern this week over the new US measures leaving people stranded in Guatemala. Without screening migrants for their reasons for fleeing, the governments were potentially putting them at risk.

Click on the audio player above to hear more from the migrants passing through El Ceibo, desperately searching for a better life. 

Mexico sues US-based gunmakers over arms trafficking and gun violence

Mexico sues US-based gunmakers over arms trafficking and gun violence

By
The World staff

Handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas.

Credit:

John Locher/AP/File photo

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Mexico
The Mexican government has sued several prominent US-based gun manufacturers, alleging that negligent practices on controls are contributing to the illegal flow of weapons across the border, into the hands of cartels in Mexico. The lawsuit, filed in US federal court in Boston where several of the gun companies are located, targets the gunmakers and distributors — not the US government — arguing that companies know their alleged lax practices contribute to the trafficking of guns to Mexico and fuel violence there. The impact this case could have is unclear. A 2005 US law shields gun manufacturers from most civil liability claims.

WHO
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus has called for a moratorium on administering COVID-19 booster shots until more doses are available in countries with low vaccination rates. Germany has already announced plans to offer booster shots, while Israel, Russia, Hungary and France have already begun offering the doses to specific high-risk populations. Ghebreyesus made the appeal on Wednesday primarily to wealthier countries where the vast majority of vaccinations have been given, as the more contagious delta variant has left populations vulnerable.

Iran
Iran will inaugurate Ebrahim Raisi, an ultra-conservative judiciary chief, as the country’s next president on Thursday after eight years of Hassan Rouhani’s moderate administration. While Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, holds ultimate authority, the president still has power over domestic matters, like the economy. Raisi is viewed by many as the start of a new harder-line era, as negotiations with the US over the nuclear deal appear stalled.

From The WorldRefugees in Maine find it harder to afford housing as remote workers move in

Hussein Albraihi sweeps the floor at a former church in Hallowell, Maine. A local nonprofit organization is converting the site into a six-bedroom apartment for a refugee family from Syria.

Credit:

Ari Snider/The World

As remote workers have flocked to previously under-the-radar towns, these places have become less affordable during the pandemic. The trend stretches across the US and it’s causing a housing crunch for refugees in Maine who can’t afford to live elsewhere.

With global warming, Emperor penguins will ‘have no place to breed’ says researcher

An Emperor penguin jumps out of the water. 

Credit:

Christopher Michel/Wikimedia Commons 

A new study says that if global warming continues at its current rate, more than 80% of Emperor penguin colonies will be gone in the next 80 years. Phil Trathan, who co-authored the study, joined The World’s host Marco Werman to discuss the plight of the penguins.

Double take

Did a mock life-size sumo wrestler on the course of the 14-jump Olympic equestrian course distract — or spook — horses during the qualifiers? Riders say, yes, it did. While most of the hurdles on the course are decorated with Japanese themes — kimonos, taiko drums and a miniature Japanese palace — none seemed to catch the eye of riders and horses more than the sumo wrestler at the 10th obstacle.

Night-mare: Riders say a life-size sumo wrestler positioned next to an obstacle on the Olympic equestrian course may have distracted several horses in qualifying for the individual jumping final. A few pairings pulled up short of the barrier. https://t.co/g2JoviXoet #odd

— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) August 4, 2021In case you missed itListen: Taliban militants attack Herat, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities

An Afghan security personnel takes a position during fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces in Herat province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 3, 2021.

Credit:

Hamed Sarfarazi/AP

For the first time since the 1990s, Taliban militants in recent days attacked the western city of Herat, one of Afghanistan’s largest cities. Fighting in the vicinity of Herat’s airport has grounded flights for several days. Also, Ethiopia has suspended aid operations with Doctors Without Borders and the Norwegian Refugee Council in its Tigray region, as hundreds of thousands of people there live under the threat of starvation. And one year after a deadly explosion in Beirut’s port killed 200 people and injured and displaced thousands, Lebanese citizens are still seeking answers — and justice.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

First group of Afghans who helped American troops are flown to the US

First group of Afghans who helped American troops are flown to the US

By
The World staff

Inside of US visa’s center at Embassy of the United States of America is shown in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 30, 2021.

Credit:

Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Afghans flown to US
The first flight of about 250 Afghans who helped American troops arrived in the United States. They include interpreters, drivers and others who helped the US military, and their family members. They will stay at a hotel at the Fort Lee Army base in Virginia for about a week for processing, after which they will be permanently resettled in the US. They’re the first of about 2,500 people chosen for resettlement under Operation Allies Refuge as the Taliban gains ground in Afghanistan. The other groups are expected to arrive roughly three days apart. And about 4,000 other Afghans whose applications still need approvals will be sent to third countries, possibly to Qatar, Kuwait, Kazakhstan or Kosovo.

Mexico referendum
Mexico will hold its first national referendum on Sunday to determine if former presidents can be put on trial for corruption while in office. It would prosecute the past five ex-presidents. The Supreme Court approved the referendum in October, which was put forward by current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Congress then backed the proposal. This is the first referendum to be overseen by the country’s electoral agency, INE, and the first official one to be held at a national level.

Electric vehicles
Joe Biden and major carmakers are negotiating a pledge to make electric at least 40% of all cars and SUVs sold in 2030, under the president’s climate goals. The push comes as UN climate talks are just over three months away. Meanwhile, the UK plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and hybrids by 2035, making cars become electric or use hydrogen fuel cells by 2050.

From The World
After raid and arrest, Russian journalist ‘will just keep doing my job,’ he says

Roman Dobrokhotov, chief editor of The Insider walks surrounded police officers and journalists, in Moscow, July 28, 2021. Police in Russia raided the home of the chief editor of an investigative media outlet that was recently designated as a “foreign agent,” the latest step by authorities to raise pressure on independent media ahead of the country’s September parliamentary election. 

Credit:

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

In Russia, the crackdown on journalism continues. On Wednesday, police in Russia raided the home of Roman Dobrokhotov, editor-in-chief of The Insider, an independent, investigative media outlet. Dobrokhotov told The World’s host Marco Werman that the real motivation for the police was that they likely wanted “to get access to my computers and telephones and know more about our investigations,” Dobrokhotov said.

“And the second reason is they just wanted to put some pressure. Of course, for me, it changed nothing. But for a young journalist, they can really be afraid that something like this can happen to them.”

Southern Spain’s green-belt project aims to stave off impending desertification

The region of southern Spain is facing desertification. 

Credit:

Gerry Hadden/The World 

Climate change affects different regions differently. While Germany has seen record floods, as much as 75% of Spain is in danger of becoming a desert. But, an ambitious green-belt project is working to counter desertification by creating a series of contiguous forests that would run for hundreds of miles across the country’s southern region.Bright spot

UNESCO has announced its newest World Heritage Sites. One of them is the oldest solar observatory in the Americas, found in the deserts of northern Peru. The site is called Chankillo, and it dates back to the year 230 BC. The physical structure functioned as a calendar, using the rising and setting arcs of the sun to define the time of year to within one or two days. And, it is the third site in Peru to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in just over a decade.

View of the Chankillo solar observatory near Casma, Peru, July 22, 2021.

Credit:

Janine Costa/AFP via Getty/File photo

In case you missed itListen: US mask policy falls in line with global recommendations

Pedestrians walk along Boston’s fashionable Newbury Street, May 2, 2021. 

Credit:

Steven Senne/AP

At this point during the pandemic, should people wear masks in public? After saying no in May, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its stance and the reversal actually falls in line with much of the rest of the world. Also, since the 2019 revolution in Sudan, laws that restricted women’s dress and behavior have been abolished. But for many women, those political changes are not enough. And we hear from Roman Dobrokhotov, the editor-in-chief of Russian news publication The Insider, who was arrested Wednesday as part of the Kremlin’s crackdowns on individual journalists.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Mexico metro overpass collapses, killing 23 and injuring dozens

Mexico metro overpass collapses, killing 23 and injuring dozens

By
The World staff

Mexico City’s subway cars lay at an angle after a section of Line 12 of the subway collapsed, May 4, 2021.

Credit:

Marco Ugarte/AP

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

A section of a subway overpass of the Mexico City metro collapsed late Monday night, sending two cars of a passenger train onto traffic on a busy street below. The accident killed at least 23 people while 70 others were injured, and some are in serious condition, according to officials.

The accident in southeast Mexico City, one of the deadliest for the city’s busy subway system, happened on the Golden Line or line 12 inaugurated in 2012.

“A support beam gave way” just as the train passed over it, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said, adding that there will be an investigation into the causes of the accident.

The subway system in Mexico City, second-largest in the Americas, transports over 4 million passengers daily. It runs underground through more central areas of the city of 9 million people and on elevated concrete structures on the outskirts.

What The World is following

US President Joe Biden signed an emergency presidential determination formally raising the country’s cap on refugee admissions from 15,000 to 62,500 this year. The move comes after weeks of blowback by his party and refugee agencies for his delay in replacing the record-low ceiling set by former President Donald Trump. Biden additionally said Monday that his administration intended to raise the number of refugees admitted next year to 125,000.

And, the COVAX program for COVID-19 global vaccine distribution for low- and middle-income countries is getting a boost from US biotechnology company Moderna following an advance purchase contract agreement between GAVI, Global Vaccine Alliance and Moderna for the supply of up to 500 million doses of the mRNA vaccine, with 34 million doses available late this year. The deal, which expands COVAX’s range of vaccines to eight, follows the approval of the Moderna shot for emergency use by the World Health Organization — a prerequisite for COVAX eligibility.

From The WorldThe Proud Boys right-wing group disbands in Canada

Organizer Joe Biggs, in a green hat, and Proud Boys Chairman Enrique Tarrio, holding a megaphone, march with members of the Proud Boys, and other right-wing demonstrators, across the Hawthorne Bridge during a rally in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 17, 2019.

Credit:

Noah Berger/AP/File photo

In a statement, Proud Boys Canada announced that it was disbanding, and denied being a terrorist or white supremacist group. That announcement came after the Canadian government, in February, became the first country to designate it a terrorist organization.

“For some of [the members], being listed on the same group that lists al-Qaeda or the Islamic State was probably a wake-up call for them, and not something they wanted to be affiliated with,” said Jessica Davis, president of Insight Threat Intelligence, and a former senior strategic analyst with the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.

Coronavirus Conversations: Understanding and tracking ‘long COVID’

Medical personnel wheel a bed with a coronavirus patient in critical condition as they prepare to transfer the patient by ambulance to a hospital in Aachen, Germany, April 14, 2021.

Credit:

Francisco Seco/AP/File photo

Doctors around the world are working to understand “long COVID” — a lingering range of symptoms that persists in some people after they have initially recovered from COVID-19.

As part of The World’s regular series of conversations with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health about the pandemic, and as a special in our podcast feed, reporter Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with Dr. Andrew Chan who addressed long COVID-19.

Bright Spot

A farmer has inadvertently redrawn the border between Belgium and France. Annoyed by a stone in his tractor’s path, the farmer moved what turned out to be a marker for the Belgian-French border, causing a slight stir among the two countries.

Meanwhile, on the Belgian French border….https://t.co/Zb7aEqVmhs

— Amit Paranjape (@aparanjape) May 4, 2021In case you missed itListen: Two siblings at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, oceans apart

A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a Kashmiri woman to test for COVID-19 in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir on Dec. 11, 2020. 

Credit:

Dar Yasin/AP

Two doctors, siblings, one in India and another one in the US — at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 — are finding ways to support each other, despite challenges. A landmark trial involving tech giant Apple gets underway in the US, just days after European regulators accused Apple of breaking EU competition rules. And a quieter revolution is playing out in Myanmar, one that is mostly happening indoors.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Thousands of medical workers left behind in Mexico’s vaccination program 

Thousands of medical workers left behind in Mexico’s vaccination program 

As governments the world over prioritize medical workers for vaccines, thousands in Mexico’s private health care sector say they’re being passed over.

By
Jorge Valencia

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

A nurse shows an elderly man a syringe prepared with a dose of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, before he is inoculated at the Americas Cultural Center in Ecatepec, Mexico, April 3, 2021.

Credit:

Ginnette Riquelme/AP

Share

Dr. Maria José Diaz thought she’d be among the first to get a shot.

Diaz, a family physician with a private practice in Mexico City, had been treating patients who tested positive for COVID-19 for months when the Mexican government gave the country’s first vaccine against the coronavirus to a nurse in late 2020.

So, as she and her secretary strapped on N95 masks and goggles for work every day, Diaz figured they would soon be called on to be inoculated against the virus. Almost five months later, the call still hasn’t come. 

Related: Honduras and other countries at the ‘back of the line’ in global vaccine distribution

As governments the world over race to vaccinate their populations — prioritizing medical workers — thousands of doctors, nurses and other personnel working in Mexico’s private health care sector say they’re being passed over.

“I’m no longer sad. I’m angry.”

Dr. Maria José Diaz, physician in Mexico City

“I’m no longer sad. I’m angry,” Diaz said.

Earlier this month, hundreds of private practice physicians crowded near the entrance of the naval academy in Mexico City, demanding to get a dose of the vaccines stored inside. Most were turned away, because the country’s vaccine schedule prioritized health care workers in the public sector.

Related: Russia expands ‘soft power’ in Latin America with Sputnik vaccine

In mid-April, Hugo López-Gatell, known as the country’s coronavirus czar, said the health care workers who needed to be protected were being protected.

The Mexican government designated public hospitals as the official COVID-19 treatment facilities since early in the pandemic, but private health care providers have also become important front-line workers, said Dr. Malaquías López-Cervantes, a former federal health official and a public health professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Mexican political leaders are disregarding recommendations from the World Health Organization and their own scientists, López-Cervantes said.

“What we have in Mexico is not a plan for vaccination, but just a collection of ideas that come out of political convenience. It’s pretty disorganized.”

Dr. Malaquías López-Cervantes, former federal health official and public health professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“What we have in Mexico is not a plan for vaccination, but just a collection of ideas that come out of political convenience,” López-Cervantes said. “It’s pretty disorganized.”

In response, a group of private-sector physicians began a list in March of medical workers waiting for a vaccine. By mid-April, they’d collected more than 31,000 names, said Dr. David Berrones, an ophthalmologist in San Luis Potosí.

There is no central registry of private-sector medical workers, but Berrones said he believes the list he has helped compile represents only a small fraction. In some cases, doctors are traveling to the United States, where anyone over the age of 16 can now get a dose, he said.

Related: Mexico’s COVID-19 wards are full. Many patients who can’t get oxygen die at home.

“Even that’s unfair, because not everyone can afford to travel,” Berrones said.

Diaz and her office assistant in Mexico City can’t, either. They’re both younger than 40, which, under the country’s sluggish rollout, means they likely won’t receive a dose until the end of the year — at the earliest.

Diaz said she believes the government skipped over them for political reasons. Mexico will hold congressional elections this June, and many doctors say they believe President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to make a show out of beginning vaccinations for the next priority group — the elderly.

Diaz, and many other private medical workers, have taken part in civil disobedience by shutting down streets. Diaz said she will continue to stage protests until the government gives them the protection they need to do their job.

“I’ve been closing streets with many of my colleagues so people realize that this problem exists,” she said.

An increase in migration: A view from Juárez, Mexico

An increase in migration: A view from Juárez, Mexico

Producer
Amanda McGowan

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Migrant teens line up for a class at a “tender-age” facility for babies, children and teens, in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, in San Benito, Texas 2019. With its long-term facilities for immigrant children nearly full, the Biden administration is working to expedite the release of children to their relatives in the US.

Credit:

Eric Gay/AP/File photo

Share

Along the US-Mexico border, the number of migrants trying to enter the United States is increasing dramatically. Most are being turned away by the US in the name of COVID-19 health precautions.

At the same time, the Biden administration is allowing unaccompanied children to enter the United States. Host Marco Werman speaks with Enrique Valenzuela, who works for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, near the Texas border.

TRANSCRIPT:

Marco Werman:
Along the US Mexico border, the number of migrants trying to enter the United States is increasing dramatically. Most are being turned away by the US in the name of COVID-19 health precautions. At the same time, the Biden administration is allowing unaccompanied children to enter the US. Enrique Valenzuela has a unique view of the situation. He works for the state of Chihuahua in Mexico, which borders Texas. Valenzuela joins us from Ciudad Juárez, just across the border from El Paso. Enrique, you’ve worked on the ground, have seen these swings for years. What are you seeing now? What’s different today?

Enrique Valenzuela:
We’re receiving a lot of people that are being sent back to this border because of this Title 42. It’s not a migration policy, but it is a health policy, we understand. Because of, well, of course, the pandemic of COVID-19. And at this point, we are receiving a large number of people that are arriving here and that need well, humanitarian assistance, of course.

Marco Werman:
Title 42 invoked by Trump is still being used by Biden, correct?

Enrique Valenzuela:
Yes, yes, yes. Actually, it’s still operating at this point. People that cross the border — and even if that they are seeking some kind of international protection as asylum, they are being sent back. Either if they’re from Central America or elsewhere or Mexican, even. They are all being sent back.

Marco Werman:
You’ve been encountering, Enrique, these people in Juárez after they’ve been sent back from the US border. What have those meetings been like?

Enrique Valenzuela:
Well, when we receive these large numbers of people, of course, they are very disappointed. We see sad faces. We see people that did not expect to be returned to Mexico at some point. Because they arrived here for some reason hopeful that they would be received in the US. And well, after they see that this wasn’t the case and that this didn’t didn’t happen, well, the first thing we tell them is that this is not the time to come to this border and to try to get to the US. Because ultimately a pandemic is going on. And there are some measures that have been taken by the US government.

Marco Werman:
Enrique, you say it’s not the time, but a lot of those people have heard from sources not terribly reliable, in many cases human smugglers, that the border is open — that President Biden is different from President Trump. So are you surprised by this? Did you think things would change with Biden in the White House?

Enrique Valenzuela:
I think many people were hopeful since they knew that the election was won by President Biden. At some point, of course, people were tricked into thinking that the US opened its doors all the way to people seeking international protection. But (the) thing is, it’s important for people to know that this is not the time. And if anybody is taking advantage of the situation, such as smugglers telling them that, ‘OK, this is now the time.’ Well, they’re making a business out of this. It’s important for people to know, no, this is not accurate.

Marco Werman:
Migrants are being told to wait in Mexico. They’re being told to not come now. But can people wait?

Enrique Valenzuela:
Oh, I’m not sure many people can wait. For example, a large number of people that we have received just lately, a lot of them said, ‘well, we’ll stay here just to wait.’ And they ask us constantly, ‘when will the border, when will they open?’ And we have to say, as it is, we have no idea. We do not know. This does not depend on a decision that is to be taken on this side of the border. And also, of course, it depends on the situation with the pandemic.

Marco Werman:
Enrique Valenzuela is a coordinator in Chihuahua state for the Mexican government’s migration efforts. He’s been speaking with us from Ciudad Juárez.

Dual citizens in Mexico seek vaccine options in the US as rollout lags

Dual citizens in Mexico seek vaccine options in the US as rollout lags

Mexico's vaccine rollout has been slow and cumbersome. Mexican residents with US citizenship, permanent residency or valid visas are starting to take matters into their own hands.

By
Shannon Young

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Nurse Ana Arteaga prepares to administer a shot of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Juan Manuel Herrera Espinosa, 63, inside a rural home in Porto Las Cruces, Cuajimalpa, on the outskirts of Mexico City, Feb. 18, 2021. Mexico City’s health department is sending teams of medical workers to give in-home vaccinations to seniors unable to reach vaccination centers.

Credit:

Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Share

Keeping up with Mexico’s COVID-19 news means watching lots of videos of high-ranking officials receive vaccine shipments on airport tarmacs. But the attention given to vaccine arrivals contrasts with rollout logistics. 

Related: Mexico’s COVID-19 wards are full. Many patients who can’t get oxygen die at home.

Thousands of public-sector medical workers have been waiting longer than the advised 21 days for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and many in private practice continue to wait at the back of the line. 

Mass vaccinations of people over the age of 60 started last week, but the process has been slow and haphazard. Mexican residents with US citizenship, permanent residency or valid visas are starting to take matters into their own hands.

“Both of my parents are doctors,” said Alfonso, who asked to use his first name only to protect his parents’ identities.

His parents live in a city that borders California, and his mother, who has diabetes, is now watching for when the age eligibility limits drop on the other side. 

At 62, his mom should qualify now in Mexico based on her age, but the federally managed vaccines aren’t available nationwide. Meanwhile, she stopped seeing patients in March to reduce her risk of exposure. 

“My mom … she works for the Simi Pharmacies, which are these medical consultations next to these very popular generic pharmacies. And she hasn’t received any notices of her vaccine.”

Alfonso, whose mother seeks a vaccine for the coronavirus

“My mom … she works for the Simi Pharmacies, which are these medical consultations next to these very popular generic pharmacies. And she hasn’t received any notices of her vaccine.”

Alfonso’s father lucked out. He works at ISSSTE, a public institution, and received his first dose more than a month ago. He is scheduled to get his second dose on Tuesday.

But many others are not so lucky. 

“I know of two neighbors on my block in Mexicali that have crossed the border into the US to get the vaccine,” Alfonso said. “They’re both older than 65, and they were both able to do it because they’re either US citizens or green card holders. Right now, the land border is closed for Mexicans, but US citizens and US green card holders can cross.”

The contrast in vaccine rollout speeds between the two nations can be especially striking along the border. About 2 million people have completed their two-dose vaccine regimens in the state of California, dwarfing the total number of vaccine doses applied nationwide in Mexico.

“I think that, contrary to what’s happening in other countries, a problem that we have in Mexico is that the application of vaccines is very centralized.”

Alejandro Cano, an independent data analyst

“I think that, contrary to what’s happening in other countries, a problem that we have in Mexico is that the application of vaccines is very centralized,” said Alejandro Cano, an independent data analyst who keeps a close eye on Mexico’s pandemic response.

He said with vaccine shipments coming in, the bottleneck is due to the clunky bureaucratic rollout. 

“One of the things that is most maddening about the way they’re doing things in Mexico is that right now, it’s not possible to forecast when your turn is going to be to be vaccinated,” Cano said.

Unlike other countries, Mexico’s federal government hasn’t delegated authority to the states or tapped into preexisting structures used for other vaccination campaigns. 

Cano said the selection of vaccination sites further complicates the effort because “rather than vaccinating everybody above a certain age nationwide, they have chosen to only vaccinate in only a few municipalities,” which adds to the overall uncertainty.  

Related: Experts concerned Mexico not taking enough COVID-19 precautions

Mexico-based US citizens and green card holders are also contemplating vaccine-motivated travel beyond the US-Mexico border. 

Mexico is home to the largest population of US citizens living abroad with an estimated 1 million. Many live in the interior and are members of binational families.

“My mom is originally from Florida, and my parents met in college in Florida, and later moved back to Mexico,” said Sofia Diaz.

Her family visits Florida frequently, where they also own a home and pay taxes. Her parents hadn’t really thought about getting vaccinated in the US until a chance opportunity arose during her grandfather’s vaccination appointment in Miami.

“He had the last appointment of the day,” Diaz said. “And my mom was waiting for him in the waiting room and a nurse came out and said, ‘If any of you here without an appointment would like a vaccine, we have some doses left over that we cannot keep.’”

Her mother raised her hand, got vaccinated and returned to Mexico. When Diaz’s mother had to return to Florida for her second dose, her father went along to get vaccinated there, as well.

“We did want to take advantage of this opportunity, first of all, because we weren’t sure when we were going to get the vaccine here in Mexico,” she said. “Second of all, we didn’t know which vaccine we were going to get.”

Mexico has started using AstraZeneca to vaccinate persons over 60 and plans to incorporate other brands as they become available. A SinoVac shipment recently arrived — complete with an airport tarmac ceremony — and the government has also made agreements to obtain millions of doses of the CanSino and Sputnik V vaccines from China and Russia. None of those brands have emergency approval in the US.

Related: South Africa changes course on vaccine rollout after disappointing study

Residency requirements for vaccine eligibility vary across states. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that vaccines there are for Texans only, while California and Arizona have been more flexible. Florida has recently moved to require proof of residency at vaccine sites. But many dual citizens, green card holders and even vacation homeowners can point to valid US addresses and show in-state driver’s licenses. 

Diaz said that while the increased availability in the US may lead to some degree of medical tourism, most people weighing the option are US taxpayers or frequent travelers.

“I do think that at least the large majority of the people that are crossing over to get vaccinated are people that have a lot of interaction with the US,” she said. “It’s in the best interests of the US to have those people vaccinated to the medical standard of the US.”

The Biden administration seems to have reached a similar conclusion and is working with its foreign counterparts to vaccinate foreign-born essential workers at consulates. 

After all, it’s a basic tenet of herd immunity theory — mass vaccination of individuals is an investment in the protection of society at large. Plus, the pandemic has already shown that viruses don’t stop at international borders.

Freezing temps wreak havoc on utilities in US and Mexico

Freezing temps wreak havoc on utilities in US and Mexico

By
The World staff

Christine Chapman, center, sets down an empty canister to exchange for a full propane tank outside a grocery store, Feb. 16, 2021, in Dallas, Texas.

Credit:

LM Otero/AP

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

The polar vortex, a swirling mass of cold air that usually spins around the Arctic, is wreaking havoc across areas of Mexico and the US. It’s overwhelming power grids and leaving more than 100 million people in the US under some type of winter weather warning on Wednesday.

The record-breaking winter temperatures, part of a pattern of extreme weather caused by climate change, have left people from Minnesota to Mississippi to northern Mexico with rolling blackouts to ease the burden on strained utilities. Mexico gets as much as 60% of its power from cheap natural gas via pipelines in Texas that have now been shut off.

And the polar vortex is not just causing usually cold temps in North America. On the other side of the Atlantic, people have been out skating on Amsterdam’s frozen canals. The once-in-a-decade snowfall in Athens led to the creation of a snowman near the Pantheon while kids played in the snow in the streets.

“There are lots of factors that drive winter weather, but it does look like the warming of our planet is one of them,” reporter Carolyn Beeler told The World’s Marco Werman

Beeler suggested the science of why the polar vortex gets disrupted isn’t settled. “It’s always hard to prove cause and effect,” she said. “There is evidence to suggest that warming is making the jet stream more wavy … more likely to get that cold air [to] escape down south.”

What The World is following

Peruvian prosecutors are investigating the use of “courtesy doses” of China’s Sinopharm, which were used to vaccinate top government officials, including former President Martín Vizcarra, before the vaccine was approved by regulatory agencies in Peru. The scandal has involved more than 480 public officials and has led to the some resignations. Vizcarra, who was ousted by Congress in November last year over corruption allegations, said he did not jump the vaccine line but got it as part of a trial. This has been denied by trial managers at a Peruvian research institution.

And, Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of the Libya uprising that led to the overthrow and killing of longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Libya has become one of the most intractable conflicts in the region, along with Yemen and Syria. Many though, hope an interim government tasked with taking Libya through elections later this year can lead to a unified nation.

From The WorldHundreds of Black families in Brazil could be evicted to make way for space base expansion

Leandra Silveira’s family was relocated from their ancestral home on the northeast coast of Brazil to Pepital agrovila, a government-built village, when she was a young mother of three.

Credit:

Michael Fox/The World

In the early 1980s, in the final years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, hundreds of Black families were removed from their land to make way for the construction of the Alcântara Satellite Launch Center.

Today, hundreds more could be evicted to make way for the launch site’s expansion as part of a 2019 agreement between Brazil and the United States. The treaty grants the US permission to launch nonmilitary and commercial rockets from Alcântara.

New novel offers a window into Turkey’s insular Rum community

Food is the core of Anastasiadou’s novel, “A Recipe for Daphne.” One character, a baker, spends months trying to resurrect an Ottoman-era recipe that represented harmony between the region’s diverse ethnic and religious groups. Today, a bakery in the Çukurcuma neighborhood makes a fresh batch of sesame-encrusted rings of bread, called simit. 

Credit:

Durrie Bouscaren/The World 

Nektaria Anastasiadou’s “A Recipe for Daphne” passes as a light, escapist novel with a love story. But the author hopes her book offers a window into Istanbul’s insular Rum community — a group of only a few thousand people in Turkey who still trace their ancestry back to the Byzantine Empire.

Bright spot

Experts at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden in the UK are waiting for a rare cactus to bloom — and they have set up a livestream for all of us to see it. The white nocturnal bloom of the moonflower cactus, which produces a sweet fragrance, is expected to open around 9 p.m. GMT in the next few days. The blossom dies by the time the sun rises the following day so keep your eyes on the livestream.

In case you missed itListen: France’s Marine Le Pen attempts to remake her image

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, wearing a protective face mask, stands at the statue of Joan of Arc during a ceremony, May 1, 2020 in Paris.

Credit:

Thibault Camus/AP

Politician Marine Le Pen is the face of the far-right in France. But, for the past few years, she’s been trying to remake her image and recast her National Rally party away from its extremist roots. And, a resistance is taking root after more than two weeks since Myanmar’s military detained elected officials and seized total power in a coup. Also, for many Polish Americans, Fat Tuesday goes by another name — Paczki Day.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Mexico’s COVID-19 wards are full. Many patients who can’t get oxygen die at home.

Mexico’s COVID-19 wards are full. Many patients who can’t get oxygen die at home.

In many cities across Latin America, including Mexico City, patients with the coronavirus are struggling to receive vital medical oxygen to stay alive. Many who couldn’t find space in overflowing emergency rooms are dying at home.

By
Jorge Valencia

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

People wait in a long line at an oxygen distribution warehouse near downtown Mexico City.

Credit:

Jorge Valencia/The World 

Share

Daniela Trejo Rodriguez took time off from her job as a phone customer service representative on a recent Thursday to get oxygen for her 60-year-old father, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus. 

She waited in a long line at an oxygen distribution warehouse near downtown Mexico City to refill two tanks. But it wasn’t enough. Three days later, her father suffered respiratory failure — a fatal symptom of the disease — and died.

Tejo Rodriguez said she wouldn’t wish any of this on anyone, and she hopes people will wear masks and practice social distancing.

“I hope they never have a relative get sick because it’s a really awful situation.” 

Daniela Trejo Rodriguez, daughter of man who died of COVID-19

“I hope they never have a relative get sick because it’s a really awful situation,” she said.

In many cities across Latin America, including Mexico City, patients with the coronavirus are struggling to receive vital medical oxygen to stay alive. Many who couldn’t find space in overflowing emergency rooms are dying at home.

Related: COVID-19 deaths among tribal elders threaten cultural loss

In Mexico, which has the third-highest COVID-19 death rate on the planet, government officials are begging private citizens who are hoarding unused tanks to turn them in. Thieves have stolen tanks from delivery trucks and hospitals. And the market and black-market price for oxygen is sky-high, with retailers recently asking for $1,000 per tank — almost 150 times the country’s daily minimum wage, according to a Reuters report

All five members of Trejo Rodriguez’s family — her parents and two siblings — had tested positive for the coronavirus after showing symptoms in January, but her father was the only one who, after two weeks, had not recovered.

Trejo Rodriguez said her father earned a living taking care of cars on the street for tips and worked until he got sick.

Related: Immigration rights activists call on Biden to end private detention

Her family became concerned once her father’s blood oxygen level fell below 89%, then below 81%, then lower, she said. The recommendation is to seek medical assistance for anything below 90%. 

When the family called an ambulance, they were told all public hospitals were virtually full, she said. That’s when they decided to keep her father at home. Extended family members found two oxygen canisters for the family to borrow and two more to rent.

But getting oxygen isn’t easy.

Related: The winding journey to reunite families separated at the US border

Day or night, there are as many as 80 people in line at the warehouse where Trejo Rodriguez waited over two hours on a recent Thursday. And, it’s similar or worse at four government-run sites as well as the few dozen operated by private companies in Mexico City, where more than 20 million people live.

Karla Dominguez was in the same line as Trejo Rodriguez at the downtown-area warehouse that day. She was looking for an oxygen tank for her husband’s uncle. Other family members had also fanned out across the city with no success. She lamented the price-gouging and thefts that have become more common as a result of the scarcity.

“I don’t wish any ill on anyone, but what comes around goes around.”

Karla Dominguez, who has a family member needing oxygen

“I don’t wish any ill on anyone, but what comes around goes around,” Dominguez said.

Toward the back of the line, Alejandro Amaro waited to refill two canisters. Amaro’s brother and father had tested positive for COVID-19, but it was his 82-year-old mother who needed the oxygen, he said.

Related: Why Biden’s day one promise to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ program may go unfilled

He said his mother had needed three refills per day over the previous week, so he and other family members were taking turns visiting the medical oxygen facility. He said he had already stood in line 15 to 20 times himself.

“We have to keep fighting,” Amaro said. 

Senate begins Biden cabinet hearings; Mexico urges US immigration policy reform; American woman allegedly steals Pelosi laptop for Russian intelligence

Senate begins Biden cabinet hearings; Mexico urges US immigration policy reform; American woman allegedly steals Pelosi laptop for Russian intelligence

On inauguration eve, President-elect Joe Biden’s top national security cabinet picks are set for Senate approval hearings Tuesday.

By
The World staff

President-elect Joe Biden listens as his Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, Nov. 24, 2020.

Credit:

Carolyn Kaster/AP/File photo

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

On inauguration eve, President-elect Joe Biden’s top national security cabinet picks are set for Senate approval hearings Tuesday. Biden tapped recently retired Army Gen. Lloyd Austin to be his secretary of defense, ruffling feathers by asking Congress to waive the rule against picking a military officer who has served in the Pentagon within the last seven years

Also up for confirmation is Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s Homeland Security top choice, along with longtime career diplomat Antony Blinken to lead the State Department. Blinken says he’ll rebuild the department after it was essentially gutted under the Trump administration. If confirmed, Avril Haines will be the first woman in the role of director of national intelligence, and Janet Yellen will also make history as the first woman to serve as treasury secretary

Having Biden’s top cabinet officials in place will be critical in enacting his ambitious reforms, set against the backdrop of racial and civil unrest, a pandemic death toll of almost 400,000 Americans, and an economic recession. Biden has also pledged to overhaul US immigration policy on Day One in office, with plans to sign an executive order that will reunite migrant parents with their children who were separated at the US-Mexico border.

What the world is following

After thousands of Honduran migrants clashed with Guatemalan police as they attempted to reach the US border via Mexico over the weekend, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador urged US President-elect Joe Biden to reform US immigration policies immediately. “In Joe Biden’s campaign, he offered to finalize immigration reform and I hope that he is able to achieve this. That is what I hope,” Obrador said. The Trump administration had taken a hard line against thousands of Central American migrants who travel in large groups referred to as “caravans,” fleeing hunger, poverty and violence in their respective countries.

Amid the chaos led by Trump supporters of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 22-year-old Riley June Williams, who is from Pennsylvania, has been accused of stealing a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office with plans to allegedly sell it to Russian intelligence. The FBI arrested Williams on Monday, charging her with illegal entry and disorderly conduct, but not theft. Williams’ mother told an ITV reporter that her daughter had recently been drawn to “far-right message boards” and Trump’s politics. The matter remains under investigation and a court date has not yet been set.

From The World Hazara community demands justice for slain coal miners in Pakistan

Mourners demanded that Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan visit them in person in the aftermath of the brutal attack.

 

 

Credit:

Asef Ali Mohammad/The World

In the early hours of Jan. 3, gunmen ambushed a group of miners as they slept in their shared living space near a coal mine in the town of Machh, in southwestern Pakistan.

The attackers separated those who belonged to an ethnic group called Hazaras, blindfolded them, tied their hands behind their backs and brutally killed them. They recorded it all on video.

That’s how witnesses, local security officials and activists described the atrocities that took place in Machh earlier this month. The news shocked many far and wide. It was yet another reminder of how Sunni extremists — in this case, ISIS — continue to systematically target mostly Shiite Hazara people.

In Canada, Syrian refugee kids find belonging through hockey

When a hockey coach in Newfoundland, Canada, heard a Syrian refugee boy named Yamen Bai wanted to play hockey, he put out a call for donations. A year later, Yamen is keeping up with his teammates and scoring goals. 

Bright spot

About 200 light-years from Earth is a giant exoplanet called WASP-107b. Originally discovered in 2017, new research has found that WASP-107b is one of the least dense exoplanets scientists have discovered, which has prompted the “super-puff” or “cotton-candy” nickname. 

The exoplanet WASP-107b is a gas giant, orbiting a highly active K-type main sequence star. The star is about 200 light-years from Earth.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble, NASA, M. Kornmesser

In case you missed itListen: Uganda’s Museveni reelected president amid calls of election fraud

Soldiers patrol outside opposition challenger Bobi Wine’s home in Magere, Kampala, Uganda, after President Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of the presidential election, Jan. 16, 2021.

Credit:

Nicholas Bamulanzeki/AP

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of the recent election and will begin his sixth term in office. But, the main opposition candidate is calling the election fraudulent. And, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work and activism profoundly shaped the US, but it also has had a huge global impact. Also, Italian authorities are calling for proposals of a new, historically accurate recreation of the iconic Colosseum floor, after over a millennium of having a bare arena.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Why Biden’s day one promise to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ program may go unfilled

Why Biden’s day one promise to end ‘Remain in Mexico’ program may go unfilled

On the campaign trail, candidate Joe Biden pledged to end the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" program on day one. But the president-elect has walked back that promise in recent weeks.

By
Monica Campbell

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

In this Aug. 30, 2019, photo, migrants, most who were returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program, receive bottles of water given by volunteers in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Mexico. 

Credit:

Veronica G. Cardenas/AP

Share

As US President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office, questions are growing about how and when his administration will unwind one of the Trump’s administration’s most controversial immigration programs known as “Remain in Mexico.”

The program, created in January 2019 and officially called the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), makes asylum-seekers wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration court cases instead of waiting for decisions from within the US, which can take months or years to resolve. Of the hundreds of immigration policy restrictions the Trump administration has introduced, MPP has been among the most effective at keeping out asylum-seekers.

All told, more than 69,000 people have been turned back at different points along the US-Mexico border since the program took effect, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse project. They include people with disabilities, pregnant women, and children, including infants. 

On the campaign trail last year, Biden pledged to end the Remain in Mexico program on day one. During an October 2020 presidential debate with Trump, he denounced the program for making asylum-seekers sit in “squalor on the other side of the river.” 

“It will get done, and it will get done quickly. But it’s not going to be able to be done on day one.”

President-elect Joe Biden

But the end of MPP may not come as soon as many had hoped. In late December, President-elect Biden walked back that promise when asked about the program during a press conference: “It will get done, and it will get done quickly,” he said. “But it’s not going to be able to be done on day one — lift every restriction that exists and go back to what it was 20 years ago and all of a sudden find out we have a crisis on our hands that complicates what we were trying to do.”

Trump officials have said the program is meant to deter people from abusing US immigration laws — for example, by presenting false asylum claims. The program has also kept asylum-seekers in Mexico more hidden from view, and it has stopped the crowding of US Border Patrol holding cells. Images of crowded facilities have shocked many people in the United States in recent years. 

Related: At US-Mexico border, asylum seekers watch election returns for sign of change

With eight days left in his presidency, Trump visited south Texas on Tuesday to tour the border wall, one of his signature initiatives. 

Imelda Lemus, left, and her daughter Nidia, asylum seekers from Guatemala, have stayed in a small pup tent in Matamoros, Mexico, for the last 15 months.

Credit:

Courtesy of Imelda Lemus

Imelda Lemus, who said that she was forced off her farm in Guatemala by an armed group, is one of thousands of asylum-seekers currently waiting out her asylum case on the Mexico side of the border, often in volunteer-supported, unofficial refugee camps. For more than 15 months, she has slept with her 12-year-old daughter, Nidia, in a small, green two-person pup tent. 

“We can see the United States,” she said.

Lemus is in Matamoros, Mexico. Texas is across the Rio Grande river. 

Other asylum-seekers have stayed for months in shelters, often run by charities or religious groups. Some have also managed to rent rooms. 

Each situation brings its risks. It is hard to social distance during a pandemic in a crowded shelter. There are also the risks of being extorted for cash by organized criminal groups who control parts of Mexico, especially certain areas along the US-Mexico border. 

Related: US deportation flights risk spreading coronavirus globally

Estuardo Cifuentes, an asylum-seeker from Guatemala, rented a small room in an area of Matamoros, a city where drug cartels have a heavy presence. Every Friday evening, for months, he said he was extorted by an armed individual or group. 

“They came to my home armed and I paid them $75 a week,” Cifuentes said. “It’s frightening but that’s the reality here.”

Cifuentes, who said that he fled his country because he faced violence for being gay, has since found a safer area to live in Matamoros, thanks to help from a charity. In March, he has a scheduled hearing for his asylum case. He hopes Biden may speed things along, but he is also prepared to wait. 

“I’ve waited this long,” Cifuentes said. “I will wait longer.”

He is also considering options, including seeking refuge in Europe, if it looks like he might have to wait in Mexico much longer. 

A recent report by Human Rights Watch found that people placed in the MPP program faced “rape or attempted rape and other sexual assault, abduction for ransom, extortion, armed robbery, and other crimes committed against them.”

That violence extends to children. The report added: “Most of these kidnappings involved multiple victims and included at least 38 children.” 

Before MPP was introduced, asylum-seekers were generally allowed to enter the US to wait out their asylum proceedings, although many still faced long waits since the Trump administration came into power. Once in the US, asylum-seekers have been held in immigrant detention facilities and, perhaps, may have a bond hearing. Or, they could be released from custody and be fitted with an ankle monitor that allows immigration officials to track their movements. 

Some immigration policy experts said Biden might be hesitant to approve any quick changes, such as fast-tracking the adjudication of the MPP cases. 

“We have to address future flows that might be triggered by these decisions. There is always a concern that an action will produce a reaction in migration flows,” said Cris Ramón, an independent US-Mexico policy analyst. 

Charlene D’Cruz, an immigration lawyer working in Brownsville, Texas, understands this, but said there is no time to waste. 

“Let them go to their families. … Allowing them in would restore some of that humanity. That is completely and entirely possible.”

Charlene D’Cruz, immigration lawyer in Brownsville, Texas

“Let them go to their families,” she said, referring to asylum-seekers who have relatives in the United States awaiting them. “Let’s take away this huge bottleneck at the border. These are not people just coming in that are not reported in the system. They’ve been fingerprinted. They’ve even gone to court several times. Allowing them in would restore some of that humanity. That is completely and entirely possible.”  

In mid-December, Cruz said, she was on a call with advocates like herself and members of the Biden-Harris transition team working on immigration issues. 

“I heard that, yes, they’re trying to reach out to people like me and other groups,” Cruz said. “But I didn’t hear any specifics and we are just days away from the transition.”

In late December, some asylum-seekers showed their frustration with the prolonged waits in Mexico. Dozens of people, many from Cuba, protested at a bridge that connects the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez with El Paso, Texas. “We simply want to request, peacefully, asylum from within the US,” one Cuban man said.

US border officials in riot gear shut down the bridge.

Imelda Lemus said there are no easy days in her camp. 

“It can be freezing at night,” she said. She gathers water in a bucket and relies on donated food and portable toilets. 

“We’re all hoping for a miracle,” Lemus said. 

Her daughter has not gone to school in over a year. However, there are efforts to fill in the gaps. Volunteers from Texas and Mexico hold classes. And at least one asylum-seeker, a woman camped near Lemus, is teaching English to her fellow migrants, hoping to give people a running start when — or if — they are allowed into the United States.

‘We could crush this outbreak’ with mass vaccinations, says Dr. Anthony Fauci

'We could crush this outbreak' with mass vaccinations, says Dr. Anthony Fauci

The United States' top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns the COVID-19 death toll could rise in the next few weeks. But mass vaccination will bring the end of the pandemic.

Producer
Elana Gordon

By
The World staff

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House, Nov. 19, 2020.

Credit:

Susan Walsh/AP/File photo

Share

Some major news today in the fight against the coronavirus: President-elect Joe Biden said he’ll release all the doses of the vaccine in the United States when he takes office. 

It’s a strategy with some risk: The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna were designed for two doses. But with so much of the supply currently unused, Biden is essentially betting that with his plan, the country can get more people vaccinated and have enough to go around for a second dose.

Biden’s decision comes a day after another grim milestone of more than 4,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the US in a single 24-hour period. The US death toll for the entire pandemic has surpassed 365,400. And the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warns the next few weeks are only going to get tougher.

Fauci will be part of the Biden administration team in charge of managing the pandemic. He spoke to The World’s host Carol Hills about how he sees a way forward to manage the pandemic and why it’s so hard to get politicians and citizens to take it seriously.

Related: The key to overcoming vaccine hesitancy? Deep listening, tailored messaging.

Carol Hills: Dr. Fauci, you’re scrupulous about staying out of politics, but we’ve all observed how our broken politics have stunted the US’ ability to control the coronavirus. How do you, a public health official, see a way forward to manage the pandemic when we cannot get citizens to really understand the problem?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Well, you know, there’s politics, but there’s also divisiveness in society. That’s something that’s going to take a while to correct. Obviously, we’ve got to keep politics out of public health measures. There’s no place for that. They do nothing but interfere.

But we have a lot of work ahead of us to get the country together and pulling together in an effort to end this outbreak and just put aside things like the politicization of wearing of masks and doing other public health measures.

WHO director Tedros Ghebreyesus said this week that the world “has entered a new phase of the pandemic where solidarity is needed like never before,” that we’re in a race to save lives right now. What does that mean to you and how do you assess this period we’re in?

I think we were in this period all along. Whenever you have a global pandemic, you have to have solidarity between countries because what affects one country in one part of the world, when you’re dealing with a communicable disease that has a high degree of efficiency and transmitting from person to person, you have to have interconnectedness with regard to cooperation, collaboration and solidarity, because viruses, particularly viruses like SARS-CoV-2 that are spectacularly efficient in their ability to transmit, they don’t know borders at all. So, since they don’t know borders, we sort of have to act like we don’t know borders and we’re all in this together.

Related: An immunologist answers three questions about the COVID-19 vaccine

Can we vaccinate our way out of this pandemic?

The answer is yes — just the way we have vaccinated our way out of multiple public health threats such as smallpox, polio, measles and a number of others. So when you’re dealing with communicable diseases, infectious diseases, very often the gold standard of how to really crush these outbreaks is by getting a safe and highly efficacious vaccine. We are very fortunate in that we already have two and likely we’ll have more than that — vaccines with a very high degree of efficacy. The Moderna and the Pfizer products are 94-95% efficacious.

So if we get, and I’ve made an estimate, it’s purely an estimate, about 70-85% of the population vaccinated, I believe we would have what’s called an umbrella or a blanket of herd immunity over the country. And if the rest of the world does that, we could crush this outbreak. Absolutely. Vaccine is the answer. Until we get a vaccine, we must concentrate very, very clearly on the public health measures that we talk about all the time: namely, uniform wearing of masks, keeping physical distancing, avoiding crowds in congregate settings, particularly indoors and washing your hands frequently. That should be the bridge to the vaccine. But if we can get the overwhelming majority of people vaccinated, we can put an end to this outbreak.

The vaccine rollout in the US has been off to a slow start in so many areas. What do you see as being the biggest holdup?

Well, I think there are a number of things that are going on. Right now, we are still in the very early stages. Whenever you introduce a massive program, the likes of which we’ve not had before, namely vaccinating essentially all of the country or the overwhelming majority of the country with a brand-new vaccine program, that, not surprisingly, can get off with some bumps in the road and some hiccups. Having said that, that’s not an excuse. We’ve got to do better. We must do better. What I’m saying is that let’s give it a week or so into January to see if the process can catch up with the pace that had originally been put forth.

Another key feature of the US health system is this kind of state-level versus federal and then local. And in terms of vaccine delivery, the Trump administration has left it up to the states to sort out the vaccine delivery. Is that the right way to proceed? And do you see that changing under a Biden administration?

Yes, no doubt it’s going to change because in the discussions that I’ve had in my new role of being part of the COVID[-19] team and the general public health team of the Biden group, is that we will have a much more close interaction between the federal and the state level in the sense of planning together, as well as implementation and support.

Right now, the issue that is confronting us is that we need to more efficiently get vaccines into the arms of people. We have more vaccine distributed than we’ve actually put into the arms of individuals. We need to do better with the doses we have.

 

When it comes to who gets a vaccine, in Nebraska, the governor initially said that undocumented immigrants would not be included in plans to vaccinate workers at meatpacking plants. What are the repercussions of bringing immigration status into vaccine eligibility and priority?

From a public health repercussion, you got to get people vaccinated. It doesn’t matter who they are. If you’re in the country, you’re a threat of getting infected yourself and of transmitting the infection. So there’s no room for any withholding of vaccines for people because they’re part of the population that we’re dealing with.

Do you see any successful models from elsewhere in the world that the US could emulate?

Well, I don’t think so, because no one has yet gotten into this in a really large, meaningful way. This is really quite unprecedented. There have been situations that — if you go historically, not as an example of what other countries are doing, because each country is different, depending upon the size and the health system…for example, those countries that have national health services where everything is interconnected, it can generally be much easier to implement something like this. But if you go back in history and look at times when we’ve had to do mass vaccination programs, there likely could be some lessons learned there.

There is a very interesting historical story about that. In 1947, we had someone visit Mexico as a tourist and then come back to the United States having contracted smallpox in Mexico — came back to New York City, and actually infected a bunch of people. They were 12 hospitalizations and two deaths. New York City, in response to that, did a massive vaccination program. And in a three-week period, they vaccinated 6,350,000. And within two weeks, they vaccinated 5 million people just in New York City. Of note, I was a 6-year-old boy who was one of those 6,350,000 people that were vaccinated in New York. So, if New York City can vaccinate 6,350,000 people in three weeks, and that’s only one city, then we can go back and get some lessons learned, how that was done, and get it done country-wise.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

England to enter third lockdown; Mexico approves Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine; Saudi Arabia ends embargo with Qatar

England to enter third lockdown; Mexico approves Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine; Saudi Arabia ends embargo with Qatar

By
The World staff

A man crosses the street backdropped by the Royal Exchange in the City of London financial district in London, Jan. 5, 2021, on the first morning of England entering a third national lockdown.

Credit:

Matt Dunham/AP

Share

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a strict new national lockdown starting midnight on Tuesday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the country struggles to cope with a surge in cases and a new, more contagious variant of the virus. Warning that the coming weeks in the UK would be the “hardest yet,” Johnson mandated a lockdown that won’t be reconsidered until at least mid-February.

Despite the dire news, Johnson added he believed the country was entering “the last phase of the struggle” but that hospitals were buckling under the increased COVID-19 caseload more than at “any time since the start of the pandemic.”

And, health authorities in Thailand are warning of a new spike in cases across the country with the government declaring 28 provinces, including Bangkok, as high-risk zones.

What The World is following

Following a recent approval in the UK, health officials in Mexico on Monday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use and will now begin a slow rollout of its inoculation campaign. Argentina and India have also approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

And, the yearslong tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia appears to be easing. Qatar’s ruling emir arrived in Saudi Arabia this week, following an announcement that the kingdom would end its embargo and open up airspace and its land border with the small Gulf state. The decision to open borders is the first major step toward ending the diplomatic crisis between the Arab states.

From The WorldLatino communities targeted by disinformation ahead of Georgia’s Senate runoffs

Volunteers assemble signs before a rally for Democratic US Senate candidate Jon Ossoff and former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro in Lilburn, Georgia, Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. 

Credit:

Jeff Amy/AP

With Georgia’s Senate runoffs set for Tuesday and control of Congress in the balance, the stakes are high. And, just like with the presidential election, there’s concern about mis- and disinformation targeting the state’s voters — including its growing Latino community

A recent report by Avaaz, a global civic organization, warned of 20 Facebook pages spreading a disproportionate amount of misinformation about Georgia’s elections. Two of the flagged pages were in Spanish and made inaccurate claims of large-scale voter fraud.

A year after the killing of a top Iranian general, US-Iran tensions remain high

A woman holds a poster showing Gen. Qasem Soleimani, right, head of Iran’s Quds force and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, during the procession to commemorate the first anniversary of their killing by a US drone strike in Baghdad, in Najaf, Iraq, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Credit:

Anmar Khalil/AP 

Last January, the US killed Iran’s Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. A year later, tensions between the countries are high once again.

Bright spot

A new Icelandic tourism campaign wants people to stop compulsively checking their social media feeds for bad news and instead turn toward “joyscrolling” — which, by their definition, means enjoying soothing videos, music and images from Iceland.

You doomscroll through 22.7 meters of bad news a day. Try joyscrolling, instead. #Joyscroll #LooksLikeYouNeedIceland

— Inspired by Iceland (@iceland) December 8, 2020In case you missed itListen: Tensions high one year after US attack that killed Iran’s Soleimani

People pass by posters of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center left, head of Iran’s Quds force and fighters killed in fighting during the anniversary procession in the cemetery in Najaf, Iraq, Jan. 4, 2021.

Credit:

Anmar Khalil/AP

It’s been one year since the US killed Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack in Iraq. And, on the campaign trail, Democratic candidate Joe Biden said he would end a Trump administration program that makes asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border wait out their court cases in Mexico. President-elect Biden has walked back the timeline of his promise. So what’s next? Also, in the US, hairy crabs are seen as a menace, but in China they are a delicacy — and lately, they are selling big.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

US-Mexico border wall threatens sacred Native lands

US-Mexico border wall threatens sacred Native lands

Writer
Adam Wernick

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Organ Pipe Cactus National Park in Arizona is the only area where Organ Pipe Cactus grows wild. The Tohono O’odham Nation is one of the many tribes which considers this land sacred. The construction of the border wall involves heavy machinery that has already damaged wildlife and cacti in the Arizona desert.

Credit:

Courtesy of the National Park Service

Share

The Trump administration’s rush to complete sections of a wall along the US-Mexico border before the November election is threatening to damage and restrict access to sacred and historic Native American sites in the region.

The border wall was a key promise of President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and in his bid to keep that promise, dozens of environmental laws, from the Endangered Species Act to the Clean Air Act, were suspended to fast-track construction.

The Tohono O’odham Nation says the suspension of certain laws to speed wall construction has allowed damage to sacred ancestral lands, including burial grounds.

The Tohono O’odham Nation, which has been confined to a fraction of the lands it once held in the desert Southwest, says the suspension of these laws has allowed damage to sacred ancestral lands, including burial grounds. And they fear more damage is to come.

RelatedUS border fence skirts environmental review

Rafael Carranza, a journalist for the Arizona Republic and USA Today who has reported on this issue, visited several of the sites in question, some of which are located in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Arizona.

“These are protected lands,” Carranza says. “It’s desert wilderness, but they contain signs of the early tribal life that the O’odham people carried out for centuries and centuries.”

There are numerous archaeological, historical and cultural sites throughout the Arizona desert that are important to the Tohono O’odham Nation, Carranza explains, including a ceremonial site called Las Playas and an unnamed burial site located right next to the border wall.

Last October, as contractors were preparing to build a section of wall in Organ Pipe, they came across what they thought were bone fragments. After testing, they determined that they were, in fact, human remains. Work was stopped, the government recovered the fragments and it plans to give them to the Tohono O’odham Nation, but the tribe has been “very concerned that this is just one reported instance [and] that there could be many more instances where the contractors or the construction workers don’t know what to look for…and their heritage will be irreparably damaged,” Carranza says.

The Tohono O’odham people have lived in these areas for centuries, many, many years before the United States or Mexico existed, Carranza explains.

“A big part of their culture involved traveling the desert…, following the water, following the resources of the land,” he says. “It’s a very parched area, so it was a constant struggle, looking for food and water. They would travel vast territories, stretching from the Colorado River on the Arizona-California state line, all the way to the San Pedro river in the eastern part of Arizona, as far north as Phoenix [and] as far south as the state of Sonora [in Mexico].”

RelatedBuild the wall across the San Pedro River? Many say no.

In 1917, the US government created the main reservation for the Tohono O’odham near the US-Mexico border. But once the borders were instituted, Carranza says, the Nation was split between the two countries.

Unlike the United States, Mexico did not create a reservation or designate protected lands exclusively for the tribe. For these members of the Tohono O’odham, accessing historical sites and pilgrimage routes was difficult. Now, similar difficulties are arising on the US side because of all the border security mechanisms the Trump administration has put in place, Carranza says.

The administration has pushed to erect a new type of barrier along the entire length of the US-Mexico border, but because the Tohono O’odham Nation enjoys tribal sovereignty and controls the reservation, they have been able to stop the government from building these 30-foot tall bollards within the reservation itself, Carranza says. Instead, the US government has focused its work on protected federal lands, where it’s relatively easy to issue waivers on laws that in the past provided some measure of protection from damage and destruction.

Because wall construction has proceeded so rapidly, Native tribes say they are not being taken into account, that their voices are not being heard and their concerns are not being addressed.

Because construction has proceeded so rapidly, Carranza says, the tribes say they are “just not being taken into account, that their voices are not being heard and their concerns are not being addressed when it comes to the erection of these new, taller barriers” in places along the border that already had protections in place.

“The Trump administration has been pushing [for these] 30-foot-tall bollards that tower above anything else that you would see in these parts of the border and in the desert,” Carranza says.

The US government has hired environmental and cultural monitors who work on site in case workers come across endangered species or cultural artifacts, but only one person monitors the entire swath of construction in the desert region where the project is now ongoing, Carranza says.

RelatedTrump’s wall will harm wildlife along the US southern border, say environmental experts

Despite all of this, Carranza sees little indication that the government will alter its plans in any significant way. They want to have all the barriers in the region, and throughout Arizona, finished close to the November election, “so they’re moving full speed ahead,” he says.

“Environmentalists and community groups are hoping the courts will be able to step in through one of the several lawsuits that they filed,” Carranza notes. “They’re hoping that federal judges will either issue an injunction barring the government from any additional construction or any other type of measures that will stop the construction at the moment. But to date, we haven’t seen any of that.”

This article is based on an interview by Bobby Bascomb that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

In Ciudad Juárez, a new ‘filter hotel’ offers migrants a safe space to quarantine

In Ciudad Juárez, a new 'filter hotel' offers migrants a safe space to quarantine

The guests at Hotel Flamingo in Ciudad Juárez aren't tourists on vacation — they're people who tried to cross into the US but, for a variety of reasons, have been sent back to this border city and need a safe place to stay.

By
Mallory Falk

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Volunteers work on May 30, 2020 at Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. On the second level of the hotel, a doctor attends migrants in observation, either because they were exposed or are at high risk for COVID-19.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

Share

This story first aired on KERA Texas. Read and listen to the original here

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Hotel Flamingo in Ciudad Juárez has been filling up with guests.

When they arrive, they have to go through a thorough disinfection process. First, they step inside a tray filled with diluted bleach to clean off the soles of their shoes. Then it’s on to a handwashing station, where they’re instructed to scrub with a generous amount of soap and follow up with a big squirt of hand sanitizer.

Finally, they receive a fresh face mask, and the hotel coordinator sprays their shoes with an alcohol mixture.

These guests aren’t tourists on vacation. They’re people who tried to cross into the US but, for a variety of reasons, have been sent back to this border city and need a safe place to stay.

Doctor Dayaites Rios is pictured through the window in the attending physician’s room while Doctor Leticia Chavarria stands below on May 30, 2020 at Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

‘We’re taking migrants off the street’

Migrant shelters, which are trying to control the spread of COVID-19, can’t immediately take them in. So Hotel Flamingo has been temporarily converted into a “filter hotel” — a space where they can quarantine for 14 days before transferring to a longer-term shelter.

“We’re taking migrants off the street and away from the risk of potential infection,” said Leticia Chavarria, the hotel’s medical coordinator. “We have them here for two weeks, and if during that time they don’t present any symptoms, then another shelter can receive them.”

Once guests have washed up, hotel coordinator Rosa Mani guides them to a waiting room with well-spaced out chairs and explains how things work. Every guest will go through a preliminary health screening, then receive a private room.

“We’re taking migrants off the street and away from the risk of potential infection. We have them here for two weeks, and if during that time they don’t present any symptoms, then another shelter can receive them.”

Leticia Chavarria, medical director at Hotel Flamingo 

“One of the first questions is if someone feels ill, if someone has a headache, a fever, or any symptom related to COVID,” said Mani, who is with the World Organization for Peace. “If someone says yes, then immediately they’re the first person we care for.”

There’s an isolation wing for people with COVID symptoms or who have come into contact with someone who’s infected, and another wing for everyone else.

Protocols are strict. Once a doctor goes up to the isolation area, she can’t come down until her shift is over. Anything she needs gets sent up in a bucket on the end of a rope, which Chavarria jokingly refers to as an elevator.

Rosa Mani, coordinator of Hotel Filtro, speaks to Portugese interpreter Flor Cedrella who was donning personal protective equipment and had just spoken to a Brazilian migrant in quarantine on May 30, 2020 at Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

Many groups came together to rent out the hotel, stock up on cleaning and medical supplies and transform it into a quarantine center, including the International Organization for Migration, the World Organization for Peace, Seguimos Adelante and several government entities.

Related: Trump proposes harsh asylum rules disqualifying many applicants

It can accommodate up to 108 people and is currently about three-quarters full. Recently, several medically vulnerable migrants and their families were transferred there from the government-run Leona Vicario shelter, where there has been a cluster of COVID-19 cases. Seven of them have since tested positive for the virus. According to Mani, they are currently in isolation and are not experiencing health complications.

Some hotel guests have been forced to wait in Mexico as their asylum cases play out in US immigration court, as part of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). They’ve been living in Juárez for months or longer — renting out rooms or apartments — and suddenly found themselves in need of new housing during the pandemic, unable to afford rent now that work has dried up. Some have also lost financial support from relatives in the US, who are also hurting due to the coronavirus and can no longer send money.

Others have been rapidly expelled from the border, under a public health directive issued as concern about COVID-19 grew.

Michael Margolis, an American volunteer with NGO Seguimos Adelante disinfects buckets used by migrants for washing clothes on May 30, 2020 at Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez. Hotel Filtro was set up by non profits as a place for migrants, many of which have been rapidly expelled from the US due to the pandemic, to quarantine at before being placed in a shelter.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

A temporary safe haven

That includes a Honduran mother who arrived at the hotel with her two children: an 11-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son. She asked that her name not be used, out of fear for her family’s safety.

On a sunny afternoon in late May, she stood outside her room, taking in some fresh air while her son played behind her, stacking blocks into small towers.

Through a face mask, she recalled a journey that started last winter when, she said, a local gang tried to extort her.

“I sold candy,” she said. “What I earned was only enough to cover my family’s expenses.”

When she couldn’t pay, “they didn’t give me any option except to leave my country. They told me I had less than twelve hours to leave my country or they would kill me, along with my children.”

So she fled. She could not have predicted that a global pandemic would dramatically alter her plans. But by the time she reached the US-Mexico border, coronavirus had reshaped daily life and public policy in both countries.

In late March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency public health order that the Trump administration has used to expel unauthorized migrants at the border in a matter of hours, including asylum seekers. Officials take down basic identifying information in the field and then almost immediately send people back into Mexico or their home countries.

A Cuban volunteer doctor tends to migrants under observation on the second floor of Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez on May 30, 2020.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

Administration officials say this order helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the US, though dozens of public health experts have pushed back against the statement, arguing in a May letter to the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services that “there is no public health rationale for denying admission to individuals based on legal status.”

After crossing the border, the Honduran mother claimed authorities detained her so roughly she was left with bruises and ripped clothes.

“They grabbed me worse than you would an animal,” she said.

Related: US and Mexico are blocking kids from asking for asylum because of coronavirus

She said they took her photograph and fingerprints, then dropped her at an international bridge without any explanation.

“They didn’t tell me anything,” she said. “They just did that, without giving me any reason. It was really ugly.”

She wasn’t sure where to go. As a diabetic, she knew she was at an elevated risk for complications from the coronavirus and worried about what might happen to her children. But the Mexican governmental agency Grupo Beta brought her to the filter hotel.

She’s grateful to them.

“If I were on the street, I don’t know what I’d be doing,” she said.

A place to wait and hope

It’s difficult to think past the next two weeks. Going back to Honduras isn’t an option, the woman said. But for 14 days, her family has a safe place to stay.

A few small touches make the space feel more homey. Her children painted flower pots during an outdoor art class, led from a distance by a volunteer teacher. She’s placed them on the windowsill.

“I’m not lacking for anything here,” she said. “They’re giving me medical care, food, a place to sleep.”

That medical care includes two daily checkups.

Doctor Yuneisy Gonzales, 37, from Cuba, is pictured at work on May 30, 2020 at Hotel Filtro in Ciudad Juárez. She volunteers as a doctor at Hotel Filtro, which was set up by nonprofits as a place of quarantine for migrants that have been rapidly expelled from the US due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Credit:

Paul Ratje/KERA News

“We go room to room,” said Yuneisy Gonzales, one of six doctors who work at the hotel. They’re volunteers, though they receive a small, mostly symbolic stipend. “We can’t enter the rooms because we try to maintain all the safety measures. We check temperature, oxygen saturation levels, heart rate. We do a short physical exam.”

Gonzales identifies with the guests here, because she is a migrant as well. She left Cuba last year, was placed in MPP, and has been living in Juárez while she pursues her asylum case. Before the filter hotel opened, she worked at a fast food restaurant — a far cry from her previous life as a general practitioner.

“It had been more than a year since I’d practiced medicine. You miss your profession. Because medicine is a profession that you study but also that you feel, and you like helping people.”

Yuneisy Gonzales, volunteer doctor at Hotel Flamingo

“It had been more than a year since I’d practiced medicine,” she said. “You miss your profession. Because medicine is a profession that you study but also that you feel, and you like helping people.”

When Gonzales heard the hotel was seeking doctors, she was eager to sign up. It may not seem like much, she said, but monitoring people for 14 days means when they go back into the community, they won’t be spreading coronavirus.

“For me, it’s a huge honor to get up every day at six in the morning, get ready, come here, and put on my white coat,” she said. “There’s no comparison.”

RelatedMexico: The ‘waiting room’ for thousands of migrants trying to get into the US

Gonzales’ next asylum hearing is scheduled for July, though it’s not clear if immigration court will be open by then.

“Sometimes you lose hope because it’s been very hard,” she said. “But I haven’t considered giving up my case.”

For now, this hotel has given her a sense of purpose — and so many others a place to shelter — while they wait.

Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico raise alarm as US storm season approaches

Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico raise alarm as US storm season approaches

On Easter Sunday, dozens of tornadoes tore across Southeastern US, killing more than 30 people. The deadly cluster of storms coincided with waters in the Gulf of Mexico that were three degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the long-term average.

Writer
Adam Wernick

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Hurricane Michael in 2018. Warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico helped turn the hurricane from a Category 1 to a Category 4 storm in just 24 hours.

Credit:

NASA/Joshua Stevens

Share

As storm season begins in the southeastern US, scientists are casting a wary eye on the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Science links above-average sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico to larger tornado clusters and supercharged hurricanes in the southern and southeastern United States. The tornadoes that hit the southeastern US on Easter Sunday, resulting in over 30 deaths, came as water in the Gulf of Mexico was running three degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the long-term average.

Tornado season in the US generally runs from March through June and hurricane season follows right on its heels. Warm waters in the Gulf provide “a basic fuel” to these massive storms, explains atmospheric scientist Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished scholar at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and a faculty affiliate with the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

RelatedWarming ocean waters turned Hurricane Michael into a superstorm

“Warm, moist air wants to rise, and as it rises, the moisture condenses [and] creates extra heating — we call it latent heating — in the atmosphere,” Trenberth says. “All of this convection in the atmosphere moves heat from lower levels into the upper part of the atmosphere and then it gets transported by the jet stream and the circulation to other parts of the world. Some of it can actually radiate to space. [Storms are] one way the atmosphere responds.”

Different types of atmospheric disturbances tap into this heat, but essentially “they’re all trying to move the heat away, in some sense,” Trenberth explains. “It depends quite a bit on the nature of the disturbances — whether there are a lot of, say, individual thunderstorms, or whether there are these larger supercell complexes that can indeed trigger major tornado outbreaks.”

In 2017, similarly warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico led to disastrous consequences, as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all caused massive destruction. In 2018, one of the hotspots in the global ocean was off the east coast of the Carolinas, Trenberth notes. Hurricane Florence developed in this area, producing 30-40 inches of rain and catastrophic flooding.

RelatedScientists pinpoint link between climate change and Hurricane Harvey’s record rainfall

A lot can happen between now and the start of hurricane season to change the current conditions in the Gulf, but if storms moving toward the US encounter the right environment, they could again become exceedingly dangerous.

Trenberth says the lack of preparedness for the novel coronavirus that he is seeing in the US and around the world is “really dismaying,” and has a parallel in the realm of storm preparedness.

“The big warning sign was in 2005, with Katrina, Wilma and Rita. … The concern was certainly there. What has been disappointing, from my standpoint, is how little preparedness seems to have developed.”

Kevin Trenberth

“The big warning sign was in 2005, with Katrina, Wilma and Rita — all these Category 5 storms that occurred then,” he says. “I went to some meetings, which had heads of states of some of the islands in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico…and, correctly, they were very concerned about two things: the rise in sea level, and stronger hurricanes. So, the concern was certainly there. What has been disappointing, from my standpoint, is how little preparedness seems to have developed.”

Hurricane Harvey in 2017 highlighted this problem, Trenberth points out: “The total lack of adequate drainage systems, building in wrong places and building structures that weren’t prepared in Southern Texas,” he says. “The lack of preparedness in Puerto Rico was astounding, appalling. … The warnings have been there. Why isn’t there more effort to prepare for the sort of thing scientists have more or less guaranteed, but can’t say exactly when?”

“Once global warming is here with us, no vaccine is going to be developed that will make it go away.”

This is the paradigm for global warming, Trenberth warns. Global warming is coming, but there is one crucial difference between global warming and a deadly virus like COVID-19. Unlike a virus, for which we can ultimately develop a vaccine, “once global warming is here with us, no vaccine is going to be developed that will make it go away.”

“So, I think this is a warning sign,” Trenberth says, “and I certainly hope the governments around the world and the peoples around the world can take account of that.”

This article is based on an interview by Steve Curwood that aired on Living on Earth from PRX.

Doctors wait hours to fill tanks as Venezuela faces fuel shortages

Doctors wait hours to fill tanks as Venezuela faces fuel shortages

Lines to buy fuel have been common in parts of Venezuela for years. But in recent weeks, the problem has arrived in the capital, where drivers are now waiting hours to fill their tanks. 

By
Mariana Zúñiga

Player utilities

download

Listen to the story.

Customers wait while a fuel dispenser machine is fixed at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela, April 23, 2020.

Credit:

Manaure Quintero/Reuters 

Share

When Dr. Arturo Martínez woke up in his Honda Civic, his car was a mess. It looked like a small apartment — full of pillows, blankets, cutlery and Tupperware with the leftovers of yesterday’s dinner.

“We prepared ourselves to spend the night here to be able to refuel. We brought some food and pillows to be a little bit more comfortable while waiting,” Martínez said.

Martínez was one of the hundreds of motorists waiting for gasoline in a miles-long line at a station in eastern Caracas. He arrived at 2 a.m., but five hours later, he wasn’t even close to reaching the pumps.

Related: As the coronavirus drags on, Mexico’s food prices soar

This is an unusual scene for Caracas’ residents. Lines to buy fuel have been common in parts of Venezuela for years. But, in recent weeks, the problem has arrived in the capital where drivers are now waiting hours to fill their tanks.

Every day before dawn in Caracas, essential workers, like doctors, line up for hours at the few gas stations that still have fuel. The OPEC nation with the world’s largest oil reserves is short on gas because its refineries have collapsed, and the country can’t import fuel due to US sanctions.

Martínez feels frustrated, he says — the shortages are limiting his ability to function as a doctor. His car is the only way he can get to work due to a lack of public transportation.

“There will come a time when there will be such great discomfort that doctors will say, ‘I am not going to work. I am not going because I have to suffer to get gasoline, and I am exposing myself to the virus while being in line.’”

Dr. Arturo Martínez

“There will come a time when there will be such great discomfort that doctors will say, ‘I am not going to work. I am not going because I have to suffer to get gasoline, and I am exposing myself to the virus while being in line,’” he said.

Related: Bolsonaro’s ‘so what’ response to coronavirus deaths is the latest in his spiraling political crisis

Further back in line, Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez is also waiting for gas.

“I arrived at 5 a.m. It’s 9 a.m.,” Rodriguez said. “I should be in the hospital right now. Fortunately, what we do as colleagues is that we cover somebody’s shift when that person is queuing for gas. This is what we do, but it shouldn’t be like that.”

The government has promised that doctors and hospital workers will have preferential access to fuel stations. But Rodriguez has found the solution to be less than useful.

“I’ve had to line up within a special queue for doctors, but it’s still a line. They are daylong lines, practically. I don’t know if ambulances get preference, but my car doesn’t.” 

Dr. Alejandro Rodriguez 

“I’ve had to line up within a special queue for doctors, but it’s still a line. They are daylong lines, practically. I don’t know if ambulances get preference, but my car doesn’t,” he said.

Some fuel stations in Caracas were shut down in recent days, as authorities try to ensure the effective fulfillment of a nationwide quarantine and contain the spread of the coronavirus. The measure also aims to ration the country’s dwindling gasoline inventories.

Related: Chile’s ‘COVID-19 card’ sparks controversy over ‘uncertainty of evidence’ about immunity

According to fuel stations workers in Caracas, authorities are rationing gasoline by limiting drivers to five gallons for small cars and 10 gallons for trucks, vans and ambulances.

Increasing petrol shortages is making Venezuelans’ lives tougher. When the pandemic struck, Venezuela was already suffering from hyperinflation and a battered health system. Critics of President Nicolás Maduro blame the collapse on government corruption and mismanagement. The government blames US sanctions.

In Venezuela, filling a tank is basically free. Thanks to government subsidies, a full tank could cost less than a penny. But, out of desperation, some people, like Jesus Peña, who sells chicken at an open-air market, are now turning to the expensive black market for fuel.

Peña pays between $1 and $2 per liter. But, few people can afford those prices in a country where the minimum wage is less than $5 per month.

Venezuela has less than 500 reported cases of the coronavirus. The country imposed a nationwide lockdown in March when just a few cases were detected. Since then, Peña hasn’t been able to fill his tank at a station due to long lines. 

“Yesterday, my neighbor sold me 20 liters that he took out of his car. I paid $20 for it. This problem is going to get worse. I have more than one colleague who is not delivering anymore because they ran out of gasoline.”

Jesus Peña, vendor at open-air market

“Yesterday, my neighbor sold me 20 liters that he took out of his car. I paid $20 for it. This problem is going to get worse. I have more than one colleague who is not delivering anymore because they ran out of gasoline,” Peña said.

Related: Advocates raise alarm as countries fail to collect racial data of coronavirus patients

The fuel shortages are already harming food production and delivery. Producers are not being able to get their goods to markets, and farmers are being forced to let crops rot in fields.

Even though Peña desperately needs the gas to keep his business going, he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep paying the high prices.

“I have gasoline for this week, I don’t know what will happen the next one. It’s worrying. I’m really worried,” he said.

Back at the gas station, as the line advances, some drivers, like Martínez, push their cars rather than turning on the ignition. Anything to save just a little extra gas.

Where is the world in the race to combat coronavirus? ‘Only renewables’ holding up in global energy slump; As the coronavirus drags on, Mexico’s food prices soar

Where is the world in the race to combat coronavirus? 'Only renewables' holding up in global energy slump; As the coronavirus drags on, Mexico's food prices soar

By
The World staff

A laboratory technician is seen at the Inselspital Universitaetsspital Bern university hospital during research for a vaccine against the coronavirus in Switzerland, April 22, 2020.

Credit:

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Share

Kevin Abstract – Mississippi Lyrics

Play this song

[Verse 1]
You gon’ find out that I’m not myself
In this winehouse, all my dogs need some help
What I’m crying ’bout when I’m all by myself
Long nights at the Mission Inn, long nights at the Mission Inn
You gon’ find out that I’m not myself
In this winehouse, all my dogs need some help
What I’m crying ’bout when I’m all by myself
Long nights at the Mission Inn, long nights at the Mission Inn

[Chorus]
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted with your Mississippi love
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted now, boy, get me twisted now
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted with your Mississippi love
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted now, boy, get me twisted now boy, boy

[Verse 2]
In the street in some Texas heat, and us down the road from my cousin, now
Dance some more, close to Mexico and I tell my boys that I left ’em, uh
My feelings go when your feelings show
That’s the stuff that always come and bless you now
Now you’re pushin’ my lovin’, now you’re pushin’ my love
Tell me what you gotta do to try to keep it (next bar)
Tell me what I gotta do to try to keep it (ne-ne-ne-next bar)
Tell me all the ones you know to have you down since ’95
Do you wanna be my boyfriend, my Mississippi sunshine?

[Pre-Chorus]
Big wedding, this brother basketball so late in the park with them
My feelings don’t mean nothing whenever we arguing
I’m drunk in the backseat, tryna figure out how I can get out this bitch
Do you wanna be my boyfriend, my Mississippi sunshine?

[Chorus]
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted with your Mississippi love
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted now, boy, get me twisted now
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted with your Mississippi love
Don’t get me, uh, don’t get me, uh
Don’t get me twisted now, boy, get me twisted now boy, boy

[Outro]
Mississippi, Mississippi love
And I play it so much, I build nigga
Mississippi, Mississippi love
And I play it so, I play it so

Future – Gettin’ It In Lyrics

[Chorus: Future]
I done it first, before you were even in
I saw trends fore they were even in
I’m ridin in something forin
Got cars that ain’t even in
Plug give me 10
Drink Rosay, ain’t even out yet

[Verse 1: Future]
Got guns, we gettin it, got shoes, we gettin it
Got racks we ain’t even spent
I got 4 jets waiting for me to get it
I got Gucci, Raf and shit
Young rich nigga really don’t care, Mexico, my nigga don’t even play fare
Bitches livin in the world I got, swag on space a lot
Gang through my bloodline, yeah
Hit up Bari, take it out there
Put it in a body, take it to the trap
Got them bags, split it
Three bitches there, you know they there
Dropped 40K on a whip, don’t even care
She wanna fuck in the limo on the low lo
My plug got that good dope
That good smoke, check my mojo
Me and Casino high off that Pludo
I’m in space, never on Earth
Got them diamonds hanging on my shirt
All them pretty bitches wanna flirt
All these hoes goin twerk

[Chorus: Future]
I done it first, before you were even in
I saw trends fore they were even in
I’m ridin in something forin
Got cars that ain’t even in
Plug give me 10
Drink Rosay, ain’t even out yet

[Verse 2: Stuey Rock]
He’s Future, I’m Stuey Rock
Got them hoes whippin up the pot
Posted in the club till they call the cops
Lil nigga I call the shots
Do whatever that get me payed
I do shots when I’m in the shade
So many whips in my new place
Which one should I drive today
And that bitch be tossin bricks, got too many bitches, how I do this
Flexin hard, you sware you rich
Now I run it back, that’s my bitch
Now we big, we poppin off
All of ya’ll keep falling off
You niggas be so fake, them niggas be stylin for show
In the club, get all the brauds
Go home, get all the brauds
I’m FDU, that mean I’m fresher than you
So nigga, what you goin do
Fuck with Future, fuck with Rock, choose

[Chorus: Future]
I done it first, before you were even in
I saw trends fore they were even in
I’m ridin in something forin
Got cars that ain’t even in
Plug give me 10
Drink Rosay, ain’t even out yet

Pitbull – Ocean To Ocean Lyrics

They tried to get rid of me
But from ocean to ocean
They are gonna have to deal with me

Ayooooo!

I been overlooked, slept on
Stepped on, left for dead
Always against all eyez like Pac said
I’m the living Great Gatsby
But these boys will watch you quick and disappear like Banksy
From ocean to ocean, sea to sea
I’m something that you gotta see

[Rhea:]
It’s gonna take a lot to turn me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

[Pitbull:]
I practice what I preach but I ain’t gon’ lie
Still got love for these streets, 305 till I die
Still got love for these beats, that’s why I spit this fire
You can catch me on a beach, specially on the islands
Took over my city, now it’s time for the world
I live it, they rap it, there’s a difference, girl
Getting paid more than athletes, man, life is sweet
GM, owner status, Papo, watch me

[Rhea:]
It’s gonna take a lot to turn me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

[Pitbull:]
I got the world on my shoulders, still quick on my feet
Now I say, sleep is the cousin of death, so I don’t sleep
These boys act like they hard, but we know that they sweet
They wouldn’t bust a grape at a food fight, Papo please
Went from rapping with them boys with a mouth full of gold
To hanging with Slim Jr. down in Mexico
Take it with a grain of salt and a pound of gold
The game is to be sold, and not told, let’s go

[Rhea:]
It’s gonna take a lot to turn me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

It’s gonna take a lot to turn me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rains)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Goldfinger – Tijuana Sunrise lyrics

[Verse 1]
Blacked out again down in Mexico,
Jose Cuervo got me again.
Wasted again with El Diablo,
Alcohol my only friend.

[Pre-Chorus]
Smash the bottles on the reef,
Wash the dirt off of my feet,
That was the summer of my life.

[Chorus]
I’ve been drinking to forget just how good it was,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
I’ve been drinking to forget bout the both of us,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face,
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face.

[Verse 2]
I fell in love down in Mexico,
She took me for everything I had.
Woke up in jail in Rosarito, federales took it all,
I’m out of cash about to crash.

[Pre-Chorus]
Smash the bottles on the reef,
Wash the dirt off of my feet,
That was the summer of my life.

[Chorus]
I’ve been drinking to forget just how good it was,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
I’ve been drinking to forget bout the both of us,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face,
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face.

[Outro]
I’ve been drinking to forget just how good it was,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
I’ve been drinking to forget bout the both of us,
I was drinking with you, then I’m drinking till noon,
Now I’m drinking by myself.
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face,
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face.
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face,
Tijuana sunrise shine upon my face.

Becca – The Journey lyrics

Butterfly, I like to watch you flutter by. You’re so graceful in the sky. Oh, you’re so fine.
Your journey’s like a magical thing. Part of natures mysteries. And I can see
How peaceful you can be, to me.

First you are a tiny egg on a leaf. The leaf of the milkweed.
You’re so small, but growing indeed. And resting in the breeze.
Next, here comes the caterpillar. The larva word is unfamiliar.
Crawling around from leaf to leaf. Everything comes so naturally.

The pupa or the chrysalis is calm. It’s still. It’s just like bliss.
You’re warm, your happy. You’re safe and sound, feels like a gentle kiss.
Now the most amazing thing. The butterfly emerges with beautiful wings.

Butterfly, I like to watch you flutter by. You’re so graceful in the sky. Oh, you’re so fine.
Your journey’s like a magical thing. Part of natures mysteries. And I can see
How peaceful you can be, to me.

Once you’ve grown with your delicate wings, had time to dance through summer and spring.
You make your way to a special place where all the Monarchs gather to face.
The journey through the land below, all the way down to Mexico.
After fall and winter are through, I will be waiting just for you.

Butterfly, I like to watch you flutter by. You’re so graceful in the sky. Oh, you’re so fine.
Your journey’s like a magical thing. Part of natures mysteries. And I can see
How peaceful you can be, to me.

Fergie – L.A. Love (La La) lyrics

[Intro]
La la la la
La la la la
La la la la
La la la la
Mustard on the beat

[Verse 1]
Uh, tell ’em where I’m from
Finger on the pump make the sixth straight jump from SoCal
Hollywood to the slums
Chronic smoke get burnt by the California sun
On the west side east coast where you at
Just got to new york like a gnat on a jet
To London, to Brazil, to Quebec
Like the whole damn world took effect to Ferg
Tell ’em

Said back slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
Laid back slow down
Whatchu represent when we come to your town
Say

Get in with the business
Ima be there in a minute
I just booked a pilot’s ticket
Thinking Russia needs a visit
I’ma run it to the limit
And be on my way to Venice

[Chorus]
L.A. got the people saying la la la la la
Brooklyn saying la la la la la
Halcyon saying la la la la la
Vegas saying la la la la la
Rio saying la la la la la
Tokyo saying la la la la la
Down under saying la la la la la
Miami saying la la la la la
Jamaica

Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how we go

[Verse 2]
Uh tell em where I’m at
From the plaques to the uh uh
Everything fat
Got Mustard on a track
My girls all stack
When I roll down the window, let me know where you’re
Atlanta, North South kick it ‘lac
Texas grill, Cadillacs through Miami then back
To London, Jamaica then France
The whole damn world took effect to Ferg, tell’em

Said back slow down
Better represent when we come to your town
Laid back slow down
Whatchu represent when we come to your town
Say

[Chorus]
L.A got the people sayin’ la la la
Moscow, sayin’, la la la
España, la la la
Kingston, sayin’ la la la
San Diego sayin’ la la la
Chi-Town sayin’ la la la
Germany, sayin’ la la la
La Punta sayin’ la la la
Ibiza

Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how we go
Every city, every state, every country you know
All around the globe
Every city, every state, every country you know
This is how we go

[Chorus]
L.A got the people sayin’ la la la
Amsterdam, sayin’, la la la
Frisco sayin’, la la la
Switzerland sayin’, la la la
Sao Paulo sayin’, la la la
Joburg sayin’, la la la
Mexico sayin’, la la la
Stockholm sayin’, la la la
Jamaica

You on that Cali shit

You like to like it
We like seeing it
Yes you can join us now
We like to love it
We like to love it
We like to love it

Tiffany Hulse – Wanderlust lyrics

[Verse 1]
Hawaii is calling and I must go
Aruba, Havana, or Mexico
Just a few weeks against the stream
Anywhere will do with waves and sunbeams
A pineapple a day keeps the worries away

[Chorus]
I don’t think that it would mean too much
To say the thoughts that I think out loud
But you know that I just can’t help
But consider life outside of my cloud
I’m longing for something even if
I’m not sure exactly what that is
Run or you rust
I’m suffering from wanderlust

[Verse 2]
The wonders of the world are waiting for me
Living in the shelter is no place to be
It’s never easy to let your hair down
The dreamers will dream but the skeptics will drown
I have an unhealthy calling to be where I’m not

Chief Keef – Couldn’t Take It Lyrics

Leave the door open baby, I get cakey
Daily, got the gun in, that’s on safety
Mama always told never let a nigga play me
Then I got my ass whooped, and I couldn’t take it
What’s the situation? That’s the situation baby
[?]
Cooling with the paper, balling in a major
Shoot ’em in some typa way, then baby I take that
Pull up on the mothafucking label, where my cake at?
‘Fore I up this mothafucking choppa and spray it
[?]
I’ma get some Rugers, I was tired of Glock 40’s
Put it on Blood, bitch I’m guaped shawty
Put it on cuz, I’m on hot shawty
I’ll grill ya ass, on the spot shawty
[?] to the summer, chinchillas in the winter

I heard them fuck niggas was plotting on the low
From the Chiraq, I be spying on the low
I know everything before the thot did know
Pull up on your block poppin’ shit, Crisco
I am rich now, ‘member when I was in the field

I can buy anything I want
Anything I want and then more
I ain’t never been to Mexico
But I’m smoking on Texaco
Remember pulling up in Volvos
Now I get 90 for 4 shows
Doing cars for the shows
Put it in the water, let’s flow
This ice comes from the North Pole
This don’t stop for my hoe
Man I got the fucking pack
And I got the muthafucking sack
It’s a lot of snakes in the grass

Tweed Deluxe – Kingsville lyrics

I’m going back to Texas, I’m going back where I belong
I’m going back to Texas darlin’, I’m going back where I belong
Back to that lone star state, it’s the home of the Alamo

There’s a little town called Kingsville, way down by the gulf of Mexico
Ya, there’s a little town called Kingsville, way down by the gulf of Mexico
I’m going back down to that sleepy town, it’s the only home I know

I was born on the Big King Ranch, at least that’s what I’ve been told
Ya, I was born on the Big King Ranch, at least that’s what I’ve been told
I’m going back down to Texas darlin’, baby don’t you want to go

I went out to California, tried to find my way around
I went out to California, tried to find my way around
But it’s been a lonely lonely road, not a good friend have I found

I went up to Hollywood, tried to find my fortune and fame
I went up to Hollywood, tried to find my fortune and fame
But I’m packing my bags and I’m headed south, not a fool here knows my name

That’s why I’m going back to Texas, I’m going back where I belong
Ya, I’m going back to Texas, I’m going back where I belong
Back to that lone star state, baby don’t you want to go?