Puerto Rico looks set to miss a new deadline on payments regarding the island's US$72 billion debt. Despite the measures taken by local authorities, many are asking: who should really pay the staggering debt?
Sadly, eyes often glaze over at the latest massacre in Syria, because the story is so repetitive. But what story? A double massacre by “moderate rebels” in Homs and Damascus and the subsequent re-spinning of the story, show the wall of disinformation we face.
Through an agreement with the Syrian Government, on Dec. 8 hundreds of what the western media has come to call "anti-Assad rebels" (a mixture of Syrian and Nusra Front terrorists) and their families were bussed out of the last part of occupied Homs city.
Among many other decisive features of the far-reaching democratization of Nicaraguan society since 2006 has been the Sandinista government's promotion of Nicaragua's cultural identity in all its aspects. Outside Nicaragua, one of the most misunderstood areas of Nicaraguan culture is the people's deep devotion to the Virgin Mary, an enduring popular feature of the country's national religious life. In some ways, the celebration of the Immaculate Conception, known in Nicaragua as La Purísima, is a more popular feast than either Easter (Holy Week) or Christmas.
Daniel Ortega's government has actively promoted and encouraged La Purísima as a symbol of Nicaragua's cultural identity and community. Wilmor Lopez, probaby the country's leading cultural historian, has followed Nicaragua's popular culture since the last years of the Somoza dictatorship to the present day. He acknowledges the significance of the government's promotion of popular culture, especially in relation to the Purisima. “Naturally, it is part of the country's democratization, part of our sensibility, part of what we now talk about as 'sharing solidarity.'”
The United Nation's Conference on Climate Change being held this week in Paris has caught the World's attention. The Summit's most concrete hope is to reach an agreement on a 15 percent reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. Prior to this 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change, the Second World Summit of the Peoples on Climate Change was held last October in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Over 7,500 representatives of the world's social and environmental movements took part in that October event. Besides the host President Evo Morales, other heads of state were present such as president Nicolas Maduro from Venezuela and Rafael Correa from Ecuador as well as Cuba's Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez.
About the importance of reaching an agreement in Paris, Morales commented: "Just imagine, brothers and sisters, what would happen in 20, 30, 40, 50 years if we don't stop this global warming. It is unbearable already at below one degree Celsius and the G7 is proposing to rise it to two degrees Celsius." President Correa for his part pointed out that "It is a political problem, and in order to solve it, it is necessary to have an idea of justice, of compensation values and environmental resources, of taking care of Nature."