June 20, 2018

Migrant children: Global outcry rises over US border separations

Migrant children: Global outcry rises over US border separations Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTheresa May: US child detention "disturbing" and "wrong" International condemnation is growing against the US policy of separating migrant families at its border. UK Prime Minister Theresa May said holding children "in what appear to be cages [is] deeply disturbing" and "wrong". Pope Francis said he supported US Catholic bishops who said it was "immoral". The Republican-controlled Congress is under pressure to change President Donald Trump's policy. Republicans are scrambling to draft a new immigration bill to address the growing outcry. President Trump told a group of House Republicans he would back any bill they passed, a White House spokesman said. The president made clear that separating parents and children was "certainly not an attractive thing and does look bad", Representative Tom Cole said. What is Trump's family-separation endgame? Trump offi..
June 20, 2018

How hats were placed atop the Easter Island statues

How hats were placed atop the Easter Island statues Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTerry Hunt: "Some of the most accomplished achievements of the ancient world" The famous statues of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, are best known for their deep-set eyes and long ears. They also sport impressive multi-tonne hats made from a different rock type. Quite how these pukao, as they are known, were transported and placed atop the statues has long been a puzzle. But now American archaeologists believe they have a clearer understanding. The giant hats were moved with minimal effort and resources using a ramp and rope technique, they say. "The fact that they successfully assembled these monuments is a clear signal of the engineering prowess of the prehistoric Rapanui people," said Sean Hixon, lead author and graduate student in anthropology, at Penn State. Image copyright Sean Hixon Image caption The pukao emplacement process The researchers' investigations indicate t..
June 20, 2018

More deaths in Nicaragua violence as talks collapse

More deaths in Nicaragua violence as talks collapse Image copyright Reuters Image caption Opposition activists fought government militias in the streets of Masaya At least three people were killed and many injured as government forces in Nicaragua launched an operation to regain control of the city of Masaya. Residents say security forces and militias used disproportionate force to clear barricades on Tuesday. The operation was launched a day after the collapse of talks between President Daniel Ortega's government and the opposition. More than 180 people have died in two months of anti-government protests. Residents in Masaya say militias loyal to Mr Ortega were responsible for most of the violence. They arrived in the early hours of Monday on tractors and lorries to regain control of the city. Young protesters used homemade mortars and slingshots to repel them, Reuters news agency reports. A former stronghold of the Sandinista Revolution in the 1970s, Masaya has now become ..
June 19, 2018

Paraguay man surprises family at his own wake

Paraguay man surprises family at his own wake Image caption Mr Penayo disappeared from a village near the border town of Pedro Juan Caballero A man from the small village of Santa Teresa in Paraguay returned home after three days away to find his family mourning a body they thought was his. Juan Ramón Alfonso Penayo, 20, had last been seen on Thursday leaving the family home on the border with Brazil. The area is hotly disputed between a number of drug gangs and when Mr Penayo did not return, his family assumed he had met with trouble. When police found a charred body on Sunday, they concluded it was him. The family held a wake in the village only for Mr Penayo to turn up and find them grieving over the coffin they thought held his body. The punk who returned from the dead - and handed himself inFollowing Mr Penayo's unscathed return, the still unidentified body was returned to the morgue. Officials said that if no-one else claimed it, the body would be interred as "NN", the ini..
June 19, 2018

Nicaragua crisis talks stall after mediators walk out

Nicaragua crisis talks stall after mediators walk out Image copyright Reuters Image caption Anti-government protesters have been using homemade mortars A fresh attempt at solving a deadly crisis in Nicaragua through talks has stalled after opposition representatives and Catholic Church mediators walked out. At least 180 people have been killed since a wave of anti-government protests started on 18 April. The mediators blamed the government for the failure of the latest negotiations. They accused the government of breaking its promise to invite international organisations to Nicaragua. Row over invitationsBoth sides had reached an agreement on Friday to ask representatives of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the UN Commission on Human Rights and the European Union to come to Nicaragua to help investigate the deaths and acts of violence. How Nicaragua's crisis unfolded The photos that explain Nicaragua's crisis Nicaragua country profile However, when the ..
June 18, 2018

Argentina: Man sentenced to life for brutal transgender murder

Argentina: Man sentenced to life for brutal transgender murder Image copyright EPA Image caption Ms Sacayán had campaigned for LGBT rights in Argentina A court in Argentina has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of high-profile transgender activist Diana Sacayán. She was stabbed 13 times in her Buenos Aires flat in October 2015. Gabriel David Marino, 25, has become the first person in Argentina to be sentenced under new legislation on crimes against transgender people. Human rights groups say Latin America accounts for the greatest number of transgender murders worldwide. Mr Marino said he had sexual encounters with the victim in exchange for illegal drugs. But he denied killing her. 'Light that guides me'Ms Sacayán was a well-known activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. She was the first Argentinian citizen to receive a new national identity card after applying to have her gender changed. Argentina's president at th..
June 18, 2018

Trump separation policy: Children ‘in cages’ in Texas

Trump separation policy: Children 'in cages' in Texas Image copyright US Customs and Border Protection Image caption The authorities released this image of illegal migrants inside a large cage - reporters said they saw unaccompanied children in similar conditions Reporters and Democratic lawmakers have been allowed inside a detention centre that lies at the heart of a growing storm over a new US policy separating migrant children from their parents. Authorities did not allow photos or videos to be taken inside the centre, but US Customs and Border Protection later released several images. The Texas facility is known as Ursula, though immigrants are reportedly calling it La Perrara - dog kennel in Spanish - in reference to the cages used to hold children and adults who have ended up there after crossing the border from Mexico illegally. "One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips [crisps] and large foil sheets intended to serve as bla..
June 18, 2018

Did Mexican World Cup fans’ celebrations shake the earth?

Did Mexican World Cup fans' celebrations shake the earth? Image copyright Reuters Image caption Quake-inducing jumps? Mexican football fans could hardly contain their joy when Hirving Lozano scored a goal against Germany in Mexico's opening game of the World Cup. Supporters of the team jumped into the air when the ball hit the net in the 35th minute. But did their jubilant stomping really cause an earthquake as some media have reported? A tweet from Mexico's Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Investigations would suggest so. The tweet by the institute, which monitors seismic activity, reads: "Artificial quake in Mexico City due to celebration of goal by the Mexican team in the game against Germany during the 2018 World Cup in Russia." The image highlights the moment of the goal with a red rectangle on the seismogram. This shows localised shaking near the seismometer. Skip Twitter post by @SIMMSAmex #Sismo artificial en la Ciudad de México por celebración de gol ..
June 18, 2018

Colombia’s new president Iván Duque: Puppet or rock star?

Colombia's new president Iván Duque: Puppet or rock star? Image copyright AFP Image caption Iván Duque won by 12 percentage points "A jovial figure lending a fresh face to traditional conservative politics." That is one way Colombia's media have described Iván Duque, the man voters have chosen as their new president. But while the 41-year-old is seen as a breath of fresh air by some, others are worried about the future of Colombia's peace agreement following his win in Sunday's election. The candidate for the right-wing Centro Democrático (Democratic Centre) party has said he will revise aspects of the November 2016 peace deal with the now-demobilised Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebel group. Mr Duque argues that the peace deal is too lenient on former guerrilla fighters accused of war crimes. He has also presented himself as a pro-business candidate and has said that he will take a hard line against corruption and drug-trafficking. 'Not a p..
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