May 20, 2018

‘I found my call in life at that airport’

'I found my call in life at that airport' Image copyright Fernando Dias Image caption Flavio Augusto is estimated to be worth $300m When an entrepreneurial teenager got a job selling language courses over the telephone, he wasn't going to let the fact that he didn't have a phone stand in his way. It was 1991 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the then 19-year-old Flavio Augusto da Silva had got the telesales position for a school teaching English. The catch was that the role did not come with access to an office, and instead he was expected to work from home. And unfortunately his parents didn't have a landline. Household phone lines were a luxury in Brazil at the time, and his parents could not afford the 3,510 reais ($960; £710) instillation fee. Even if they could, there was a two-year waiting list. So with mobile phones still a thing of the future for the vast majority of people, Mr Augusto had to think laterally or else his tenure in the job was not going to l..
May 20, 2018

First baby in 12 years born on remote Brazil island

First baby in 12 years born on remote Brazil island Image copyright AFP Image caption Fernando de Noronha has one of the world's best beaches A remote Brazilian island with a ban on childbirth is nonetheless celebrating the first baby born there in 12 years. Fernando de Noronha island, 370km (230 miles) from the city of Natal, has about 3,000 residents but no maternity wards. Expectant mothers are requested to travel to the mainland. A woman who does not want to be named had a baby girl on Saturday on the island - she says she was unaware she was pregnant and is "dumbstruck". Brazilian island overrun by invasion of blind toadsSurprise birthThe woman is believed to be aged 22. "On Friday night I had pains and when I went to the bathroom I saw something coming down between my legs," she was quoted as saying by O Globo website. "That's when the child's father came and picked it up. It was a baby, a girl. I was dumbstruck." The baby was later taken to the local hospital. In..
May 20, 2018

Cuba plane crash: Damojh company ‘had safety complaints’

Cuba plane crash: Damojh company 'had safety complaints' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDoctor Jose Luis Castellano described the crash site as "very painful" to behold The Mexican charter company whose plane crashed in Cuba on Friday, killing 110 people on board, had received prior safety complaints, two-ex pilots say. One of the pilots described on Facebook how a plane rented from Damojh airlines had dropped off-radar completely some eight years ago, prompting key crew members to be suspended. Mexican authorities say they will carry out a safety audit of the company. Separately, it was revealed that 10 priests were among the crash victims. Three women survived the crash near Havana airport - Cuba's deadliest aviation disaster in more than 30 years. Miraculous plane crash survivors Cuba country profile Major air disasters timeline One of two black boxes that hold key flight data and information about what happened to the plane has been recove..
May 20, 2018

Venezuela election: Everything you need to know

Venezuela election: Everything you need to know Image copyright Reuters Image caption President Maduro is widely expected to win - with the opposition expecting fraud Venezuela is choosing its next president on Sunday - in an election widely seen as a foregone conclusion. After years of turmoil which at one point saw almost daily street protests, President Nicolas Maduro is looking to consolidate his power. The opposition, however, refuses to even take part. Who's going to win?Most analysts agree that President Maduro is likely to win on Sunday. His opponents say they expect widespread electoral fraud - and are resigned to it. The elections were supposed to be held in December 2018, but the National Constituent Assembly, filled exclusively with Mr Maduro's supporters, brought them forward. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe search for food in Venezuela The opposition Democratic Unity coalition is currently divided, and says the elections have been ..
May 19, 2018

Colombia LGBT: The shop that wants men to ‘leave behind shyness’

Colombia LGBT: The shop that wants men to 'leave behind shyness' Image copyright Carolina F. Del Dago Image caption Andrea (not her real name) is one of the customers who frequents Tranxtienda Pinned to the glass door of Tranxtienda, a clothes shop tucked away on the third floor of an aging concrete mall in the Colombian capital Bogotá, a sign reads: "If this door is closed, DON'T BE SCARED." Behind the glass door is an array of flamboyant clothes, fake nails, wigs and men-sized heels designed in-house for the city's transvestite community. But what makes Tranxtienda stand apart from any other place is that it caters to mostly heterosexual men who are in the closet and acts as a store-cum-social club in the heart of downtown Bogotá. "I come here as often as I can," says Valentina, a regular of Tranxtienda. She uses her pseudonym out of fear of being recognised but apologises for the secrecy with a shy smile. Fear of being recognisedToday she does not ha..
May 19, 2018

Cuba plane crash: Island starts two days of national mourning

Cuba plane crash: Island starts two days of national mourning Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe plane came down in a field near Havana's main airport Two days of national mourning have begun in Cuba after a Boeing 737 airliner crashed near the main airport in Havana, killing more than 100 people. The plane, which was nearly 40 years old, was carrying 105 passengers and six crew members. Three women were pulled alive from the wreckage, but they are said to be in a critical condition. President Miguel Diaz-Canel said an investigation was under way. The crash is Cuba's worst air disaster in decades. What do we know about the dead?Most of the passengers killed are believed to be Cubans, though reports say five foreigners and a six-strong Mexican crew were also on board. Argentina's government said two of its nationals - tourists Dora Beatriz Cifuentes and Oscar Hugo Almaras, both in their sixties - were among the dead. Relatives of the victims ha..
May 18, 2018

UK bid to strengthen Argentine ties

Boris Johnson: First visit by foreign secretary to Argentina for 25 years Image copyright Reuters Image caption Tensions between the UK and Argentina over the Falkland Islands have eased since 2015 Boris Johnson is to make the first visit by a British foreign secretary to Argentina for 25 years. Mr Johnson will seek to take advantage of the improvement in relations with Buenos Aires since President Mauricio Macri came to power in 2015. Mr Macri has talked of lifting curbs on oil, fishing and shipping around the Falkland Islands as tensions eased. Mr Johnson will also visit Peru and Chile, in an effort to boost post-Brexit trade, during the five-day tour. Mr Macri has promised a "new kind of relationship" with the UK following a decade of tensions over the Falklands Islands, a UK overseas territory located about 530km (330 miles) off Argentina's coast, over which Buenos Aires has long claimed sovereignty and whose invasion in 1982 led to a 74-day military conflict with the UK. Hi..
May 18, 2018

Venezuela presidential election: Vote or veto?

Venezuela presidential election: Vote or veto? Image caption Supporters of President Maduro wear the red T-shirts associated with his socialist party You can tell you are approaching a campaign rally for President Nicolás Maduro by the number of buses on the roads which are bringing in supporters to fill the streets and cheer on the incumbent in Sunday's presidential election. Attendance is further boosted by the free mangos the government is handing out to the hungry people who have turned up. Venezuela is in crisis. There are severe shortages of food and medicines but you will not find people speaking badly about President Maduro at this rally. More about Venezuela's crisis: Why mums-to-be are fleeing Venezuela Where a coffee costs wads of banknotes Venezuelan hospitals at breaking point The message from those gathered here is clear: he is doing his best, against the odds. Tommy Mujica, 26, says the president is the person best placed to solve Venezuela's problems. ..
May 18, 2018

Cuba plane: Boeing 737 crashes near Havana airport

Cuba plane: Boeing 737 crashes near Havana airport Image copyright AFP/Getty Images Image caption The plane was reportedly operated by Cuba's state airline, Cubana de Aviacion (file picture) A Boeing 737 airliner from Cuba's state airline Cubana de Aviacion has crashed and exploded near Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuban media report. The plane came down shortly after take-off, Prensa Latina news agency said. State TV said it was an internal flight from the Cuban capital to Holguin, in the east of the island. The plane was carrying 104 passengers, local reports say. No information about casualties has yet been confirmed. Witnesses told AFP news agency they could see a thick column of smoke near the crash site. Fire crews and ambulances are at the scene. Radio Habana Cuba said on Twitter that the plane came down on the "highway" between Boyeros and Havana, near the airport. Cuba's president Miguel Diaz-Canel, who was sworn in last month, is said to be en ..
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