Thought for the day

"All vets are mentally ill in some way and government should prevent them from owning firearms." -- Diane Feinstein 

Washington's use of military-biological developments in Latin American countries has become possible thanks to impunity, Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov said on Thursday.

"<...> Impunity has contributed to further use of military and biological weapons by Washington in Latin America, including for the elimination of undesirable political figures," Kirillov said, referring to documentary evidence of US use of biological weapons in Cuba.

Hours after Argentina's new Minister of Economy Sergio Massa was sworn into office, he pledged to stop printing money in an attempt to halt a spiraling currency crisis which has seen inflation hit 60% - and has been projected to reach 90% by the end of this year.

In another sign of growing political repression in Guatemala, the authorities have arrested an award-winning journalist who was critical of the government and raided the offices of the newspaper he founded.

José Rubén Zamora, president of the elPeriódico newspaper, was arrested at his home in Guatemala City on Friday night on charges including possible money laundering, blackmail and influence peddling, according to the Guatemalan attorney general’s office.

Colombia's incoming government and Venezuela will appoint ambassadors to the two countries' capitals after years without diplomatic relations and will work to boost security along their shared border, officials said on Thursday.

The plan to appoint ambassadors was outlined in a joint declaration made by Venezuela's Foreign Minister, Carlos Faria, and Alvaro Leyva, the designated foreign minister of Colombia's next president, Gustavo Petro, following a meeting in the border city of San Cristobal.

Top Brazilian bankers and businessmen issued a letter on Tuesday in defense of Brazil's electronic voting system that has been attacked by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, and warned that the country's democracy was in "grave danger."

The manifesto, signed by some 3,000 leading Brazilian figures, did not mention Bolsonaro by name, but clearly addressed the situation he has caused by questioning the voting system ahead of the Oct. 2 election and attacking Supreme Court justices who oversee the elections in Brazil.

Californians and other Americans are flooding Mexico City. Some locals want them to go home
American tourists and remote workers are gentrifying some of Mexico City’s most treasured neighborhoods. Backlash is growing.

Brazil’s upcoming October Presidential election is a high-stakes test for just how far the censorship industry can push its powers to manage online speech.

In Brazil, private texts to family and friends are fast becoming as targeted by “counter disinformation” techniques as public-facing posts on social media. This escalation of fact-checker interventions and sharing limits on texts has been introduced through new speech constraints on popular encrypted chat apps, WhatsApp and Telegram. These developments are being funded by millions in US tax dollars earmarked for foreign aid.

It started as a teacher's strike to protest the high cost of gas, but it's now the largest civil unrest in Panama since the end of dictator Manuel Noriega's reign in 1989. 

With fiery roadblocks disrupting commerce and causing shortages of food, fuel and other supplies, the Panamanian government has entered a new round of talks meant to placate the masses and avoid further economic damage, which some assess at $500 million and counting