The Costs of Fracking – An Interview with US Specialists in Argentina

Dr. Sandra Steingraber and Dr. Kathleen Nolan work with Concerned Health Professionals of New York, a group of scientists opposed to fracking. Steingraber and Nolan brought with them a compendium of scientific studies relating to fracking that has recently been translated into Spanish. It includes articles looking at health and environmental effects, as well the social impacts on communities in which fracking takes place. The Indy sat down with the North Americans to talk about the conference and the fracking debate in the US and Argentina. What do you say to people who think that fracking will bring economic benefits to communities?

November 03, 2016 13:31 UTC

One in Ten Argentines Living in Informal Settlements

One out of every ten inhabitants of urban centres in Argentina is living in precarious conditions and without basic services, a new study has revealed. The figures come from the 2015-2016 urban poverty study released this week by TECHO Argentina, an organisation covering social marginalisation and poverty in Latin America. Entitled “Relevamiento de Asentamientos Informales” (Survey of Informal Settlements), this new study is the NGO’s second major review of urban center poverty in Argentina. In Argentina’s urban centers, where at least 67% of the population resides, there are almost 3m inhabitants living in informal settlements. The report states, that while there have been some improvements since 2013 regarding access to basic services, the overall picture remains grim: “Approximately 40,800 families living in 136 housing units have improved access to basic services, or obtained the title to their property.

November 02, 2016 17:46 UTC

Suspect in fatal ambush of two Iowa police officers captured

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Suspect in fatal ambush of two Iowa police officers capturedSuspect Scott Michael Greene, 46, was caught by Urbandale police after two Iowa police officers were shot dead in separate "ambush-style" killings as they sat in their patrol cars. Police in Iowa said on Wednesday they have captured a man suspected of killing two police officers hours earlier as they sat in their patrol cars in what authorities called separate and unprovoked attacks. Scott Michael Greene, who is 46 and white, was taken into custody after police named him as their suspect in the ambushes, a police spokeswoman in Urbandale, Iowa said. Police said they found the first slain officer's body about 1:06 a.m. (0606 GMT) in Urbandale, an affluent Des Moines suburb, and the second about 20 minutes later about two miles (3 km) away, in Des Moines. It was unclear what provoked Wednesday's attacks, Des Moines police department spokesman Paul Parizek told a news conference prior to Greene's arrest, adding that "we may never know."

November 02, 2016 14:55 UTC

State of emergency declared for Alabama after Colonial pipeline incident

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday declared a state of emergency for the state due to an explosion and fire involving Colonial Pipeline Co in Shelby County on Monday. "The State of Emergency is effective November 1, 2016 through December 1, 2016 unless sooner terminated," according to a statement from the governor's office. The declaration will facilitate a waiver from the US Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, needed to lift a federal government limitation on the hours a driver can transport gasoline, the statement added.

November 01, 2016 20:39 UTC

Industrial output contraction deepens in September

Monday, October 31, 2016 Industrial output contraction deepens in SeptemberArgentine industrial production fell 7.3 percent in September compared to the same month of 2015, the INDEC statistics bureau revealed today. In the first nine months of the year, the contraction of the industrial sector reached 4.6 percent in the year-to-year comparison. According to the same report, the food industry declined 5.9 percent, the oil refinery 3.3 percent and the car production 22.5 percent. The agrochemical production showed positive results with a 61.6 percent increase.

October 31, 2016 20:29 UTC

Subway fare hike takes effect

Monday, October 31, 2016 Subway fare hike takes effectThe new subway fares came into effect today with prices for all six lines at 7.50 pesos, which represents a 40 percent hike. The Premetro fare was increased to 2.50 pesos. The hike was approved on Thursday when a court upheld an appeal by the Buenos Aires City government to a first instance ruling which had suspended the increase last June.

October 31, 2016 13:58 UTC

UN Work Group Demands Milagro Sala’s Release

The United Nations Work Group on Arbitrary Detention has released a report calling the detention of activist Milagro Sala in Jujuy “arbitrary” and demanding her immediate release. According to a note on CELS’ Facebook page, the report identifies a system of “consecutive accusations” and court cases that maintain Sala’s detention indefinitely and violate judicial independence. A key point, they note, is that Sala was originally detained on charges unrelated to wider accusations of corruption. The judge ruled Sala’s release for the first charges on 29th January. Members of the UN work group find that the state blocked Sala’s right to defence by not clearly presenting the facts of the charge and not adequately informing her of the crimes for which she was accused.

October 28, 2016 21:04 UTC

Venezuelan opposition strike patchy amid government threats

Venezuela's streets were quieter than usual on Friday during an opposition-called strike, but participation was patchy after the socialist government threatened to shut down businesses that closed. Venezuela's opposition Democratic Unity coalition called for a 12-hour shutdown as part of escalating protests after authorities scuttled its push for a referendum to recall the OPEC nation's unpopular socialist leader. The government vowed to take over any companies heeding the strike, sending inspectors to ensure they were open. "I support the opposition, but I don't agree with this strike," said Eduardo Martinez, 51, unemployed, standing near a bakery line in eastern Caracas. As well as Friday's strike, the opposition is carrying out a political trial of Maduro in the National Assembly and is vowing to march to the Miraflores presidential palace next week.

October 28, 2016 17:36 UTC

Models strut down Paris runway in chocolate creations

Friday, October 28, 2016 Models strut down Paris runway in chocolate creationsModels sashayed down a runway wearing gowns and corset dresses adorned with chocolate to kick off Paris' annual Salon du Chocolat fair, where chocolatiers faced the challenge of stopping their creations from melting on the catwalk. Actresses, dancers, and two former Miss France winners emerged in outfits that included a silver tutu studded with chocolates and another embellished with chocolate stars, all designed as a collaboration between stylists and chocolatiers. "The difficulties we find with a dress made of chocolate are always about contact with the body, which has a temperature of 37 degrees," said French chocolatier Joel Patouillard. "Chocolate melts at 30 degrees, so it is quite simple: chocolate must absolutely not touch the body." The fair opens to the public on Friday, featuring truffles and chocolate fountains along with a chocolate construction of the iconic Eiffel Tower.

October 28, 2016 16:13 UTC

Bank workers stage 24-hour strike

Friday, October 28, 2016 Bank workers stage 24-hour strikeBanks won’t open to the public today amid a 24-hour nationwide strike staged by banking workers who are calling for the resumption of wage negotiations. According to Sergio Palazzo, the head of the banking union, the strike will affect public and private banks all over the country. “The protest wouldn’t have been staged if (Labour Minister Jorge Triaca) “would have fulfilled his duty.” “We have submitted six requests to reopen wage talks and the minister never called us,” he added. The protest will affect the load of ATM machines during the weekend.

October 28, 2016 14:39 UTC

Court Approves Hike in Buenos Aires Subte Fares to $7.50

Subte users in Buenos Aires will face a 67% fare increase from next week after a city court ruled in favour of the hike. A court approved the controversial decision to increase subte fares from $4.50 to $7.50. The Chamber’s decision has been met with substantial resistance, especially on the part of Del Gaiso. “After three months, we still do not know whether the technical value of the subway tariff is right. The Chamber lifted the injunction without resolving [the issue],” said Del Gaiso through his Twitter account.

October 27, 2016 18:35 UTC

Venezuela parliament seeks to push ahead with Maduro trial

Thursday, October 27, 2016 Venezuela parliament seeks to push ahead with Maduro trialVenezuela's opposition-dominated Congress convened on Thursday to push forward a political trial of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a day after dozens were injured in protests demanding a vote to recall the unpopular leader. The National Assembly voted on Tuesday to open a largely symbolic trial against Maduro for violating democracy, but the government dismissed the move as meaningless. "The federal legislative palace was built (in the 19th century)," wrote parliament administrator Roberto Marrero in a tweet directed at state-run power company Corpoelec. The opposition says the Maduro government effectively staged a coup by blocking a recall vote that polls suggest he would lose. Maduro says it is the opposition that is seeking to overthrow the government illegally.

October 27, 2016 15:53 UTC

France tells migrants to forget Calais as 'Jungle' camp razed

Thursday, October 27, 2016 France tells migrants to forget Calais as 'Jungle' camp razedWorkmen tear down makeshift shelters on the second day the evacuation of migrants and their transfer to reception centers in France, as part of the dismantlement of the camp called the ''Jungle'' in Calais, France. Bulldozers cleared mounds of debris and tore down makeshift shelters at the "Jungle" migrant camp on Thursday, and authorities said 6,000 people had been evacuated from the squalid site. Charities said however hundreds of migrants might have fled the camp rather than take part in a government programme to rehouse them across the country. Police patrolled the camp and other parts of Calais, where dozens of migrants were wandering. "It is not Calais' role to receive all the migrants of Europe," she said.

October 27, 2016 13:04 UTC

The Wichí of Rivadavia Banda Sur

A tour of the Wichí villages surrounding Rivadavia Banda Sur reveals this paralysing mix of poverty, neglect and isolation. He’s the only one who knows how to use the radio, the only means of communication with Rivadavia Banda Sur. He sets it up and starts to repeat “San Felipe, Rivadavia, Rivadavia, San Felipe”. The Wichí should have collective title to much of the land surrounding Rivadavia Banda Sur, a place they have inhabited for decades. Amtena Cacique is made up of leaders and representatives from the various Wichí communities in and around Rivadavia Banda Sur.

October 26, 2016 14:48 UTC

Messi off to one of his best starts

Soccer Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Messi off to one of his best startsLionel Messi is off to one of the best starts of his career with 14 goals in 11 matches. The Barcelona star is off to one of the best starts of his career with 14 goals in 11 matches, two more than what Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have netted so far with Madrid. The Argentina forward hadn’t started a season with so many goals since 2011-12, when he scored 14 times in 10 matches. So far, Messi has already scored eight more goals than he did last season at the same point. He has two hat tricks and is the leading scorer in both the Spanish league and the Champions League.

October 26, 2016 01:52 UTC

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