Stories for March 19th 2012
China and the Inter-American Development Bank said on Monday they are starting a 1-billion US dollars fund to invest in Latin America, though the Asian giant’s latest push to expand its influence in the region prompted words of caution from Brazil.
Measures taken by Uruguay to deter smokers have drawn a legal challenge by one of the world’s largest tobacco companies under a treaty designed to protect foreign investors, according to the Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.
Cuba released 70 members of the dissident Ladies in White group detained during the weekend but warned them not to attend activities related to next week's visit of Pope Benedict, the group's leader said.
United States federal law requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising does not violate the free speech rights of tobacco companies, a federal appeals court ruled on Monday.
The FAO Food Price Index rose 1% or 2.4 points from January to February. The Index climbed nearly 2% in January – its first increase in six months. The February increase was mostly driven by higher prices of sugar, oils and cereals while dairy prices fell slightly after a marked rise in January.
FAO forecasts that 2012 world wheat production will be the second highest on record at 690 million tonnes. According to FAO quarterly Crop prospects and food situation report forecast a 2012 wheat crop 10 million tons or 1.4% down from the record 2011 harvest but still well above the average of the past five years.
The economy of Latin America and the Caribbean should grow 3.6% this year, down from recent rates above 5% as slower expansion in China, a soft recovery in the US and debt woes in Europe weigh on the global economy.
Cuban authorities detained on Sunday about 70 members of the dissident group Ladies in White, drawing fresh attention to human rights issues days ahead of a visit by Pope Bendict XVI.
The Royal Navy’s Antarctic patrol ship HMS Protector had to punch her way through ice to first deliver, then pick up a team of scientists as the pack ice threatened to trap them – and the ship.
According to press reports from Norway and New Zealand over the weekend, the 54-foot yacht steel yacht Nilaya is reported to be sailing off Antarctica with a broken boom and is heading for an unspecified Argentine Antarctic base to carry out emergency repairs and to refuel.