Stories for January 14th 2013

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:58 UTC

Chavez health ‘improving’; top Venezuelan officials meet in Havana with Raul Castro

Communications minister Ernesto Villegas went on Sunday on national television to giver a brief report on Chavez’ health condition

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's lung infection has been controlled and his medical state is improving, the government announced on Sunday while four of the most powerful figures gathered in Havana allegedly to report to the cancer-stricken leader and meet with Cuban allies.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:49 UTC

UK contingency plans to ensure no outside disruptions of Falklands’ March referendum

According to The Telegraph, additional troops, another warship and extra RAF Typhoon combat aircraft could be dispatched

The United Kingdom defence chiefs have drawn up new contingency plans designed to prevent hostile action by Argentina towards the Falkland Islands, ahead, during or after the March referendum, according to reports presented by English newspaper The Telegraph.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:38 UTC

Major victory for President Morales: UN accepts “coca leaf chewing” in Bolivia

President Morales in one of his many trips abroad chewing a coca leaf

Bolivia will again belong to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs after its bid to rejoin with a reservation that it does not accept the treaty’s requirement that “coca leaf chewing must be banned” was successful Friday. Opponents needed one-third of the 184 signatory countries to object, but fell far, far short despite objections by the US and the International Narcotics Control Board.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:29 UTC

Growing number of US states pushing to concentrate fiscal revenue on sales tax

Small-government conservative activist Small-government conservative activist Grover Norquist lobbies for cuts to income and corporate taxes  lobbies for cuts to income and corporate taxes

Attempts to overhaul the US federal tax system are fading in a divided congress in Washington, but in some state capitals, tax reform experiments - some far-reaching - are fast taking shape. Across the South and Midwest, Republicans have consolidated control of state legislatures and governorships, giving them the power to test long-debated tax ideas.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:24 UTC

Flu outbreak forces New York State to declare a public health emergency

Governor Andrew Cuomo said flu cases have been reported in all 57 NY counties and five boroughs of NY City.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a public health emergency Sunday, giving pharmacists permission to administer flu vaccinations to more people as officials seek to stem the worst flu outbreak in that state in several years.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 06:20 UTC

Twenty million US children, one in four, received food stamps in 2011

According to the USDA children constitute 45% of SNAP participants

One in four children in the United States participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, in fiscal year 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and US Census Bureau.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 04:02 UTC

Argentine government ‘dollar clamp’ suffers another court defeat

Central bank governor Marcó del Pont, the hike in the so-called “blue” dollar is “clearly a seasonal phenomenon”

A court in the Argentine province of Cordoba ordered the Banco Nación to sell US dollars to a teacher, after she was authorized by AFIP tax agency to purchase Brazilian Reais, but could not do so due to lack of currency.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 03:53 UTC

“Where is the reconstruction money?” asks Haiti on third anniversary of devastating quake

President Michel Martelly and former president Clinton as the sombre ceremony

Three years after a massive earthquake ravaged Haiti, President Michel Martelly said on Saturday his country was slowly rebuilding, despite the ongoing day-to-day misery of many survivors and the still to be honoured promises of international aid and donations.

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 03:28 UTC

Cubans a little bit more free: restrictions on overseas travel relaxed after 50 years

Access to passport with no White Card or an invitation letter from abroad

After over half a century, Cuba's new immigration rules that will take effect on January 14 will relax overseas travel restrictions, Havana authorities said. From Tuesday Cubans intending to travel can apply for a passport without the need to present a government permit, known as the White Card, or an invitation letter from abroad, two prior requisites that made travel planning more onerous, according to Cuba's immigration bureau (IND).

Monday, January 14th 2013 - 03:21 UTC

Gibraltar anticipates rough year with Spain because of Treaty of Utrecht 300 years

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo insisted on the trilateral process (Pic: chronicle.gi)

Gibraltar must remain steadfast in its own position on sovereignty the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has made clear. In a wide-ranging New Year message broadcast last week on GBC Mr Picardo took up the recent remarks made by Spain’s ruling party (Partido Popular) and urged them to return to tripartite dialogue as the (opposition) PSOE in Andalucia is also urging.

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