Cuba forced into rationing as US sanctions and Venezuela crisis bite

Commerce minister announces limits on purchases of staples such as chicken, eggs, rice, beans and soap The Cuban government has announced that it is launching widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis. Betsy Daz Velzquez, the commerce minister, told the state-run Cuban News Agency that various forms of rationing would be employed in order to deal with shortages of staple foods. She blamed the hardening of the US trade embargo by the Trump administration. Economists give equal or greater blame to a plunge in aid from Venezuela, where the collapse of the state-run oil company has led to a nearly two-thirds cut in shipments of subsidised fuel …

Freddy the parrot makes it back to zoo after being stolen, shot and bitten by snake

The bird, Freddy Krueger, found his way back to Brazil zoo after thieves abducted him the latest survival in his tumultuous life An Amazonian parrot called Freddy Krueger has made headlines in Brazil after managing to find its way back to the zoo from which it was stolen while recovering from a four-year nightmare that saw it shot in a gun battle, abducted by armed thieves and bitten by a snake. The Amazon parrot whose Elm Street-inspired moniker stems from its bullet-disfigured face was According to Brazils Folha de So Paulo newspaper, Freddys capture was just the latest in a series of misadventures to affect the Amazona aestiva bird. Freddy was first brought to returned, discovered by zoo staff at …

How Scotland erased Guyana from its past

The long read: The portrayal of Scots as abolitionists and liberal champions has hidden a long history of profiting from slavery in the Caribbean. By Yvonne Singh The mangrove-fringed coast of Guyana, at the north-eastern tip of South America, does not immediately bring to mind the Highlands of Guyana. I knew that it was part of the British West Indies and the only English-speaking country in South America. I knew that my parents, as part of the Windrush generation, had answered the call for labour in postwar Britain. My father, aged 19, travelled by ship from Trinidad in 1960 and enjoyed a long career with the Royal Mail; my mother arrived by plane a couple of years later, to work …

‘We call it survival’: Venezuelans improvise solutions as blackout continues

With the crisis in its sixth day, neighbors are sharing generators, contraband supplies and skills for survival At a street corner in eastern Caracas, Rosa Elena stepped from her car and started picking handfuls of leaves from a modest tree growing at the roadside. This is neem, she said. Its high in sugar and great in a tea. Her interest was more than academic: Rosa Elena is diabetic, and when the lights went out in #sin luz she is collecting neem plants, high in sugar. pic.twitter.com/eJW65J2TAk petrol is practically free in Venezuela, due to government subsidies. But power cuts have put many pumps out of action, and fuel is hard to come by. It is illegal to fill jerry cans …

Her son was shot dead in front of her. And she says a policeman did it

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN)Tires were burning in nearby streets. Tear gas was in the air. Crowds were gathering. So Pricil Journal told her son Roberto to hide the wheelbarrow they used as a cookie stall outside the general hospital. “When he was done killing my son…That cop then swapped guns with another nearby cop – and he then went to hide inside the hospital,” she said in an interview with CNN. She alleged that the riot policeman who killed her son covered his face and pulled down a visor on his helmet. She said that there were numerous witnesses to the alleged killing by a policeman on the scene. She said that she’s not reported the crime, because she fears retribution …

Why Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro has environmentalists worried for the Amazon

(CNN)The Amazon rainforest is an ecological wonder. Its waterways and canopy provide a rich ecosystem for a 10th of all the world’s species and help regulate the temperature of the entire planet. But the election of far-right politician Jair Bolsonaro as Brazil’s new president has many worried about the forest’s future. Existing threats The forest is being cut down to make way for activities like cattle ranching, soy bean farming, mining, hydropower dams and new highways. Deforestation fell dramatically between 2004 and 2012, but in recent years it has been increasing, and the powerful agricultural lobby in the Brazilian congress is pushing for more development of the forest. It endorsed Bolsonaro during his election campaign. Indigenous lands Brazil’s Ministry of …