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Pope Francis arrives in the United States

Pope Francis arrived in the United States on the second leg of the official visit that first took him to Cuba for four days, a trip laden with symbolism due to the role the pontiff played in the reconciliation between the two nations.

The Alitalia Airbus A330-200 landed at 3:50 p.m. at Andrews Air Base, outside Washington, where it was met by President Barack Obama and the rest of the first family.

The president and the pope greeted each other with a long handshake, and afterwards it was the turn of Michelle Obama, presidential daughters Sasha and Malia, and the first lady's mother, Marian Robinson, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill and two of their granddaughters.

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Cuban dissidents complain of pope's silence on human rights

Members of Cuba's internal opposition complained that Pope Francis did not mention the matter of human rights during his just-completed pastoral visit to the island, but they acknowledged the positive aspects of his messages in favor of reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.

The leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, and former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer criticized the pontiff for not referring in his sermons and speeches to the situation of basic rights in Cuba.

"We really know that he is not the liberator of Cuba, that the pope came as a missionary of compassion and to deal with the rapprochement of the Church with the government, that he said very nice words in his homilies, but did not mention respect for human rights and freedom," Soler told EFE.

Ferrer, the coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, commented in a similar manner, lamenting that there were no "clear pronouncements" in the "pale" papal homilies, while "today between 80 and 100 arrests of activists occurred in Santiago de Cuba and nearby towns to prevent their attendance at the event involving Francis."

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U.S. repatriates Guantanamo prisoner to Saudi Arabia

The United States repatriated a prisoner being held at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba to Saudi Arabia.

Abdul Shalabi, a Saudi citizen who was one of Osama bin Laden's bodyguards, is one of the prisoners who has been on hunger strikes the longest at the prison, according to the U.S. Army.

In a communique, Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook said that the military review board that evaluates the cases of detainees being held at the prison determined that Shalabi's incarceration is no longer necessary to protect the United States.

In addition, the board found that Shalabi does not constitute an ongoing significant threat to the country's security, Cook said.

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Colombia's Santos announces new anti-drug plan

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced a new anti-drug plan involving the substitution of legal crops for the coca plantations that, according to U.N. figures, increased 44 percent in 2014 to cover 69,000 hectares (170,370 acres) of the Andean nation.

"With this program we hope to have a twofold result: reducing the illicit cultivation and improving the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of peasants," said Santos in a speech from Casa de Nariño

He said the plan will focus on eradication in the southern provinces of Putumayo and Nariño, "where there are some 26,000 families that produce coca," the raw material of cocaine.

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Goldman Sachs chief discloses he has cancer

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said that doctors have diagnosed him with a "highly curable" lymphoma.

"Fortunately, my form of lymphoma is highly curable and my doctors' and my own expectation is that I will be cured," Blankfein said in a message to the investment bank's employees, clients and shareholders.

The Goldman Sachs boss said that while he will be undergoing chemotherapy in the coming months, his physicians have told him that he will be able to "work substantially as normal."

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Tensions escalate between Guyana, Venezuela over contested region

Tensions between Guyana and Venezuela in connection with their century-old dispute over the Essequibo region increased as Georgetown accused Caracas of a troop buildup near the border.

The "abnormal" military presence is a threat to Guyana's territorial integrity, President David Granger said during an emergency press briefing.

"We have recently received reports that Venezuela has been making extraordinary military deployments in eastern Venezuela ... which seem to be impacting on Guyana's territorial defense," Granger said.

The Guyanese leader called Venezuela's actions "very provocative."

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Brazilian currency plunges against the dollar

The real opened on Brazilian currency markets at a record low of more than four to the dollar and is down nearly 50 percent this year amid economic and political turmoil in the giant South American nation.

Brazil adopted the real in 1994 as part of a plan to eliminate the scourge of chronic inflation.

The value of the real dipped to 25 cents once before, in October 2002, when financial markets were skittish about the election of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, then seen as a radical leftist.

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Xi begins official U.S. visit in Seattle

Chinese President Xi Jinping began his first state visit to the United States in Seattle, the first stop on his U.S. tour that will include New York and Washington, where he will meet with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

Xi will spend three days in Seattle, where he will hold meetings with business and technology leaders, before heading to Washington to meet with the president, and then to New York.

Obama is scheduled to speak frankly to Xi about Washington's concerns about cyber-spying and tensions in the South China Sea, as U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a speech on Monday.

EFE

 

Proyecto de fotografía Macro

 

Con la ayuda de Daniel Ferrer y Claudia Cebrià

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More than 100 dissidents arrested in Cuba while heading to Mass

About 140 Cuban dissidents were arrested as they were going to attend a Mass at the Lady of Caridad del Cobre Church to celebrate the feast day of the island's patron saint, sources within the dissident movement told EFE.

"Most of the arrests occurred in the early morning hours (on Tuesday) some kilometers from the El Cobre Church, at a spot known as La Tanqueta" in eastern Santiago de Cuba province, said the general coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, or UNPACU, opposition group, Jose Daniel Ferrer.

In all, some 120 UNPACU members were arrested along with about 20 women affiliated with the Ladies in White dissident movement, according to Ferrer, who said that the Cuban authorities' motive was to "prevent them from attending the traditional Mass for the feast day of the patron saint of Cuba."

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Kentucky clerk battling gay marriage to be released from jail

A U.S. federal judge ordered the release of the Kentucky state official who has been jailed for five days for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples claiming that her religious convictions prevented her from abiding by the Supreme Court ruling to do so handed down last June.

In the ruling, Judge David L. Bunning said that Kim Davis must be freed on the condition that she not "interfere in any way with (the) issuance (of the marriage licenses)" and that if she does so "that will be considered a violation of this order and appropriate sanctions will be considered."

Davis's release, which will come in the next few hours, coincides with a protest march against her incarceration called by conservative Christian pressure groups to be attended by Republican presidential hopefuls Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.

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Puerto Rico ready to submit to supervision in exchange for debt moratorium

Puerto Rico will submit to supervision by a fiscal control board and put its accounts in order within five years, with cuts to public spending and with measures to drive economic growth, in exchange for a moratorium on repaying the $72-billion debt that is suffocating the economy.

Those are the basic pillars of a plan that has been months in the making, ever since Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced on June 29 that he would seek to renegotiate the debt, which he described as "unpayable."

At that time he committed himself to presenting on Sept. 1 a five-year plan to return the island to fiscal health, though the presentation was postponed until this Tuesday on grounds that the working group in charge of drawing up the proposal was engaged for a time preparing for the onslaught of Tropical Storm Erika.

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U.N.: 20,000 Colombians have been expelled or have left Venezuela

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 1,467 Colombians have been expelled from Venezuela and 18,619 have left the neighboring country of their own accord due to the border crisis that arose 20 days ago.

The figures, included in the latest OCHA report, are current as of Sept. 7.

OCHA emphasizes that although no new expulsions have been registered in Colombia's Norte de Santander province since Aug. 26, "in other provinces the figure continues to climb."

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Guatemalan judge orders ex-President Perez Molina tried for corruption

Guatemala's former president, Otto Perez Molina, will be placed on trial for his alleged involvement in the "La Linea" customs corruption network, a scandal which forced him to resign last week and turn himself over to the judiciary, the judge hearing the case announced.

At a court hearing, Judge Miguel Angel Galvez said that it was "prudent" to order a trial be set for Perez Molina because there is "sufficient reasonable evidence" establishing his links with the corruption network.

After making the announcement, the judge called a recess and, later, he should announce whether he will order that Perez Molina remain in protective custody, which he had ordered initially last Thursday to guarantee that court proceedings move forward with no break and, he said, to safeguard the life of the accused.

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Brazil gov't stands with officials under investigation

The Brazilian government said that it retains full confidence in Information Minister Edinho Silva and presidential chief of staff Aloizio Mercadante, both under investigation for alleged campaign finance violations linked to a $2 billion corruption scandal at state oil company Petrobras.

"I reiterate that the government sees this as only investigations (that) are in their initial stages" and could be shelved in the future, Communications Minister Ricardo Berzoini told a press conference.

President Dilma Rousseff and her administration "have full confidence" in Silva and Mercadante "and there are no reasons for that to change," Berzoini said.

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New York names street after Don Francisco

The iconic Latin American television personality Don Francisco now has a street named after him in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood, where hundreds of fans of the popular Chilean TV host gathered out of gratitude and affection.

Don Francisco Boulevard is the name by which 168th Street and Broadway will be known in Upper Manhattan, home to the Dominican community in New York that on Tuesday, together with other Latinos, filled the square and paid tribute to the host of Univision's "Sabado Gigante," whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger.

"I represent a team of excellent professionals who prepare 'Sabado Gigante' with me every week. For us it's an honor that people know us, they appreciate us, that Washington Heights has given us its recognition," said the show host, who launched the program 53 years ago in Chile.

EFE

 

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Holi Festival BCN 2015 12.04.2015 danielferrerphoto@gmail.com ©Daniel Ferrer Photography

Acte de Graduació de la Promoció 2014 d'Administració d'Empreses, Turisme i Emprenedoria - Mataró 18/08/2014 - Fotografia: Daniel Ferrer

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