Colombia Approves Stock Market Merger With Peru, Chile

first_img Colombia on 5 November approved merging its stock market with those of neighboring Peru and Chile, which experts said will become the second-biggest stock market in Latin America after Brazil’s. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Economy Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry “signed the decree authorizing the merger,” a statement by the president’s office said. Representatives from the stock markets and central banks of the three nations will meet next week in Bogota to launch the new stock market, it added. A meeting of financial experts headed by Spain’s BBVA Bank said the new stock market will boost overall trading in the three countries anywhere from three to five times the current volume. “That would make this stock market the second-largest in Latin America after Brazil’s,” BBVA said in a statement. By Dialogo November 10, 2010last_img read more

Rio Ready for Worst as Terror Threat Hangs over Olympics

first_imgA half-million foreign tourists, dozens of Heads of State and the attention of the world’s media. If there were ever a headache for anti-terror forces, it’s the Olympics.In the aftermath of deadly attacks by the Islamic State group in France and elsewhere, Brazil, which has almost no experience combatting terrorism, is beefing up security for the games that start in Rio de Janeiro on August 5. Plans include doubling the number of security forces on the streets, erecting more checkpoints and working closer with foreign intelligence agencies than Brazilians did in the 2014 World Cup. But will it be enough?Terror attacks have been rare, if horrifying at past Olympics. The most notorious was the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and a police officer by a radical Palestinian group in Munich. A bomb planted by an anti-abortion protester killed one and injured 111 at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.“But Brazil has a lot of problems that other countries don’t have,” Ford said. “It’s sort of a perfect storm for anyone wanting to carry out an attack.”South America’s first-ever games have been plagued by a long list of problems, from the Zika epidemic and severe water pollution to slow ticket sales and questions about the readiness of infrastructure built for the games.Compounding the security concerns is the deepest recession in decades, which has forced the cash-strapped Rio state government to slash spending and delay paychecks, and a distracting political crisis that led to the removal of President Dilma Rousseff while she faces an impeachment trial. To make up for the shortfall, the federal government has had to step in with almost $1 billion in emergency funding, much of which will be devoted to security. Extra police are also being deployed from other states.To be sure, Brazil isn’t a newcomer to hosting mega-events. Every year it welcomes millions of foreign visitors during the weeklong Carnival celebration, and the 2014 World Cup went off with no major incidents.But it has almost no experience fighting terrorism. The country has long prided itself on having an enemy-free foreign policy, one that rejects military intervention.Not surprisingly, many Brazilians are on edge as the military buildup at airports and elsewhere become more evident. There have also been several bomb scares. The ritzy beach neighborhood of Leblon shut down streets for several hours last week after discovery of a suspicious bag that turned out to contain only clothes.“I never felt like this about terrorism before. I only worried about street crime,” said Fernanda Rocha, a pharmacist in Rio. “I have no idea how to avoid terrorists if they come.”Despite Brazilians’ easygoing attitude, better suited for a street party than an urban lockdown, Ford said there have been major improvements since the 2014 World Cup. Training exercises with U.S. and other foreign militaries to deal with chemical, biological and nuclear attacks have become more frequent. A joint-intelligence center has been created for the games, allowing intelligence services from around the world to share information and investigate threats as they emerge.Precisely because of Rio’s reputation for criminality, elite police units are more battle-tested than their counterparts in major U.S. cities.“They’re used to carrying bigger and stronger guns than we are,” said Bobby Chacon, a retired FBI agent who makes his home in Rio and spent a year running security at the 2004 Games in Athens.There are expected to be 85,000 military personnel and police fanning out across the city, double the number that was on the streets in London in 2012. While most will be concentrated at sporting venues, tourist landmarks will also be heavily patrolled.“They have the police in place and trained to stop a large-scale, coordinated attack,” Chacon said. “But there’s plenty of opportunities to cause harm, and they shouldn’t take anything for granted.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Henson: Florida, Texas fail to impress

first_imgWe are heading into week three of the college football season, and while there has been a lot of movement in the rankings, the top two teams have remained the same.Florida and Texas are both undefeated — like we all expected them to be — but last weekend’s games provided both teams with a rare opportunity.Teams like Florida and Texas expect to play in the National Championship and nothing less. But as USC has conveniently evidenced once again, it can be difficult to keep these elite teams motivated for your run-of-the-mill conference game. Well, the motivation factor is what made last week’s games so unique for Florida and Texas.Both programs had quite a bit of inspiration this past Saturday.Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin’s vision of singing “Old Rocky Top” after a victory over the Gators added some fuel to the Florida fire, and Texas got a chance to avenge last year’s heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech ?– a loss that cost them a shot at the National Championship.We thought these two emotionally fired-up teams would dominate. Well, think again.Florida and Texas were supposed to win in blowout fashion but instead, both teams looked beatable. Very beatable.At the start of the 2009 season, I think just about everyone who follows college football penciled in the Florida Gators as their national champion. Returning all 11 starters on defense and a Heisman-caliber quarterback will create those kinds of expectations.But Tennessee showed the college football world that Florida is far from perfect.The Volunteers came into the swamp and went toe-to-toe with the defending national champions. Tim Tebow threw for a mere 115 yards with an interception as Kiffin’s defense made the all-world quarterback look, well, average. The Gators passing attack just isn’t the same without Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy stretching defenses on the perimeter.Sure, the Florida defense looked pretty tough, but Tennessee doesn’t exactly have an offense to write home about. The Volunteers are relying on a true freshman running back and a quarterback who barely held onto the starting job coming into the season.Florida was able to secure a victory, but keep in mind Tennessee is a middle of the pack SEC team at best. Last week’s game was supposed to be cakewalk compared to the brutal SEC schedule.Now let’s turn our attention to Texas.The Longhorns, led by All-American quarterback Colt McCoy, were supposed to annihilate the Red Raiders. A Texas Tech team without Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell doesn’t strike fear into teams like it did last season. Throw in a suspect defense and you’ve got yourself a pretty mediocre Big 12 team.Surprisingly enough, it was Texas who looked mediocre last Saturday.Once again, it was the elite quarterback who looked average. Colt McCoy passed for just over 200 yards and had two interceptions. McCoy didn’t get any help from a running game as the Longhorn backs continued to struggle.The Texas defense allowed Tech to put up over 400 yards through the air and had it not been for 14 penalties called on the Red Raiders, this game could have had a much different ending.In the end, it was a Jordan Shipley punt return for a touchdown that made the difference for a Texas team that struggled to put away a team that crushed their hopes last year.So, as unimpressive as Florida and Texas looked last week, rival teams in their respective conferences are making an undefeated season for either team seem like a daunting task.In the SEC, Alabama has looked like a legitimate threat.The Crimson Tide has an improved defense that rivals Florida for the top unit in the conference. On the other side of the ball, Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson are both averaging around seven yards per carry and first-year quarterback Greg McElroy has had an impressive start to the new season.Say what you want about head coach Nick Saban, but the guy knows his football.Florida may meet the Tide in the SEC Championship, but teams on the Gators’ schedule like Georgia, LSU and Arkansas will provide a challenge.In the Big 12, there are a number of high-powered offenses that can keep up with the Longhorns.Don’t count out Oklahoma and Sam Bradford just yet, either. Bradford should be back in time to meet Texas in their annual Red River Rivalry, and you know the Sooners would like nothing more than to ruin the Longhorns’ potentially perfect season.Plus, Texas has to go on the road to play both Missouri and Oklahoma State. Those are two offenses that have the ability to score with anyone.If Texas and Florida’s performances last week have told us anything, it is that a trip to the National Championship for either team is far from guaranteed.Last week, Florida and Texas had every intention to run up the score and display their dominance but they simply could not. Tennessee and Texas Tech, despite having to travel to two of the country’s most hostile environments as tremendous underdogs, hung right with the nation’s top teams.Do Florida and Texas have enough talent to run the table and meet in the championship? You bet. But after watching last week’s games, the road to that championship game looks more challenging than I, or anyone, initially thought.Max Henson is a junior majoring in journalism. Think the Gators and Longhorns look strong enough to meet in the National Championship? Send him your thoughts at read more

Obstruction call gives Cards win in WS Game 3

first_img“I’m in shock right now,” Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said. “Wow, it’s unbelievable.”Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Craig after a wild throw got away following Jon Jay’s ninth-inning grounder.Boston tied the score with two runs in the eighth before Molina singled with one out in the ninth off loser Brandon Workman. Craig, just back from a sprained foot, pinch hit and lined Koji Uehara’s first pitch down the left-field line for a double that put runners on second and third.With the infield in, Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He made a sensational stab and threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina.But then Saltalamacchia threw wide of third while trying to get Craig. After the ball got by, Middlebrooks, with his stomach on the field, raised both legs and tripped Craig, slowing him down as he tried to take off for home plate.Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signaled obstruction, and even though a sliding Craig was tagged by Saltalamacchia at the plate following the throw by left fielder Daniel Nava, plate umpire Dana DeMuth signaled safe and then pointed to third, making clear the obstruction had been called.“It’s part of the game,” Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday said. “The guy was in his way. … We’ll take it.”Craig returned for this Series from a sprained left foot that had sidelined him since early September. After an awkward slide on the final play, he hobbled off the field in apparent discomfort. Teammates mob St. Louis Cardinals’ Allen Craig at home after Craig scored the game-winning run on an obstruction call during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball’s World Series against the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)by Ben Walker AP SPorts Writer ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals rushed to the plate to congratulate Allen Craig. The Red Sox stormed home to argue with the umpires.The fans, well, they seemed too startled to know what to do. Who’d ever seen an obstruction call to end a World Series game?No one.In perhaps the wildest finish imaginable, the rare ruling against third baseman Will Middlebrooks allowed Craig to score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lifted St. Louis over Boston 5-4 Saturday night for a 2-1 edge.A walk-off win? More like a trip-off. St. Louis Cardinals’ Allen Craig gets tangled with Boston Red Sox’s Will Middlebrooks during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball’s World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)last_img read more