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Member since: Thu May 18, 2017, 11:36 AM
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California enacts nighttime curfew as COVID-19 cases spike

A majority of Californians are under a nighttime curfew beginning Saturday as surging coronavirus cases threaten to swamp health care systems, and the state's largest county warned that an even more drastic lockdown could be imminent.

The newest restrictions require people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless they are responding to an emergency, shopping for groceries, picking up takeout or walking their dogs.

The monthlong curfew could be extended if rapidly worsening trends don’t improve.

At: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/california-enacts-nighttime-curfew-covid-19-cases-spike-74331748

A street vendor this Thursday, on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA.

Violence erupts in Brazil after Black man beaten to death at Carrefour store

More than 1,000 demonstrators attacked a Carrefour Brasil supermarket in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on Friday after security guards beat to death a Black man at the store.

The killing, which has sparked protests across Brazil, occurred late on Thursday when a store employee called security after the man threatened to attack her, cable news channel GloboNews said, citing the Rio Grande do Sul state military police.

In a statement on Friday, the local unit of France’s Carrefour SA said it deeply regretted what it called a brutal death and said it immediately took steps to ensure those responsible were legally punished.

It said it would terminate the contract with the security firm, fire the employee in charge of the store at the time of the incident, and close the store as a mark of respect.

At: https://www.reuters.com/article/brazil-supermarket-death-idINKBN2810BU

"Justice for João Alberto": Protesters attack a Carrefour supermarket in São Paulo, Brazil.

The protest was called by the city's black movement in response to the murder of João Alberto Silveira Freitas, a 40-year-old black man, in a Carrefour store in Porto Alegre.

Silveira Freitas' death comes on the eve of Black Consciousness Day in Brazil - home of the world's second-largest Black/Afro-descendant population after Nigeria.

Chile police chief resigns after officers shoot adolescents

Chile's police chief resigned Thursday after officers shot two minors in an incident that sparked outrage across a country already alarmed at heavy handed security force tactics during months of social protests.

President Sebastián Piñera said in a statement he had accepted the resignation of Mario Rozas, saying he shared "the reasons and arguments" he had given for resigning.

Chile's leftist opposition had for months called on Rozas, who was head of the Carabineros military police, to resign following criticism from the UN human rights office and other organizations over police repression of the social protests.

Police officers on Wednesday shot and wounded two minors, aged 17 and 14, at a residence for troubled children and adolescents in the southern city of Talcahuano.

Children's Ombudsman Patricia Muñoz denounced the police for using firearms "in an absolutely unjustified and excessive manner."

At: https://www.ibtimes.com/chile-police-chief-resigns-after-officers-shoot-adolescents-3085548

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and his now former Carabineros (military police) Chief Mario Rozas.

The Carabineros' November 18th shooting of two teens was the final straw in Rozas' controversial tenure, noted for a policy of deliberately aiming for protesters' eyes - blinding over 400 amid constitutional reform demonstrations in late 2019.

Opponents are demanding Piñera disband the Carabineros, which had already gained notoriety for human rights abuses during the Pinochet dictatorship and its violent crackdown on protests afterward.

Birthday time: Biden turns 78, will be oldest U.S. president

President-elect Joe Biden turned 78 on Friday. In two months, he’ll take the reins of a politically fractured nation facing the worst public health crisis in a century, high unemployment and a reckoning on racial injustice.

As he wrestles with those issues, Biden will be attempting to accomplish another feat: demonstrate to Americans that age is but a number and he’s up to the job.

Biden will be sworn in as the oldest president in the nation’s history, displacing Ronald Reagan, who left the White House in 1989 when he was 77 years and 349 days old.

The age and health of both Biden and President Donald Trump — less than four years Biden’s junior — loomed throughout a race that was decided by a younger and more diverse electorate and at a moment when the nation is facing no shortage of issues of consequence.

At: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation/birthday-time-biden-turns-78-will-be-oldest-u-s-president/

President-elect Joe Biden: 78 years young.

Candido Camero, 'father of modern conga drumming,' dies at 99

Cándido Camero, a Cuban musician who helped find new expressive directions for conga drumming, providing dynamic rhythmic accents to jazz and other forms of music, died Nov. 7 at his home in New York City. He was 99.

Mr. Camero, who often performed and recorded as simply “Candido,” began his career in Cuba at 14 and was still active past the age of 95.

He was considered a towering figure on the congas, which are tapered drums played with the fingers and hands.

His greatest innovation was to play more than one conga drum at a time, eventually settling on a setup of three congas, each tuned to a different pitch.

He sometimes added bongos and other percussion instruments, creating a whirlwind of complex rhythms and sounds.

At: https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/candido-camero-father-of-modern-conga-drumming-dies-at-99/ar-BB1aVCkp

Cándido Camero, 1921-2020.

Peru's Congress selects centrist lawmaker Francisco Sagasti to be new leader, third in a week

Peru’s Congress chose a new leader Monday expected to become the nation’s third president in the span of a week, a hopeful sign that the political crisis is on the verge of resolution.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of Francisco Sagasti, an engineer from the centrist Purple Party, as the legislature’s new president. By law, the head of Congress should become the country’s new interim president.

It will now fall on Sagasti to heal a nation bruised by a week of upheaval.

The 76-year-old hails from a political party that voted against the ouster of President Martín Vizcarra - an anti-corruption crusader highly popular among Peruvians, which is likely to quell protests.

The Latin American nation’s political turmoil took a chaotic turn Sunday when interim leader Manuel Merino quit after a mere five days in office and Congress couldn’t decide on his replacement.

At: https://www.chicagotribune.com/nation-world/ct-nw-peru-president-20201116-potnfa2yrjafxk7dqv55vfj4ji-story.html

Peru's new President Francisco Sagasti, who was chosen by the nation's Congress after interim President Manuel Merino resigned after 5 days in office.

The centrist Sagasti is the fourth Peruvian president since 2018, and legislators hope his appointment will end a week of massive protests against what many see as a legislative coup against popular former President Martín Vizcarra.

The country's 33 million people await a ruling from the Constitutional Tribunal to determine the validity of Vizcarra's November 10th impeachment.

Peru's interim President Manuel Merino resigns after protest deaths

Peru’s interim president, Manuel Merino, resigned on Sunday, less than a week into his new administration, after protests calling for his removal left two dead and dozens injured, plunging the country into yet another political crisis.

Merino assumed the presidency on Tuesday after the opposition-dominated Congress voted to remove his predecessor Martin Vizcarra, over bribery allegations, which he denies.

At: https://www.reuters.com/article/BigStory12/idUSKBN27V0L9

Peruvian President Manuel Merino announcing his resignation today after just 5 days in office.

Merino, the third Peruvian president to step down ahead of time since 2018, presided over a week of massive protests against what many see as the partisan removal of popular former President Martín Vizcarra.

Ipsos polls found that 72% of Peruvians in urban areas disapproved of Merino, while 79% believed Vizcarra should finish his term.

Argentina: Government legalizes self-cultivation, sale of medicinal cannabis

Argentine President Alberto Fernández has signed legislation authorizing the self-cultivation and retail sale of medicinal cannabis.

The bill creates a Cannabis Program Registry (REPROCANN) to issue permits for “controlled solidary cultivation,” legalizes the sale of medicinal cannabis in pharmacies, and expands its public access - currently restricted to those with severe epilepsy.

“It is imperative to create a regulatory framework that allows timely, safe and inclusive access and protection for those who need to use cannabis as a therapeutic tool,” the bill stated.

Past the Paradox

A limited legalization of medicinal cannabis was first enacted nationwide in Argentina by Law 27.350, signed by Fernández's predecessor, Mauricio Macri, in 2017.

But Law 27.350, according to Congresswoman Carolina Gaillard of the center-left Front for All (FdT), who co-authored both the 2017 bill and the current one, “was restrictively regulated by the Macri administration, not allowing self-cultivation or access (to cannabis) in other ways.”

“This created a paradox wherein, having a cannabis law, those who sought it for treatment had no legal access to it: they had rely on the black market, or overseas.”

During Macri's 2015-19 tenure, arrests for minor possession of narcotics - mainly cannabis - tripled to 10,000 annually.

Meanwhile, under the Macri-era “Simplified Shares Society” policy at least 40 shell companies were created by one drug trafficker alone - by which around $30 million was laundered in 2018.

“(Former Security Minister) Bullrich chased the small fish to fatten the statistics,” Security Minister adviser Gabriel Fuks charged.

“Building up statistics only based on seizures is not a serious policy.”

At: https://www.benzinga.com/markets/cannabis/20/11/18345191/argentina-government-legalizes-self-cultivation-sale-of-medicinal-cannabis

Advocate Valeria Salech (left), Congresswoman Carolina Gaillard (third from left) and other activists stand in front of Argentina's Security Ministry earlier this year during their campaign to legalize medicinal cannabis.

Gaillard's bill, signed last night by President Alberto Fernández, legalizes both the cultivation and retail sale of medicinal cannabis for any chronic condition.

She co-authored both today's bill, as well as the nation's first legalization bill in 2017 - which, she notes, “did not allow self-cultivation or access (to cannabis) in other ways.”

Evo Morales makes triumphant return to Bolivia

Evo Morales, Bolivia's first Indigenous president and one of Latin America's most prominent leftists, has made a triumphant return to his home country after being controversially driven from power one year ago.

The socialist leader, 61, crossed the border from Argentina on Monday to begin a 625-mile odyssey through the heartland of his support, accompanied by a festive, flag-flourishing convoy of vehicles.

"Today is one of the most important days of my life," he wrote on Twitter as he embarked on his return journey. "To be returning to the country that I love fills me with happiness."

Morales' return comes one day after Luis Arce, his former economy minister, was sworn in as Bolivia's president, delivering a major victory to the nation's socialist movement and its allies.

Arce, 57, surprised observers last month by winning the first round of the presidential election with 55% of the vote.

A soft-spoken, low-key figure, he assumes power in a nation that is politically polarized, and where the economy and health system have been severely battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

At: https://www.npr.org/2020/11/09/933139632/evo-morales-makes-triumphant-return-to-bolivia

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales (right), who was ousted in a violent right-wing coup a year ago, waves to supporters while crossing the border into Bolivia with Argentine President Alberto Fernández.

Morales lived in Buenos Aires' co-operatively run Bauen Hotel for most of his year-long exile, and has on numerous occasions credited the Argentine president for saving his life.

"Thank you my Argentine brothers and sisters - and thank you, brother Alberto, for being with me and guaranteeing my security," Morales said.

Joe Biden plans to cut taxes, boost health care and reduce college debt during his first term

A Joe Biden presidency will potentially impact the personal finances of millions of Americans, from how much they pay in income taxes, to whether they can pare college debt – or afford college at all.

Those who stand to benefit most are the middle class and low wage earners, experts say, while the affluent will likely pay more.

"Biden ramps up government spending on education, health care and other social programs, the benefits of which largely go to those in the bottom half of the income distribution,'' Moody's Analytics wrote in a report for investors issued before Biden was officially the president-elect.

"Meanwhile, he meaningfully increases taxes on the well-to-do, financial institutions and businesses to help pay for it."

At: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2020/11/09/biden-presidential-win-family-budget-taxes-health-care-impacts/6124816002/

President-elect Joe Biden during a campaign stop at a Michigan factory.

Biden's "economic re-write" features traditional Democratic policies such as more spending on education, health care and other social programs - with tax cuts for most Americans, and tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations.
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