In what has been dubbed a “spectacular heist” reminiscent of any number of B-rated Hollywood action movies, an army of heavily armed robbers, estimated between 50 and 60, targeted the cash storage facility of a Prosegur SA security vault in Paraguay’s Ciudad del Este, stealing as much as $40 million. During the three-hour long theft, the dozens of assailants who used grenades, explosives and military assault rifles, killed one police officer, injured another and left three civilians wounded. According to Fox News, the robbers blew open one of three vaults, they said. The remaining two were not accessed.
According to media reports, the assault was carried out with a wide array of weapons, including AK 47s, C4 explosives, infrared weapons, snipers and even anti-aircraft guns and a helicopter.
– Accused Witch Burned at the Stake in Paraguay (Providentia, Dec 16, 2014):
After 45-year-old Adolfina Ocampos was sentenced to death for sorcery last November in the Paraguayan village of Tahenyi where they lived, she was tortured, submerged under water, and beaten. She was then led to a stake where she was shot with several arrows before being burned alive. Paraguayan authorities investigating the killing have arrested nine men in the village, all of whom have confessed to the killing and with little indication of remorse. Police have also rescued a fourteen-year-old girl who was accused of witchcraft as well.
Ocampos had been accused of being a witch after the relatives of one of the village elders became ill. She was then banished from the villiage for a month but was sentenced to death when the relative failed to improve. The inhabitants of the village located 180 miles for the Paraguayan capital of Assuncion.are members of the indigenous Mbya Guarani community. Belief in witchcraft and evil magic remains strong throughout the region.
– Alleged Glyphosate Poisoning Leaves 2 Children Dead in Paraguay (Sustainable Pulse, July 23, 2014):
A deadly combination of the excessive use of Glyphosate herbicide on GM soybean crops and inaction by local doctors has allegedly left two children dead and 33 people (including 18 children) with poisoning symptoms in the Canindeyú region of Paraguay.
3-year-old Adelaida Alvarez died suddenly on Monday morning at home while her family was preparing to take her to the hospital, and her sister Adela Alvarez (6 months) died on Tuesday after being discharged from the Curuguaty Hospital.
The sudden poisoning outbreak in the Huber Duré settlement has left locals and the authorities shocked and the two children’s bodies have been sent to the Paraguayan capital Asunción for detailed autopsies.
– China Buys North Korea’s Gold Reserves As South Korea Increased Gold Reserves By 30% (ZeroHedge, Sep 25, 2012):
The IMF reported that various countries continued diversifying into gold in July, some significantly.
South Korean gold reserves rose a sharp 16 tonnes for a 30% increase in total gold reserves.
Paraguay became the latest central bank to begin diversifying into gold. Their gold reserves rose sharply – from a few thousand ounces to over 8 tonnes.
Desperate North Korea has exported more than 2 tons to gold hungry China over the past year to earn US $100 million. Even in tough times during the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il regimes, North Korea refused to let go of its precious gold reserves.
Chosun media reports that “a mysterious agency known as Room 39, which manages Kim Jong-un’s money, and the People’s Armed Forces are spearheading exports of gold, said an informed source in China. “They are selling not only gold that was produced since December last year, when Kim Jong-un came to power, but also gold from the country’s reserves and bought from its people.”
This is a sign of the desperation of the North Korean regime and also signals China’s intent to vastly increase the People’s Bank of China’s gold reserves.
– ‘Fake government’: Paraguay’s ousted President Fernando Lugo defiant after ‘coup’ (MSNBC, June 25, 2012):
ASUNCION, Paraguay – Ousted Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo branded the country’s new government illegitimate on Sunday and called for democracy to be restored as neighboring countries intensified criticism of his sudden impeachment.
Lugo, a leftist former Roman Catholic bishop, said his removal from office was “a parliamentary coup against the will of the people” and said he would back any peaceful effort to restore democracy in the South American nation.
“Global food Catastrophe”
“The world is heading for a drop in agricultural production of 20 to 40 percent, depending on the severity and length of the current global droughts. Food producing nations are imposing food export restrictions. Food prices will soar, and, in poor countries with food deficits, millions will starve.”
This article is a must-read.
After reading about the droughts in two major agricultural countries, China and Argentina, I decided to research the extent other food producing nations were also experiencing droughts. This project ended up taking a lot longer than I thought. 2009 looks to be a humanitarian disaster around much of the world
To understand the depth of the food Catastrophe that faces the world this year, consider the graphic below depicting countries by USD value of their agricultural output, as of 2006.
Now, consider the same graphic with the countries experiencing droughts highlighted.
The countries that make up two thirds of the world’s agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions. Whether you watch a video of the drought in China, Australia, Africa, South America, or the US, the scene will be the same: misery, ruined crop, and dying cattle.
The drought in Northern China, the worst in 50 years, is worsening, and summer harvest is now threatened. The area of affected crops has expanded to 161 million mu (was 141 million last week), and 4.37 million people and 2.1 million livestock are facing drinking water shortage. The scarcity of rain in some parts of the north and central provinces is the worst in recorded history.
CASH CROP: Soybeans are harvested at a farm in Brazil. The record prices for soybeans and other commodities have fallen, spurring anxiety
Once confident that soaring demand would guarantee high prices for goods such as soybeans, beef and minerals, Argentina, Brazil and other countries are feeling the effects of tightening credit.
BUENOS AIRES — The abrupt end of the worldwide commodities boom has stunned Latin American nations that had bet the farm on the idea that raw materials were a ticket to boundless prosperity in the globalized economy.
A galloping sense of insecurity has replaced the swaggering confidence that insatiable demand would keep prices up for products such as soybeans, copper, wheat and coffee. But commodities have tumbled in value in the wake of the financial meltdown.
BRASILIA: South America is thinking of creating a common currency and a central bank along the lines of those in the European Union’s eurozone, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said yesterday.
The idea is a logical next step following the signing last Friday of a treaty creating a Union of South American States that aims to promote joint regional customs and defense policies, Lula said during his weekly radio broadcast.
“Many things still haven’t been realised. We are now going to create a Bank of South America. We are going to move forward so in the future we’ll have a single central bank, a common currency,” he said.
But, he added: “This is a process. It won’t be something that happens quickly.”
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela all signed up to the Unasur treaty creating the regional union during a ceremony in Brasilia last Friday.