Today, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP16, begins in Cancun, Mexico.
It’s the first major meeting since the failed conference in Copenhagen, Denmark one year ago.
But political conditions have deteriorated since then, and nobody is holding out much hope that a crucial agreement will be reached.
On Sunday, Brazilians elected their first ever female president to replace the incredibly popular president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, commonly known as Lula.
Dilma Rousseff was handpicked by Lula to run in the election, and she essentially used his popularity to achieve victory.
For the 192 million Brazilians, it’s a milestone that could mark the start of a very exciting decade for their country.
Nine months after the huge earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation of Haiti, the country is still battling with rubble.
And although it has been fortunate in avoiding a usually rampant tropical storm season, an outbreak of cholera has now emerged.
Furthermore, a study published on Sunday revealed that the worst may be yet to come for Haiti in a possible new cycle of earthquakes.
The state of play
On Wednesday at ten minutes past midnight local time, the first of the 33 trapped Chilean miners, Florencio Avalos, was successfully winched to the surface to cheers of joy across Chile.
The delicate process is still underway as they free one miner about every hour. But the event has made mining history.
Never before has a single human, let alone a group of 33, spent so long underground. And never before has a rescue from such a depth been achieved.
He is hated by his country’s elite and America (he called George W. Bush the devil at the UN), but loved by ordinary Venezuelans. Some call him a dictator while others call him a liberator. But no one can deny the charisma of Hugo Chavez.
Every Sunday at 11am, the Venezuelan president hosts a TV talk show called ‘Alo Presidente’ in which he talks largely unscripted for up to eight hours about various government programs and topical issues of the day.
Last week, Cuban President Raul Castro announced one of the most significant changes to Cuban life since he and his brother Fidel took power in the 1959 revolution.
The announcement is that one million public sector (government-paid) jobs will be cut, and these roles will be taken over by new privately-owned businesses.
It’s the clearest example yet of Cuba’s attempt to become a mini-China: a relatively free economy but with government still owning several key profitable businesses to ensure such wealth is spent on the people.
It’s not often you get a happy disaster story. But on Sunday – two weeks after their mineshaft in northern Chile caved in – all 33 miners acknowledged they were alive.
Trapped after rocks blocked their exit, they managed to live in a shelter 700 metres (2,300 feet) underground.
But rather than bring them straight out, rescuers now say they won’t be able to get them out until Christmas, posing a serious challenge ahead for the miners.
In June, award-winning American film director Oliver Stone released his latest documentary South of the Border into American cinemas.
The film looks at the phenomenal, yet relatively unknown revolution taking place in South and Central America.
There, a collection of presidents have rallied behind one main cause – to make their countries strong and prosperous by economically and socially empowering their people.
Haiti’s devastating magnitude 7 earthquake on January 12 was a brutal blow to the Western hemisphere’s poorest country.
220,000 people died, 300,000 were injured, and 300,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Including government buildings, schools, hospitals and other key infrastructure, the total damage is estimated to be US$7.8 billion.
Around the world in 60 seconds will return next week.
Shares in British petroleum company Desire Petroleum fell by about half their value last month, when the company announced that its latest search for oil in the Falkland Islands had been fairly unsuccessful.
A statement posted on the company’s website noted that the quality of the reservoir at the Liz 14/19-1 well was “poor.” A few weeks ago, Desire abandoned the Liz well.