Some news items

On Cuba:

Cuba this week condemned the attack on the Boston marathon, with Cuban Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Josefina Vidal expressing “the most heartfelt condolences of the people and government of Cuba to the people and government of the United States, particularly those directly affected by this tragedy.” http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/us-foe-cuba-sends-condolences-marathon-attack-18971181#.UXCpXqLCaSo

For anyone bemused by reports of a scientific study supposedly showing health benefits Cubans enjoyed during their country’s  “special period,” the hardship years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, here’s a link to the original article in the British Medical Journal: http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1515

And the Washington Post has a fascinating profile of Ana Belen Montes, the U.S. Defense Department analyst who was recruited by Cuban intelligence and is currently serving a 20-year sentence for espionage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/18/ana-montes-did-much-harm-spying-for-cuba-chances-are-you-havent-heard-of-her/

and on Chile:

The Economist has an interesting piece on the recent impeachment of Chile’s education minister, Harald Beyer, describing him as an apolitical “educational nerd” who also acted as an independent advisor Socialist President Michelle Bachelet.  The article notes that while he cut the interest rate students pay on their educational loans from 6% to 2% and made more money available for low-income students it was not enough to satisfy more radical reformers. http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/04/education-chile

The Financial Times blog Beyond Brics reports on a controversy over Chile’s inflation statistics: http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/04/18/in-chile-clothing-prices-cause-statistical-uproar/#axzz2QrdMTXML

The Associated Press reports on the rescue of 97 crew members from a burning Chinese fishing boat near Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins research base in Antarctica.  The Chilean navy has sent a tugboat to haul away the Chinese craft and prevent an oil spill. http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/19574819-418/chile-rushes-to-aid-ship-in-antarctica-after-fire.html

UPI has a piece on the return of Huemel deer, an endangered species featured on the Chilean coat of arms, to their natural habitat in Patagonia: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/04/16/Threatened-iconic-deer-in-Chile-on-the-way-back-to-recovery/UPI-45321366152636/

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