- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2006

BRAZIL

Remote town adopts 3 Indian languages

SAO PAULO — A remote Brazilian town has given official status to three Indian languages, becoming the only municipality in the country to put them on par with the country’s official language, Portuguese, to try to keep native cultures alive.

Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira, a town deep in the Amazon jungle, will start teaching the Nheengatu, Baniwa and Tukano tongues to schoolchildren and printing government documents in these languages.

“This is the first and only case like it in Brazil,” said Andre Fernando, a director of the Indigenous Federation of the Upper Rio Negro, which pushed for the measure.

CANADA

Security laws deemed ‘intrusive’ by many

OTTAWA — Almost half of Canadians and even more Americans feel that security laws passed after the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington are “intrusive,” according to a survey published yesterday.

The study by Queen’s University researchers in Kingston, Ontario, examined the surveillance and privacy attitudes of 9,000 participants from eight countries. “Fifty-seven percent of Americans and 47 percent of Canadians said that these laws are intrusive, said lead researcher Elia Zureik.

Funded by Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the survey asked participants about consumer surveillance, racial profiling at airports, national identification cards, workplace privacy, control over personal data and public trust in government.

MEXICO

Plans for border wall belie U.S. ‘partnership’

MEXICO CITY — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, appearing at a glitzy Monterrey trade show last week, stood before a huge billboard trumpeting the “California-Mexico Partnership.” The mural showed him surrounded by flags and symbols of the two neighbors, joined in a common goal of friendship and trade.

Such images don’t impress Roberto Collado Martinez, sitting over a bowl of steaming pozole in the colonial square of Coyoacan, bustling with families, vendors and street musicians. No matter what the big politicians discuss, he says, the political reality is the intractable, divisive issue of immigration.

“Americans think they need to be protected by el muro,” said Mr. Collado, a graying, leftist lawyer, speaking of the 700-mile border fence pushed by Republicans and signed into law by President Bush. “We’ve been in your country for generations, in Texas, in California,” he said. “What would the United States be without the work by generations of Mexicans and Latinos who put their work into it?”

Weekly notes …

A bus carrying a Chilean military band skidded off a precipice in the rain and fell into a river Sunday, killing 19 persons, including 17 military, and injuring nine, the army reported. The Chacabuco regiment band, heading to Canete, 400 miles south of Santiago, the national capital, to perform at a ceremony honoring the city’s founding, plunged off a curved, rain-slicked road from a 50-foot-high precipice into the Tucapel River, police and radio reports said. … At least nine persons were killed and 30 were injured Sunday when a speeding bus flipped over on a turn near Peru’s Lake Titicaca. Police, quoting witnesses, said the bus driver headed into a turn at high speed and lost control of the vehicle. Twelve days earlier, Lima issued emergency measures to reduce the carnage on Peru’s roadways, where more than 40 people lost their lives last month in traffic accidents.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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