- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MEXICO

Calderon: Arizona law ‘racial discrimination’

MEXICO CITY | Mexican President Felipe Calderon denounced Monday as “racial discrimination” a law enacted in Arizona that allows police to question and detain anyone in the U.S. border state they believe may be an illegal immigrant.

Mr. Calderon said his government would seek to challenge the law, which also has stirred rumblings north of the border at a time when the U.S. federal government is debating immigration reform.

Mr. Calderon said Mexico would “use all means at its disposal” to defend its nationals against what he called a “violation of human rights” and “unacceptable racial discrimination.” He said he had instructed his Foreign Ministry and Mexico’s consulates in the United States to work with legal experts “to defend the rights of Mexicans” in the face of the new law.

The law was signed Friday by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, even as President Obama branded the action as “misguided.”

BRAZIL

President pushes regional trade deal

BRASILIA | Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Monday said South America’s biggest trade bloc and the Caribbean looked on track to be able to sign a free-trade deal in the future.

“I’m convinced that conditions are right for us to conclude an agreement between Mercosur and Caricom,” he said as he hosted the first summit between Brazil and Caricom, the Caribbean Community.

Mercosur includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Venezuela is becoming a full member.

Caricom counts 14 members: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Brazil has been a registered observer since 2006.

Trade between Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economy, and Caricom stood at $5.2 billion in 2008, with a hefty trade surplus of $4.4 billion in Brazil’s favor. Mr. Lula da Silva called for measures to redress that imbalance.

CHILE

World’s largest telescope to be built in desert

SANTIAGO | The world’s largest telescope will be built in Chile’s northern desert at a cost of more than $1 billion, the European Southern Observatory said Monday, and will set its sights on discovering other worlds like our own.

The 138-foot European Extremely Large Telescope will watch the skies for exoplanets, or planets around stars, as well as seek to unravel the mystery of dark matter and dark energy.

The telescope will be built at 10,040 feet above sea level on a mountain in Chile’s northern, mine-rich Atacama desert, which is favored for major telescopes because of low levels of water vapor and clear night skies.

“The size will allow us to see basically Earth-like planets,” said Lars Lindberg Christensen, head of the observatory’s education and public outreach department in Garching, Germany.

The telescope is set to begin operations in 2018.

BRAZIL

Brazilians told more sex is healthier

BRASILIA | One of the best ways Brazilians can stave off chronic illness is to engage regularly in physical exercise, especially sex, Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said Monday.

“People need to be active. A weekend football game must not be the only physical activity for a Brazilian. Adults need to do exercise: walk, dance and have safe sex,” he said.

The minister gave the advice as he launched a campaign to prevent high blood pressure, which afflicts a quarter of Brazil’s 190-million strong population.

After making his comments, Mr. Temporao reinforced the sex message with journalists, according to the G1 news website.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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