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No Pos Wow: Teen Arrested After Buying A Tiger Cub In Mexico, Brazil Opens Part Of The Amazon For Mining, And More

In today’s world, the news happens so fast that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest, breaking developments. Here are five quick headlines to keep you updated on the stories that might have gotten lost in the shuffle this week.

U.S. retailers have seen a steady decline in Latinos spending money on nonessentials since President Trump won the election.

NBC News reported this week that many U.S. retailers, including O’Reilly Automotive and Target, have seen significant slumps in earnings following the election of President Donald Trump last November. According to CEOs from various companies, the downturn in business has been noticed more along the border and in Latino-dominated neighborhoods. According to NBC News, it’s because Latinos, especially undocumented Latinos, are afraid of being profiled and harassed by immigration officials and local law enforcement. Industries such as footwear have seen some of the most significant drops in Latino spending. NBC News reports that Latino spending power reached $1.4 trillion dollars in 2016 and companies have spent years trying to court more Latino customers.

“People are squirreling money away and don’t want to leave their houses to go to stores,” Eric Rodriguez, the Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation for UnidosUS, told NBC News.

Read More: US Retailers Hit As Immigration Worries Weigh On Hispanic Spending

New travel warnings have been issued for Mexico but experts say they shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

The U.S. Department of State has updated their travel warning for U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico. The report cites an increase in violent crimes in many popular tourist destinations but State Department officials are saying that Americans should not get overly concerned if visiting the country. The warning mentions cities Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Tulum, which are popular tourist destinations. The report states that some violence between rival gangs and organized criminal entities has been taken to the streets in broad daylight but there is no evidence that Americans have been targeted specifically because of their nationality.

“[The] Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations,” State Department spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told Condé Nast Traveler.

“As the travel warning explains, there have been situations among individuals involved in criminal activities,” a spokesperson for Mexico’s Tourism Board told Condé Nast Traveler. “We can add that the overwhelming majority of those incidents have taken place in locations not frequented by international tourists (such as inner-city areas or private properties).”

Read More: Mexico Travel Warning: What the Update Means for Travelers

An American teenager tried smuggling a Bengal tiger cub he bought in Mexico into the U.S.

An 18-year-old man from California has been arrested for trying to smuggle a Bengal tiger into the United States from Mexico. According to The Washington Post, U.S. Customs and Border Protections inspected Luis Eudoro Valencia’s car as he was crossing the border into San Diego, Calif. from Tijuana, Mexico. During the search, they found the tiger cub on the passenger side floor board and the teenager told them that he bought the tiger for $300 from a man in Tijuana. The man who sold him the tiger, according to the teen, was walking a full grown tiger on a leash. Valencia has been released on $10,000 bond and will have a hearing in front of a federal court Sept. 5. If convicted, Valencia could face up to 20 years in prison, according to The Washington Post.

“CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations,” Pete Flores, the director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, told The Washington Post.

Read More: Teen Tells Judge He Bought Tiger Cub On Streets Of Mexico

Climate change has turned a Bolivian village into a ghost town as residents flee.

Inside Climate News has reported that a village in Bolivia, which can be dated back to pre-Inca times, is on the brink of losing all of its residents following a record breaking drought. The village was once thriving because of the quinoa boom but the drought has left the fields and lakes drying up. The Drought has forced 80 percent of the residents to leave the village and head to the cities in an attempt to find work.

“Before it was much stabler. Rain arrived in the rainy season. There was a time for wind, when the wind came. But now it’s not like that,” Justino Calcina, a resident of Santiago K, told Inside Climate News. “Our only sustenance in this town, and in this region, is—or was—quinoa.”

Read More: Climate Change Is Making This Bolivian Village a Ghost Town

Brazil has opened up protected Amazonian land for commercial mining to boost the economy.

In a move that has shocked many environmental activists, Brazilian President Michel Temer has opened a large region of the Amazon — it’s the size of Denmark — to commercial mining, according to The Guardian. Temer said the opening of the land will not impede on any environmental and indigenous protections that are in place but many remain skeptical about the move. It is reported that there are rich deposits of gold, copper, tantalum, iron ore, nickel and manganese.

“A gold rush in the region will create irreversible damage to local cultures,” Mauricio Voivodic, the executive director of World Wildlife Federation-Brazil, told The Guardian. “In addition to demographic exploitation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and water resources, this could lead to an intensification of land conflicts and threats to indigenous peoples and traditional populations.”

Read More: Brazil abolishes Huge Amazon Reserve In ‘Biggest Attack’ In 50 Years


READ: No Pos Wow: A Dolphin Is Running For President In Chile, ‘Despacito’ Snubbed By MTV, And More

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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