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January 19, 2009 [LINK / comment]
U.S.-Peru free trade pact
As one of his final official acts as U.S. President, George W. Bush signed the U.S.-Peru free trade pact which was ratified by the U.S. Senate in December 2007 after a stiff debate. The delay in signing the agreement stemmed from a variety of concerns over implementation. As reported by BBC, "Earlier this week, Democrats in the US Congress and development organisations said Peru had still not fulfilled key obligations to improve its labour rights and environmental standards and urged Mr Bush not to sign the deal." Some Peruvian farmers fear that subsidized U.S. agricultural imports will undercut home-grown agricultural produce, a concern that is not without merit. The U.S. Congress should reduce farm subsidies that distort domestic and international markets, and replace such measures with a reformed system of credits, which would be a better way to help tide farmers over in lean years.
Chilean inspectors seized at least 400 exotic animals from Peru that were discovered in cardboard boxes aboard a Chilean boat last week. The distressed creatures will be returned to Peru promptly. According to CNN.com, the smuggled cargo included "macaws, toucans, parrots, turtles, squirrels and crocodiles, most of them protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. ... The captain of the ship ... faces a possible fine of between $188,000 and $940,000..." Congratulations to the government of Chile for enforcing laws designed to protect Nature, which is often difficult in poor countries. It's another sign that Chile is joining the ranks of the developed world.
Costa Rica earthquake
An earthquake hit Costa Rica earlier this month, killing about three dozen people. It was centered in the mountains northwest of the capital city San Jose. See CNN.com. This is not far from the Volcano Poas where Jacqueline and I visited four years ago.
I have updated the chronology on the Brazil background information page.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Jan 2009, 12: 11 PM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 5, 2009 Illegal immigration: no problem
January 10, 2009 Bush's fiscal profligacy: a recap
January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day 2009
March 13, 2009 Tax revolt in Augusta County!
March 14, 2009 Mexican Army counterattacks
March 27, 2009 Facebook: resistance is futile
April 5, 2009 RPV chair Frederick is removed
April 8, 2009 Fujimori is convicted, again
May 3, 2009 (Very) Big Spring Day, 2009
June 12, 2009 Tiger Stadium memorial update
June 16, 2009 Home runs in New Yankee Stadium
June 28, 2009 Obama's health care proposals
June 29, 2009 House votes to regulate climate
July 7, 2009 R.I.P. Michael Jackson, Superstar
July 9, 2009 Conservative defeat in Mexico
August 16, 2009 Great Baseball Road Trip 2009
August 23, 2009 Road Trip 2009: The Birds of August
August 27, 2009 R.I.P. Edward M. Kennedy
September 7, 2009 Two clutch homers end Nats' skid
October 10, 2009 Republicans reunite in Verona
October 16, 2009 Health care polemics heat up
November 4, 2009 Republicans sweep Virginia races
November 5, 2009 Yankees are the 2009 champions
November 21, 2009 Senate votes on health care
December 23, 2009 Musings on health care "reform"
December 30, 2009 Decade of creation, and destruction
December 30, 2009 Whither the Republican soul?
December 31, 2009 A (half) decade of baseball in D.C.
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)