Bolivia

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Bolivian Official Tries to Mediate Talks, Ends Up Dead

Rodolfo Illanes was kidnapped, beaten to death

(Newser) - Striking miners in Bolivia kidnapped and beat to death the country's deputy interior minister after he traveled to the area to mediate in the bitter conflict over mining laws, officials say. Government Minister Carlos Romero called it a "cowardly and brutal killing" and asked that the body of... More »

Our Taste in Music Is More Nurture Than Nature

Love or hate Bjork? Bach? Study refutes idea that preferences are hardwired

(Newser) - There's no accounting for taste—but if you want to blame anything on how you were raised, your taste in music could rank up there, a new study suggests. In music, chords can be broken down into many categories, two of which are called "consonant" and "dissonant.... More »

Bolivia to Bill Gates: Keep Your Stupid Chickens

Country offended by donation offer, says it's doing just fine on poultry front

(Newser) - Bill Gates recently offered to donate 100,000 hens to poor countries around the world, but one South American nation looked his gift chickens in the mouth and began squawking. "How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how... More »

Pope Makes Historic Apology for 'Serious Sins'

He 'humbly asks for forgiveness' for crimes against natives

(Newser) - The first pope from Latin America has gone further than any of his predecessors in apologizing for crimes committed in the name of the Catholic Church during the colonization of the Americas. "I say with sorrow that the church has committed many serious sins against the indigenous peoples of... More »

Pope Will Nosh on a Controversial Plant

He plans to chew coca leaves while in Bolivia

(Newser) - Another entry for the pope-is-a-regular-guy files: Francis wants to sample coca leaves when he arrives in Bolivia next week, reports Reuters . "He has specifically requested that he wants to chew coca, so we will be awaiting the Holy Father with the sacred coca leaf," says the culture minister.... More »

Ancient Morticians Boiled the Dead

Quicklime stripped away flesh so bones could be preserved

(Newser) - Those who lived in what is now Bolivia more than 1,000 years ago likely wound up at the end of their days in what USA Today calls an "ancient mortuary." There, the morticians of their day dissected the bodies and boiled the various parts in pots of... More »

Evo Morales' Win Sets Presidential Record in Bolivia

Politician to become country's longest-serving leader consecutively in office

(Newser) - Evo Morales coasted to victory in Bolivia's presidential elections, winning an unprecedented third term as voters rewarded the former coca grower for delivering economic and political stability in what has traditionally been one of South America's most ungovernable nations. Morales is now on track to become Bolivia's... More »

'Kissing Bug' Disease Prompts Growing Concern in US

300K likely have Chagas disease, little-known in the US

(Newser) - Some 8 million people have Chagas disease, a life-threatening illness passed to humans by "kissing bugs," or triatomines, living in Latin America. In the US, few people know about the disease—but the CDC figures that some 300,000 people may be infected here. In countries like Bolivia,... More »

Bolivia Brings in World's Lowest Working Age

Work by 10-year-olds legalized

(Newser) - The Bolivian government has brought in the lowest working age of any country in the world, giving the OK for children as young as 10 to work as long as they are self-employed and also go to school. Children 12 and over will be allowed to work for others as... More »

8 Killed in Bolivia Plane Crash

Turboprop tried to land in rough weather

(Newser) - Eight passengers were killed and the other 10 people on board were injured when a small plane crashed while trying to land in heavy wind and rain in northern Bolivia. The pilot and copilot were seriously hurt when the turboprop crashed in the town of Riberalta near the Brazilian border,... More »

Bolivians Toss $1M From Low-Flying Plane

And anti-drug cops swoop in to grab it

(Newser) - Kind of a risky way to pay people, isn't it? Alleged drug dealers ran into trouble last weekend by throwing more than $1 million from a low-flying plane in Bolivia, the BBC reports. Police saw the whole thing, arrested three Bolivian nationals on the ground, and grabbed the bag... More »

This May Be the Oldest Person Ever Documented

Carmelo Flores Laura reportedly 123 years old

(Newser) - If Bolivia's public records are correct, Carmelo Flores Laura is the oldest living person ever documented. They say he turned 123 a month ago. The native Aymara lives in a straw-roofed dirt-floor hut in an isolated hamlet near Lake Titicaca at 13,100 feet; he's illiterate, speaks no... More »

Bolivia Lashes Out Over Snowden Plane Fracas

Evo Morales finally on his way home

(Newser) - A butterfly named Edward Snowden flapped his wings and now the hurricane spreads. Bolivia is this morning tussling with a chunk of Europe after the plane ferrying President Evo Morales home from Russia was forced to touch down in Austria last night amid rumors that Snowden was a passenger. With... More »

Snowden Rumors Reroute Plane of Bolivia Leader

France, Portugal won't let it enter airspace on fears NSA leaker is aboard

(Newser) - The Where-is-Snowden chronicles reached a weird new level today when France and Portugal refused to let a plane carrying Bolivia's president cross their airspace, reports AP . Why? Rumors were buzzing that Edward Snowden was stashed aboard the aircraft trying to ferry President Evo Morales home from Russia. Morales himself... More »

Alleged Killer Tossed in Victim's Grave, Buried Alive

Mob of angry Bolivian villagers teams up in vigilante attack on 17-year-old

(Newser) - Sometimes it takes a village … to enact vigilante justice on an alleged teenage murderer. When police identified 17-year-old Santos Ramos as a suspect in the rape and murder of a 35-year-old near the small Bolivian town of Colquechaca, residents took matters into their own hands. During his alleged victim'... More »

Bolivia to World Court: Fix Our Landlock

Country wants Chile to return coastal territory

(Newser) - Unlike most other landlocked countries, Bolivia was once a maritime nation and the loss of its access to the Pacific after a war with Chile more than a century ago still stings, NPR finds. The country—which still has a navy and holds a "Day of the Sea" celebration... More »

Bolivia Seizes Spanish-Owned Power Firm

Morales nationalizes power grid

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales marked May Day by ordering the country's armed forces to seize the assets of the country's main electricity company. Spanish-owned Red Electrica owned and operated around 85% of Bolivia's power grid, and Morales announced that he was nationalizing the company because it had... More »

Bolivia Is Now a McDonald's-Free Zone

It's the only nation in Latin America to lose the arches

(Newser) - Those traveling in Bolivia can forget about a Big Mac. McDonald's has closed its eight restaurants there because of weak sales, making Bolivia the only nation in Latin America without the golden arches, reports the Hispanically Speaking News blog . The chain tried without success for 14 years to gain... More »

Teen Commits 'Suicide by Piranha'

Bolivian leaps into river swarming with flesh-eating fish

(Newser) - An 18-year-old Bolivian picked a bizarre and gruesome way to commit suicide, police say. The intoxicated teen jumped out of his canoe into a stretch of river infested with piranhas and bled to death after suffering dozens of bites, the Sun reports. Police believe the death was suicide because the... More »

Bolivia to Give Nature Same Rights as Humans

Nation will create ministry of mother earth

(Newser) - Bolivia will soon put in place a first-of-its-kind law that gives Mother Nature the same rights as humans. The idea behind the Law of Mother Earth is to try to rein in pollution and the exploitation of natural resources, reports the Guardian . It grants nature several rights, including the "... More »

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