NEWS ABOUT: Chile

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Mountain Blasted to Build World's Biggest Telescope

'Extremely Large Telescope' will see to edge of universe

(Newser) - To look further into space and time than ever before possible, astronomers needed to get a mountaintop out of the way first. The top of Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain was blasted to rubble Thursday to clear the way for the European Southern Observatory's Extremely Large Telescope, which will... More »

It's a Blob. It's Green Sherbet. No...

The weird Llareta plant grows in Chile's Atacama Desert

(Newser) - Hikers in the Andes Mountains could mistake it for a green blob. Or melting lime sherbet. But what seems like a weird, lumpy thing is really Llareta, a plant of the Apiaceae family that's related to fennel, carrots, and parsley, NPR reports. Two neat factoids: It's actually firm,... More »

16 Dead as Chile's Historic Valparaiso Burns

500 homes destroyed so far in Valparaiso

(Newser) - Chile has been rocked by earthquakes lately , and now a fire raging in the colorful port city of Valparaiso has killed at least 16 people and destroyed 500 homes, President Michelle Bachelet said today. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated, including more than 200 female inmates at a... More »

7.6 Aftershock Shakes Chile

Low death toll credited to strict building codes

(Newser) - A second strong earthquake has hit Chile, the day after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake shook the country, forcing a million people to flee their homes but causing surprisingly few deaths. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet was among those evacuated after the 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit last night, the BBC reports.... More »

8.2 Chile Quake: 6 Die, 300 Women Escape Prison

Cops battle looters as thousands flee coast

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of Chileans have fled their homes for higher ground after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake caused 8-foot waves, power outages, fires, and landslides, the BBC reports. At least six people have been killed, which the AP notes is "a remarkably low toll for such a powerful... More »

6-Foot Waves Hit Chile After 8.2 Quake

Hawaii could possibly see a tsunami, but no watch or warning issued yet

(Newser) - A powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off Chile's northern coast tonight, and officials ordered an evacuation of coastal areas before an expected tsunami; waves measuring almost 6.5 feet already were striking cities on the coast, and authorities said a tsunami was expected to come ashore later. There were... More »

7.0 Earthquake Hits Off Coast of Chile

No major tsunami threat so far

(Newser) - A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Chile today and forced Chilean officials to order an evacuation along the northern coastline, Reuters reports. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake hit at a depth of 21 miles and was centered 40 miles northwest of the port city... More »

How an Ancient Whale Graveyard Appeared in Chile

2011 find mystified experts

(Newser) - Researchers were left scratching their heads in 2011 when they came upon a trove of whale fossils between 6 million and 9 million years old, of all places in Chile's Atacama Desert. It featured dozens of specimens, accounting for "at least 10 different kinds of marine animals, recurring... More »

How Did 'White Gold' End Up in Chile's Desert?

Scientists think nitrates came from ancient groundwater, not evaporation from the sea

(Newser) - Chile's Atacama Desert—the world's highest and driest—is packed with what's been called "white gold": nitrate deposits that have been historically important. The nitrates found there were key to World War I bombs and battling iodine deficiency, LiveScience reports. But until now, just how the... More »

5 Big Lakes That Are Disappearing

Blame shifting climate, drought: Smithsonian

(Newser) - Climate change, sinkholes, human water use—the reasons are many, but the result is the same: Lakes across the world have shrunk or disappeared completely, and in the Smithsonian , Sarah Zielinski tells their stories. Among them:
  • It's called the Dead Sea, but it's technically a lake, and it'
... More »

Activist Dies in Reservoir She Battled Against

Chile's Nicolesa Quintreman likely fell in and drowned, say prosecutor, sister

(Newser) - A Mapuche Indian leader who became the face of Chile's environmental movement has been found floating in a reservoir she spent a decade trying to prevent from being created. Authorities say they're awaiting autopsy results, though the death appears accidental. While there's no official cause of death... More »

Socialist Michelle Bachelet Wins Presidency in Chile

But 41% turnout worries new Chilean leader

(Newser) - Chile's once and future leader Michelle Bachelet easily won today's presidential runoff, returning center-left parties to power by promising profound changes in response to years of street protests. Bachelet won with 62% of the vote to 38% for the center-right's Evelyn Matthei, who promptly congratulated her rival.... More »

Poet Pablo Neruda Wasn't Poisoned: Tests

But family says Chilean case isn't closed

(Newser) - The four-decade mystery of whether Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda was poisoned was seemingly cleared up today, when forensic test results showed no chemical agents in his bones. But his family and driver were not satisfied and said they'll request more tests. Neruda died under suspicious circumstances in... More »

Chile Owes Exile Damages After Torture Under Pinochet: Court

Leopoldo Garcia Lucero ruling is first of its kind for international court

(Newser) - A Chilean man exiled in 1975 has won court-ordered compensation from the state over torture he suffered under Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights; ruling in the case of Leopoldo Garcia Lucero, 80, marks the Costa Rica-based institution's first decision on a living survivor of Pinochet'... More »

UN Elects 5 New Security Council Members

But human rights groups aren't happy with some choices

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia and Chad easily won coveted seats on the UN Security Council today, despite criticism from human rights groups that their rights records are abysmal. Nigeria, Lithuania, and Chile also won seats. The five candidates endorsed by regional groups faced no opposition because there were no contested races for... More »

Pregnant 11-Year-Old Can't Get Abortion in Chile

She may die if pregnancy goes ahead

(Newser) - An 11-year-old girl in Chile is 14 weeks pregnant, the result of two years of sexual abuse by her mother's partner. Both the girl and the fetus are at risk of death if the pregnancy goes ahead, but in Chile, one of the most conservative countries in Latin America,... More »

In Chilean Desert, Mummies' Hair Reveals Their History

Nicotine use persisted much longer than thought: study

(Newser) - Chile's Atacama Desert is extreme: It's hot, dry, and comprised of salty soil. Those conditions may not sound favorable to you, but they were kind to 56 well-preserved mummies found there and analyzed by researchers—who have since announced an "unexpected" finding. LiveScience reports that 35 of... 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 »

Mammoth Astronomy Project Goes Live High in the Andes

World's biggest radio telescope will look into darkest regions of space

(Newser) - Today marks the launch of what the Miami Herald calls "one of the most ambitious astronomy projects in the history of mankind": the world's largest radio telescope. The $1.4 billion Atacama Large Millimeter Array finds a home 16,400 feet above sea level in Chile's Andes... More »

Madonna Has Meltdown Over Smoking Fans

Threatens to halt performance, storms off stage

(Newser) - Take note, Madonna fans: The Material Girl is very, very anti-smoking. TMZ reports that during a sound check before an open-air concert in Chile Wednesday night, Madonna was apparently perturbed by secondhand smoke coming from fans with cigarettes near the stage. "No smoking!" she said. "If you'... More »

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