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Fugitive 'Cocaine King' Finally Messes Up After 23 Years

He now faces 30-year sentence in Italy

(Newser) - A fugitive Italian crime boss is in custody after 23 years on the run following what seems to have been a major slip-up: Authorities in Uruguay say 50-year-old Rocco Morabito, once known as the "cocaine king of Milan," was found after he used his real name to enroll... More »

Treasure Hunter Seeks $1B in Gold From Sunken Ship

Lord Clive wreck off Uruguay will be raised next month

(Newser) - When the British warship Lord Clive was blasted by Spanish cannon fire just off the coast of Uruguay in 1763, about 270 crew members went down with the ship. Now a treasure hunter from Argentina hopes it's also still home to more than $1 billion in gold coins, reports... More »

South America Can't Find Ex-Gitmo Detainee

Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab, who had been resettled in Uruguay, goes missing

(Newser) - A South American airline is asking its employees to be on the lookout for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was resettled in Uruguay after being freed by US authorities, the AP reports. The alert about Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab adds to a growing mystery about his whereabouts.... More »

'Middle Class' Gitmo Inmates Struggle in New Home

They're not 'humble people of the desert,' Uruguay prez says

(Newser) - Controversy is flaring over the six Guantanamo detainees taken in by Uruguay for resettlement , with even the man who pushed through the plan, President Jose Mujica, seeming to criticize them for lacking a work ethic. The men were locked up for more than a dozen years at the US base... More »

Gitmo Prison Count Hits Milestone

With release of 6, Cuban prison at lowest number of prisoners since 2002

(Newser) - Six prisoners from Guantanamo Bay have been transferred to Uruguay, the US government said today, announcing a resettlement deal that had been delayed for months by security concerns in the Pentagon and political considerations in the South American country. The six are the first prisoners transferred to South America from... More »

World Cup Star Accused of Biting Rival (Again)

Uruguay's Luis Suarez in another controversy

(Newser) - Uruguay knocked Italy out of the World Cup today, but headlines about the win are being overshadowed by a high-profile bite. Video shows Uruguay's Luis Suarez looking for all the world like he's chomping down on the shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini reports USA Today . Chiellini got... More »

Behind Uruguay's Loss: Confiscated Caramel Sauce?

Brazil took the team's ridiculously large supply of dulce de leche

(Newser) - We all know professional athletes have rigorous dietary needs, and for Uruguay's World Cup team, those needs have been compromised—by a crippling lack of caramel sauce. Brazilian customs confiscated roughly 86 pounds of dulce de leche , saying the team lacked the proper documents to prove that the milk-based... More »

Uruguay Prez: It's Time to Stop Wearing Suits

He rants against formal attire at regional conference

(Newser) - War! Imperialism! Racism! Formal attire! One after another, the leaders of Latin America denounced the ills of the world at a regional summit in Cuba yesterday. It fell to famously casual Jose Mujica, the Uruguayan president, to tackle a subtler evil plaguing humankind: the business suit. "We have to... More »

The Next Big Wine Region: Uruguay?

The region's tannat grapes have been building buzz

(Newser) - When you think of the great wine producing countries, Uruguay probably doesn't leap to mind. But buzz has been steadily building around the country's wines, particularly its dominant tannat grape, which is becoming to the country what malbec is to Argentina. This week Edward Deitch at Today speculated... More »

The Economist’s Country of the Year Is ...


(Newser) - Congratulations, Uruguay. The South American nation is the winner of the first-ever "country of the year" honor bestowed by the Economist . Uruguay? The editors explain that they eschewed focusing on things such as GDP or having a dominant world leader and instead looked for a country with "path-breaking... More »

Uruguayans Get New Pot Dealer: Their Government

Country is first to fully legalize marijuana

(Newser) - Marijuana legalization has been taken to the next level in Uruguay, where lawmakers have voted to make the government the first in the world to oversee the growing, distribution, and sale of the drug. The pioneering law, which takes effect in April, will allow registered users over 18 to buy... More »

Uruguay's Plan: Sell an Eighth of Pot for $3.50

That's enough to make a few marijuana cigarettes, explains its helpful drug czar

(Newser) - Uruguay's drug czar has announced how the country will stamp out drug trafficking: by getting into the business of selling pot—legally and dirt cheap. And as long as the plan can get through the Senate (which it's expected to, with President Jose Mujica's help), marijuana sales... More »

Uruguay Set to Legalize Pot

Bill puts government in charge of marijuana sales

(Newser) - Uruguay: the Colorado of South America? The country is set to become the first to fully legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana after the lower house of parliament narrowly passed a sweeping legalization bill, the BBC reports. The bill, backed by President Jose Mujica's government, puts the sale... More »

Uruguay Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

Becomes just third country in Americas to do so, after Canada and Argentina

(Newser) - Uruguay yesterday became the third country in the Americas, after Canada and Argentina, to legalize gay marriage, passing with the backing of 71 out of 92 lawmakers present, reports the AP . The new law changes marriage contracts for all, straight and gay, to gender-neutral language, referring to "contracting parties"... More »

What Makes This Man The 'Poorest' President?

Uruguay's Jose Mujica gives 90% of his pay to charity

(Newser) - He's a vegetarian, drives a 1987 VW Beetle, and runs a flower farm. Did we mention he's also the ruler of Uruguay? Jose Mujica is known as the world's 'poorest' president, but the one-time guerrilla revolutionary has chosen to shun the state's grand presidential home... More »

Uruguay's Prez: Legalize Pot

Users could sign up for registration cards to buy the drug

(Newser) - Uruguayan President José Mujica wants to end the reign of violent drug cartels in his country, and he thinks legalizing marijuana may be the answer. He released a proposal last month calling for the formation of a government-run industry that would manage the cultivation and sales of the drug, reports... More »

Mark Sanford, Lover Cozy Up at Uruguay Resort

It's the place they first met—how romantic!

(Newser) - Mark Sanford "hiked the Appalachian Trail" again last week, but this time he did so a bit more publicly: An Argentine celebrity magazine has published an eight-page spread on the former South Carolina governor that catches him frolicking with “soul mate” Maria Belen Chapur at a Uruguay resort... More »

Spain Beats Germany, Will Play Holland in Finals

One of the nations will win its first title

(Newser) - The all-knowing octopus got it right again: Spain rediscovered its flair in a 1-0 victory over Germany today that put it into the World Cup final. Spain's midfield controlled the game from the start through trademark slick passing and quick touches before Carles Puyol's 73rd-minute header broke the tie. Spain... More »

Uruguay Basks in Return to Soccer Glory

Soccer means everything to once-great nation

(Newser) - For Uruguayans, today’s semi-final World Cup match is more than a soccer match; it’s a symbolic return to glory, writes Uruguayan Eduardo Kaplan in the Wall Street Journal . Uruguay’s last period of soccer greatness—the country won gold at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, and World Cup... More »

YouTube Clip Wins Movie Deal

Panic Attack! will be turned into a $30M feature

(Newser) - A Uruguayan man who spent $300 creating a YouTube video called Panic Attack! has been offered a $30 million contract to make a Hollywood film. "I uploaded on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of e-mails from Hollywood studios," the creator tells the BBC... More »

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