Venezuela’s Chavez overcomes infection, treatment continues

(Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has overcome a respiratory infection, but is still being treated for breathing problems after cancer surgery last month, a government minister said yesterday.

Official statements have sounded upbeat about the socialist president’s condition in recent weeks following rumours he was gravely ill in a hospital in Cuba.

“(Chavez) has overcome the respiratory infection, although he still has a certain degree of respiratory insufficiency,” Information Minister Ernesto Villegas told reporters in Chile, where Latin American and European leaders are meeting.

Earlier yesterday, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez was in his “best moment” since his operation 45 days ago, adding the president had made important economic decisions to strengthen exports.

“He’s got a smile that’s filled with light, his thoughts are illuminated,” Maduro said in televised comments before he left for the summit.

Maduro had just returned from a visit with Chavez, who has not been seen in public since undergoing his fourth and most complex surgery to treat the illness that is jeopardizing his 14-year rule.

Maduro’s comments about economic policy came as speculation swirled that Venezuela was preparing a devaluation of the bolivar currency that would improve state finances by providing more bolivars per dollar of oil exports.

Devaluation would make exports more competitive by lowering local production costs, and spur domestic industries by making imports less competitive with local goods.

“We’re going to develop our economy’s capacity to export,” Maduro said.

Business leaders have said for weeks a devaluation is necessary to ease periodic product shortages resulting from a scarcity of dollars.

With her 14-month daughter Kaylee seated on her lap, Giselle Glaude shares a light moment with her attorney, Jason Nathu, at the Equal Opportunity Tribunal building before judgment was delivered in her favour on Tuesday.

T&T Muslim woman wins discrimination case over hijab

(Trinidad Guardian) A Muslim woman on Tuesday won a landmark judgment against a security firm for discrimination on the basis of her religious beliefs.

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Hyatt construction set to begin in Barbados

(Barbados Nation) After eight years in the pipeline, the first step has been taken to make the multimillion-dollar Hyatt Hotel a reality on the Bridgetown landscape.

With her 14-month daughter Kaylee seated on her lap, Giselle Glaude shares a light moment with her attorney, Jason Nathu, at the Equal Opportunity Tribunal building before judgment was delivered in her favour yesterday.

T&T Muslim woman wins discrimination case over hijab

(Trinidad Guardian) A Muslim woman yesterday won a landmark judgment against a security firm for discrimination on the basis of her religious beliefs.

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Venezuela gov’t aims to sink Maduro recall, opposition protests

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government sought yesterday to scupper a push by the opposition to oust him this year via a referendum, while his opponents called for protests to demand the vote.

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No amnesty for war rapists: Colombia peace talks turn to women’s rights

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Colombia’s government and FARC rebels have pledged to improve access to land for women and ensure perpetrators of sexual violence, including rape, will not be eligible for amnesty as part of ongoing peace talks to end five decades of civil war.

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Colombia declares end to Zika epidemic inside country

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombian health officials declared yesterday that the worst of a Zika outbreak in the Andean nation had passed just 10 months after its arrival, raising questions about how the virus is affecting parts of Latin America differently.

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