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Rio scraps 2021 carnival over coronavirus woes

Rio De Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro will not host its famous carnival this year due to a deadly revival of the coronavirus epidemic in Brazil, the city's mayor Eduardo Paes has announced.

Mexico City plastic ban poses challenge for virus-hit firms

Mexico - Mexico's ban on single-use plastic in its capital, one of the world's most populous metropolises, has delighted environmentalists but dismayed some businesses struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Brazil prosecutors investigate alleged Neymar New Years party

Mangaratiba - Brazilian prosecutors said Wednesday they were investigating reports that football star Neymar has organized a New Year's Eve mega-party at his luxury home near Rio de Janeiro, despite public health measures to curb rising coronavirus deaths.

Spain health minister to stand down, run for top Catalan job

Madrid - Heath Minister Salvador Illa, the face of Spain's battle against coronavirus, is stepping down to run for the top post in Catalonia in February's regional elections, his party said Wednesday.

Cuban doctors arrive in Panama to fight pandemic amid US opposition

Panama - A group of 220 Cuban health care professionals arrived in Panama on Thursday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic despite objections from the United States, Panama's health ministry said.

Colombia's Duque says won't vaccinate undocumented Venezuelans

Apo - Colombia's government announced on Monday that undocumented Venezuelan migrants would be excluded from its mass vaccination program against the Covid-19 virus.That amounts to around 55 percent of the 1.7 million Venezuelans living in Colombia.

Machu Picchu to reopen after train protests

- The mountainous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru will re-open to tourists on Saturday after an agreement was reached to halt protests by locals over train services, officials said.

Bolsonaro under fire over Brazil's troubled vaccine roll-out

Bras - Brazil prides itself on its world-leading immunization experts, medical institutions and vaccine research, but President Jair Bolsonaro's government has been accused of having a chaotic plan to inoculate against Covid-19.

Brazil drug agency questions 'transparency' of China vaccine

Bras - Brazil's health regulator on Monday accused China of not being transparent in efforts to win emergency approval for its Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac, currently in the final phase of trials in the hard-hit country.

Thousands in Argentina march against new move to legalize abortion

Buenos Aires - Thousands of anti-abortion protesters, many of them mobilized by Catholic or evangelical groups, demonstrated on Saturday across Argentina against a government-backed new bill to legalize abortion.

Inside the only Covid-free town in Brazil

Cedro Do Abaete - A looping message blares out from a loudspeaker on Flavio Rafael's bicycle as he rides through the deserted streets of Cedro do Abaete: "Our town is the only one in Brazil with no confirmed cases. It's up to you to keep the virus away.

Tourists return to misty Machu Picchu after months of isolation

Mists hung low over Machu Picchu, adding an eerie, otherworldly atmosphere as delighted tourists entered the iconic Inca citadel for the first time after eight months of lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Peru's Machu Picchu reopens after Covid lockdown

The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru's tourist sites, reopened Sunday with an ancient ritual after a nearly eight-month lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In land of 'manana,' pandemic sparks rush for wills

Mexico - Fear of dying from the coronavirus led Laura Villa to finally get around to doing what many Mexicans had put off until the pandemic struck -- making a will.

Argentina moves ahead with abortion legalization

Buenos Aires - Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez buoyed the pro-choice movement on Tuesday by confirming he would deliver on his campaign promise to legalize abortion.

Pandemic halts bullfighting where animal rights activists couldn't

- In a matter of months, the novel coronavirus achieved something that animal rights activists failed to do in decades: put a halt to bullfighting in Peru.

As pandemic rages, Mexicans pray to death 'saint'

Mexico - Their arms raised towards the sky, worshippers of Mexico's "saint" of death pray before a giant cloaked skeleton asking for protection from the coronavirus and its devastating economic fallout.

Doctors' coats turned into Covid-fighting art in Panama

Panama - Artist Genaro Rodriguez was so moved after being commissioned to turn a Covid-19 doctor's white coat into a piece of art that he likened the experience to "painting a superhero's cape.

Latin American leaders push at UN for free Covid vaccine

New York - Latin American leaders have appealed at the United Nations for free access to a future Covid-19 vaccine, urging major powers to share their know-how for the sake of global well-being.

Brazil's Bolsonaro undergoes surgery for bladder stone

S - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro underwent an operation to remove a bladder stone Friday, the government said, the latest in a series of health issues for the far-right leader.

Latin America's virus victims, and the spaces they leave behind

Mexico - An untouched exercise bike, a guitar that has gone silent, an empty couch -- these are just a few of the cherished possessions and everyday habits that tell the story of those who have died from Covid-19.

Fear of hospitals means some Mexicans 'prefer to die at home'

Mexico - By the time 61-year-old Mexican mechanic Martin Urdiain finally decided to go to hospital to seek treatment for the coronavirus, it was already too late. He died the next day.

Madrid region imposes partial lockdown as virus spirals out of control

Madrid - At the epicentre of an explosion of new infections in Spain, the Madrid region on Friday imposed partial lockdown measures on nearly one million people to try to slow the spread of the virus.

As virus spreads, Madrid region eyes new restrictions

Madrid - Once again at the centre of a major coronavirus outbreak, the Madrid region admitted Thursday it was overwhelmed, calling for "decisive" central government action on the eve of unveiling fresh restrictions.

Venezuela election candidates should get Russian vaccine: Maduro

Caracas - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has proposed giving the first batch of a Russian coronavirus vaccine to candidates in upcoming legislative elections, which are being boycotted by the main opposition parties.

In-person learning creates dilemma for New York's poorest families

New York - As the first day of school approaches, New York's poorest -- often uninsured families -- face a risky choice: send kids to school where they could contract coronavirus, or keep them home for online classes, potentially compromising their academic progr...

Cuba imposes Havana curfew to curb spike in virus cases

Havana - The clocks strike 7:00 pm in Havana and the usually crowded Malecon esplanade quickly empties. For the first time since the Cuban revolution in 1959, the capital is under a night-time curfew imposed by the authorities to keep the coronavirus at bay.

Peru extends coronavirus state of emergency

- Peru on Friday extended its national emergency until September 30 and prolonged a lockdown in some of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus, the government said.

Robot eases loneliness of Mexican virus patients

Mexico - A robot at a hospital in the Mexican capital is providing a lifeline for coronavirus patients separated from their relatives and reducing the risk of infection for medical workers."Hi, I'm LaLuchy Robotina! What's your name?" the 1.4-meter-tall (4.

El Salvadoran sisters attending online classes up a tree

Los - Two sisters in western El Salvador are taking their love of learning to great heights: every day they climb a mountain, then scramble up an olive tree to get a signal to access their online college lessons.
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