Central America

Discover the Best!

Alltopics lets your discover the most popular news, images, videos and gifs from around the web, on all your favorite topics.

Our content-analysis-technology and veteran editors surface the latest trending content so you never miss out on your next favorite thing.

Sign up now to follow your favorite topics and discover the best of the Internet!

Sign Up  Get the App
Google's servers in Cuba went live on Wednesday, making the internet giant the first foreign internet company to host content within the long cut-off country.

The servers are part of Google's global network of caching servers, called GGC nodes, the servers work by storing popular content — like a viral YouTube video — on a local server. Instead of having to travel the long distance through a submarine cable, which currently connects Cuba to the internet through Venezuela, Cubans will now be able to access content through the nearest Google server in their country.

Despite hopes that Cuba would begin opening up its internet access following the re-establishment of diplomatic between the US and Cuba in 2015, Cuba still has the lowest level of internet connectivity in the western hemisphere. For most Cubans, the internet can only be accessed through 240 public access wi-fi spots dotted around the country. An hour of internet access costs roughly $1.50, which for Cubans earning the country's average wage of $25 a month, can be prohibitively expensive. cnbc.com
Even as the Trump administration jousts with Canada over its latest trade dispute, it might want to keep a closer eye on Mexico, America’s No. 1 one dairy importer. Its southern neighbor, which figures prominently in the U.S. government’s crime and immigration rhetoric, spent almost twice as much money as Canada did on U.S. dairy in 2016. That’s $1.2 billion.

Now it appears Mexico is looking for new trading partners.

In the first two months of 2017, Mexico increased its imports of skim milk powder from the European Union by 122 percent over last year, according to the EU Milk Market Observatory (as first reported by the Irish Farm Journal). Mexico has also been exploring talks with dairy powerhouse New Zealand. That country’s trade minister visited Mexico City in February to discuss a potential trade deal. 

Why the moves by Mexico? In a word: Trump.

“Mexico is looking to make sure they have market alternatives because of the rhetoric from the U.S. on renegotiating Nafta,” said D. Scott Brown, who teaches agricultural and applied economics at the University of Missouri, referring to the North American Free Trade Agreement. “This may be an opportunity to find other places for skim milk powder.” Rabobank also reported that tensions between the U.S. and Mexico are the reason for Mexico’s changing dairy purchasing strategy. bloomberg.com
In a significant public health victory, Mexico has succeeded in eliminating a disease which is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. 

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Monday that Mexico is the first country in the Americas to eliminate trachoma as a public health issue. The disease, caused by a bacteria, affects the eye and repeated infections can lead to scarring and even loss of vision. 

It primarily affects young children, and can be spread by personal contact or by flies that that have been in contact with the discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person. 

"This is a historic moment for public health in Mexico and the Americas," said Carissa F. Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO regional office for the Americas. "Eliminating a disease is not achieved every day." nbcnews.com
The earthquake, which struck at 6:38 p.m. local time on Monday, was centered about 38 kilometers (24 miles) west of Valparaíso, or 126 kilometers (78 miles) northwest of Santiago. It struck at a shallow depth of just 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) put the preliminary magnitude of the earthquake at 7.1, up from an initial estimate of 6.9 by Chile's National Seismological Center.

Strong shaking was felt across the region, prompting Chile's National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI) to order a precautionary evacuation of all coastal areas in the Valparaíso and O'Higgins regions. The warning was lifted after a short time and there is no threat of a tsunami.

There was no immediate reports of major damage or casualties, but transportation systems in Valparaíso and other areas were halted and power outages were reported in Valparaíso and Quilicura. Minor damage was reported at Santiago International Airport, among other places. bnonews.com
A discovery made in a remote mountain village high in the Peruvian Andes suggests that the ancient Inca used accounting devices made of knotted, colored strings for more than accounting.

The devices, called khipus (pronounced kee-poos), used combinations of knots to represent numbers and were used to inventory stores of corn, beans, and other provisions. Spanish accounts from colonial times claim that Inca khipus also encoded history, biographies, and letters, but researchers have yet to decipher any non-numerical meaning in the cords and knots.

Now a pair of khipus protected by Andean elders since colonial times may offer fresh clues for understanding how more elaborate versions of the devices could have stored and relayed information.

“What we found is a series of complex color combinations between the cords,” says Sabine Hyland, professor of anthropology at St. Andrews University in Scotland and a National Geographic Explorer. “The cords have 14 different colors that allow for 95 unique cord patterns. That number is within the range of symbols in logosyllabic writing systems.” nationalgeographic.com
The Trump administration vowed Tuesday to crack down on MS-13, a notoriously brutal Central American street gang blamed for a recent series of killings in suburban New York, and accused Obama-era border policies of allowing its ranks to flourish.

The gang is known for hacking and stabbing victims with machetes, drug dealing, prostitution and other rackets. Their recruits are middle- and high-school students predominantly in immigrant communities and those who try to leave them risk violent retribution, according to officials.

“These organisations enrich themselves by pedalling poison in our communities, trafficking children for sexual exploitation and inflicting horrific violence in the communities where they operate,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in remarks before meeting with top federal law enforcement officials on ways to dismantle ultra-violent transnational gangs.

MS-13 — or the Mara Salvatrucha — traces its origins to Los Angeles, where thousands fleeing El Salvador’s bloody civil war in the 1980s arrived, to protect the immigrants from Mexican and African-American gangs. As Central American communities have grown, so has the gang, which is now estimated at 30,000 members operating in semi-autonomous cliques mostly in Central and North America. More than 10,000 MS-13 are in the US, according to federal law enforcement officials. However, the FBI doesn’t break down its national crime statistics by gang affiliation, and the bureau doesn’t collect MS-13-specific data, a spokeswoman said. scmp.com