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The week at a glance...Americas

Americas

Toronto
Bought by China: Canada has allowed a Chinese state oil company to buy a Canadian energy company—but just this once. China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, acquired Nexen for some $15 billion this week, prompting several Canadian lawmakers to complain about the loss of control over parts of the Alberta oil sands, considered a vital national resource. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would change the rules to ban foreign ownership of oil companies in the future. “Canadians generally, and investors specifically, should understand that these decisions are not the beginning of a trend, but rather the end of a trend,” Harper said. “When we say that Canada is open for business, we do not mean that Canada is for sale to foreign governments.”

Iturbide, Mexico
Superstar dies in crash: Mexico is mourning its most famous singer, Mexican-American diva Jenni Rivera, who died this week when a private Learjet crashed into the mountains shortly after takeoff from Monterrey. Two pilots and four other passengers were also killed. Born in Long Beach, Calif., Rivera, 43, a mother of five and grandmother of two, was popular for her soulful lyrics about her personal struggles, including three failed marriages, domestic abuse, and even her efforts to diet. Her many records in the banda and norteño styles went gold and platinum, and a Telemundo reality show about her life was a huge hit. ABC was reportedly in talks to put her in a U.S. sitcom to be called Jenni.  

Havana
Happy Human Rights Day: Cuba arrested more than 100 dissidents this week to prevent them from demonstrating on International Human Rights Day. A leader of the group known as the Ladies in White said they were rounded up as they held their weekly protest march outside a Havana church.“They told us we were being provocative,” said Alejandrina García. In October, Cuba blocked all calls to a U.S.-based messaging service called Hablálo Sin Miedo, or Say it Without Fear, which allows dissidents to record their reports of abuse or arrest. 

Cayman Islands
Prime minister arrested: The leader of the Caribbean’s biggest tax haven has been arrested on suspicion of corruption. Prime Minister McKeeva Bush is being investigated for alleged theft, abuse of office, and conflict of interest involving imports of explosives. Bush, who is also finance minister, is extremely influential in the British offshore territory and is its longest serving member of the legislature; he was first elected in 1984. The Cayman Islands is the world’s sixth largest financial center, with $1.6 trillion in officially booked international assets. Numerous private equity and hedge funds have their nominal headquarters there in order to avoid U.S. taxes and financial disclosure regulations.

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