The week at a glance...Americas


Brooks, Alberta

Massive beef recall: Beef contaminated by E. coli at an Alberta slaughterhouse has sickened at least 10 people and prompted Canada’s largest food recall ever. More than 1.5 million pounds of beef have been pulled from the market since U.S. officials discovered the contamination last month during a border check. The recall initially involved only ground beef processed at the XL Foods plant on certain days, but it was extended to steaks and other products as tests continued to show contamination. The meatpacking plant—one of Canada’s largest, with 2,200 employees—has been closed indefinitely, and exports to the U.S. have been halted. Canada pledged tougher food safety oversight after a 2008 listeriosis outbreak killed 22 people, but critics say inspectors still allow processors to do their own testing.

Mexico City

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Heydar who? Mexicans are puzzling over a large bronze monument to Azerbaijan’s late leader that has been erected in the center of Mexico City. The statue of Heydar Aliyev, who was Azerbaijan’s Communist Party boss during Soviet times and later the country’s authoritarian president until his death, in 2003, stands on Reforma Avenue, not far from monuments to Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln. The accompanying plaque calls Aliyev “a brilliant example of infinite devotion to the motherland, loyal to the universal ideals of world peace,” but he is best known for suppressing the political opposition and ramping up a bloody war against ethnic Armenian separatists. Mexican authorities said Azerbaijan had been given permission to erect the monument after donating some $5 million to restoring Mexican parks.

Cariacica, Brazil

Killed for beauty: A runner-up in a Brazilian beauty pageant has confessed to ordering her boyfriend to kill the pageant winner. Adayane Matias, 20, said she and her dance partner, Juliermeson Bastos, wanted the roles in a music video that came with the title. Just hours before filming was to begin, Matias’s boyfriend, Deivid Correia, shot the winner, Alini Gama. “We wanted recognition as dancers,” Bastos told Globo TV. “Our attempts at making it big never came to anything.” All three have been charged with first-degree murder.

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