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The week at a glance...Americas

Americas

Halifax, Nova Scotia
Spying for Russia? A Canadian naval intelligence officer has been charged with espionage in a case that could compromise U.S. intelligence. Jeffrey Paul Delisle, a sub-lieutenant who worked in a unit where information is collected and shared among NATO allies, has been charged with breach of trust and passing on restricted information. Authorities refused to comment on a Canadian television report that Russia was the recipient of Delisle’s information. “Our allies have full confidence in Canada,” said Defense Minister Peter MacKay. Delisle joined the navy as a reservist in 1996, became a member of the regular forces in 2001, and was promoted to officer in 2008, by which point, it’s alleged, he had already begun passing on secrets.

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
No longer No. 1: After three years in first place, Juárez is now the world’s second-deadliest city. In its annual ranking of murder rates, the Citizen’s Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice, a Mexican research group, found that the most violent city in the world—excluding cities in conflict zones such as Libya or Afghanistan—was San Pedro Sula, Honduras, with a rate of 159 murders per 100,000 people. Juárez came in second, with 148. But Mexico can hardly rejoice. Five of the top 10 most violent cities were Mexican. Forty of the top 50 were in Latin America, including 14 cities in Brazil. The top U.S. city on the list, coming in at No. 21, was New Orleans, at 58 murders per 100,000 people.

Caracas, Venezuela
New spat with U.S.: Venezuela has closed its consulate in Miami after the U.S. government expelled Venezuela’s consul general there. Livia Acosta Noguera was ordered out of the country last week following allegations that she had plotted a cyber­attack on U.S. nuclear power plants while she was assigned to the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico. The FBI investigated the allegations, which were raised in a documentary that aired on the Spanish-language channel Univision. The documentary, which also implicated Cuban and Iranian diplomats, cited audio and video recordings of Acosta discussing the plot.

Bariloche, Argentina   
Chilean ash: An Argentine airport closed since last June because of a Chilean volcano’s eruption finally reopened last week—then promptly closed three days later because there was still too much ash in the air. The Bariloche airport closure has hit Argentine tourism particularly hard. Bariloche and nearby towns are popular destinations for skiing in the winter and for hiking and fishing in the summer, but tourists have had a hard time getting there for seven months. The eruption of Chile’s Puyehue volcano paralyzed air traffic in nearly the whole Southern Hemisphere, including Australia and New Zealand, for a week last summer. Bariloche is one of the few airports still hampered by ash.

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